home

Obama on Zimmerman: Part II

Update: George Zimmerman's lawyers respond to President Obama's remarks on race today.

TalkLeft just crashed from the number of people viewing the last thread at the same time. We've rebooted the server and closed that thread. You may continue the discussion of President Obama's remarks today on the George Zimmerman verdict and race (transcript here).

What I agree with:

The judge conducted the trial in a professional manner. The prosecution and the defense made their arguments. The juries were properly instructed that in a case such as this reasonable doubt was relevant, and they rendered a verdict. And once the jury has spoken, that's how our system works.

Keep in mind that the trial is over and the evidence is of record. The public's opinion of the evidence is not the topic. Comments that misstate the evidence in the case, or speculate as to their personal theory of guilt that was not disproved to their satisfaction have no place here. [More...]

Lawyers and commenters who play lawyers on the internet should state their legal opinions as their opinions. Readers are advised that comments containing legal analysis may or may not be correct.

My view:

I am all for protesting the racial disparity in our criminal justice system. I've done just that on this site for the past 11 years and in courtrooms for decades and continue to do both. But put the focus where it belongs: On arbitrary and unfair laws that disproportionately affect minorities, police misconduct, too much discretion vested in prosecutors, and overly harsh sentencing laws and guidelines. Leave George Zimmerman out of it.

Another place to start would be ending police encouragement and assistance to Neighborhood Watch programs that encourage people to report behavior that isn't criminal but merely suspicious. Whether it's Sanford, Florida or the Department of Homeland Security, telling people watch out for and report suspicious persons and activity is too subjective a process and leads to stereotyping. A better message would be mind your own business and leave policing to experts.

As Justice Brandeis said in his famous dissent in Olmstead v U.S:

"Our Government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill, it teaches the whole people by its example."

Address the systemic racial disparity in the criminal justice system by starting with the actors, laws and arbitrary and discriminatory policies within the system that foster and perpetuate it. If the Government cleaned up its house, it could have a positive effect -- the public might follow its example. There's no just cause to use George Zimmerman as the impetus for problem-fixes now that a jury has acquitted him of misconduct. Take the target off his back and put the focus where it belongs: on our three branches of Government.

< Obama Addresses George Zimmerman Verdict | Saturday Open Thread >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft


  • Display: Sort:
    Today was not about Zimmerman (5.00 / 6) (#1)
    by vicndabx on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 09:51:41 PM EST
    as much as many seem to want it to be.  Yes, the president mentioned his name.  IMO, to provide a starting point for a dialogue this country sorely needs.  The president spoke up today to provide the nation with a perspective that many have little to no experience with.  I'm glad he did it.

    As you said the trial is over.  Most people accept the jury's verdict.  Respectfully however, the police aren't the only ones that profile, and the prejudice w/in the justice system isn't the be all and end all of that which needs to be addressed.  

    I applaud your efforts, but as someone who hopefully will never be caught up in the criminal justice system, I'd much rather see a discussion about what we think about each other when we see one another in the store, on the job, on the street.  The impact there is so much greater and has much more benefit for us all.

    lol (5.00 / 2) (#80)
    by TeresaInPa on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 10:28:35 AM EST
    yeah right, it's not about Zimmerman.  It is ALL about the outcome of the Zimmerman case.  I am sure Zimmerman wishes it had nothing to do with him. But do you notice all the things we aren't talking about anymore like the lousy economy and grid lock in DC?

    The president has been shockingly inappropriate commenting this way.  If he didn't have the balls to speak on this topic without tying it to George Zimmerman's murder trial then he should just have gone on being our latest mediocre republican president and kept his mouth shut.

    Parent

    It's interesting, isn't it, that when the (4.80 / 10) (#6)
    by Anne on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 10:41:22 PM EST
    president has a genuine and personal conversation about race - as opposed to a speech - and does so from his perspective as a black man (yes - he's biracial, but he identifies as a black man) - all of a sudden, it's not the right conversation?

    You know me - I'm no Obama fan - but I thought the president struck a particularly compelling and authentic chord, whether or not one finds race to be an issue in the Zimmerman case.

    It just seems to me that whether there was ever a George Zimmerman case, there is still value to be found in the conversation.

    Parent

    Yes (5.00 / 3) (#9)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 10:59:46 PM EST
    Seems like the first question should be, why hire the man who made racial profiling famous, and a government policy?

    Ray Kelly.

    Critics of the Police Department, however, said that if the intent of the changes was to resolve issues raised by a lawsuit against the department, which Judge Shira A. Scheindlin of Federal District Court elevated to class-action status on Wednesday, they fell short. Mr. Kelly's letter included no substantive policy change, said Eugene J. O'Donnell, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice....

    ...Donna Lieberman, the executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, said Mr. Kelly's efforts not only fell far short of resolving the concerns raised in the lawsuit, filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights, but also failed to provide the kind of fundamental changes in the culture of policing that critics are increasingly calling for.

    Obama's speech looks like politics to me, but we'll see.

    Parent

    You could be right...I was offline most of (none / 0) (#11)
    by Anne on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 11:10:49 PM EST
    the day today - taking my mom out shopping, trying to get some prep work done for the family dinner I'm hosting tomorrow for my mom, and then watching my 7-month old grandson - who was having one of those days when pretty much nothing amused him for more than 10 minutes, and all he seemed to want to do was paste himself to my hip...

    I just haven't had a lot of time today for nuance - and since tomorrow's going to be busy and I HAVE TO get the rest of the cucumbers pickled on Sunday, I may not catch up until Monday...

    I wonder if there's any chance it will be harder to notice the Zimmerman posts by then...

    Parent

    Digby (none / 0) (#24)
    by squeaky on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 12:34:05 AM EST
    today is about bringing Zimmerman (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by TeresaInPa on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 11:07:30 AM EST
    up on civil rights charges.  That is what the protests are about.  How can it not be about Zimmerman? And how is it a conversation if Obama talks and then walks away?

    Parent
    It wasn't a conversation (4.33 / 6) (#17)
    by Payaso on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 12:08:22 AM EST
    president has a genuine and personal conversation about race - as opposed to a speech - and does so from his perspective as a black man (yes - he's biracial, but he identifies as a black man) - all of a sudden, it's not the right conversation?

    Obama's comments today may not have been a formal speech but it wasn't a conversation either.  It was more like a lecture.  He said what he said and then left without taking any questions.

    I would welcome a national conversation on race.  That was supposedly what Obama started with his "Throw grandma under the bus" speech back in 2008 but after the speech there was no further discussion.  Meanwhile race relations in this country are at the lowest point since the 60's and the "race card" has been weaponized for political purposes.

    But while I would welcome a national conversation on race, the People v. George Zimmerman is not the right place to start.  Nor should the conversation be controlled by people who have made a career out of seeing racism behind every tree.

    Parent

    So...it isn't a conversation if you don't (5.00 / 6) (#38)
    by Anne on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 07:33:04 AM EST
    have the opportunity to exchange thoughts directly with the president?  

    So, the fact that we're all here talking with each other about the president's remarks isn't a conversation, either, because the president isn't part of our little group?  Well, at least as far as we know.

    You do see how ridiculous that is, I hope.

    As for where the conversation starts, I don't know why Zimmerman can't be that place; whether or not George Zimmerman did or did not act in the first place because he thought Martin was black, the truth is that we're not having any conversation at all about any of it if Martin wasn't black.

    That an event starts a conversation doesn't mean the entirety of that conversation has to be about that event - it means it's a jumping-off point for people to discuss and explore their feelings and attitudes about - in this case - race.  

    I would submit that, if you don't want the conversation to be about Zimmerman, you stop using it as a shield to thwart any conversation about people's underlying attitudes and the state of race relations and equality.

    And, if the conversation can only be within the narrow confines you've established, and only certain people are allowed to offer their opinions after you've somehow vetted them to make sure they won't or can't say anything you don't want to hear, I guess I'd have to conclude that you don't really understand the definition of "conversation."

    Because making sure that nothing gets past the fingers in your ears is about as anti-conversation as it gets.

    Parent

    Anne, you're right about the conversations (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by melamineinNY on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 09:03:01 AM EST
    it's generating elsewhere, like here. If the president thinks this was the best opportunity he'll have to initiate discussions about race and is willing to steer it away from the specifics that generated it, I can accept that.

    Parent
    Derail (4.25 / 4) (#67)
    by squeaky on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 09:57:57 AM EST
    As for where the conversation starts, I don't know why Zimmerman can't be that place;

    Because it is a derail, obfuscation and way of avoiding the hard questions. Questions like why hire Ray Kelley?  Why not change crack cocaine disparity? Why keep jails full of non-violent people who (mostly black) for drug crimes?

    The communities are not discussing race, they are dividing more and more over the issue. The case that Obama used is one where most black people believe (thank you team Crump) their worst fears of where profiling will end up, (thank you Obama).

    ANd the white or racist communities belief is that black people are violent criminals who are up to no good and on drugs.

    This is not a national conversation, this has become the Hatffields v the McCoys.

    Obama used this case for his own political reasons. His words don't cook the rice, it is his actions that we need to judge him by and they do not amount to much, imo.

    Parent

    How do Obama's comments preclude (5.00 / 3) (#119)
    by Anne on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 12:36:41 PM EST
    asking him to reconcile his comments on the one hand with the hiring of Ray Kelly on the other?

    As many times as Obama has shown us his affinity for the authoritarian, the Ray Kelly thing should surprise no one.  Just as it shouldn't surprise anyone that the Obama who praises the fact that the system worked is the titular head of a number of programs that fly in the face of that system.

    So, while I appreciated what he said, I'm aware that his actions are not likely to sync up with them anytime soon.

    The truth is that most of the people here don't want to have a conversation about race, they want to keep picking at and obsessing over the Zimmerman case, as if there's any chance that if they keep it up, something will change.

    I can't tell you how much I look forward to BTD's return to TL if for no other reason than there is a lot going on in other areas that's important to me.

    Parent

    They Don't (5.00 / 2) (#124)
    by squeaky on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 12:45:46 PM EST
    I was responding to your suggesting that this speech was doing something positive because Obama was talking about race.

    I see nothing positive about his speech. He is fanning the flames, imo, not encouraging an open dialogue about race and the criminal justice system.

    That conversation would start with: " My policies and the policies I have supported have turned out to be wrong, when it comes to criminal justice in America. The racial injustice that is so prevalent in our justice system is in large part a function of these policies.... "

    Parent

    Fanning the flames (5.00 / 4) (#127)
    by Jack203 on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 12:49:34 PM EST
    I disagree completely.  

    He wasn't going to kick the black community when they were down though, even if the reason they are down is due to false information and crowd mentality.

    I do think the media's headlines of "OBAMA CONSIDERS HIMSELF TRAYVON 35 YEARS AGO" is fanning the flames though.

    Whatever gets internet hits works for them...and race anger sure does.

    Parent

    Headlines (5.00 / 1) (#135)
    by squeaky on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 01:03:18 PM EST
    I am sure that Obama had a good idea about what the headline would be. It gives him cover. From his speech you would think he was granting pardons to the thousands of black people who are in prison who were racially profiled and in jail for the crime of being black.

    He is for. Edger linked to a good response to Obama's speech:

    Don't Blame Me, I'm Just The President

    While others praise the honesty of your feelings, I call bullsh!t. This is tepid crap, trying not to harsh the love of law enforcement that you apparently feel compelled to court at the expense of African-Americans. Nice how you wove your way through the thicket of not calling cops violent, racist haters who deem every black kid a criminal, one way or another.  How sweet that there is nobody on your payroll to blame for having prisons full of black faces.

    read the whole thing


    Parent

    well well (4.00 / 4) (#88)
    by TeresaInPa on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 10:50:13 AM EST
    I agree with you...but WTF do I know, i am a racist who thinks young black men should stop shooting each other.  I think we should stop pretending that when we look at statistics like the gun death numbers of black and Latino youth we stop pretending it is anything but a problem that has to solved from the inside. The great benevolent white folk doesn't have the answer to everything.

    My problem with starting this conversation at the Zimmerman trial?...because George Zimmerman is not responsible for racism in America.  He was found not guilty.  Start the conversation with a case where the guy was found guilty if you must.  But to me this is Obama being a gutless wonder, tone deaf and a bully.  How dare he fail to be the president of George Zimmerman too. How dare he pick sides like this.

