Archive for March, 2012
STORY UPDATED MARCH 29 (GO TO BOTTOM)
So, the media and various rabblerousers (including, not surprisingly, Al Sharpton) are out in full force, basically demanded the arrest and execution of neighborhood watchman, George Zimmerman, who shot and killed an unarmed Florida teen, Trayvon Martin earlier this year. In fact, the black panther party has literally put a $10,000 bounty on Zimmerman’s head.
The media has, as they often do, behaved disgustingly with this story. The president has, unfortunately, but not shockingly, weighed in, doing his best to add a racial element into the mix by stating:
My main message is to the parents of Trayvon Martin. You know, if I had a son he would look like Trayvon and, you know, I think they are right to expect that all of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves and that we’re going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened
This isn’t the first time Obama weighed in on local matters in order to inject race into the mix. Recall he scolded the Cambridge, Massachusetts police saying they had “acted stupidly” when they arrested Harvard professor, Henry Louis Gates, for breaking into his own home (reports state that a black neighbor called the police to alert them of the break in.) The charges were, of course, dropped, but this is what Obama said at the time:
“I don’t know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts, what role race played in that [Gates case]. But I think it’s fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry; number two, that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home; and, number three, what I think we know separate and apart from this incident is that there’s a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately. That’s just a fact.”[emphasis mine]
So, without knowing the facts, the president of the United States decides it’s a good idea to inject himself into a local issue that had nothing at all to do with race (no one came forth with a shred of evidence that race ever came into play, and in fact one of the arresting officers was black). President Obama feeds the racial element when no evidence exists to suggest race ever had anything to do with this case. In fact, Zimmerman is of hispanic origin, so to make the case that this is somehow a white man oppressing a poor black is silly.
Let’s take a look at some of the facts here.
According to police reports and Zimmerman’s 911 call made just prior to the shooting, Zimmerman was patrolling his neighborhood as a watchman (reports aren’t clear whether or not he belonged to a community group or was a “self-appointed” watchman) and saw a young black male wearing a hoody looking around at the houses in what Zimmerman thought was a suspicious manner. So, he followed the young man. Now, it’s important to note how the media has misreported so many facts in this case and just refused to report other facts that might distort their preconceived notions on this case. During the 911 call (full transcript and audio here), we have the following exchange:
Are you following him? [2:24]
We don’t need you to do that. [2:26]
Now, the media is reporting (in most stories I have read and watched on TV) that the 911 dispatcher ordered Zimmerman not to follow Martin. Nothing could be further from the truth, as you can clearly see from the transcript. There is no order given, it’s merely a suggestion that following Martin wasn’t necessary. To claim the operator ordered him not to follow Martin is a blatant mistruth and it’s offensive, because any rational person can read the transcript and see for himself it’s not true. The media, I suspect, is set on portraying Zimmerman as a cold-blooded killer who not only shot a teen but disobeyed direct orders from 911 dispatch in the process.
Only at this point of the 911 call (2:30 into the call) did Zimmerman seem to start to pursue Martin. Zimmerman tells the dispatcher that he’s standing there and that the male whom he thinks might be black (from the transcript) is looking at him weird. He looks shady. Notice how Zimmerman tells dispatcher that he’s got something in his waistband and that Martin is coming toward him. So, this media narrative that Martin was simply walking with his tea and skittles and Zimmerman had no motive to think he was suspicious doesn’t add up. Why not simply note that Martin was, according to Zimmerman’s call, approaching Zimmerman and acting weird?
At some point, Zimmerman started to follow Martin, a scuffle ensued and Zimmerman fatally shot Martin.
Now, to make a few more notes- one of the 911 calls apparently has a male in the background screaming, “help!” before the shot is heard. The media and pundits (as well as those rallying for Zimmerman’s arrest)
claim the voice is that of Trayvon Martin. However, the only witness on record [report here] to have seen the fight says that Zimmerman was on the ground and Martin was atop of him punching him in the face, as opposed to the story sold to the media by the various race-obsessed pundits (Al Sharpton,cough). It’s been reported that Zimmerman was covered in grass stains on his back, that his head was lacerated, and that his nose was broken.
