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Sunday, July 14, 2013

Zimmerman, from Left and Right

The jury has given their verdict, and so far there has been a relatively muted reaction. There was some violence in Oakland, where windows were smashed and a few fires lit in the street, but there has been no major rioting so far. And President Obama, no doubt mindful of his hasty words in March ("If I had a son, he's look like Trayvon"), called for calm.

The key question here is, how would the Right and the Left have reacted had the races been reversed in this case?

Had a black neighborhood watchman spotted a suspicious-looking white man, followed him at a discreet distance, and then been attacked by that white man, with the white man getting on top of him, punching him in the face, and pounding his head against the sidewalk, and then had that black man managed to pull out a gun and shoot the white man, I would have had no problem with a not guilty verdict. Especially had the black man ended up with a possibly broken nose, cuts on the back of his head, and grass stains on his pants consistent with that story, and had the eyewitness with the best view of them confirmed that story,

I suspect that most of those on the Right would also have had no problem.

How would the Left have reacted if the races been reversed?

My guess is that their view of the situation would have changed completely. Ignore for the moment the fact that had the races been reversed, you never would have heard of this killing. Let's just say, for argument's sake, that you had heard of it, and that it had gone down exactly as described three paragraphs above. Let's also say -- as the media did -- that the "white guy" is actually white, even though George Zimmerman isn't.

Would Jesse and Al have then sided with the black man, or the white man? (Yes, that was a rhetorical question.)

Would President Obama have initially said of the shooting victim, if I had cousins, they'd look like him? Doubtful.

Would the New York Times and the rest of the mainstream media have focused on the "unjustified" shooting, or the fact that a white man was sitting on top of a black man punching him in the face and knocking his head against the sidewalk in yet another egregious instance of white-on-black violence?

The NY Post just ran an article about how various celebrities have weighed in on the verdict. Russell Simmons, Sean "Diddy" Combs, and Solange Knowle tweeted their support for Trayvon. New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz tweeted, "Thoroughly confused. Zimmerman doesn't last a year before the hood catches up to him," though he later deleted and apologized for the tweet. Beyonce asked for a moment of silence for Trayvon during a concert she gave last night.

The only celebrity quoted in the article who differed was Donald Trump, who wrote, "Zimmerman is no angel, but the lack of evidence and the concept of self-defense, especially in Florida, gave the jury little other choice."

Which of them would have been sounding a different tune had the races been reversed?

Now comes word that the Justice Department is considering bringing a criminal civil rights case against Zimmerman.

Would they be doing that if their potential target was a black man?

If you're interested in justice, the key question you have to ask yourself whenever there is a case like this is, what would happen if the races were reversed?

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

If the races were reversed, we would have never known about the event. Dog bites man. The NAAWP would not have lobbied the media, police, DA, Governor, AG, or President for "justice". The media would never have presented a false narrative of "little Trevor coming home from tee-ball practice with a root beer and bag of Reese's Pieces";
the press also would never have published misleading photos of 10-yr-old Trevor in a Cub Scout uniform, and Old Black Joe's mugshot from 8 yrs ago when his crazy wife attacked him, but the man always gets arrested no matter what;
whites would never have camped outside the courthouse with misspelled pickets, nor issued death and mayhem threats on social media, nor wailed like spoiled children when the "wrong" verdict was handed down.

Maybe, since the white kid was the criminal, they both lived in a really crappy urban district, where they had strict gun control; so perhaps the black guy is acquitted of murder, but still goes to jail on a "handgun" charge.

John Craig said...

Anon --
You're completely right, of course. What always amazes me is that so few seem to see this. i just spoke to a woman yesterday who cried out, "But he had Skittles in his pocket! He wasn't doing anything wrong!", completely buying into the media account of things. When I told her the Skittles in Trevor's pocket were sort of irrelevant, what was relevant was that he was sitting on top of Zimmerman punching him in the face and banging his head against the sidewalk she responded, "But he was stalking him!"

I realized later I should have said to this liberal woman, "So if a man is sitting on top of a woman punching her in the face, she has no right to defend herself?" With the libs, which race or sex the person is always seems to determine right and wrong.