    Parent

    So many strawmen (none / 0) (#170)
    by Payaso on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 03:31:40 PM EST
    so little time.

    And, if the conversation can only be within the narrow confines you've established, and only certain people are allowed to offer their opinions after you've somehow vetted them to make sure they won't or can't say anything you don't want to hear, I guess I'd have to conclude that you don't really understand the definition of "conversation."

    Can I assume you plan to welcome white supremacists to the conversation as well?

    Parent

    The conversation about race in this country (5.00 / 9) (#48)
    by ruffian on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 08:23:51 AM EST
    started with the country and continues. Are we supposed to stop the conversation because some people don't think this case had anything to do with race? It's never the right time to talk about guns either, according to some people.

    Parent
    The discussion about feelings is legitimate (4.57 / 7) (#52)
    by Rob 2121 on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 08:59:07 AM EST
    I work teaching basic skills at a medium security prison. I have around 75 students, mostly black men who have been incarcerated since they were teenagers. Many of them convicted without any physical evidence, on the basis of testimony from their rivals on the street. Half of them never convicted of harming anyone directly.

    I think the President's attempt to shift the discussion to the wider context is an opportunity to consider the "bigger picture" for the black community in the United States.

    It is easy to make this about how a dead black boy fought a man who followed him home. It is much more complicated to discuss the status quo of plea bargained sentencing of black men into the prison system in this country, and how white and black people fail to empathize with each other over the sad state of affairs.

    When I talked with my students about the case this past week, they mainly sensed that Trayvon vilification as an attacker was meant to be a message to the entire black community that they would always be on trial, even post mortem, in the eyes of America.

    There seems to be an opportunity here to at least ask ourselves why this is the way that many people are feeling about this case.

    Parent

    Rob 2121, If your students are getting their (5.00 / 3) (#62)
    by melamineinNY on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 09:26:37 AM EST
    information from the social and other media, it's no wonder they believe Trayvon was "villified."  Give them all the unvarnished evidence in trial and the law as charged, and let them then decide what they think and how they feel.

    Parent
    Rob, you have no evidence that GZ (5.00 / 2) (#203)
    by SuzieTampa on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 06:40:45 PM EST
    followed TM home. GZ may have followed TM to the T, or a little past, but there's no evidence that he went farther.

    Parent
    a man was on trial for murder (4.00 / 4) (#102)
    by TeresaInPa on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 11:17:56 AM EST
    were his lawyers not supposed to bring up the evidence to defend him? Did the evidence make Trayvon look bad?  Yes it did and it was true, backed up by witnesses and forensics.  Was Zimmerman supposed to just take one for the sake of not making African Americans feel more victimized?
    How is that fair to Zimmerman? Is that what your students want?  I think they would say no.
    This is why this case is not the one that should have been used to start this "conversation".

    Parent
    Everybody in prison is innocent (4.00 / 3) (#172)
    by Payaso on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 03:40:39 PM EST
    Many of them convicted without any physical evidence, on the basis of testimony from their rivals on the street. Half of them never convicted of harming anyone directly.

    There is an epidemic of violent crime in the black community.  Black people make up less than 14% of the US population but half of all murders are committed by black men.  The vast majority of the victims are also black men.

    Meanwhile we are talking about George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin.

    Parent

    Link? (5.00 / 1) (#176)
    by shoephone on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 03:52:58 PM EST
    Black people make up less than 14% of the US population but half of all murders are committed by black men.

    And please, no links about the numbers of blacks sent to prison, because that only shows the disparity in sentencing. I'm looking for evidence that "half of all murders re committed by black men."

    Thanks.

    Parent

    Here's a good start (5.00 / 1) (#178)
    by jbindc on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 04:02:54 PM EST
    The study won't allow me to copy and paste (5.00 / 1) (#189)
    by shoephone on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 04:50:28 PM EST
    portions of it here. I looked at more than the pages you pointed to. Look also at pages 13-15.

    It is interesting to note that the stats show that while young, black males make up the largest group of offenders, the highest percentage of homicides committed by them (35% in 1993, which looks to be the peak year of homicides overall), went down to 24% in 2008, when the study years end. And for the years 2004-2008, young, black males committed 27% of homicides. The commenter's claim that "half of all murders are committed by blacks" would hold water only if older black males were shown to be committing 23% of all homicides -- but I don't see that in the study. I haven't been able to go over the whole thing with a fine tooth comb, but the commenter's claim does not appear to be accurate, at least as far as this DOJ study is concerned.

    Furthermore, the study covers the years 1980-2008, with the peak of all violent crimes being in the early 1990s. All violent crimes have decreased since 1994, for both blacks and whites, but have decreased considerably more for blacks WHY? That's a pertinent question to ask, and one which is not delved into in this stats only study.

    Finally, the claims some commenters have made that black-on-black crime is the real problem in this country doesn't seem to be easily proved. The study shows that for the years 1980-2008:

    Whites killed by whites = 84%
    Blacks killed by blacks = 93%

    The number of blacks killed by blacks is higher, but it's clear that people of both races are predominately killed by those of their own race.

    There is a lot to digest in the study, and I need to get going, so I'll look over it more later. But at first glance, some of the claims being thrown around on these threads do not seem to be supported by the study.


    Parent

    People shouldn't have to worry (5.00 / 4) (#5)
    by itscookin on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 10:40:02 PM EST
    about hurting someone's feelings if they choose to lock their car doors, or carry their valuables securely, or only walk down well-lighted streets. Individuals should be free to do what seems sensible to them to protect their own safety if what they're doing is causing no physical harm to anyone else. It does nothing to further race relations to make everyone be afraid of being called a racist if they profile the people they see based on their own preconceived ideas, whether those ideas have any basis in facts or not. I get to decide what risks I'm willing to take myself. When city streets are safe for us all, then we can talk about unfairness in personal profiling.

    How is it not about GZ (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Teresa on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 12:18:50 AM EST
    The speech on race was good and long overdue. It was predicated on this verdict, though, and I don't see how anyone can deny that. The remarks assume that GZ did something wrong and got away with it, not that he was found not guilty. It's not like he was found not guilty on a technicality.

    And, I thought reasonable doubt was relevant in every case, so I'm not sure why that was added, unless it was to make one assume the verdict was incorrect.

    REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT ON TRAYVON MARTIN

    (Paragraphs three and four after introductory comments)

    First of all, I want to make sure that, once again, I send my thoughts and prayers, as well as Michelle's, to the family of Trayvon Martin, and to remark on the incredible grace and dignity with which they've dealt with the entire situation. I can only imagine what they're going through, and it's remarkable how they've handled it.

    The second thing I want to say is to reiterate what I said on Sunday, which is there's going to be a lot of arguments about the legal issues in the case -- I'll let all the legal analysts and talking heads address those issues. The judge conducted the trial in a professional manner. The prosecution and the defense made their arguments. The juries were properly instructed that in a case such as this reasonable doubt was relevant, and they rendered a verdict. And once the jury has spoken,that's how our system works. But I did want to just talk a little bit about context and how people have responded to it and how people are feeling.



    A sad symptom of America in decline (5.00 / 2) (#42)
    by scribe on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 07:43:04 AM EST
    only one person, it seems, got it.

    To reiterate, when all is said and done and we've straigntened up all the misinormation, lies and  misrepresentations spewed about this case by the propagandists and hustlers (on all sides), it'll make cleaning up the Augean Stables look like hosing down the sidewalk.

    Your link identified that one person (none / 0) (#53)
    by Towanda on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 09:01:00 AM EST
    as you.

    Parent
    no, someone gave that prior comment a 5 (none / 0) (#65)
    by scribe on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 09:49:20 AM EST
    and the person posting the comment (me) can't rate their own comments.

    So, someone else got it.  One someone.

    Parent

    Comfort Level (5.00 / 2) (#51)
    by RickyJim on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 08:56:03 AM EST
    During the Zimmerman saga I noticed two strong camps.  There was the ultra right wing, hate Obama, concealed and assault weapons for the masses crowd that seemed to think Zimmerman performed perfectly on 2/26/12 and after.  Then there was the left leaning, black grievance, pro gun control camp,  hanging out at places like the Huffington Post that regarded Zimmerman as a racist, lying murderer.

    Others, like me, TalkLeft and Alan Dershowitz, took a position on Zimmerman's guilt different than the camp they were closer to politically. I was outraged at how a small group of lawyers and PR types could so manipulate the media and legal system to their advantage by aiming at a poor individual whose guilt beyond a reasonable doubt was far from obvious.  But I felt uncomfortable nodding in agreement with outright racists also denouncing them.  I also had my own agenda to use the case to highlight constitutionally fixable defects in the US legal system but couldn't get anybody's attention on that.

    Now I am peeved at, and made uncomfortable by, the President of the United States, whom I generally agree with politically, on his comments about Zimmerman and Martin.  He brought up the a minor facet of the gun control debate, the right when faced with a deadly threat, not to retreat before using deadly force, as something to be changed.  It didn't appear to play a role in the Zimmerman-Martin case.  He completely omitted the problem of a small group commandeering the media to manipulate the legal system.  He, invoked the case to complain, excessively, that blacks are mistrusted by many Americans.  His own case shows that the situation is improving there and he had no good suggestions on how to accelerate the progress.

    I am sort of glad it is just about over.

    RickyJim, you're delusional (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by txantimedia on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 10:19:57 AM EST
    if you think it's about over.  Next up will be laws introduced "for Trayvon", which will further divide the country, and those will last for years while one side fights for them and the other side fights against them.

    In fact I would be surprised if we don't see a Trayvon Martin Justice Act somewhere (state or federal) as the name for some initiative such as a gun control law or the repeal of SYG laws or the criminalization of racial profiling (vaguely defined so as to make it easier to convict.)

    America isn't about solving problems any more.  It's about pointing fingers, gaining advantages and demonizing others.  This once great country has become a cesspool of immorality, hatred and greed.

    Parent

    I predict July 20th will soon be made a national (2.33 / 3) (#130)
    by Cashmere on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 12:52:40 PM EST
    holiday..  "Justice for Trayvon Day".....  

    Parent
    "the continued vilification"... (5.00 / 2) (#59)
    by melamineinNY on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 09:16:00 AM EST
    of the deceased without factual substantiation in some quarters

    "in some quarters" is not here. Trayvon is not being vilified here, he's just not being turned into a victim in the purest sense. There are plenty of other sites devoted to that. There's a difference between humanizing and sanctifying and he has been more humanized here than in the trial IMO. But this thread is about the president's remarks and my evolving opinion is that they've served a useful focal point for an obviously necessary conversation.

    Aloha

    that comment was deleted (none / 0) (#99)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 11:12:13 AM EST
    there has been no vilification of any of the parties here.

    Parent
    What really is starting to gall me most (5.00 / 5) (#64)
    by ruffian on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 09:47:22 AM EST
    is the idea that anyone has the right to tell Obama or anybody else who they should feel empathy towards, or relate to in any way.

    Also I think the neighborhood watch policies suggested by sheriff departments, the concealed carry laws, the self defense rules, and racial attitudes of a community are all of a piece. They are not distinct things that can be pried apart and addressed one by one. The reaction of the African-American community to this case did not arise in a vacuum. It only seems misguided to those that prefer to look at the trees and not the forest.

     From a legal perspective, I agree that is the right attitude - the legal case is the legal case and the verdict was reached in a fair way. But the social perspective continues apart from the case and no one should be blamed for wanting to talk about the issues it raised in many minds, even if someone thinks those issues were not rationally raised by this case.

    HAhaha (2.75 / 4) (#72)
    by squeaky on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 10:12:54 AM EST
    What really is starting to gall me most is the idea that anyone has the right to tell Obama or anybody else who they should feel empathy towards, or relate to in any way.

    That is absurd. Obama is the president, we get to tell him who to empathize with and what laws to change and get to scream loudly that he is FOS or loudly applaud (and send $$)

    This is political not personal. Obama is the president.. but guess he fooled you enough to make you think he was a regular guy empathizing (when convenient).

    Parent

    "Race" (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by jondee on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 10:16:45 AM EST
    The best, tried-and-true method these days to avoid talking about Class and class-interest conflict.

    Parent
    I'm sorry...what policy did he recommend (5.00 / 2) (#86)
    by ruffian on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 10:48:00 AM EST
    or laws to change that you disagree with? Are you saying presidents' personal emotions and opinions should not shape their policies they TRY to enact?  That is what is absurd.

