Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston





Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Trayvon Martin is Dead

Seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin, while visiting his father and step-mother in Sanford, Florida, went out to the store to buy some candy and a soft drink.  On his way back to his parents' gated community home, a self-appointed neighborhood watchman, George Zimmerman, stopped and asked Trayvon what he was doing in the neighborhood.  We now know, from the young man's girlfriend who was in contact with him via cell phone at the time, that Trayvon tried to get away from Zimmerman, who then pursued Trayvone--even though a police dispatcher told him not to after Zimmerman called in his suspicions to 911.

" 'Hey, we’ve had some break-ins in my neighborhood, and there’s a real suspicious guy at Retreat View Circle. This guy looks like he’s up to no good,' Zimmerman told a dispatcher on Feb. 26, the night of Trayvon’s death. "

Read more here:

Seventeen-year old Trayvon Martin is dead, shot and killed by a vigilante who was told not to pursue the child.  Zimmerman has a record of violence with police; Treyvon had no record, was an A and B student whom teachers said was a cheerful young man.  And was only 17 years old.

Seventeen-year old Trayvon Martin is dead because he was walking back to his parents' home after going to the store, while being black.

Zimmerman was not taken into custody, when he clearly killed a seventeen-year old child doing nothing more than walking down the street with candy and a soft drink in his hands, and wearing a hoodie, which Zimmerman decided made Trayvon look "suspicious."

Trayvon Martin is dead because Florida passed a "Stand Your Ground" law which allows a person to shoot anyone if one feels "threatened."  Question:  Is Florida turning into Somalia? 

New York Times 3/21/2012:  "The state attorney in Tallahassee, Willie Meggs, who fought the law when it was proposed, said: “The consequences of the law have been devastating around the state. It’s almost insane what we are having to deal with.”

It is increasingly used by gang members fighting gang members, drug dealers battling drug dealers and people involved in road rage encounters. Confrontations at a bar are also common: someone looks at someone the wrong way or bothers someone’s girlfriend.

Under the old law, a person being threatened with a gun or a knife had a duty to try to get away from the situation, if possible. Now that person has a right to grab a gun (or knife, or ice pick, as happened in one case) and use it, without an attempt to retreat. "

Parents all over America instruct their children what to do if they are followed and accosted by suspicious strange men. Run, cry for help, resist.  Trayvon Martin did just that and was shot dead.  

No matter what your position is on [race or guns], nobody believes that your rights extend to the right to kill innocent and unarmed children on [public property],” says Professor Wright. “No member of the NRA would disagree with me on that.”

Others say that, as evidence has mounted, the case has become less about the Stand Your Ground law and more about a central civil rights question: If the racial roles had been reversed, would an arrest have been made?

“That's what civil rights statutes are there for, when, in fact, local law enforcement fails to protect the rights of citizens, especially when race seems to be implicated, as it certainly is in this case,” says Bob Cottrol, a law professor and gun rights expert at George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C.

There's absolutely no evidence that Trayvon committed any crime.  Yet this child was shot dead.
The police told Zimmerman not to get out of his vehicle to confront Trayvon, yet that's exactly what Zimmerman did, and he killed a child.

“These a--holes always get away,” --Zimmerman.

Not this time, Zimmerman. 

Grand jury to probe Trayvon Martin killing

FAUX NOOZ viewers have this to say about Trayvon's death.

I agree with Smartypants:

"What does it mean to raise an African American child in this country today? It means that once you get over the miriad of ways that the education, health and justice system are filled with inequities, you have to fear the idea of him getting shot while walking home from a trip to the convenience store. There's only so much a parent can do to try to protect their child. So as a white person I try to imagine what its like to be a mother under those circumstances. And that's when I know what a long road we have yet to travel when it comes to racism in this country. The particular bar I set is that we'll know we got there when a mother of an African American boy can sleep soundly at night and leave the fear for her child behind. Until then, I'll brook no talk about a 'post-racial America.' "

From the blog "We Are Respectable Negroes"


Rational Nation USA said...

I spent two hours early this morning viewing, and reviewing FOX News video of their coverage as well as reading FOX News copy.

I found it to be balanced. In fact I went away with the feeling that one thing is certain, a great unjustified tragedy has occurred.

Justice must be demanded. I believe justice will be served.

Zimmerman is a vigilante who while deserving a just trial should be arrested and put behind bar.

Florida's current gun laws should be reviewed with a specific focus on public safety. This country must not become a vigilante state.

FOX News for its part did its job if viewers observed their coverage unemotionally and with critical thinking.

Jerry Critter said...

The problem isn't really fox news. It is a law that lets people use deadly force in undeadly situations and a police force that supports it and does not do its job.

