Arrest George Zimmerman

I try to understand all sides of a story, so I looked through headlines about Trayvor Martin and George Zimmerman. I tried to find what the hard-core right wing sites, like Breitbart.com were saying. Perhaps Trayvor Martin was caught stealing candy from the checkout aisle while his Mom was paying for groceries. Perhaps he was sent to the principal’s office in 6th grade for disruptive behavior. Perhaps he got into a fight with a White kid in high school. But the only headline I found on Breitbart was “Media Labels Hispanic Man White in Shooting of Black Teen”. If that’s the best the right wing can come up in their mission to accuse the liberal media of being unfair to White people then Trayvor Martin must have been an angel.

Oddly enough, the best defense for the delay in arresting Zimmerman comes not from the hard right but from NPR. And the reason for the delay, according to NPR, is not that anyone thinks George Zimmerman is innocent, but that Florida’s outrageous “Stand Your Ground” law makes it difficult to prosecute anyone who claims self defense as a motive for an apparent murder.

In theory, Florida’s miserable and dangerous law, which has been adopted by 16 other states (according to the NPR story), is a double edged sword. In theory, someone who kills a White person could claim “self defense” just as easily as someone who kills a Black person. But I think supporters of the law are not so much Whites looking to kill Blacks with impunity, but rather White people who believe that Black people already kill Whites with impunity. They feel under siege in a world where liberal judges feel sorry for Black murderers and refuse to punish them for anything. If you ask them why there are so many Black people in prison, they might conclude that Black people are so murderous that even though we only incarcerate a tiny percentage of them, it’s still enough to skew the prison population. They knew a Zimmerman case would come up, but they feel it’s better than letting Black people run around raping and killing their daughters. These people aren’t White supremacists, they’re Orks who believe the lies of supremacists and the suggestions of right wing pundits and politicians.

Thanks to these paranoid, gun-slinging Orks, we have laws in seventeen states that encourage the murder of innocent young men.

With the crazy law in place, there are complications which make arresting Zimmerman tricky. But I still don’t believe the “Stand Your Ground” law is enough to let Mr. Zimmerman remain free. It seems almost certain that Mr. Zimmerman chased Mr. Martin and instigated some kind of conflict, and it appears that Mr. Martin was not a threat at the time of his death. The case might not be as easy as some think it is, but I find it hard to even imagine that a good investigation can fail to find enough evidence to take a disturbed and dangerous man like George Zimmerman off the street.

There is a petition (probably one of many) for the proper investigation and prosecution of George Zimmerman. Hopefully this will not only pressure investigators in the Zimmerman case, it will also pressure lawmakers to reconsider laws which encourage the murder of innocent people like Trayvor Martin.

Update, March 25: I said the right wing media couldn’t find any dirt on Trayvon Martin. That was true at the time, but now we know that Mr. Martin had been suspended from school. I still don’t see how that justifies Mr. Martin being hunted down by Mr. Zimmerman.

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4 Comments

  1. Joe

     /  2012 March 26th

    the law doesn’t encourage the murder of innocent men, it’s there to discourage a would-be criminal from attacking someone when they know that the “victim” could very well defend themselves legally.

    Reply
    • bnmng

       /  2012 March 27th

      Here in Virginia, a man went to his store after hours to investigate an alarm, and saw a burglar inside. The store owner shot the unarmed burglar through a window, killed him, and was released because he said he thought the burglar had a gun. We don’t need Florida’s enhanced law to defend ourselves. The problem is that with the law, it’s difficult to define where George Zimmerman went afoul. Since he had no duty to retreat, he could escalate the conflict to the point where he truly felt his life was in danger. Supporters of the law (but not supporters of Mr. Zimmerman) have said the law doesn’t allow for what Zimmerman did. But unless we accompany a “stand your ground” law with a “do not escalate a bad situation” law, it seems that the law does in fact encourage one person to pick a fight with another, and then use deadly force when the fight turns bad.

      Reply
  2. Anonymous

     /  2012 March 27th

    He was suspsended for marijuana possession..if you’re going to sit there and spout about giving both sides a chance, then maybe you should state the facts you’ve discovered clearly on your site. He wasn’t just suspended: he was suspended for drugs. Just another little hoodrat “gangsta” child traveling down the wrong path. Zimmerman may have been tailing this kid, but a neighborhood watchman is nothing to scoff at. Human beings should be able to calmly explain their way out of tricky situations like that without turning to violence, and according to Zimmerman, it was TrayvoN who provoked him with a punch to the nose. Also if its convenient (which its probably not on this biased site), you can find a picture floating around of the present day TrayvoN with a crooked hat and two middle fingers in the air, a far cry and much more representative photo than the one the media is using of a younger more innocent TrayvoN.

    Reply
    • bnmng

       /  2012 March 27th

      I’m not sure what you mean by “state the facts you’ve discovered clearly on your site”, but if you’re talking about the marijuana, I hadn’t heard about it until today.

      I don’t remember spouting about giving both sides a chance, but it’s something I can agree with. George Zimmerman should have his day in court. There are stories coming out that Trayvon Martin was not the angel that I assumed he was when I wrote “If that’s the best the right wing can come up …”. On the other hand, the photo you’re referring to is of a different kid, and the fact that that photo is still making its rounds shows how we can’t trust recent information. I’ll have to wait and see if stories about Trayvon Martin with an “instrument” of crime (it was a screwdriver) turn out to be true, and I know too many people who smoked pot in high school to assume that a pot smoker is a hoodrat gangsta.

      Even if Mr. Martin was a pot smoker and a thief, I still haven’t heard anything to suggest he was violent. Mr. Zimmerman, however, has a history of fighting. Therefore, I don’t know if Martin through the first punch, and you’re speculating when you write “it was Trayvon who provoked him with a punch to the nose.”

      Still, as you said, give both sides a chance. We may find that George Zimmerman isn’t guilty of murder, but I think it’s wrong that a man can chase an unarmed teenager who was just returning from the store and committing no crime, against the advice of a 911 dispatcher, and then shoot him in a struggle without the police finding any reason to arrest him.

      Reply

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