    Parent
    No (5.00 / 2) (#91)
    by squeaky on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 11:02:16 AM EST
    I am saying that his talk does not match the walk. He has politicized this but does nothing. That's all.

    That he is a politician trumps him being a person who is empathizing with a tragedy.

    Many Democrats said, let him alone, he is the first black president so he has to make compromises. He will come around.

    Well shutting up has done nothing.

    Parent

    OK, well I agree with all of that (5.00 / 2) (#94)
    by ruffian on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 11:06:01 AM EST
    Peace!

    Parent
    Individual rights (none / 0) (#76)
    by rob411 on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 10:19:44 AM EST
    Unlike, say, countries with blasphemy laws, this society is pretty clear that rights reside squarely in the individual and society doesn't have any rights which don't emanate from individual rights.

    So Obama, as the head of this government, has a responsibility to defend GZ's individual rights which, in our system, trumps any vague obligations to the African-American community or any other "social perspective".

    I'm fine with Obama's remarks. I'm not fine with treating the individual defendant's rights as just one aspect of a larger narrative, rather than the prime directive. As I said, this perspective shows up all the time in countries with blasphemy laws etc. and it is the antithesis of our system, IMHO.

    Parent

    I'm not concerned (none / 0) (#78)
    by ExcitableBoy on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 10:22:33 AM EST
    with what the President thinks, feels, or relates to. He's an individual and can feel however he pleases. But when he speaks, that's a different matter. He's got the biggest megaphone in the world; he's the EF Hutton of the old commerials. What he says, and doesn't say, matters.

    That many in the African-American community don't see the case in a vacuum is (an understandable) part of the problem, and a reason why I feel this case isn't a good jumping-off point for a discussion about race. If I try to discuss George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin and February 26, 2012, and in response I get Emmitt Till and Medgar Evers, there's nowhere to go. In this case you're better off ignoring the forest and focusing on the trees.

    Parent

    Why is it a problem? Why can't you continue (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by ruffian on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 10:51:55 AM EST
    the conversation with them and see how they are connecting George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin and February 26, 2012 to Emmitt Till and Medgar Evers?  What does it cost you to have that conversation?

    Parent
    its a false comparison (5.00 / 3) (#101)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 11:15:44 AM EST
    and denigrates Zimmerman and the reason it is inappropriate should be obvious. It is so false it prevents any rational discussion. People shouldn't need to destroy one man to have a legitimate conversation.

    Parent
    It doesn't just denigrate (5.00 / 3) (#104)
    by txantimedia on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 11:32:55 AM EST
    Zimmerman.  It denigrates Medgar Evers and Emmitt Till.  I was astounded by the comment.  To compare a dedicated civil rights leader who was assassinated in his own driveway in front of his wife by a racist and/or Emmitt Till who, for a minor youthful indiscretion was brutally tortured and murdered because of his skin color to Trayvon Martin was beyond the pale, IMO.

    Parent
    To be clear, I did not make that comment (none / 0) (#125)
    by ruffian on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 12:47:06 PM EST
    Excitable Boy was using it as an example. I have not personally heard anyone make that comment, and if I did I would ask about it and have a conversation.  I still don't see the harm in that.

    Parent
    Rep. John Lewis (2.00 / 1) (#138)
    by jbindc on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 01:10:00 PM EST
    So, I ask myself, why did it remind (none / 0) (#145)
    by ruffian on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 02:01:34 PM EST
    him of Emmitt Till?  (he said it reminded him of Till, not that it "equaled" Till) The summary article says that Mitchell did go on to ask him about behaviors he has to talk to his sons about, implying to me that the reason it reminds him of Till is that both got the attention of someone because of they were acting in a way that caused anger (Till) or suspicion - and anger according to the prosecution - (Martin), even though they were not doing anything wrong.

    Now we are going to argue with people because of what gets triggered in their memories?

    He said that less than a month after the shooting, and wanted to make sure it was being investigated. He did not even say it should be prosecuted, at least not in that interview.

    I don't agree with him about the verdict because I'm not convinced Martin was defending himself.

    Parent

    I didn't mean "equaled" (none / 0) (#148)
    by jbindc on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 02:06:50 PM EST
    I hit the equal sign instead of the hyphen.

    Parent
    Because the conversation (3.67 / 3) (#106)
    by ExcitableBoy on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 11:44:43 AM EST
    goes like this:

    ME: I read the Florida statute on 2nd degree murder, and it says

    OTHER PERSON: Emmitt Till!!

    ME: It says you have to prove hatred, ill

    OP: Medgar Evers!!

    ME: Well, it was a very diverse neighborhood, and he was used to seeing

    OP: Rodney King!!

    ME: Yes, there is a gap of a few minutes between when Zimmerman got off the phone and the fight, but

    OP: Racist!!

    ME: Uh, I think I hear my mother calling me...

    Parent

    That's the conversation in your head (5.00 / 3) (#126)
    by ruffian on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 12:49:16 PM EST
    Have you actually had it with a human being? Or even heard it someplace you can link to?

    Parent
    You're kidding, right? (none / 0) (#144)
    by ExcitableBoy on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 01:58:20 PM EST
    ha - no, really I am not. After the arrest, I (none / 0) (#147)
    by ruffian on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 02:04:13 PM EST
    had this case on 'deep ignore' until the actual trial started.

    Parent
    Ruffian, I've watched it three times (none / 0) (#105)
    by Teresa on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 11:34:44 AM EST
    From a legal perspective, I agree that is the right attitude - the legal case is the legal case and the verdict was reached in a fair way

    I wish that there had been a comment like this in his remarks - that the verdict seems just based on the evidence we know. His comment about this being the way our justice system works, made it seem he thinks the verdict was unjust, based on the evidence. At least that's the way people who don't know all the evidence will most likely take it.

    And then the rest of this speech...you phrased the issue perfectly and I agree 100%. Except for tying his remarks to this case, what he said needed to be said. His comments on what it's like to grow up as a black person in America, were heartbreakingly sad, and we know they're true.

    the social perspective continues apart from the case and no one should be blamed for wanting to talk about the issues it raised in many minds, even if someone thinks those issues were not rationally raised by this case.
     

    I agree.

    Parent

    People are saying those experiences (5.00 / 2) (#133)
    by ruffian on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 12:58:59 PM EST
    of what it is like to grow up as a black person have nothing to do with this case.  I do not believe it is as irrational as you all claim to believe otherwise - do you believe 100% that GZ would have called police on a clearly white kid acting the same way?  Is it so irrational to believe otherwise?

    Parent
    Yes (5.00 / 1) (#136)
    by squeaky on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 01:06:52 PM EST
    If everything was the same, I think Zimmerman would have called NEN if the guy were white.

    From what I have read, it does not appear that ZImmerman was a racist.

    Parent

    Personally I think it is a long (5.00 / 1) (#140)
    by ruffian on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 01:18:51 PM EST
    way from having some racial prejudice to "being a racist". I would never make that claim.

    Parent
    True (none / 0) (#141)
    by squeaky on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 01:24:13 PM EST
    Although, IMO, had he seen a white teen in a hoodie doing what he claimed Martin was doing, he would have called it in and acted in a similar way.

    Parent
    Well, that's great that you believe that, it's (2.00 / 1) (#153)
    by Anne on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 02:38:13 PM EST
    just that the truth is we don't know if he would have made the same decision had the kid been white. I mean, what would make us think that - did George ever make any calls about white people?  Or just young, black men/kids?  

    See, I think when people say this, that they think George would have done the same no matter the race of the person involved, they put on equal footing two things that I don't think can be put there: one thing that did happen does not equal one thing you just think could have happened.  And you can't look at what did flow from that decision as if it had flowed from a different set of circumstances.

    George is the only one who knows, and maybe he tells himself he would have done the same if Trayvon had been white; I'm sure if I'd killed someone, I'd be telling myself whatever I needed to to be able to sleep at night.

    Parent

    Since you asked (5.00 / 2) (#161)
    by txantimedia on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 03:06:55 PM EST
    did George ever make any calls about white people?
    Yes.
    Or just young, black men/kids?
    No.

    All his calls over several years are publicly available if anyone cares to look at them.

    In many cases he didn't report race at all.  In one instance he reported two Hispanic males and one white male with a slim jim.

    He was concerned about crime, not race.

    Parent

    I count 6 or 7 of 42 since 2004 (5.00 / 2) (#168)
    by Teresa on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 03:25:21 PM EST
    that were black males. I got interrupted twice and could be wrong. Two of the six or seven were concerning the two who broke into the young mother's home.

    Most were piddly stuff - loud parties, potholes, not exactly things I would have called for. I would have been concerned about unsupervised childen running around in traffic but would probably have looked for the parents.

    Parent

    The initial suspicion (none / 0) (#174)
    by HereIBlog on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 03:45:59 PM EST
    Interesting that GZ's first words on his NEN call to describe the suspicious activity were purely about TM's actions. Once the dispatcher asked about race, GZ's answer seems unsure judging by his voice inflection when he said, "He looks black?!"

    Parent
    You might want to (none / 0) (#157)
    by jbindc on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 02:44:17 PM EST
    see Jeralyn's repeated answers on this:

    I mean, what would make us think that - did George ever make any calls about white people?  Or just young, black men/kids?  


    Parent
    Some more info (5.00 / 1) (#201)
    by jbindc on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 06:31:30 PM EST
    So what do GZ's calls say about his views about black men? Many reports concerned open garage doors, potholes, and other inanimate objects. Others involved dogs. Others involved people -- sometimes individuals and sometimes large groups -- of unknown or undescribed race/ethnicity.

    Of the twelve incidents in which race was given, six, including the incident reporting TM, involved black males (#34, 36, 37, 39, 42, 43), 5 involved white males (#3, 11, 23, 24, 40), and one involved two Hispanic males and one white male (#9). We could just count eyeballs (or skin color) and draw conclusions about whether GZ is a racial profiler on that basis. But as in most things, context matters. Which way does the context cut in this case? Probably in both directions.

    Of the six incidents involving black males, one, recall, is the one in which GZ reports that he is concerned about the well being of a black male child who is wandering a busy street without adult supervision. So we're talking about five incidents involving black males GZ found suspicious, and one involving a black male he wanted to help.

    On the other hand, of the six incidents involving white males and Hispanic males, we may want to distinguish those incidents where GZ knew or at least had prior contact with the "suspect" (#11, the incident involving his ex-roommate, and #40, the one involving the food server he fired but had never met) from those where he reported total strangers (the remaining four). This leaves us with five reports involving black males GZ found suspicious and four reports involving white and/or Hispanic males.

    We may also, however, wish to distinguish reports of men whom GZ found suspicious because they seemed to be loitering or who looked out of place from those who displayed more objectively problematic behavior. So we might exclude the incident involving the white male presumed drunkard (#3), the white male driver cutting people off (#23), and the white male having a loud dispute with a woman (#24). That yields five black male incidents to only the one incident involving two loitering Hispanics and one white (#9).

    Of those five black male incidents, however, all took place between August 3, 2011 (the night of a home invasion in the complex), and February 26, 2012 (the night of TM's death). Here's where what we mean by "racial profiling" becomes important. I hope those who have thoughts about that particular issue will weigh in. In what follows, I've added information about the ongoing crime in GZ's neighborhood, which he references in his calls to police.

    Link

    Parent

    Great? (none / 0) (#164)
    by squeaky on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 03:10:21 PM EST
    Why is it great that IMO I think GZ would have acted similarly if TM were white?

    Or is that sarcasm?

    and thanks for deciding why I have that opinion and why it is not valid.

    Yes that is sarcasm.

    Parent

    Zimmerman (5.00 / 1) (#160)
    by morphic on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 03:00:33 PM EST
    is genetically White, Native American, and  Black. Yes, they took a DNA sample as part of the investigation. He identifies himself as Hispanic.I suppose he could still be racist, under those conditions, but the DOJ director is probably being guided by emotion and not reason. More tax payer money wasted because of tunnel vision.

    Parent
    No, it's about lies (5.00 / 2) (#69)
    by txantimedia on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 10:06:18 AM EST
    Well, should a growing consensus of Americans come to decide that Florida v. Zimmerman is indeed about race, then guess what? It's about race.
    When you decide to have a national conversation (whatever the heck that is) about race based upon a lie, it's not a conversation about race at all, because the basic premise is flawed.

    If you want to have a national conversation about race, you need to start with facts, not lies.