So, as you can clearly see, a rush to judgement without having all the facts, injecting race into this whole thing when no evidence exists to suggest race was a factor in this matter at all.
Some have argued, based on the 911 call, that Zimmerman used the racial slur “coons” in telling the operator “fucking coons.” Now, logic demand that we make conclusions based on the best evidence we have that makes the most sense. Is it rational to think Zimmerman would call 911, know he’s being recorded, then use racial slurs in the process? Even if we had any evidence to suggest that the hispanic Zimmerman was racist, doesn’t it stretch logic to think he would use a slur on the phone? Here’s a much more likely scenario that matches logic, common sense, and the evidence- Zimmerman said “fucking goons.” Unfortunately, most media outlets are happy to report the conspiracy theory of Zimmerman using a slur, but very few have bothered to report the more likely scenario of Zimmerman saying “goons.” Point is- everyone is trying their best to inject race into this in any manner they possibly can.
One of Zimmerman’s friends (and legal adviser) was on ABC News to declare his friend said the word “goons,” and that from what his high school-aged daughter told him, the kids these days use goon as a term of endearment. Normal response from an older man not in touch with the current lingo of the youth, but of course the pundits on the blogosphere and in the media are pouncing on it, trying to claim that Zimmerman used “goons” as a term of endearment, when he did no such thing. He merely talked about the word in context and used his daughter’s information to explain the term. He never tried to claim Zimmerman used it as a term of endearment, and this is another instance of the media poorly and dishonestly reporting the story.
Now, onto the way Martin and Zimmerman are described in the media. This is the photo most news organizations have been using to show Trayvon Martin:
To note- Martin was 17 year old when shot. This is apparently a photo of him from age 12. You have to ask yourself, why is this the picture they use to show a 17 year old, when we know he had a facebook page, we can assume, is filled with recent photos of him? The media is clearly trying to sway public opinion. Show Martin was a smiling, bright eyed kid. Now, this is the photo I have rarely seen used to show Martin:
Now, the only point I’m trying to make here is – why not be honest in the portrayal? He’s not the bright eyed, bushy-tailed 12 year old, he was closer to the kid below.
In fact, some media have gone so far as to turn this into a national tragedy. Huffington Post has removed their regular masthead on their website to display this below. Notice, they also use the 5 yr old picture of Martin, in what we can assume is a ploy to gain sympathy and paint Zimmerman as a child killer.
And this is important, because this is how nearly every media outlet shows Zimmerman:
So, instead of using another photo of him, they use the mugshot of him with a scowl. He was arrested in 2005 for resisting arrest, apparently after an incident at a bar. Charges against Zimmerman were dropped.
Why doesn’t the media use this photo of Zimmerman?
Why use this smiling photo when they can convict him much more easily in the court of public opinion by using the scowling mugshot photo?
So, Zimmerman is portrayed as a lunatic with a previous brush with the law and Martin an innocent teen who never did a thing in his life. Few media outlets seem to mention the fact that apparently Trayvon Martin was in Sanford visiting his father because he was on a 10 day suspension from school. No one will state why Martin was suspended for two weeks, but some reports have suggested it was assault on a school bus driver. I’m unable to find any concrete evidence as to a reason for the suspension, but it does seem fishy most media is leaving that element out of the story. Point being- it gives credence to the idea that Martin may have, in fact, attacked Zimmerman, causing him to act in self defense, which is what he claims to Sanford. Zimmerman, it should be noted, has never denied shooting Martin, but said that he did so in self defense after Martin attacked him.
Many have made issue of this hoody that Martin was wearing. Let me just take a second to say that hoodies have a bad man, and let’s be honest- for good reason. If someone is walking through a neighborhood at night looking around, just walking around looking into houses in the rain (which is what Zimmerman told police Martin was doing), if that person is wearing a suit, you’re obviously going to think it less suspicious than someone wearing a hoody. That’s not racist, it’s not offensive, it’s simply a fact of life. We all make judgements about the things and people around us based on all sorts of factors, and style of dress is one of them. My guess is that the frequent break ins that were taking place in the neighborhood the weeks prior to the shooting, the guys who did it were probably more likely to be in hoodies than in suits or oxford shirts. Those are simply facts, and try as some might, facts are never racist or bigoted. We probably SHOULD urge kids to stay away from this sort of dress.