Anonymous said...

I think this Justice Department needs to change its name to the Social Justice Department.

John Craig said...

Ha!

Anonymous said...

Zimmerman also apparently fought for justice against a police cover up of the beating of a black homeless man.

http://tampa.cbslocal.com/2012/05/23/zimmerman-sanford-police-covered-up-beating-of-black-homeless-man-by-white-officer/

This kind of race reversal seems impossible.

John Craig said...

Anon --
Interesting, thank you for that. Yes, you're right, we'd never see that situation reversed.

Glen Filthie said...

Bah.

Race had NOTHING to do with it. When I hear that some failed liberal social experiment has been shot dead in the commission of a crime - I smile and thank the Gods.

I will tell you something else too: if some blacks chimped out and started rioting in MY neighbourhood and tried to hurt me the same way Trayvon went after Zimmerman - I would respond the same way. I'm sorry...I am out of white guilt. OJ Simpson got the last of it.

John Craig said...

Glen --
The interesting question to me is, what do all of these people who say Zimmerman is a murderer say he was SUPPOSED to do when he was lying on his back with Trayvon on top of him pounding him in the face. Was he supposed to just continue to lie there and let Trayvon beat him to a blood pulp? Exactly what course of action should he have taken at that point?

I'm interested in racial differences, but when it comes to legal matters, I don't think that race is supposed to be a factor. Yet one side keeps insisting that it should be.

Anonymous said...

"[what was Zimmerman] SUPPOSED to do when he was lying on his back with Trayvon on top of him pounding him in the face"

The only explanation I have for this, is these people (white or black) are utterly ignorant -- and worse, uninterested -- in the facts of this case, preferring instead to be outragitated at the idea of a KKK boogeyman coldly stalking and gunning down a small black child licking a lollipop and skipping down the street. They simply cannot get past that visual. I don't know if there's a name for the condition, but The Need To Be Outraged should be classified as a mental disorder. Maybe it can replace pedophilia, once the American Psychiatric Assoc finally scratches it from their list. Maybe outrage releases an addictive hormone or endorphin.
I also wonder, how many times blacks are actually slapped in the face. Al Sharpton used that phrase yesterday; and some time ago a black guy saw that a new guy at work had taken over my duties (I hadn't been fired or anything, just moved 2 steps aside), and said "Man, that is a slap in the face!" I had never felt "slapped" or insulted or disrepected, and definitely showed no outward signs of that, but this twice-a-month acquaintance of mine took the opportunity to get offended, as if it happened to him.

John Craig said...

Anon --
That's an interesting theory. Maybe the DSM should categorize a new mental disorder, call it Perpetual Outrage or something like that.

Yes, some people seem to be wired differently, to perceive a "diss" where none is intended.

Quartermain said...

Here is some advice on not getting into a Zimmerman like situation:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwsY3L2nMnI&feature=player_embedded&list=UU58HXBjUJrvu5slNi7PWVVA#at=413

Spread the word.

W O D said...

I'm not too familiar with the case however having some punching and smashing your head into the ground can be terrifying.

On comment 2 by JC why are you using logic with a female? especially a liberal one!

John Craig said...

W O D --
Ha! Because I'm an idiot, I guess. A 21-year-old man made much the same point to me the other day. He said, "Never use logic with a woman, they're immune. Just play some nice music, make her laugh, and the issue will fade away."

W O D said...


They still suck me into an arguement most of the time.

Even found myself telling a GF how to deal with her boss and one hour later she reverts back to emotion accusing me of not supporting her! alas I reverted back to just pretending to listen and not giving a shit.

John Craig said...

W O D --
That seems the best approach. There do seem to be a fair number of people out there who are completely immune to logic.

Anonymous said...

it is as if you are okay with killing a burglar if he's punching you in the face.
from what i read, Zimmerman was chasing Martin, although he was told not to by the dispatcher. I believe he also knew he shouldn't have chased him, but the possession of a gun may have influenced his thinking. Also, I don't really know which eyewitness you are talking about, but the one that I know could not identify who was on top. I wouldn't take Zimmerman's innocence (or plausibility of his action, whatever you call) for granted relying on an eyewitness as they do sometimes misidentify suspects intentionally or not.
Bottom line, Zimmerman killed a high school student with a gun he's not supposed to have and where he wasn't supposed to be. I personally believe that he had a racial motive.
I think you can find better examples of race-related discrimination than Zimmerman.