    Statement of the SEP on Trayvon Martin case (5.00 / 2) (#98)
    by Andreas on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 11:12:06 AM EST
    From a statement of the Socialist Equality Party:

    There is a huge element of hypocrisy and self-interest in the attempt to utilize the Trayvon Martin case to promote racial politics. Political charlatans such as Sharpton, leaders of the official civil rights organizations, affluent African American media pundits and academics, the various "left" organizations tied to the Democratic Party--have a vested interest in keeping the identity politics industry going.

    These groups have no desire to address the broader social and political context of the Trayvon Martin case. In the nonstop media commentary on the Martin case, there is barely a mention of mass unemployment, rising poverty and the devastating impact of corporate wage-cutting and government austerity.

    Instead of a "national conversation on race," what is needed is a "national conversation" on the horrific conditions produced by the collapse of the industrial infrastructure of the United States, the rise of a predatory financial aristocracy, the militarization and brutalization of American society, and the growth of social inequality.


    Build a united struggle of workers and youth to defend social, democratic rights
    Statement of the Socialist Equality Party

    20 July 2013

    I agree with this (none / 0) (#100)
    by txantimedia on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 11:14:43 AM EST
    I guess that makes me a right wing nut job socialist.

    Parent
    yup (none / 0) (#134)
    by TeresaInPa on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 01:03:07 PM EST
    me too.  In this case the socialists, or at least this one, is correct.

    However, I am not a socialist, just a liberal.
    There will be other liberals here who are so confused.  They don't know the difference between a liberal and a leftist.  Having socialists call them out will be very disheartening.  They don't realize that most real socialists despise liberals and the democratic party.

    Parent

    OMG, this is true (none / 0) (#193)
    by Semanticleo on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 05:35:12 PM EST
    They don't realize that most real socialists despise liberals and the democratic party.

    COLLABORATORS.....

    Parent

    Thank You Jeralyn (5.00 / 6) (#111)
    by fiver on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 12:11:31 PM EST
    I'll admit, I was one of those people initially disappointed that Zimmerman wasn't convicted of manslaughter (murder, obviously, was always an absurd charge). Thankfully, I started reading Talk Left and Daily Howler again, and have come to a very different opinion.

    Frankly, it's disturbing that so many on the left want to see this man put in a cage for years when there isn't a single shred of real evidence that contradicts Zimmerman acting in self-defense. They're obviously just as full prejudice and assumptions that they then turn around and accuse Zimmerman of being. Sacrificing Zimmerman on the altar for our societies racial sins fixes nothing and is truly disgusting.

    I'll admit, I got caught up in the tribe mentality of Daily Kos etc. myself, so thank you very much for helping free me from it.

    Confirmation bias (3.33 / 6) (#118)
    by cboldt on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 12:35:43 PM EST
    You are one of very few people who reverse position.  I've tried to get people to just think about the ramifications if they are mistaken about Zimmerman, what if he is telling the truth?  What if he really is a big hearted fellow?

    Doesn't make a dent - it's all about the dead guy, or the stupid gun laws, or the error of looking out for prowlers.

    I think you'd be hard pressed to find a person with as big a "reach across the racial aisle" heart as George Zimmerman has.  But, the press, with its awesome power over the feeble minded, has millions of people hating on him.

    Now, when do we sacrifice that virgin to the volcano?

    Parent

    what if he is telling the truth? (3.00 / 2) (#128)
    by Semanticleo on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 12:51:12 PM EST
    Have you considered the flip-side?  You might persuade more persons if you didn't seem such an advocate.

    Parent
    Just follow the evidence - not the press (5.00 / 3) (#132)
    by cboldt on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 12:57:54 PM EST
    Believe it or not, yes, I have considered the flip side.  As for my success rate at persuading others, or avoiding the appearance of being an advocate, I honestly am indifferent.  People are going to make their minds up as they will.  I assume my success rate at persuasion is ZERO, and I am happy with that.  The only brain I have any control over is my own, and that is challenge enough.

    I also don't care if people think I am an a$$.  I figure it's only fair, seeing as how I hold plenty of people in that sort of box.

    Parent

    you are missing the point of the comment (none / 0) (#131)
    by TeresaInPa on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 12:55:10 PM EST
    in fact, considering the other side of the argument is something you might consider doing.  Are you familiar with Daily Howler?  Perhaps you should go read there.

    Parent
    If I were on the jury, I would have acquitted (5.00 / 1) (#137)
    by Semanticleo on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 01:09:46 PM EST
    I just sat on a jury for a criminal trial.  The defendant was the victim of a well-connected citizen's arrest where the County Sheriff's deputy sat next to the prosecutor the entire trial.  It took us about 2 hours to acquit based upon the rank investigation where no belt-recorder was used and the field notes disappeared.  I could smell a set up.  It was a righteous NG verdict,   My opinions about Z will flesh out once I know the truth of the matter, which is almost all conjecture and smearing of both parties as of now.  I do hope there is a civil trial whether Z sues DOJ or is sued.  He will have to testify.

    Until then, I or you won't know if he's merely a victim of persecution, or a scoundrel.

    Parent

    Have you? (none / 0) (#150)
    by txantimedia on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 02:22:14 PM EST
    Daily Howler? (none / 0) (#129)
    by TeresaInPa on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 12:51:59 PM EST
    I will have to go read.  I am glad to hear there are some other respected voices out there speaking to the truth of this case.  I have been amazed at the way my friends and family have been calling for Zimmerman to "fry".

    Parent
    Reading the transcript of POTUS (5.00 / 4) (#139)
    by DebFrmHell on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 01:10:17 PM EST
    made me incredibly sad.

    I am older.  I was vocal throughout the late 60's thru the 80's about how minorities and women are treated, not only in the court of law but day-to-day discrimination.  

    I remember saying terrible things (name-calling)about minorities as a child, having been around the bigots in my family and their friends, until I got old enough to think for myself and saw that there was nothing to fear.  That distancing brought some discord amongst our family.

    What makes me sad it that, regardless of what people think of him, he too is a minority. It is all about equal rights. I guess he is just not minority enough for people of all races to stand behind him.  The jury, when presented with the evidence found him Not Guilty.

    Yet he is still considered guilty of something, has to be, anything.  

    This is the same kind of railroading that has been prevalent for decades.  And, IMO, the people who fight against injustices in the system ignore the fact that this case as an prime example.

    It seems like causes I championed for the better part of my life have been for not.  

    I found the President's remarks to be pitch (5.00 / 4) (#142)
    by Angel on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 01:40:33 PM EST
    perfect, and I find no fault in his trying to reach out and help others to understand what it means to be Black in America.  

    The Point (5.00 / 6) (#185)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 04:40:42 PM EST
    Of the speech was to give voice to the frustrations felt by black people regarding this verdict. To establish a line of communication.

    For those who have never walked a foot in our shoes to tell us what is wrong about the emotions we are feeling shows just how much the point was missed by many who claim to be champions on issues of race.

    Even they, at times, can't jut shut up and listen.

    The thing (5.00 / 1) (#206)
    by lentinel on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 07:46:26 AM EST
    is, that he expressed the same thing before the case even came to trial.

    Anybody is entitled to their emotions.
    But they are that: emotions.

    There are two things at play here, imo.
    One is that Z profiled M because of his race and possibly the way he was dressed - or the way he walked. That is one view.
    The other is that even if Z followed M to the point where M noticed him doing so, M had no right to physically attack him, thereby initiating the confrontation that was to cost him his life.

    I am more inclined to find fault with Z's behavior, because personally I would find it very distressing to notice some big guy following me - for any reason. However, i can't justify physically attacking the guy unless he were to have physically approached me in a threatening manner. It does not appear that Z had done that.

    Jeralyn has cited many other instances of systemic racism that deserve attention. From what I read, the prisons are full of people victimized by racist law enforcement and draconian penalties. The insane drug laws, unmentioned and still endorsed and enforced by the Obama administration is one such example.

    My personal emotional reaction is that I would hope that Florida cans the law that lets amateurs roam around with concealed weapons. I hope that Mr. Obama will aggressively pursue that.

    Parent

    Not trying to put words in Jeralyn's mouth (5.00 / 2) (#213)
    by ragebot on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 03:32:43 PM EST
    But I often find myself in complete agreement with her posts.

    My take on the Zimmerman case is that it was a very simple one based on the facts and the law.  Z was on his back getting a beat down from M eye witnessed by Good who told M to stop or he would call 911.  When M did not stop Good went to call the police and Z, claiming he was in fear for his life shot and killed M.

    Seems these facts justify Z killing M in self defense under Florida law.

    So what happened that a clear cut case like this became a lighting rod the media, pols, and other folks ran with.  As Jeralyn has pointed out Crump, Sharpton, and plenty of others left out known facts and added speculation when describing the case.  Crump's law firm employees someone with a title "head activist" who organized rallies to remember Travon and the national, state, and local media covered them.

    Almost none of the media coverage, and President Obama's speech as well, never mention the fight; just how M thought Z was dissing him.  Often times, but not with President Obama, there is wild speculation added about Z attacking M after self inflicting wounds to bolster his self defense claim.

    This is where I have great sympathy for Jeralyn.  What seems like an easy plain vanilla win for the defense gets muddied up with publicity that seems to know no limits in how far from the known facts or black letter law it gets.

    This is not to deny minorities don't often wind up with the short end of the stick.  Rather to point out that it is not the case with the Zimmerman trial.

    There's no possibility of (4.50 / 6) (#41)
    by observed on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 07:39:22 AM EST
    a real conversation about race unless we also discuss class, income inequality, poverty: the myth of the classless society hampers our discussion of race, also.

    I didn't like the President's comments (4.40 / 5) (#37)
    by ExcitableBoy on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 07:23:53 AM EST
    The entire focus of his commentary is geared to racial profiling. He discusses reasonable doubt in the Zimmerman case, but never even considers innocence. Travyon was racially profiled. End of story. Now what can we do about it.

    He also never touches on Trayvon's actions, never considers that Trayvon could actually have been at fault. His words were even worse, wondering if Trayvon would have been able to 'stand his ground' if he were armed. Stand his ground against what? What does he think happened? Left unsaid, but can clearly be inferred, is that if Trayvon could've been justified to 'stand his ground' if he was armed, he was justified in standing his ground with his fists. I think this does a huge disservice to the African-American community.

    This is the second time, that I'm aware of, that the President has waded into a legal case. The first time he got basic facts of the case wrong, but that didn't stop him from denigrating an entire police force and strongly implying that they were racist. This time, he doesn't bother to discuss any facts of the case at all, but jumps on the racial profiling angle that his own government studied and found lacking (at least before the do-over).

    His speech was ignorant and misguided, and gave fuel to many people who already know nothing, or almost nothing, about the case to say, "see, even the President says it was because he's black".

    IF (5.00 / 3) (#57)
    by morphic on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 09:12:43 AM EST
    Trayvon had gone home, since he had a large head start, there could have been no confrontation, which the President,among others, obviously didn't consider. What he should also have stated is it's best to avoid trouble. If multiple witnesses were  accurate, and the confrontation begin west of the T, where Zimmerman's vehicle was located, than he likely was heading back to his vehicle as stated, than all the wishful thinking won't change the fact Martin instigated the confrontation. Making Zimmerman a symbol for all the injustice and pain of the past is futile and a waste of time.

    Parent
    To say nothing of (5.00 / 1) (#123)
    by TeresaInPa on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 12:45:05 PM EST
    Making Zimmerman a symbol for all the injustice and pain of the past is futile and a waste of time.

    cruel and divisive.

    Parent

    We actually don't know what happened (5.00 / 3) (#163)
    by Molly Bloom on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 03:07:45 PM EST
    He also never touches on Trayvon's actions, never considers that Trayvon could actually have been at fault. His words were even worse, wondering if Trayvon would have been able to 'stand his ground' if he were armed. Stand his ground against what? What does he think happened?

    I think we can all agree that the state failed to meet its burden of proof and the jury appropriately found GZ not guilty. That is not the same as finding him innocent.

    It's part and parcel of being a defense advocate to "try the victim". Standard defense tactic and I don't have a problem with zealous advocacy.

    To my knowledge no eye witness  testified under oath subject to cross examination as to who started the fight or how it started. We don't know and we are not likely to ever know.