Now, that said, it doesn’t mean that the hoody caused it as some have said, but I can see where one might be more suspicious of some kid walking around at night in a hoodie.
Here is a likely scenario, one that matches the evidence we have, and it also matches logic and common sense. Zimmerman was an average citizen who wanted to give back to his community. He was tired of the crime that plague so many of these neighborhoods, so he became a neighborhood watch captain. He either joined a group in the community, or he “patrolled” the area by himself. He took a legally held gun with him in case he ran into major trouble, but almost surely never thought he’d have to use it. He saw Martin in his dark hoody, thought the kid in the rain peeking into houses looked suspicious, called police to inform them, but decided that the police always take too long and these type of characters tend to get away, so he followed Martin. Martin became scared and attacked Zimmerman. Zimmerman had already suspected Martin had a gun (he mentions to 911 dispatcher that he seems to have something in his waistband). He’s being beaten by Martin, yells for help to the sole witness who runs upstairs to call 911. Zimmerman doesn’t want to use his gun and never thinks he will have to use it, but fearing that Martin DOES have the gun he suspected, he fires off a round to save his own life.
That’s a quite reasonable scenario and explanation of the events. Never does it stay from the known evidence, nor does it stray from what Zimmerman told 911 dispatch or the police after the shooting. It fits also with the stains on Zimmerman’s clothing and the broken nose his attorney says he had and the lacerations and bruises Sanford police say he had.
But, why stop there when we can claim racism? That is offensive beyond belief, because we shouldn’t need to make up wild scenarios for what is clearly a tragedy. Martin was, indeed, unarmed, and it’s sad that he lost his life. Zimmerman was probably overzealous in his watchman duties, but who among us hasn’t lived in or seen neighborhoods plagued with crime, knowing we want to do something about it but not knowing how to go about it? Zimmerman, from all accounts, is a decent family man with a job and a home. No one has offered a shred of evidence to even remotely suggest Zimmerman is a racist, and we have no reason to believe he is the cold-blooded killer that the pundits, the race hustlers, and the media make him out to be.
Did Zimmerman overreact? Perhaps. Should he had not followed Martin at all? Probably would have been a good idea just to call police and let them handle it. Was he attacked? Evidence suggests he was, in fact, attacked. Was it self defense only? Again, no evidence suggests it wasn’t. and all the evidence we do have suggest that to be the case. It was a tragic accident. To inject race into it is deplorable, and these folks doing so should be ashamed of themselves. So too should the media for misreporting so many aspects of this story while creating fanciful stories about cold blooded murder, while also refusing to report alternative, more rational explanations.
I can see no evidence to suggest Sanford police are incompetent or covering up for Zimmerman. He stated he acted in self-defense, and they have more evidence than we do. Why jump to convict Zimmerman? Race is the main issue here, in that if Martin was white, you can bet that this would have never made national attention, and these silly rallies would have never taken place. We have millions of people calling for Zimmerman’s head on a platter, to hell with the facts. That fact is scary as hell. That so many Americans will willingly toss aside facts to convict a man of being a cold blooded racist murderer is terrible, and we should all speak out against it.
Look folks, we might never know with 100% proof what happened that night. New reports give a clearer picture of what evidence police used to let Zimmerman go. ABC News reports the following:
George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch crime captain who shot dead 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, originally told police in a written statement that Martin knocked him down with a punch to the nose, repeatedly slammed his head on the ground and tried to take his gun, a police source told ABC News.
Zimmerman had claimed he had called police about Martin, whom he found suspicious, then went back to his car when Martin attacked him, punching him.
If accurate, this means that Zimmerman may have followed Martin for a short time, then retreated to his car, and at the point Martin attacked him, causing Zimmerman to fear he would lose his gun and be shot, so he shot first. That changes everything. Even if the attack did not occur as Zimmerman was retreating, there’s no evidence here to suggest intent to murder. There’s nothing here to suggest anything but self defense. Sure, you can argue Zimmerman should have just stayed in his car, but if that’s always the argument 100% of the time, we have a neighborhood watch at all?
