Trayvon Martin is dead. Did a colorblind society die with him?

Considering the incident in question occurred several weeks ago on February 26, the fact this story has anymore legs than the dozens of other shootings which occur each day makes me ponder why.

I will grant that there are a number of interpretations about what happened, but the end result is that a 17-year-old is dead and there is a bounty reportedly placed on the head of the shooter. But what makes it any different than another case where a teenager is gunned down? In my mind there are two key reasons, and both have significant political import.

First of all, alleged shooter George Zimmerman seems to be hanging his case on the self-defensive concept of “stand your ground”, which is a Florida law allowing one to use deadly force whenever they feel their life is in danger or they run the risk of serious bodily harm. Police in Sanford, Florida where the incident occurred did not charge Zimmerman because their investigation led them to believe he was acting in self-defense.

But some who have butted into the proceedings are using this as a call to eliminate “stand your ground.” According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. noted yesterday, “(w)e need a uniform law in the U.S. to keep wannabe cops from standing their ground – to eliminate the ‘Stand Your Ground’ wannabe cop statutes in America. The state system is wrong and it’s unfair.”

Of course, by enacting such a law it’s my belief Congress would run afoul of the Second Amendment, but denying people the right to self-defense has been the goal of gun grabbers for years. Just remember: when seconds count, the police are only minutes away. It doesn’t often make news when the bad guys are scared away as a weapon is brandished, and in the case of Martin there’s evidence of a struggle between he and Zimmerman. Whether there was a struggle and how the events of the evening are pieced together will certainly come out when either the civil or federal trial begins – we can count on the fact that this incident will somehow end up in a courtroom despite the Sanford Police Department not pressing charges against George Zimmerman.

At the same time there’s also the easy, almost casual use of the race card by certain people who, if the public were more sensible, would realize that they have way overdrawn its limit. The Sun-Times story also quotes the Rev. Jesse Jackson (father of the Congressman I quoted earlier, just to be clear):

He said that if the 10 people who were killed in acts of violence in Chicago last weekend were all white, “We would have turned the town upside down,” as opposed to the lack of attention paid to the victims because most of them were black or Hispanic.

Of course, this relates to the classical race-baiting the elder Jackson is known for, as even though Zimmerman is part-Latino (born of a Peruvian mother and American father) he’s considered to be white for the case. If not, the Sanford Police Department was enough of a surrogate for a white person based on previous incidents. Add in the statement from President Obama comparing Martin to the son he never had and guess what? We have a full-blown hate crime on our hands. Yes, the only reason Trayvon Martin is dead is because he was black. Honestly, I don’t think it’s that simple.

And then we have the hoodie aspect, where people are wearing hoodies in solidarity with Martin under the belief he was killed because he was a black man in a hoodie.

I did a quick bit of research, and according to the high in Sanford for February 26 was 71 degrees with a low of 52, and some rain also fell. So it wouldn’t necessarily be inappropriate to be out wearing a hoodie when walking around during the early evening hours insofar as personal comfort is concerned. I may have been inclined to do the same and I’m a middle-aged white guy who actually owns hoodies myself. (Here’s proof.)

Instead, the problem is the thug culture now associated with the hoodie. Obviously I can walk around in one and not be perceived as a threat, but it’s just a sad fact that some people cannot because enough crimes have been committed by black men wearing hoodies that it’s been placed on the radar screen to be suspicious of them. And being in charge of security within the housing community, that awareness is probably what put Martin in contact with Zimmerman.  We know what happened next.

Yet what we are being set up for is one of three conclusions, none of them good.

The first possibility is that Zimmerman is railroaded through a federal trial on violating Martin’s civil rights or some other ‘hate crime.’ If this is so, then there’s also grounds for weakening or eliminating the “stand your ground” rule, which will limit the ability of those citizens who own weapons to use them for self-defense.

The second is that Zimmerman is a dead man walking. Do you honestly think he doesn’t have a target on his back now? There is now a financial incentive for Zimmerman’s “capture” but there’s no specific mention that he be taken alive. And who do you think would prosecute that case given the racially charged atmosphere?

Lastly – and this partially relates to possibility number 2 – let’s say Zimmerman is tried by a court but successfully defends himself. Or, on the flip side, someone who murders Zimmerman is somehow convicted of the crime – good luck finding an impartial jury for that after all the news coverage. One needs only think back to the Rodney King case, with the rioting over the outcome perhaps affecting another black man who stood trial, O.J. Simpson. There was fear a guilty verdict in that case would made Los Angeles burn again.

You know, I thought Barack Obama was supposed to be the post-racial president. But once he opened his mouth on the subject it went from a tragic shooting to another so-called ‘hate crime.’ (That’s why the narrative of white-on-black is important, even though the shooter is part-Peruvian.) The best way out of this tragedy is not to make it yet another ugly racial incident because Zimmerman seems to have the conscience which will make the shooting a nightmare he will have to live with for the rest of his life.

It’s more remorse than many race hustlers and those who live by the thug culture would show for their victims, and the memory of Trayvon Martin is quickly joining that victim list.

8 thoughts on “Trayvon Martin is dead. Did a colorblind society die with him?”