    Here is what we do know. TM was where he was lawfully entitled to be. GZ was where he was lawfully entitled to be. Neither had a duty to retreat if attacked under the stand your ground law. Both were entitled to invoke self defense - the use of deadly force anytime a faultless victim reasonably believes that unlawful force which will cause death or grievous bodily harm is about to be used on him or her.

    TM may have reasonably believed GZ was armed and was about to use unlawful force (we will never know one way or another what TM believed, reasonable or otherwise). Did TM think GZ was going for a gun? We don't know and we never will.

    There is quite obvious a basis to say GZ had a reasonable belief unlawful deadly force was about to be used on him. Was GZ faultless in the final encounter? No eyewitness testified in court under oath. So we don't know and we never will.

    What we don't know and never will is how it actually got started.

    This is a defense blog. It's author is a zealous advocate (and a good one). It is not even handed analysis. Readers should be careful to distinguish what has a factual basis and what is conjecture and not confuse the two (even if the conjecture is reasonable), whether it be by the blog's author or the blog's readers & commentators on either side of this case.

    So where does that leave us? The state failed to prove its case therefore GZ was found not guilty. That is really all we know.

    Parent

    You really should have meant it (3.00 / 2) (#46)
    by NYShooter on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 07:56:15 AM EST
    when you teased us with your so emphatic, "end of story!"

    But, then we would have missed your brilliant observation that a Harvard Law Review President was, surreptitiously, also "ignorant."

    Parent

    He was Harvard Law president, (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by ExcitableBoy on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 08:46:44 AM EST
    not the Great and Powerful Oz. I didn't realize he was incapable of making mistakes because (hyperventilating and fanning myself) he went to Harvard!!!!! And was president of the Law Review!!!!!

    I didn't say he was ignorant, I said his speech was. Which is, of course, just my opinion. But a correct one, I believe.

    But it's good to know he's officially the Smartest Guy Ever.

    Parent

    I don't really mind a national conversation (4.40 / 5) (#40)
    by Jbsnyder on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 07:35:16 AM EST
    about race.  A lot of people, of all races, are in denial about a lot of things.  And you don't have to tell me about disparate outcomes in the criminal justice system.  I see them every day first hand.

    But here's the thing that bothers me:  I, along with a lot of other people, have been saying for a good while "there's no case here, you can't bring it with no evidence", and kept hearing "Yes, there is, he's obviously guilty and you will see at trial."  Then the trial came and, indeed, there is no evidence to speak of, the guy walks.  And now those that aren't accusing the police, DA, defense, jury, judge and media of a grand racist conspiracy, are saying "Well, time to have a conversation about race", instead of "Sorry, I was wrong."  That sounds a bit petty, except that Zimmerman is a real person, and whatever his sins that night he's been through enough.  I think it's unfair to make him the focus of the conversation when there's nothing out there but people's imaginations to establish that he's a racist.  Basically, the people that owe him an apology are the ones who want us all to sit and listen to them now in this supposed "conversation".  

    How about we have a conversation about the rights of the accused instead?  Seems to me like that's the part of this that the most people fail to understand.  If someone wants to bring race into that conversation, then it would be germane and something that I would be happy to discuss.

    Seriously? (4.60 / 10) (#44)
    by Yman on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 07:49:24 AM EST
    But here's the thing that bothers me:  I, along with a lot of other people, have been saying for a good while "there's no case here, you can't bring it with no evidence", and kept hearing "Yes, there is, he's obviously guilty and you will see at trial."  Then the trial came and, indeed, there is no evidence to speak of, the guy walks.  And now those that aren't accusing the police, DA, defense, jury, judge and media of a grand racist conspiracy, are saying "Well, time to have a conversation about race", instead of "Sorry, I was wrong."

    You expect an apology because people looked at the evidence, drawing their own conclusions that didn't match up with yours?

    BTW - The fact that "the guy walks" does not establish that there was no case or evidence.  It establishes that, in the minds of the 6 jurors (the ones that matter), the state did not prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.

    Parent

    rights of the accused? (none / 0) (#55)
    by Rob 2121 on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 09:03:41 AM EST
    Just posted this a few posts above -- i work in a correctional center with around 2000 men, mostly black, most of whom had no physical evidence presented in the cases that sent them to prison.

    So, yeah, rights of the accused would be quite a dramatic offer of radical social change for the black community. In the state I live in around 3/4 of cases are plea-bargained away, particularly when black and Latino defendents are being sentenced.

    Would that everyone could be 'not guilty' when there's no evidence.

    Parent

    You're absolutely right (none / 0) (#58)
    by Jbsnyder on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 09:13:15 AM EST
    I'm dealing with that issue all of the time.  Probably 70% of my clients are non-white.  A large percentage of them can't speak English.  The level of unfairness is palpable, even for the ones that can scrape together a few bucks to hire me.  

    Parent
    Dacia: It is getting depressing (4.11 / 9) (#82)
    by christinep on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 10:31:24 AM EST
    around here.  I need to think about my growing sense that the whole "detour" (what else to call it) of the past several months looks more like Talk Right.  That's harsh of me, I know; but, somehow, the out & out mud-slinging has increased to such a personalized level that the forest and the trees get mixed up or, at least, obscured.

     IMO, the President's reflections offer a much needed perspective for our own reflections about where we are in society as a large country with a very diverse population.  President Obama's uplifting conclusion about the positive movement in future--as gleaned from his daughters & their friends--is worth consideration as well.

    Christine, your second paragraph (5.00 / 1) (#114)
    by Teresa on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 12:21:48 PM EST
    I agree completely.

    Your first paragraph, please help me understand that Jeralyn standing for what she's always stood for - a trial based on actual evidence and fairness and not a trial that came about primarily through legal consultant/public relations/lawyers and the media makes her site now TalkRight.

    Is it because so many right wingers jumped on this case and seemed, to me at least, to use it for pro-gun and even worse things(racism - I read disgusting comments on some of their blogs)? Knowing Jeralyn's history, can't she be right while those people are very wrong because their reasoning wasn't necessarily just for a fair justice system, but rather to further their own (wrong) agendas? There are many very liberal lawyers who think the way she does.

    I really want to understand. How is this different than what she (and she's not alone), has stood for in the past? I've never agreed with her about guns, especially concealed ones, but shouldn't our justice system work how it was meant to?

    I don't get it any more than I'd get she supports terroism because she wants Jahar to have a fair trial. Explain to me, if you can.

    Parent

    As I said (none / 0) (#146)
    by christinep on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 02:02:32 PM EST
    We have an opportunity for reflecting and moving forward ... That opportunity would be squandered if we become mired only in who believed what throughout the pendency of a particular case.  The overall Why is so important; and, that Why isn't really about the usual how-could-anyone-conclude-thus&so-in-the-face-of-the-evidence or any question-as-challenge.  

    The Why a group/culture/segment of society has a certain perspective or view (sometimes in strong contrast to another segment) calls for talking & listening with respect for each other.  iMO, the conversation that the President envisions leading to more understanding is not a conversation where one "side" or segment has to prove Why there is such a gap in perception; rather, it might begin with only trying to hear
    what the other is describing from experience ... And accept that the perception is valid as experienced.  It has to start with an acceptance that there are other perceptions than one's own.  And move from there one-step-at-a-time to areas that might be improved via a type of consensus.  Why?  Because bludgeon challenge to another to defend, as it were, the reason one believes/sees reality differently than your perception would not bring about the needed understanding of this generations- long gap.

    Parent

    I agree the opportunity would be (none / 0) (#154)
    by Teresa on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 02:38:59 PM EST
    squandered and the "why" is important. I think if he were asked "why are so many people, especially blacks in America so upset with this verdict" and then he explained to those of us who don't know, how to walk a mile in his shoes. That, from his prospective is what I took from it and it was worthwhile to say the least. But, bringing it up on his own, made it seem as if the GZ verdict wasn't justified and therefore, what GZ did was based on race and that alone. It's not possible that he was assaulted even? He was just wrong.

    I don't understand why this makes Jeralyn deserving of now being thought of as TalkRight. She's writing about justice. And she's very right - lower the bar in this case to satisfy the public whose feelings in large part came from a public relations campaign, and you lower in it other cases. Blacks and poor people are already at an extreme disadvantage without lowering the bar even further.

    Plus, he's been in a position for years, since 2004 nationally, to do something about it and he hasn't. He chose this case to speak up and that leaves the impression that GZ got away with something, not that he was found not guilty in a trial that I can't even say was fair - they were faced with discovery violations, an outside legal firm leading the media narrative, among other things.

    Parent

    There is another gap, Teresa (5.00 / 3) (#169)
    by christinep on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 03:28:18 PM EST
    That the President talked about his own feelings and began to explain Why other Black Americans feel as seemingly expressed this past week does not imply anything other than what he said.  Seriously.  Certainly, one may infer whatever one wants to believe--as you did from your perspective that "made it seem as if the GZ verdict wasn't justified."  But, in fact, he has directly said that we accept the verdict when the jury has spoken.  You made a leap, imo, that he was saying more than he said.  Additionally, you challenge the timing of saying it ... when, in point of fact, many more would have been troubled if discussions about disparity in society's racial perceptions had sprung from no background.

    This shouldn't be about why-do-you-want-to-talk-about-this-anyway when, in point of fact, the societal tension as to the general topic has existed as long as the country.  Sometimes events (read: Supreme Court rulings, voting issues, city violence & responses thereto, and even a singular well-publicized case) focuses that tension, heightens it.  What results from that heightened background tension surely can be negative in a broad sense or it can be channeled in a constructive manner.  I consider the President's commentary yesterday to hold a promise for positive energy and reconciliatory steps ... if we can try to understand or simply and sincerely listen.  For that reason, the timing of speaking to a societal issue at the moment when he did -- allowing several days to elapse and the heat associated with the initial stages on both sides --was not only appropriate, but also beneficial by promoting societal & individual self-awareness, focus beyond the latest catalyst.

    In an interesting way, societal rifts are not that far-removed (sometimes) from relationship rifts. In my own marriage, I've learned that the harshest & longest lasting arguments --- btw, I've been married so long it is not only a surprise to both of us, it makes me feel like my grandmother --- stem from one of us trying to make the other one see a major POV difference as the other sees it and pushes relentlessly toward that end.  Though I'm the one that tends to be that protagonist, I really have learned that my vehemence for a "correct" view can widen the rift, extend the dispute ... that then causes a change in tone.  Sometimes a mudslinging tone, a snarky tone, a mean tone.  Now, that's just the analogy to a marriage.  Relationships of any kind can get into that pattern.  So, can blogs.

    Parent

    I don't mean to imply it isn't a (4.50 / 2) (#180)
    by Teresa on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 04:06:19 PM EST
    conversation we need to have. I think we've needed to have it for a long long time. When Obama was elected, I thought it would make a big difference in race relations and how we view one another.

    Instead it was like - yay for us, we elected a black president so racism is gone. Which we know is far from the truth.

    As for his remarks yesterday, I don't think it's a stretch to infer that his remarks seemed to indicate GZ was somehow in the wrong. Just read the two paragraphs I quoted a little above. His speech didn't seem to reinforce the system worked, but instead that TM was profiled, as he had been prior to becoming a Senator and "reasonable doubt was relevant". TM was an innocent victim and did nothing wrong - that's what his words said to me, outside of the much needed talk we've needed to have for so long. If he'd only added something about two people meeting on a night where they both midjudged the other, period, not just on race. How else is there to take that talk other than that one was a victim of racism? And the other party was the one who misjudged on race alone.

    Parent

    Ithink (none / 0) (#181)
    by jbindc on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 04:12:09 PM EST
    that Obama, being the first black president this country has had, has been in the ironic position of NOT being able to talk about race - just look at the fallout from this.  I think that he has had to look like he wasn't "catering too much" to the AA community, out of fear of alienating whites, and let's face it, everyone else. I think he's felt like he was between a rock and a hard place on this issue, and I'm willing to be a little understanding on that.

    His statement, while I agree with part of it, really did insinuate that TM was killed because he was black, with no mention of the legal process that got us here, nor mention of ALL the pertinent facts.

    I also think this statement would have been a little bit better received if this wasn't the first time in 7 years that he had really talked about race.

    Parent

    Huh? (none / 0) (#183)
    by squeaky on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 04:20:45 PM EST
    that Obama, being the first black president this country has had, has been in the ironic position of NOT being able to talk about race -

    What a load. Nothing new here, imo.. How many times did Bush, CLinton, Reagan, et al. talk about race? Ironic that he couldn't talk about racism because so many of his voters were racist?

