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Trayvon Martin

Oh, and since I know you're all vastly interested in my opinion...

All kinds of things involved in the Martin case, but here's how I think things went down:

Zimmerman, a guy with previous anger management issues, likes throwing his weight around, and thinks he's A Big Deal doing community watch. He's not a racist, but being raised in a racist society, he profiles a black kid in his neighborhood. Not being too bright, being a little overzealous, and ignoring the dispatcher's warnings, he decides to take matters into his own hands and play a tough guy and go after Martin anyway, even though Martin has started walking/running away from him.

Pursued, and possibly confronted, Martin is probably scared and defensive - after all, he's just walking home and this weirdo starts following him. He reacts with his own words, and possibly hands (although the latest info seems to contradict this part of Zimmerman's story).

An altercation happens, and things get out of hand - Zimmerman shoots, probably not out of malice, but also probably not by accident (I'd lay odds he thought just brandishing the gun would stop the fight). Knowing what to say (having already been through this before), the cops show up and the first thing Zimmerman says is "self defense." The cops do their cursory duty without looking too deeply into things and let him go.

Issues involved are complex and could be looked at separately, despite their interrelational natures in this particular case - societal racism, profiling, Zimmerman's history of aggressive problems, Florida's fucked up gun laws, this particular town's fucked up police department, and what we, as a society, are going to do about all of them.

The whole thing is just fucking sad, no matter which way you slice it.

Comments

( 5 comments — Comment )
crankyasanoldma
Mar. 29th, 2012 05:06 pm (UTC)
It IS sad.

I have always assumed that if I hurt someone in self-defense, I would be taken in and booked just as a matter of course, and wait to be exonerated later (hopefully ASAP). I mean, if someone is hurt or dead, do you just take the perpetrator's word for it? I guess if the person seemed injured enough, maybe sympathy mixed with credibility would forestall an arrest. But otherwise? Yeah, I would expect the police to question me pretty closely, and not just at the scene.

If I were the parents of a black teenage boy I don't know how I'd handle my feelings. Sure, maybe Geraldo is right and I should tell my son not to wear hoodies. Stand up straight. Speak politely to people. Never loiter. But that sounds too close to stuff like "move off the sidewalk to let a white person pass. Don't make eye contact with white people. Never ever brush against a white woman" which is the life-or-death advice black folk used to live by to avoid lynching. It is disgusting. What is sad is that a lot of parents DO advise their sons this way. If pulled over, put your hands on the dash! Never reach in your pocket for a cell phone! Advice you don't have to give white kids. It's so sad that it's necessary.
esprix
Mar. 29th, 2012 06:10 pm (UTC)
That's part of what's bothering me about this, too - all we have is Zimmerman's word, because the only other witness is dead. That has to inherently garner closer scrutiny and questioning.

And blaming Martin is like blaming the woman for wearing too short a skirt for being raped, or blaming the gay guy for acting too gay in public. Doesn't wash with me on whit.
jimcyl
Apr. 2nd, 2012 01:23 pm (UTC)
I don't think you should be able to claim self defense if the 911 dispatcher has already told you not to go after the guy.
esprix
Apr. 2nd, 2012 01:58 pm (UTC)
Indeed, that's a troubling aspect, too.
jimcyl
Apr. 2nd, 2012 05:25 pm (UTC)
It goes beyond "troubling" into the realm of the asinine. Just makes me glad I don't live there.
( 5 comments — Comment )

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