Shaw Kenawe said...

I don't watch FAUX NOOZ because I don't consider it a news source. But I did see a chart of it coverage of the tragedy compared with other news sources. FAUX barely mentioned it as newsworthy according to the chart.

Jerry, the police do NOT like the "Stand Your Ground" law. It invites all sorts of mayhem and murder and for those perpetrating it, a way to avoid punishment.

Too bad this young boy had to die for this country to see the swamp-pit that the state of Florida has become.

Sue said...

what a tragic story! The Fox viewers comments are disturbing even if Fox News doesn't condone them, this is what their news show has produced! Hateful, cruel, evil, racist wingnuts! Not all conservatives are these things, of course, but I will put that link on my FB page because I was called hateful by a "friend" just last night! Imagine that!

yes, that Stand your Ground law must be seriously looked at, we're going back to what was worse than the Cowboy and Indians shootouts!

Believe what you will, but if this was a white boy shot by a Black man there'd be a whole hell of a lot going down!

Jerry Critter said...

That's right, Sue. And the shooter would be in jail, law or no law!

Dave Miller said...

Interestingly enough that for the most part, the GOP agrees with whatever police want to do. They always say police know best.

Until it gets to guns, automatic weapons, hollow point bullets and the "stand your ground laws."

I wonder why the GOP feels the police know best who the criminals are and how to handle them, but somehow become dumb on issues like these?

Tell us Lisa, or any of your other right wing friends...

dmarks said...

Shaw said "I don't watch FAUX NOOZ because I don't consider it a news source"

An ignorant opinion is an still incorrect. Fox News is a news source, just one of many. I listen to and read a large number of them, but I don't do anything like declare any of them not to be news because that one particular news source doesn't agree perfectly with my ideology.

Shaw Kenawe said...

"An ignorant opinion is an still incorrect."

You watch FAUX NOOZ? Perhaps you're unaware that people who watch FAUX NOOZ are less informed than people who watch NO news at all?

"...67% of Fox viewers believed that the "U.S. has found clear evidence in Iraq that Saddam Hussein was working closely with the al Qaeda terrorist organization" (Compared with 56% for CBS, 49% for NBC, 48% for CNN, 45% for ABC, 16% for NPR/PBS).

"A 2010 Stanford University survey found "more exposure to Fox News was associated with more rejection of many mainstream scientists’ claims about global warming, [and] with less trust in scientists".

A 2011 Kaiser Family Foundation survey on U.S. misperceptions about health care reform found that Fox News viewers scored lower for factual knowledge than other news viewers.

A 2010 Ohio State University study of public misperceptions about the so-called "Ground Zero Mosque" found that viewers who relied on Fox News were 66% more likely to believed incorrect rumors than those with "low reliance" on Fox News.

In 2011, a study by Fairleigh Dickinson University found that New Jersey Fox News viewers were less well informed than people who did not watch any news at all. The study employed objective questions, such as whether Hosni Mubarak was still in power in Egypt."

Why would I watch a cable "news" program that serves its viewers so miserably?

If you enjoy being misinformed, by all means continue to watch the propaganda arm of the GOP.

But calling my opinion ignorant doesn't cut it, since I can back up my claims.

Leslie Parsley said...

dmarks: the problem with Fox has nothing to do with opinion but everything to do with accuracy, which is totally lacking. Even their geographical maps are erroneous half the time - having countries like Iraq or Israel in the wrong places!

As far as this heinous murder, the whole thing stinks to high heaven. The Sanford city commissioners gave the police chief a no confidence vote yesterday. If anything good comes out of this tragedy, I hope it is that Americans take a closer look at race relations and our gun laws. Gail Collins takes on the NRA in an excellent piece.

dmarks said...

All but the last one involved disputed sides on political issues of the day.

dmarks said...

You make the point a lot better than Shaw did, not relying on judgment calls such as about the degrees of depth of the positive relationship that existed betwen two major terrorist factions.

Shaw Kenawe said...

My point, dmarks, backed up by evidence, is that FAUX NOOZ viewers are the most uninformed of all the major cable and network news viewers.

But this post is about Trayvon Martin, who is dead, thanks to the NRA's pushing the "Stand Your Ground"law.

The "self-defense" claims for shooting deaths have TRIPLED in Florida since the passage of the SYG law.

Law enforcement people do not like it at all.

Why do conservatives, who always support law enforcement, continue to make their jobs more and more difficult?

Leslie Parsley said...

Here's another interesting piece about Fox and how they use fear and mythology to scare people to death - literally.