    I think that Obama is on average, just with a cursory glance, particularly if you include first lady activities.

    Parent

    Uh, no (none / 0) (#186)
    by jbindc on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 04:41:47 PM EST
    Ironic in that his message would get lost in the dissection of every word.  Every thing said after that would be viewed by many through the lens of race.

    There are truly racist people in this country - they wouldn't respond to this message except in a negative way, no matter the speaker.

    But I think he's felt hamstrung in trying to talk about race.

    But you knew what I meant, and decided to argue anyway.

    Parent

    OH (none / 0) (#190)
    by squeaky on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 04:53:09 PM EST
    Sorry, I thought that you were suggesting that Obama was unique compared to other presidents regarding talking freely about racism in the US, because he is black. And that was ironic.

    Guess you were saying something else. Because, racism for all past white male presidents has been a touchy subject particularly if you are White, and part of the oppressor class. It would be ironic for a White president to point out how racist we are because there had never been a black president, no?

    Parent

    Teresa... (5.00 / 6) (#192)
    by Leopold on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 05:29:49 PM EST
    I don't understand why this makes Jeralyn deserving of now being thought of as TalkRight.

    The most accurate description of the site is TalkDefense - the positions taken by Jeralyn here vis a vis the left or right change according to what benefits the defense. Which is every bit her right.

    She's writing about justice.

    Actually, she's writing about her version of justice. And that version is through the lens of a defense lawyer. That is not necessarily the definition of justice that every single citizen resonates with.

    lower the bar in this case to satisfy the public whose feelings in large part came from a public relations campaign, and you lower in it other cases.

    This seems a very condescending attitude to those in the public who disagree that justice was served here (even if they may agree with the verdict). I know many, many people who are very upset about this case - their feelings did not come from a PR campaign, they are not that stupid.

    Parent

    Hi Leopold (none / 0) (#205)
    by Teresa on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 07:13:38 PM EST
    The most accurate description of the site is TalkDefense - the positions taken by Jeralyn here vis a vis the left or right change according to what benefits the defense. Which is every bit her right.

    Yes, I agree. I don't think that this particular case puts her on the side of the "right" politically, though. I thought the left stood for justice and by that I mean fairness in our judicial system. I understand that the end result of any trial could have opposing views on it's validity, but in all cases it should be charged and prosecuted fairly.

    Actually, she's writing about her version of justice. And that version is through the lens of a defense lawyer. That is not necessarily the definition of justice that every single citizen resonates with.

    Her version of justice - isn't justice about the process being fair, and not necessarily the end result? It is to me. Tell me how GZ was treated fairly when the defense had to file motion after motion just to get discovery, something that is their right to have.

    Should prosecutors represent the search for justice or to win at all costs? This particular team was a win at all costs prosecution. I don't think they cared one bit about whether it was just or not. It's not their place to appeal to emotion as their main theory of the case. It's right there in the instructions in case they needed a reminder. Their mission is, or should be, to try a case fairly and want the result to be the correct one, not just to "win". How many people are sitting in prisons now that were unfairly convicted?

    This seems a very condescending attitude to those in the public who disagree that justice was served here (even if they may agree with the verdict). I know many, many people who are very upset about this case - their feelings did not come from a PR campaign, they are not that stupid.

    Yes, you're right. I generalized and shouldn't have. There are many people that followed the case, read the discovery and watched the trial and feel the verdict was wrong. That's fine and I won't criticize those people and I shouldn't have lumped them in with the general public. But, I'd bet everything I own, the majority of the general public got their views through the media and the media was despicable in this case. Hosts of panels didn't even try to correct misstatements that they knew were wrong based on the evidence. In many cases, they knew it was wrong because they'd been corrected on previous shows and didn't do a thing when later the same misstatement was made again.

    But, I don't include you, or most of the people on TL who disagree with the verdict. What I wrote made that seem the case, and I was wrong to write it that way.

    Parent

    HRC has also said the verdict (1.00 / 1) (#187)
    by Politalkix on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 04:44:48 PM EST
    caused deep heartache. link

    She also said "My prayers are with the Martin family and with every family who loves someone who is lost to violence," she said in an almost 30-minute speech. "No mother, no father, should ever have to fear for their child walking down a street in the United States of America."

    Does not mention the Zimmermann family.

    What are the Teresa in PA, jbindc and SuzieTampa's going to do now?

    Parent

    I have no idea what you mean by that (none / 0) (#191)
    by jbindc on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 04:59:35 PM EST
    My heart, too, goes out to the Martin family and with every family that lost someone to violence.

    Not sure what sh!t you're trying to stir up here.

     

    Parent

    Agree with Payaso (4.00 / 1) (#39)
    by ExcitableBoy on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 07:33:52 AM EST
    I don't think this case is a good jumping-off point, because millions of people, on both sides of the case, have made up their minds without actually following any of it, without having any, what do you call those things, facts. Even for those who, like most of us here, have actually studied the case, we've had to guess at far too much in this matter.

    You don't learn to cook by grabbing a hot pan (wow, I'm like, so deep). I think emotions on this partucular issue are too heated to allow for the cool reflection and discussion that an actual conversation would require.

    Hypotheticals (3.57 / 7) (#8)
    by TomMaguire on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 10:57:18 PM EST
    Obama, as reported:

    "If a white male teen would have been involved in this scenario," he said, "both the outcome and the aftermath might have been different."

    Wait 'til their crack researchers discover the case of Roderick Scott and Chris Cervini. Scott, a 42 year old who looked like an ex-football player, saw some teens robbing cars, including his, at 3AM.

    Scott asked his girlfriend to call 911. He picked up a handgun and went outside to detain the miscreants.

    Rather than accept their detainment with good grace one of the teens (legally drunk and with amphetamine in his system) said something like "I'll get him" and moved towards Scott in a manner Scott took to be threatening.

    Scott didn't await developments - he fired twice, killing 17 year old Chris Cervini.

    Scott was black and Cervini white. This happened in upstate NY in 2009.

    And we and Obama all know the rest, right? Not really. Scott (unlike Zimmerman) was promptly arrested. The DA wanted a murder indictment but the grand jury came back with manslaughter. After a trial in which Scott testified, he was acquitted - self-defense, reasonable doubt.

    Rather than fulminate about the horrors and absurdities of NY self-defense law, the NY Times opted for no coverage at all. And most people, evidently including our President, remain blissfully unaware that yes, in America a black man can gun down a white teen, plead self-defense, and walk away.

    Since there was no Larger Lesson to be drawn or National Conversation to be had, this case was ignored. Still is.

    Except for a few highly consequential (5.00 / 4) (#10)
    by observed on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 11:06:55 PM EST
    differences from the Zimmerman case, it's a really close match.

    Parent
    You mean, like actual witnesses? (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 05:59:57 AM EST
    Had there been no witnesses / evidence to support the defendant's contention in this case, one can easily surmise what would've otherwise happened to him in court.

    Parent
    However, in both of these cases (none / 0) (#83)
    by txantimedia on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 10:31:35 AM EST
    there were witnesses, and guess what happened.  They both "got off" (read were found not guilty based on the evidence.)  Somehow, race didn't enter in to either case, except in the minds of those who see black people and think black instead of people or white people and think white instead of people.

    So these two cases are much more related than the thousands of no evidence cases that get plea bargained because the defendant has no money.

    It never ceases to amaze me how people continually talk about others' skin color instead of simply introducing themselves.  One side thinks I need to help him or her.  The other side thinks I need to avoid him or her.  Completely left out of the conversation is I need to get to know him or her.

    Parent

    Obama... (5.00 / 3) (#12)
    by Thanin on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 11:24:36 PM EST
    Was speaking in generalities.  Finding specific cases to the contrary don't make the position that minorities are, generally, unfairly biased against in America untrue.

    Parent
    I suspect much of the uproar over the (5.00 / 6) (#13)
    by ruffian on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 11:25:23 PM EST
    Zimmerman case would have been avoided had he been promptly arrested, etc as Scott was.

    Parent
    And if... (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by HereIBlog on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 11:50:57 PM EST
    ...the media would not have doctored Zimmerman's recorded call to NEN to paint him as a racist, as one example.

    Parent
    corey said this week (5.00 / 5) (#16)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 11:58:22 PM EST
    police shouldn't make an arrest until all the evidence has been tested and all reports are in, witnesses interviewed, etc. She said that usually takes four to six weeks. This case was rushed to arrest on over-hyped charges before the investigation was finished. Now the same people who claimed "we only want an arrest" are unhappy they didn't get a conviction when they were the ones who pressured for charges and made grandiose allegations of a police conspiracy.

    The evidence wasn't there. It will never be there in this case. People need to stop using it as a rallying cry and excuse for all that is wrong with the justice system.

    BTW, I deleted  another comment responding to Ruffian's for inappropriate name calling of Martin supporters. Everyone needs to stop with the accusatory labels. Disagree with them but do it politely.

    Parent

    Even when there are initial arrests... (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by bmaz on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 01:51:53 AM EST
    ...on fact dependent self defense centric cases, it is extremely common for the charges to be scratched and the defendant to be out and about while a thorough investigation is done by cops, MEs, tox etc. Believe it or not, Corey was actually about right in that regard.

    Well, with the exception that most places there is then a real probable cause determination made by a grand jury or prelim hearing as opposed to the absolutely bogus magistrate rubber stamp process allowed in Florida and utilized by Corey.

    Parent

    I didn't want to go down the rabbit hole of (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by ruffian on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 06:05:59 AM EST
    the Scott case to see what constituted a 'prompt arrest'...you are definitely right we can't assume it was done only after the evidence was tested and the investigation was complete.

    In the GZ case I think a lot could have been avoided if the police had better communicated that an investigation was still in progress. They certainly gave the impression locally that they were pretty much done investigating, had decided there would be no charges, and were not going to explain why not.

    Parent

    Don't you have "Police bail" in the US (none / 0) (#165)
    by gbrbsb on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 03:12:59 PM EST
    i.e. in the UK where a in a case such as this a "suspect" is released without charge but must return to the police station when required? In the press mainly referred to as, "helping the police with their enquiries".

    At least it shows the public that the police are actually looking into something instead of what can look like gross indifference, "Oh well, another black teen shot dead with no witnesses... pass the ketchup Fred!"

    Parent

    Maybe. (none / 0) (#70)
    by melamineinNY on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 10:06:47 AM EST
    If pigs had wings they'd be eagles (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Payaso on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 12:12:59 AM EST
    "If a white male teen would have been involved in this scenario," he said, "both the outcome and the aftermath might have been different."

    We can hypothesize until the cows come home but we won't get any closer to some resolution.  The facts are what they are.  Different facts, different laws, different outcomes.

    Parent

    Unfortunately (3.50 / 2) (#60)
    by Jbsnyder on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 09:19:00 AM EST
    there are as many people on the right who don't get it as there are on the left.  Far too many people simply picked a hero and villain in this case, let their imaginations run wild and then acted like what they imagined was proven.  The fact that the the Free Republic/Bretibart crew picked the right side doesn't mean they were right.

    Trayvon never got to give us his side of the story.  Outside of Zimmerman's trial, he's entitled to a presumption of innocence as much as Zimmerman was.

    We can't have a conversation about race... (3.40 / 5) (#36)
    by ExcitableBoy on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 06:53:38 AM EST
    only a lecture. We live in a country where a man was (temporarily) fired for using a word that kinda sorta sounded like a racial slur, even though they acknowledged when firing him that they knew it wasn't (the DC staffer who used 'niggardly').

    We live in a country were a university actually contemplated firing a man for READING a book with KKK in the title -- that he got from THEIR library. The groug FIRE stepped in to help him, and the university backed down.

    We live in a country where one word, and one word only in our entire lexicon, is so horrible that it cannot be spoken in any context, lest people faint dead away from the vapors. Admitting use of it in any context in the past is career suicide. No discussion, no conversation.

    Race (3.00 / 3) (#19)
    by bocajeff on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 12:18:01 AM EST
    Sadly, we're not really ready to speak about race in this country. Look at the way Charles Barkely, Stacy Dash, Ben Carson, and others are looked at when they disagree with some issues.

    You are considered a racist if you don't believe in Affirmative Action, as well as other issues.

    I've read articles this week about race in crime, education, athletics, relationships, and entertainment. It's so complicated and emotional (rightfully) that you can't be honest if you disagree with mainstream thought.