John Craig said...

Anon --
Much of what you say is misleading. First of all, there's a difference between being merely punched in the face, and having someone siting on top of you so you can't get up, and continually punching you in the face and knocking your head against the pavement. Secondly, Zimmerman wasn't "chasing" Martin, as in, running after him. He was following him at a discreet distance. Thirdly, the eyewitness who had the best view of them described the one on top as wearing a gray hoodie -- that was obviously Trayvon. And the injuries that Zimmerman had -- lacerations on the back of his scalp, and a cut face and possibly broken nose, as well as the grass stains on his pants, were consistent with the story he gave police immediately afterwards. Fourth, the fact that Martin was a high school student is irrelevant; he attacked Zimmerman; was Zimmerman supposed to ask him how old he was? And fifth, Zimmerman's gun was in fact legal and registered, and he was a neighborhood watchman, so he was where he was supposed to be. As far as racial motives, neither of us can know for sure, but the only one who expressed racial animosity was Martin himself when he described Zimmerman as a "creepy ass cracker." And Zimmerman was known to have tutored black students in his spare time. Plus Zimmerman himself, despite the fact that he was called white by the press, was in fact an eighth black himself on his mother's side (she was from Peru). Unfortunately, too many people believe that the picture you paint is the truth, when it's not.

Anonymous said...

I think you're doing more or less the same thing in portraying Zimmerman as an 'angel'. Wiki says neighborhood watch volunteers are not encouraged to carry a gun. Yet, Zimmerman's legal right to carry the gun and what he did with it is a perfect demonstration why those watchmen are not -and should not be- encouraged to carry a gun. Did he really have to shoot him in the chest? You would probably argue that he wouldn't have the chance to think while struggling for his life. Did he try to help Martin once he was shot? Well, I also suspect that those injuries of Zimmerman were not self-inflicted, particularly when he refused to be taken to a hospital.
I'm pretty sure Zimmerman noticed Martin was a kid when he confronted him, according to Zimmerman's accounts.
I wouldn't want Zimmerman anywhere near my neighborhood.
Okay, I'll edit my question: Is it okay to kill a burglar if he's punching you in the face repeatedly, and knocking your head against the ground?
I'm saying, you can find better examples.

John Craig said...

Anon --
I'm not using Zimmerman as a prime example of race-related discrimination. I'm using him as an example of the hypocrisy of both the media and those who only want to publicize interracial violence when it's white-on-black, which is the minority of such cases.

Plus, i never said Zimmerman was an "angel," that's you putting words in my mouth. I said that he tutored black kids in his spare time as a response to you saying that his shooting of Martin was racially motivated. Would I want him in my neighborhood? Not particularly, but it wouldn't bother me if he were there. Someone who shoots in self-defense is not a threat to most people. Many of these "neighborhood watch" type guys, as typified by the "Paul Blart, Mall Cop" movie, are sad sack losers who are wannabe real cops but aren't god enough for the force. I certainly wouldn't want to hang out with the guy, but, as I said, I don't see him as a threat to anyone who doesn't attack him.

Also, if Trayvon -- or the guy in the gray hoodie, as the witness who saw them most clearly identified the guy on top, was beating him (what else would he be doing while straddling his chest?), then Zimmerman's injuries wouldn't be self-inflicted.

To answer your question: yes, it's okay to shoot someone in self-defense, especially if they have you pinned against the ground. And yes, a better outcome in that situation would have been for Zimmerman to shoot him in the leg or something to stop him, but when you're being attacked you don't have the luxury of pausing to weigh the pros and cons of such a situation.

BTW, we've seen some perfect examples of the Left's hypocrisy recently with this shooting in Oklahoma of the Aussie college student. They've been deafeningly silent about it. And the NY Times hasn't even mentioned it.