If we had the same law that Canada has preventing news anchors from lying or distorting the news, there would be no Fox in the U.S. As someone who spent most of her career working in newspapers, I can honestly say that Fox doesn't have any journalistic standards whatsoever and is completely unethical. Think about what happened in Great Britain.

erin o'connell said...

They need to try this man for murder. Private citizens don't get to shoot complete strangers who pose no threat. It sounds like he has no defense, so I cannot imagine the cause for the delay in filing charges.

dmarks said...

Leslie: Then CNN, which also "lies" as Fox does using bad maps would also be censored off the air just as Fox would be if what you desired came about.

dmarks said...

erin: you are very much right. Some keep saying "wait until all the facts are out". But when was the last time that in such a situation that the facts that came out later contradicted the overwhelming evidence that came out right away? Rarely happens.

Jolly Roger said...

All but the last one involved disputed sides on political issues of the day.

Except... FOX "News" was pushing "disputes" that flew in the face of facts. I saw their Cheney interviews, and he was allowed to flat-out lie without being challenged.

That isn't "reporting." that is propaganda.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Here's a perfect example of the rank stupidity that gets passed off as political commentary on FAUX NOOZ:

(found via HuffPost)

"On Friday morning, Rivera said that he had a "different take" on the case than most other people. He said that he believed George Zimmerman should be "investigated to the fullest extent of the law" and "prosecuted" if criminally liable, but blamed Martin's parents for letting him go outside wearing a hoodie.

"But I am urging the parents of black and Latino youngsters particularly to not let their children go out wearing hoodies," Rivera insisted. "I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin’s death as George Zimmerman was."

So let me get this straight. Geraldo believes that some of the blame rests with Trayvon's parents and with Trayvon himself because of an article of clothing he wore?

This falls in with the folks who believe women are responsible for being raped because of the clothes they wear.

Geraldo clearly places some of the blame on the victim of this heinous crime because of his choice of clothing.

If there is a more disgustingly racist take on this tragedy, I haven't heard it yet. But then I don't listen to FAUX NOOZ, so there may be another idiotic pundit out there who can top that comment for imbicility.

Notice how Geraldo singles out Latinos and African Americans.

Apparently if a young Caucasian male wears a hoodie, it's okay, because young Caucasian boys will never arouse suspicion in people, and they apparently commit no crimes.

Geraldo is a walking, breathing asshat, and he gets paid for his asshattery by FAUX NOOZ.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Another alumnus of FAUX NOOZ weighs in on the tragedy with more racism and slander.

Glenn Beck apparently still has a program somewhere and through it gets to infect the airwaves with more of his paranoid rantings based on nothing but his stupidity and well-deserved feelings of inferiority.

"The Blaze, a right-wing site started by Glenn Beck, has a post up insinuating that Trayvon Martin may have been a dangerous criminal.

Martin, who was black, was walking back to his father's house after a trip to the convenience store in Sanford, Fla. on February 26. George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch member who was identified by his father as Hispanic, called 911 and told the dispatchers that the teen "looked suspicious."

But Mytheos Holt, an associate editor at the Blaze, chided Sharpton "for being too willing to exploit racial controversy" and for dismissing claim of self-defense Zimmerman. Holt went further and criticized Trayvon Martin by insinuating that the slain teen was a troublemaker.

We’re also learning more about Trayvon Martin. According to reporters he had been suspended from school. The International Business Times says Martin’s suspension was due to last for 10 days. But what exactly was he suspended for in the first place?

Sources sympathetic to Martin say he was suspended for 'excessive tardiness.' However, a quick review of both the local policies for Martin’s school, the Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School, and of the Miami-Dade school district’s district-wide policies, raise some doubts.

Holt went on to enumerate the many infractions which can lead to a student being suspended in that school district — including theft, sexual harassment, vandalism or sex offenses.

No reports have suggested that Martin was suspended for anything other than lateness.

Holt did not explain in his post why he assumed that these hypothetical infractions were likely."

Do we need any more evidence of racism to open people's eyes to the underlying reasons that caused this murder?

Whomever the hell Holt is, this character on Beck's "The Blaze" is insinuating--without a shred of evidence--that Trayvon might be an unsavory person, therefore, perhaps deserving of what happened to him, or at the very least, inviting his own murder.

The people who support sites like "The Blaze" need to look deep within themselves and confront their own racism.

It's damn obvious to me what drives vicious scoundrels like Beck.

S.W. Anderson said...

In my experience, if someone requires an explanation of why Fox News is not an honest, fair and reliable source of news and information, no amount of explaining, no deluge of facts, no appeal to logic will make a damned bit of difference. You might as well try to tell someone why they shouldn't love their own mother.