    Reverse racism (5.00 / 5) (#21)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 12:22:35 AM EST
    is discussed seemingly all the time by conservatives.  What Obama talked about today, no so much, if ever.

    The focus on reverse racism gets a lot of people off the hook.  

    Parent

    When you say (5.00 / 3) (#22)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 12:28:53 AM EST
    this:

    we're not really ready to speak about race in this country

    That sounds like there are lot of people who do not want to talk about it.

    Parent

    The concept of having (3.00 / 2) (#27)
    by NYShooter on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 02:00:24 AM EST
     a National conversation regarding race is quite noble, and certainly, worthwhile. However, I think it would be advisable, and undoubtedly more productive, if the Conversation had some rules and guidelines. You can see, just from the few comments already posted, that with a topic as big as Race the conversation can quickly fly off the tracks due to the many, and disparate, agendas people have.

    Individual, isolated, or personal, anecdotal stories, while interesting, would also tend to send the Conversation into a million different directions, kind of like a mirv missile. For instance, in the Scott/Cervini case, the question shouldn't be, "can a black man be treated the same as a white man in a shooting situation?" The question should be, "why is it that blacks are overwhelmingly treated harsher by police, and, irrefutably, given longer prison sentence than whites for identical, or similar, crimes?"

    Same goes for the, in my opinion, canard, "Reverse Racism." When White towards Black racism is a million times more prevalent than "Black on White Reverse Racism," it may not be completely disingenuous to bring it up but outliers like that are a dime a dozen and really would just derail subjects having great impact.

    As always, IMO, only.


    Context (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by Cylinder on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 02:22:30 AM EST
    Same goes for the, in my opinion, canard, "Reverse Racism." When White towards Black racism is a million times more prevalent than "Black on White Reverse Racism," it may not be completely disingenuous to bring it up but outliers like that are a dime a dozen and really would just derail subjects having great impact.

    Maybe that's why it's such a bad idea in this context. An objective review of this fact set shows:

    1. George Zimmerman = not a racist.
    2. The system initially produced race-neutral result.
    3. Race was artificially injected.
    4. The system was bullied into subjective action based almost solely on race.
    5. The system overcame the artificial introduction of race to produce a just result.
    6. Race was re-injected into the system.

    That is objective and race-neutral.

    Question: Accepting, arguendo that Zimmerman approached Martin, what is the foreseeable risk? Is it per se negligent to keep an eye on any teenager or is there something different in this instance?

    Parent

    Hey, Cylinder, how's it going? (none / 0) (#30)
    by NYShooter on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 02:55:24 AM EST
    What say we start with an agreement? Basically, I agree with you on #1, "George Zimmerman = not a racist." Since I stated on some other thread here that, being tribal animals, all humans are racist to one degree or another. And, I think it's fair to assume most of us have pretty similar ideas of what we mean when we refer to someone as being a "racist," So, by my definition, GZ is/was not a "racist."

    That was easy, friend. But, I gotta admit, and, I don't mean to imply that the rest of your questions/comments aren't "interesting," they are. I just don't know what the heck they/it means?

    Maybe if you took it one question at a time, expand it somewhat so we can get a little context, and I'll more than happy to engage with you on it.

    O.K?

    Parent

    I have now posted (3.00 / 2) (#152)
    by txantimedia on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 02:28:33 PM EST
    links to cases where a person was killed with one punch at least three times here.  Do I really need to do it again?  Or can everyone finally admit that the danger of hits to the head is extremely real?

    I'm not afraid of anything, but I'll guarantee you that if you take a swing at me you will be getting two to center mass.  NO ONE has the right to hit another person, and making light of that is despicable.  The idea that "a little" assault is OK is beyond primitive and uncivilized.

    No one said (5.00 / 0) (#156)
    by Politalkix on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 02:40:07 PM EST
    a "a little assault is OK" or "one has the right to hit another person". If one does so, they should be arrested and charges should be filed.
    The issue is about pre-emptive use of a gun to shoot another person. That cannot be justified, IMO.

    Parent
    Really? You wrote (none / 0) (#166)
    by txantimedia on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 03:13:46 PM EST
    People with adult bodies that are scared to death about not being able to handle a punch in the face by an American teenager (it is not even the Muslim terrorist with WMD hiding under their beds, anymore)
    I'm not scared to death of not being able to handle a punch in the face.  I'm aware that it's potentially fatal.

    You apparently would prefer that I take that punch to the face, and if it turns out to be fatal, oh well, we can always arrest the guy and try him.

    I would prefer to live.

    Parent

    No (5.00 / 0) (#171)
    by Politalkix on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 03:36:32 PM EST
    I replied to your post regarding "war" and "revolution" which are violent events with a post that mocked you for proposing it. That was all there was to my post.
    I, ofcourse, want you to live and not get punched in the face. We just want you to hold back on talking irresponsibly about starting "wars" and "revolutions" if you don't get your way in discussing things within the framework that you would like or proposing pre-emptive use of guns.


    Parent
    The rule is if one reasonbly (5.00 / 1) (#158)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 02:48:30 PM EST
    believes they are in danger of great bodily injury, they can used deadly force.

    Since we have defined one punch as deadly force, that means if one reasonably believes they are about to be punched, they can shoot.

    Now layer in Stand Your Ground.  One has no duty to retreat.  So, you see someone very threatening approach you on the sidewalk.  Perhaps you do not like they way they look.  They look very threatening.  You think they are going to punch you.  So you shoot the person.  No punches thrown, and someone just got shot.

    And if the person shot is African American and looks big, who is to say it was not a reasonable belief he was going to punch you.  Maybe he said something offensive to you to make you think he was going to punch you.  But he didn't, and he got shot anyway....

    All of that could be allowed the way you folks are talking.  

    Parent

    One punch??? (none / 0) (#162)
    by jbindc on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 03:06:59 PM EST
    Is weaponized concrete the new WMD? (5.00 / 1) (#173)
    by Politalkix on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 03:45:40 PM EST
    Feel free to let (none / 0) (#179)
    by txantimedia on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 04:04:53 PM EST
    your head be pounded on concrete for as long as you like.  Under the law that is deadly force, and the person being beaten is justified in using deadly force to counter it.  The law of self defense has hundreds of years of common law behind it (in fact it's partly what our country was founded on and is enshrined in the Constitution in the 2nd Amendment), but no one is forcing you to use it.

    Parent
    Really? You can't google it? (none / 0) (#167)
    by txantimedia on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 03:21:55 PM EST
    And the BBC covered this possible danger, too. (none / 0) (#202)
    by EL seattle on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 06:39:35 PM EST
    West Yorkshire, about four years ago:

    From Plea to stop 'one-punch' deaths - BBC News, July 6, 2009 -

    Craig Hargreaves, 19, died a week after suffering head injuries while trying to break up a fight outside a nightclub in Castleford in January 2008.

    The teenager is one of 16 people who have been killed as a result of one-punch attacks in the county since 2006.

    . . . . .

    "Often fuelled by alcohol and adrenaline, fights can start and all it takes is one punch before someone falls to the ground, hits their head on a kerb and they may never recover from the injuries caused."

         - Det Ch Supt Max McLean,
           head of the county's homicide and major inquiry team

    Parent

    Of course you chose hyperbole (none / 0) (#175)
    by txantimedia on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 03:46:24 PM EST
    to make your case, but that's not what SYG laws do.  You can't shoot someone because you think they're going to punch you.  You can't have a reasonable belief (under the law) that someone might punch you.  The actor must do something to generate that belief - like shouting I'm going to knock your block off as he runs toward you with fist clenched.

    Or, as happens a lot these days, three teenagers approach you, encircling you.  One approaches you and asks you a question as he prepares to knock you out with one punch.  If you're not paying attention, you could easily be dead.  If you are, you might have time to draw and warn them to get away.

    Big and black.  Big and white.  Big and green.  Skin color has nothing to do with it.  It's the person's behavior that generates a reasonable belief.  And those behaviors will be judged by a jury of your peers unless the case for self defense is self evident.

    Why do you automatically go to the attacker would be big and black?  They come in all shapes and sizes.

    Parent

    Because too many (5.00 / 2) (#177)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 03:53:14 PM EST
    people stereotype African Americans.  Too many people have been shown to automatically assume African Americans are dangerous. African Americans are particularly vulnerable to people assuming they are violent...  

    You have heard of being stopped for "DWB," right?

    All shapes and sizes.  Your threshold for a reasonable belief is very low.  You have a long list (too long imo) of when it is okay to shoot people.  

    Parent

    must agree (2.33 / 3) (#56)
    by Rob 2121 on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 09:08:25 AM EST
    I'm basically sending through some encouraging words in the comment thread and removing Talk Left from my 'blog' tab in favorites.

    I respect the focus on court procedure and evidence, but am seriously turned off by the disrespect for the feelings of a community that has to bury so many lives taken early. I mean, fine, the verdict stands... why host a discussion that puts the deceased on trial for his own death, after his killer is already been found not guilty?

    Princess Sparkle Pony has a way of pointing out what is going on with national discourse... cf. this post

    I don't know if (2.00 / 2) (#7)
    by txantimedia on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 10:47:36 PM EST
    anyone here has ever read neo-neocon, but she has written a thought provoking theory about Obama's speech today.

    Thought provoking? (5.00 / 7) (#23)
    by shoephone on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 12:33:54 AM EST
    Not really. Just the same old right wing nonsense. Scrolling through the comments is like wading through hateful tea bagger sh*t. So, no, not terribly thought provoking.

    Parent
    Exactly this... (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Thanin on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 07:45:56 AM EST
    On the bright side, the link gave me opportunity to read yet another whiny/tearful conservative blog regarding the events of November 6 & 7 of 2012, especially the comment section... those never disappoint.

    Parent
    Right Wing (none / 0) (#31)
    by gaf on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 04:01:39 AM EST
    Jeralyn's outstanding coverage of the case is not the typical left wing coverage of the case. So, like it or not, there are a lot of right wingers on the site now. Hopefully Jeralyn will notice this and start moderating it.


    Parent
    There have always been a handful (5.00 / 2) (#110)
    by TeresaInPa on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 12:04:19 PM EST
    of republicans and/or libertarians here.  This is not dkos or DU were people are banned for having a different POV.  Frankly Jeralyn would have to ban herself when the topics of 2nd amendment rights and a few others came up.  The people who insist they have a right to a right wing free zone are acting childish IMO.

    Parent
    That's an interesting admission (4.00 / 3) (#85)
    by txantimedia on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 10:43:43 AM EST
    Let me translate: Jeralyn was truthful about the case unlike most left wing sites.  Unfortunately, that attracted right wingers to her site.  She needs to do something to get rid of those vermin.

    Interesting perspective.

    You might consider the fact that this is why many "right wingers" despise liberals.  As soon as a truthful conversation begins, you want to cut off all those who disagree with you.  Sort of a "I'm not listening" approach to "conversation"(which is quite childish, BTW).

    Now we're supposed to have a conversation about race, but apparently only from a liberal perspective.  People like Ben Carson, Charles Barkley or Rev. C J Bryant aren't welcome in the conversation because, well, yes, they're black, but they're infected with "right wingism" so their views don't count.

    Yet you expect to make progress???

    Parent

    "truthful about the case" (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by jondee on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 11:06:29 AM EST
    is just a tad dogmatic and all-encompassing, don't you think?

    Parent
    THAT (5.00 / 1) (#97)
    by txantimedia on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 11:09:21 AM EST
    is the nit you pick?

    Tell me.  Do you think Jeralyn has NOT been truthful about the case?

    Parent

    You did notice that this is TalkLEFT (5.00 / 4) (#113)
    by Towanda on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 12:17:06 PM EST
    though, I hope.

    That ought to be a tip as to what will happen, with a lot of us lefties here for years now, when newbies post right-wing points, right-wing sources, right-wing terminology, etc.

    Parent

    So what's the solution? (none / 0) (#117)
    by txantimedia on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 12:25:49 PM EST
    War?  Either we talk this out or it ends up in revolution.

    Parent
    TL's objectivity (none / 0) (#92)
    by Semanticleo on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 11:03:15 AM EST
    has had great influence on the tone of Tom Maguire's Justoneminute. and the comments section certainly reflects that, so progress seems bi-partisan.

    Parent
    jeesh (none / 0) (#108)
    by TeresaInPa on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 11:56:47 AM EST
    it can't be thought provoking because it is not liberal?...sigh

    How can you know anything if you only expose yourself to people who only think what you already think?  Besides, most of the article is an excerpt from Obama's book.