  1. Mike,

    For what it’s worth, it looks like it could well be completely possible for Zimmerman to be found guilty, on legitimate grounds, without it being a threat to Stand Your Ground laws.

    In particular, it appears that the chief architects of the law in Florida, both Republicans, are saying that Zimmerman’s actions go well beyond the scope of what is protected activity by the law,

  2. I understand the legal argument. But I’m talking about the perception that is being created in order to gin up a groundswell of support for weakening or eliminating the laws. Jesse Jackson Jr. wasn’t into nuance, and if Zimmerman is found guilty (assuming he survives to trial in this racially charged atmosphere) then ‘stand your ground’ will be found guilty as well in the eyes of the public. Unfortunately our side has a very hard time seizing and keeping a narrative regardless of whether we are right.

  3. “Our side has a very hard time”…Aren’t ‘we’ all Americans? I need to hear more evidence, but from what is already stipulated, it sounds like this guy was a poseur wanna’ be cop who turned vigilante and hunted this guy down, eventually shooting him down in cold blood. I have a law degree, and am very familiar with self-defense laws/even the outrageous ‘duty to retreat’ instead of using force. Based on what I heard this does not come close, and is likely at least 2nd degree murder. Possibly first degree, as he was following the kid and was told by 911 dispatchers to back off.

    Put down all your damn guns, open your eyes/conscience and pick up some good primary sources for education instead of listening to ‘talking head’ pundits. This episode will not only set back 2nd Amendment/conceal carry legislation for qualified folk across the nation-now you have energized a Democratic powder keg in a state the Republicans HAVE to win to unseat President Obama in November.

    It appears ‘your side’ is it’s own worst enemy. And I am an independent who likely would have voted Republican back in September before the ‘Circus of the Clowns’ began. You guys did one thing effectively-you talked me out of Romney..right back into the Obama camp. Nice work.

  4. The other interesting angle I’ve seen is that even if Trayvon Martin did in fact assault Zimmerman, he could quite plausibly have been justified in doing so on the basis of Stand Your Ground.

    Considering being a 17 year old who is being followed by someone in an SUV, who then gets out and continues to follow you. When you finally ask why they’re following you, they cryptically ask what you’re doing and (potentially) reveal that they have a gun. Seems to me that one could quite justifiably come to the conclusion they need to use force in order to protect themselves.

    None of that necessarily goes to the validity or non-validity of Stand Your Ground, but it does seem interesting and adds a lot of nuance to the story that is being left out by most media accounts.

  5. ‘You guys’ being who?

    It’s fascinating to see that this is still a controversy A WHOLE MONTH after it happened. And look again at what the elder Jackson said – in a way, he’s right but in the wrong manner – there were 10 people gunned down in Chicago on a recent weekend and it was a tragedy. Where he’s wrong is when he says that if the victims were white they would be tearing the town down. That’s crap – if anything they would be blaming the victims for the racism which drove the perps beyond the edge.

    “Based on what you heard” Bill you are jumping to the conclusion of second degree murder, without knowing the real truth – indeed you need to hear more evidence. And I have no more insight than you do, I just know it’s a tragedy that’s once again being exploited for political ends and further division – it’s the only way the Obama side can win.

    “Our side” = those who would like to get to the bottom of what happened and find justice for the tragedy, as opposed to those who want to eliminate the right to carry based on one incident.

  6. Kevin is on track. If Zimmerman was in his home; hey give him ywo taps to the chest and one to the head. This was not that, and even if a fight ensued, if someone was following me for know reason, I may confront him, too. Maybe even break his nose, too. If Zimmerman would have kept his twitchy ass in his own house and just called police, this would not be happening. Or if he was carrying just a cell phone, flashlight and walkie talkie like almost all neighborhood watchers do rather than slinging a smokewagon. Why did that pistol even leave his residence?

    Use some common sense-why do we want this guy patrolling the streets packing?? If it was you or me in Maryland, we would be Project Exiled to the hoosegow. Do you want random, unscreened psychos playing Charles Bronson in your neighborhood?? What if the round missed/went through the victim and struck an innocent bystander/child. There is a reason why this guy wasn’t a cop, and I think as we all learn more we will find out why. I have already heard things that remain merely hearsay at this time.

    And even if it is being heavily politicized/discussed, isn’t it better we focus on this rather than two underachievers who have no chance of nomination waving Etch-A-Sketches around? I want to get to the bottom of this too-I don’t think all of you will like what you find when all is revealed, though.

  7. Oh lordy lordy! Who gives a shit if the little spec is dead. Now if only they could bring him back and do it again. Who the fuck cares. Nobody ever heard of this shit stain until he was killed.

    Get your “oh im black, oh im a target. “Oh, I really am a piece of shit”

    The little bastard is better off dead anyway the way you idiots tell it. According to most of the morons surrounding this case all black people would be better off dead since the “white man” shoots them all anwyay.

  8. By the way. Sharpton, you can crawl back into the toilet you came out of and join the rest of the shit. You fucking over proud bullshit spewing gloryhound. You want to act like everyones little righteous bitch so you can get your fifteen minutes of farce at every chance you get.

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