I conclude that this phenomenon is the result of two factors: 1, what Fox News brings to its loyal viewer; and 2 — and perhaps the more-important factor — what the loyal viewer brings to watching Fox News.

dmarks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dmarks said...

SW said: "no amount of explaining, no deluge of facts, no appeal to logic will make a damned bit of difference."

More like an amount of explainng one's own narrow paritsan view point, deluge of opinions that are often non-factual, and appeal to ideology. No, it won't make a bit of difference. I would defend, and have, any news organization if someone works up a misinformation campaign with the end goal of censoring it.

I respect the diversity of voices in the news. I am glad we have Fox News, NPR, Pacifica, Democracy Now, Current TV AND "EIB". The more the merrier.

Shaw Kenawe said...

dmarks, no one here suggested FAUX NOOZ be censored.

You tell us why we should pay any attention to an organization that, for example, called the fist bump Mrs. Obama gave to Mr. Obama during the 2008 campaign a "TERRORIST fist bump."

The talking hairdo on FAUX who reported that reflects the mind-set of the whole organization, and that is to keep people believing that President Obama is an America-hating, Marxist, Commie, Socialist, Kenyan Muslim, and possibly a terrorist.

There is plenty of evidence to back up all the allegations that point to FAUX NOOZ being an unreliable, anti-Obama driven organization. If it's that blatantly skewed against the president and all he does, why should I or anyone watch it?

I prefer PBS News Hour. They don't have an agenda when they report the news.

busana muslim said...

This is a great posting I have read. I like your article.

S.W. Anderson said...

"dmarks, no one here suggested FAUX NOOZ be censored."

Of course no one here has suggest that. It's an ages old tactic people resort to when getting the worst of it in an argument: twist and take your opponent's position to an extreme, then argue with that extreme position instead of dealing with the points your opponent is actually making.

dmarks, the problem with Fox is that it presents itself as an independent, ethical news organization when it is neither, and cynically and deceitfully claims fairness and balance.

Fox News is an operating extension of the Republican Party that dispenses propaganda 24/7-365. If the network and people on it would own up to that, it and they would draw less criticism from those of us who find the obvious underlying dishonesty equal parts laughable and purposely deceptive.

Malcolm said...

I was able to read about 10 of the comments by Fox "News" viewers before I reached my limit. It was tempting to disinfect my computer screen.

As disgusting as their comments are, I am grateful that the Internet exists. If people like that didn't have an outlet to spew their vile and hateful remarks, who knows what they might do?!

It's a shame that Trayvon Martin had to die for it to happen, but his death has caused people to take a closer look at the "Stand Your Ground" laws which exist in various states around the country.

Anonymous said...

The media walked right past the decades-long association of Obama with the weird and racist pastor Jeremiah Wright. In the midst of the brief stormlet over the issue, one CNN host — inexplicably — decided that CNN was going to be a “Wright-free zone.” He could have hung out a sign: “No bad news about Obama here.”

The media trashed Hillary. They burned Republicans. They ransacked Sarah Palin and her family. But Obama, the cool, the detached, the oracular Obama — he strolled to the presidency.

Shaw Kenawe said...

To Anonymous,

This post is about Trayvon Martin, not your whiney-assed complaints over old news.

The story about the Rev. Wright was out there through the 2008 election and the American people decided it wasn't relevant.

The American people voted overwhelmingly for Mr. Obama.

You can't get past that fact. And it's almost 4 years ago.

Sad. Very, very sad.

At some point you need to internalize the fact that the American people thought McCain and the horribly unprepared Sarah Palin were NOT what they wanted, and they voted AGAINST them.

End of discussion.

lisa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lisa said...

At some point you need to internalize the fact that the American people thought McCain and the horribly unprepared Sarah Palin were NOT what they wanted, and they voted AGAINST them.

Obama didn't win by that much Shaw. McCain is way more experienced that Obama and what business would a 2 term mayor and Governor have over the college lecturer and state senator who voted "present" except for leaving aborted babies to die who survived the procedure.

Not to mention the bumbling brook of a VP we have now.
What is he doing anyway? Oh yeah making sure every dollar of the stimulus money was spent appropriately and adressing Dr Pepper. Yeah between the 2 of them maybe they can put one word together....not!
Speaking of gullible.

lisa said...

In case you missed it during his 57state campaign

here it is

Shaw Kenawe said...

Lisa, your continued harping on what happened in 2008 is very unattractive and symptomatic of a very sore loser mentality.

President Obama won by a 7 point margin. Very substantial.

You are so damned angry that he won that you continue to replay old news and old issues that the American people rejected by their support and election of Obama.

Get over it, dear. Your envy is eating you up.