    Parent

    I never read Obama's book (1.83 / 6) (#112)
    by TeresaInPa on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 12:13:00 PM EST
    I had no idea his grandfather was such an assh*le.  Here is his grandmother keeping both of them and she has to ride a bus to work.  They both drive around and neither one can drive her to work.  But Barry has time to go see some old communist to explain it all to him.
    No wonder he is such a narcissistic. His grandfather raised him to believe he was precious just for having been born and treated his grandmother as someone he was ashamed of.

    Parent
    Regarding civil immunity (none / 0) (#2)
    by AmericanPsycho on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 09:56:08 PM EST
    There's an excellent article on legalinsurrection about this topic that's worth a read.

    http://legalinsurrection.com/2013/07/floridas-self-defense-immunity-law-how-it-really-works/

    Maybe keep neighborhood watches (none / 0) (#3)
    by citizenjeff on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 09:58:46 PM EST
    Instead of ending neighborhood watches, would it make sense for the police to change their criteria for responding to suspicious behavior reports? It doesn't seem like a good idea to make the public worry about getting into trouble for reporting something they shouldn't report.


    Neighbourhood Watches (none / 0) (#4)
    by Canadiana on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 10:32:42 PM EST
    I have a slightly different take on the neighbourhood watch question and leaving the policing to experts: part of the problem is that the police (at least here) are not interested in property crimes at all. Part of the reason is they are busy with bigger things but the other part of it is the people they work for don't care either (I still remember the eye rolling in my criminal procedure class about having to even learn about property crime). This would all be fine except that the people who can't afford private security don't want to be robbed either and if you don't help them, you run the risk that they will help themselves.

    Trayvon's right to SYG (none / 0) (#47)
    by rob411 on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 08:13:37 AM EST
    Obama asked people to consider whether Trayvon would have had a right to shoot Zimmerman on SYG. He was trying to make the point that SYG laws are bad. I want to attempt to make sense of his point and Jeralyn etc. can comment on whether I've got it right.

    On the face of it, the answer to his question doesn't seem all that ambiguous. My understanding is that, besides eliminating a duty to retreat, SYG still leaves the "reasonable person" standard required for self-defense and I don't see the evidence supporting a self-defense claim by Trayvon.

    However, maybe the real issue is that SYG makes it harder to disprove false claims of self-defense. We don't ordinarily corner people in our routine everyday interactions. Not even if you're following someone or keeping an eye on them. Conversely, it appears to me, that inflicting great bodily harm on someone requires "cornering" them in some way. If you pull out a gun, you've pretty much "cornered" everyone within range. So requiring a duty to retreat may simply make it harder to make false self-defense claims, without putting an excessive burden on true self-defense claims.

    So, my answer to Obama's question would be: In my opinion, Trayvon's claim to self-defense would not be supported by the facts of the case, but Stand Your Ground laws may make it much harder to disprove those claims.

    It wasn't a conversation (none / 0) (#50)
    by Jack203 on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 08:47:53 AM EST
    It was a lecture on race, yes.  I certainly didn't find anything objectionable about it.  More importantly, it also relayed the following:

    We are a nation of laws.  They jury has spoken (3rd time he's said this)
    Don't hold your breath for DOJ charges.  They're not happening
    Peaceful protesting is fine, but any violence will not be tolerated
    Gun violence should be addressed (good luck with delusional republicans around)
    The black community needs introspection and work on their own increased crime rate (He slipped in a little Bill Cosby in his speech.  Well done.)

    I thought it was excellent.  This country needs to heal and move on.  If Obama said everything Jeralyn wanted to, it would be one of the worst political moves in the history of this country.  The far right will continue to hate him.  The minimal amount of centrists that approve of the message already are on his side, and the left and his own community would be outraged at him.

    Not to mention, I really do believe that if GZ didn't have a gun on him they would both be alive and healthy today.


    Zimmerman's gun (none / 0) (#71)
    by rob411 on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 10:08:03 AM EST
    "Not to mention, I really do believe that if GZ didn't have a gun on him they would both be alive and healthy today"

    If you mean, it made GZ reckless in ANY way, I disagree. I don't think the evidence shows any such thing.

    If you mean that GZ didn't have to stop Trayvon from getting his gun, he would have been able to get his head off the concrete and hold on until the cops arrived, then, yes.

    Another way of putting it, is that if GZ had a gun but Trayvon hadn't gone for it, both of them might be alive today because GZ seems to have reacted to head blows by "shrimping" and he'd have probably continued that, rather than shoot.

    Parent

    I agree about the gun (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by ExcitableBoy on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 10:30:28 AM EST
    I think if GZ had no gun, Trayvon would have continued administering a pretty good beating, but it's very doubtful it would have been fatal. I realize about head injuries and all that; I'm talking about his injuries to that point and the possibility of fatal injury in the next few seconds.

    The police arrived within a minute of the shot. Trayvon probably, and possibly both, would have been arrested. Then they both would have appeared in court, and we would be blissfully unaware they had ever met.

    Parent

    Hunh? Did I miss something? (none / 0) (#90)
    by melamineinNY on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 10:57:11 AM EST
    non-sequitur?

    Neither side has good reason (none / 0) (#116)
    by txantimedia on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 12:24:56 PM EST
    to hate the other side.  Disagree with, yes.  Argue vociferously with, yes.  But hate?  I don't hate anybody, but I shake my head constantly about the failure to even listen to the other side and consider how your beliefs might influence the others'.

    I agree (none / 0) (#209)
    by TeresaInPa on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 07:58:36 AM EST
    I guess I should have said, if someone is prone to hate then both sides have been equally nasty.

    Parent
    OMG! You're (none / 0) (#149)
    by txantimedia on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 02:07:47 PM EST
    comparing Zimmerman to Emmitt Till???  That's even worse than what Crump did.  You cannot be serious.

    justifiation in both situations was (none / 0) (#151)
    by lily on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 02:25:51 PM EST
    violating tribal codes.

    Obviously Emmett Till murder was a horrific example of white supremacy. But that does not change the dynamics or the fact that many folks are justifying the beating of Zimmerman alleging he deserved it because he treated Trayvon with racial bias and suspicion.

    Parent

    Your analysis (5.00 / 1) (#155)
    by txantimedia on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 02:40:07 PM EST
    is correct in its basis, however, applauding Zimmerman getting a beating pales in comparison to what was done to Emmitt Till.  The two should never be compared in the same breath, for any reason.

    Parent
    And yet that is exactly what several guests (none / 0) (#197)
    by melamineinNY on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 06:09:35 PM EST
    at the Harlem Book Festival declared today, to agreement from other panel members on more than one panel. Judging from it's repetition here and elsewhere, it's apparently joined the mythical narrative in progress.


    Parent
    ww3, I don't see how those (none / 0) (#184)
    by Teresa on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 04:34:12 PM EST
    statistics, if true, factor in to what happend in Florida last year. I don't think the crime was racial.

    I don't know that you did, but if you copied the whole article, you can't do that.

    Each case stands on its own (5.00 / 1) (#188)
    by cboldt on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 04:48:59 PM EST
    The statistics tell us something, but never lose sight of the saying about lies, damn lies and statistics.  And of course, statistics do not make or drive cases, cases make statistics.

    I agree with the remark above, a significant problem with using the Zimmerman case as the starting point for discussion about racial bias against blacks in general, is that the public at large has been so misinformed and conditioned by the press, that the case itself is at best a distraction, and is more likely a point of irreconcilable disagreement.

    Parent

    So..... (5.00 / 3) (#195)
    by Leopold on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 05:44:15 PM EST
    I agree with the remark above, a significant problem with using the Zimmerman case as the starting point for discussion about racial bias against blacks in general, is that the public at large has been so misinformed and conditioned by the press, that the case itself is at best a distraction,

    ....only those who think differently about this case than you are 'misinformed and conditioned by the press'?  It couldn't be that your club has been misinformed and conditioned? Or that each actually has different values and opinions?  Jeezus H.

    Parent

    Compare the evidence with press accounts (5.00 / 2) (#196)
    by cboldt on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 05:52:21 PM EST
    Is your position that the press has been accurate in presenting the facts of this case?

    I don't belong to a club.  Everybody who claims group loyalty shuns me.

    I accept that there are groups and people who reject the values I hold dear.  I expect people will view any given incident different from the way I do.

    But, my point of view is obtained from a review of the evidence, the pleadings, the trial, etc.  And that view is different from the view created by the press.  So, I can choose to take the view presented by the press, or the view presented by the evidence.  I choose to follow the evidence first hand, rather than second hand.

    I do agree, the press has values that are incompatible with mine.  I value honest and "clinical" presentation.

    Parent

    You may think that your viewpoint is (5.00 / 1) (#208)
    by Leopold on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 07:55:18 AM EST
    the most clinical, objective, evidence-based one but that's just hubris. Everyone brings bias to their interpretation of evidence, including you.  

    "The press" that you refer to is not monolithic.  And, like it or not, based on your opinions presented in your comments, you belong to a club - one that is aligned with parts of 'the press' that you so dislike.

    Parent

    To be unintentionally "aligned with" (none / 0) (#210)
    by melamineinNY on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 10:08:09 AM EST
    is different than obtaining ones information from, a source. Some people have been sourcing their information from (filtered) media accounts and not the primary sources themselves from watching the trial, for which there is no substitute, although reading transcripts and looking at evidence entered into the record is the next best thing. Those who ignore or refuse uninterpreted trial evidence into their opinions undermine any basis for a "clinical" discussion. Bias can be entered before consideration of trial evidence, as a substitute, or after. It's anyone's choice but those who want the clinical data to fit their bias instead of the other way around are going to be confirmation-biased instead of clinically-biased.  

    Parent
    I've seen this movie before (none / 0) (#212)
    by rob411 on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 10:41:19 AM EST
    After following the Iraq WMD debate for about a year, towards the end there was a stark asymmetry between the two sides. The pro-WMD side simply refused to dive into the minutiae of this or that piece of evidence. Increasingly, there was a retreat to Higher Truth - "Saddam can't be deterred", "the evidence might be a mushroom cloud", which still didn't mesh with the evidence.

    Why can't I consider that the anti-GZ folks are not misnformed but simply "interpreting the evidence differently?" Because, overwhelmingly, all the quotations from trial testimony seem to come from the pro-GZ side. Because there is a lot of appeal to Higher Truth on the anti-GZ side (I like Obama's speech but it illustrates the point). Because even a one-sentence summary by anti-GZ folks often involves something flatly contradicted by trial evidence.

    Before you ask - no, we're not talking about every single anti-GZ person. The previous poster was speaking about broad characteristics and so am I.

    Parent

    Not meant to be offensive (none / 0) (#198)
    by Semanticleo on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 06:09:52 PM EST
    but do you find a lot of rejection @ JOM?  

    I don't belong to a club.

    It's a very private club.

    Parent

    100% with you on the irreconcilable! (none / 0) (#194)
    by gbrbsb on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 05:40:48 PM EST
    thanks Lily (none / 0) (#207)
    by TeresaInPa on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 07:47:29 AM EST
    honestly, there are some really well meaning but clueless people who think they know better than a guy like Tommie Scott. But he is right.  Why aren't guys like Sharpton, Jackson and the NAACP in the streets confronting the real danger to the black community?  

    can't handle a teen? wusses? (none / 0) (#211)
    by Gracie on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 10:19:18 AM EST
    Please research the name Ricardo Portillo.  He was a youth soccer referee in Utah.

    A 17 teen year old got angry about a call Mr. Portillo made and punched him in the head ONCE.  

    He fell into a coma and died a few days later.

    He died from one punch to the head by a teen.

    Meanwhile, Martin was both punching Zimmerman and hitting his head on concrete.   One more punch or hit on the cement could have killed him.

    Obama strengthened SYG? (none / 0) (#214)
    by HereIBlog on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 09:47:14 AM EST
    When President Obama was a Senator he sponsored bill SB2386 which, as I understand it, strengthened SYG in Illinois as noted in the synopsis.

    Amends the Criminal Code of 1961. Provides that in no case shall any act involving the justified use of force in defense of one's self or another person or in defense of one's dwelling or other property give rise to any claim or liability brought by or on behalf of any person acting as an aggressor, or the estate, spouse, or other family member of such a person, against the person or estate of the person using such justified force. Effective immediately.