In the end, we might never fully know precisely what happened, but the evidence backs the claim of self defense. Those going crazy over this seem to, for the most part, be people obsessed with making this a national issue of race. These people are at best just slimy and at worst working to destroy the country itself, because the last thing we need is an imaginary racist killer going out and murdering young black males. The media and various pundits have played into this, and the fact that so many are speaking out without having access to the evidence is simply disgusting, and it’s something that should not be taken lightly.
UPDATE (March 26, 2011 3:03PM):
I was curious as to why Trayvon was suspended. As I mentioned, many have indicated it was because he punched a school bus driver, and a ten day suspension seems like it might fit that sort of crime, but his family first insisted it had nothing to do with violence, but that Trayvon was on an area of school property he wasn’t supposed to be on. That seems odd tho- two full weeks suspension for that? His family now says that he was suspended for having, what they claim was a baggy with marijuana residue in it. Their story changed, and they seem to be the ones hyping the racism angle, so I honestly find it hard to trust they’re giving the real reason he was suspended.
I found this blogger here who looked into it, and it seems that Martin was almost surely dealing drugs and almost definitely punched a bus driver. This lends support to the theory that Martin was beating Zimmerman and that Zimmerman did have good reason to see Martin and think he looked suspicious (notice in the pics on the link Martin has gold teeth and is covered in large tattoos…add the hoody to that, and let’s be honest folks, if you’re a neighborhood watchman, if that doesn’t tip you off, you’re not doing your job.
The point here is that the media isn’t portraying Martin accurately, and if you see an unfamiliar face in your neighborhood (Martin was visiting his father and was unknown to Zimmerman), and especially a guy who has a bunch of tattoos and gold teeth and a hoody, it might make you wonder more than if it was a clean cut guy with a button down shirt on and no tattoos. Fair or not, tattoos carry with them a certain stereotype, and that’s the stereotype of a thug. And whether we like it or not, stereotypes usually persist for a reason- they’re rooted in a foundation of truth. Who can blame Zimmerman for seeing this character and thinking he looks sketchy?
UPDATE 2 MARCH 29, 2012: Looks as if the media has also screwed up the reporting by claiming that Zimmerman was a “Self appointed” neighborhood watch captain. A fellow watch captain has come forward to give his thoughts on the story, and he says that Zimmerman was APPOINTED captain by the community organization.
When are the scumbags in the media ever going to get their facts straight before smearing everyone in sight?!
EVEN WORSE, it seems as if NBC News is misreporting Zimmerman’s words in the 911 call. The NBC story linked above to the watch captain’s thoughts as well as most of the other NBC stories I can find on the story show the following text, as reportedly what Zimmerman told 911 dispatch:
Except, that is NOT AT ALL what he said! THIS is what was actually said:
ZIMMERMAN: This guy looks like he’s up to no good, or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about.
911 DISPATCHER: Okay, is this guy, is he white, black, or Hispanic?
ZIMMERMAN: He looks black.
Notice how NBC tries their best to distort Zimmerman’s quote to make him look racist, when in fact Zimmerman never mentioned the young man’s race until 911 dispatch ASKED HIM what his skin color was!!
In order to smear Zimmerman as a racist, the lowlife “journalists” at NBC have decided it’d be best to completely report lies. This is the state of the media today, folks, and it’s scary as hell. How can we trust ANYTHING these people tell us?! Insanity.
UPDATE (Trayvon Martin’s Twitter feed):
The Daily Caller has collected together all of Trayvon Martin’s tweets from his twitter feed. Not saying anyone is perfect, but this just goes to the character of Martin. It goes to the question as to whether a reasonable average person would see a person like Martin, his clothing, his tattoos, his demeanor, his attitude, does he seem likely to be the kind of person to attack someone he suspects of following him, etc. These ARE factors, though so many people want to ignore them. Like I told others, if you see someone in your neighborhood wearing a tuxedo and is clean cut, you’re probably going to trust him more than a young black male sporting tattoos, gold teeth, and a hoodie. There’s no denying that outside appearance often speaks volumes about a person- it’s the reason why we dress up to go to job interviews, and it’s the reason why managers aren’t going to offer a job to the guy who comes in in baggy jeans and chains.