Trayvon Martin

Political Correctness Killed Trayvon Martin

We’ve been bombarded recently by the story of Trayvon Martin, a 17-year old black boy shot as he walked home from the store. The facts remain uncertain at this point, so I’ll not comment specifically. On the other hand, it’s been said that death and taxes are the only sure things in life, but I think we can make a compelling case for a third; namely, that race-baiting media prostitutes like the “Reverends” Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton will trip over themselves rushing to the scene of a camera…oops, I mean, crime…at least where a black victim is involved. These men and others like them make a living peddling influence on racial issues, whipping up angry crowds at rallies and marches, calling for boycotts and civil disobedience in the name of “justice”. Even Trayvon’s mother got in on the lucrative act, copyrighting her dead son’s name.

In the Martin case, we can add the likes of Barack “If I had a son he would look like Trayvon” Obama (is there ANY subject that man can’t make about him?) and black filmmaker and social agitator Spike Lee. Lee, in his anger at George Zimmerman, Trayvon’s shooter, “tweeted” Zimmerman’s home address, with the clear intent of having a mob go to Zimmerman’s home to mete out the “justice” the legal system had so far failed to provide. Except it wasn’t Zimmerman’s address, but the address of an elderly couple whose lives he now put at risk. Lee apologized only for the clerical error, but not for circumventing the justice system and trying to organize a lynch mob. It was echoes of Al Sharpton and the mythical Tawanna Brawley rape all over again. Facts have no meaning, only racial outrage.

Spike Lee tweets the address - of the wrong people

The Trayvon Martin killing has brought out a lot of ugliness in a lot of people.  Liberals have used it to attack Florida’s self-defense laws and have portrayed the killing as racially motivated.  In response, conservatives have tried to portray Martin as a thug and miscreant, going so far as to post pictures that are not even of him.  It’s been a disgusting display all around.  But one aspect in particular is especially frightening.

This aspect is the encouragement of violence and retaliation against George Zimmerman without the benefit of a trial or even a complete investigation.  The New Black Panther party has gone as far as offering a bounty on him.  And movie maker Spike Lee went to an ever more extreme level, tweeting to his followers the alleged address of Zimmerman, clearly in hopes that someone would go to his house and do him harm.

It would be awful enough if it was in fact Zimmerman’s address.  But the address that Lee tweeted (or, to be technically correct, retweeted from a follower) is not even the right address.  It is in fact an old address for an entirely different George Zimmerman that is now the home of his mother and her husband.  This has led to hate mail, harassment, and death threats to the innocent couple that bear no relation to the crime or its alleged perpetrator.

This kind of blind anger and incitement to violence is thoroughly un-American and simply cannot be tolerated.  At the very least Lee should be banned from Twitter for plainly violating its terms of service.  Whether or not he could be legally liable for any harm to come to the unrelated Zimmermans is unclear, but at minimum he must be publicly scorned for this despicable act.  If George Zimmerman (the right one) is guilty of anything he must be punished.  But under no circumstances should that be by an angry mob.

Trayvon Martin: A Victim of the Fear State

There’s a lot of outrage over the death of 17-year old Trayvon Martin, who was shot and killed in Sanford, Florida, last month. Trayvon was allegedly killed by a self-appointed neighborhood watch captain, George Zimmerman, who is claiming “self-defense.”

I’m not really clear on what actually happened. It appears that Trayvon entered a gated neighborhood, visting his father, when Zimmerman confronted him. Trayvon ran, unsure of what was going on, and Zimmerman—apparently the guy was some sort of criminal—shot and killed him. At some point during all of this, Zimmerman spoke with a 911 dispatcher, who asked him to back down. At least, this is what I think, from my limited knowledge, happened. (It should be noted that Zimmerman has not been arrested and is still out and about, though apparently in hiding.)

There have been calls to disarm neighborhood watch groups over this. There is also a lot of criticism towards a particular Florida law, called “Stand Your Ground,” which brings the self-defense claim out of the home and anywhere the person may be. These are both charges I disagree with; I am against disarming people in general, since law enforcement is essentially useless when it comes to actual, personal defense, and it seems ludicrous to me that you can defend yourself in your home but not on the street, such as if you get mugged. Such arguments are irrational.

But so are defenses of George Zimmerman.

Obama’s Speech a Deceptive, Pale Imitation of Dr. King’s Dream

For more than half a decade, the adoring media and doe-eyed supporters have coronated Barack Obama as “sort of a god”, who was “probably the smartest guy ever to become President.” Simply by virtue of being nominated by the Democrat Party in 2008, we were told, the ocean levels would begin to recede and the Earth begin to heal. Even so, maybe we should cut Obama some slack. It is a near-impossible task to live up to the brilliant reasoning and powerful imagery invoked by the “I Have a Dream” speech given half a century ago by the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., who exhorted Americans to end racial division and strife, and to be united.

Obama’s speech commemorating the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s speech actually started off well. He spoke of the horrible treatment that blacks suffered in America, of how “In the face of violence, they stood up and sat in with the moral force of nonviolence.” Of course, he neglected to mention that their tormentors were racist Democrats, but I digress. Obama went on to say “They had learned through hard experience what Frederick Douglas once taught: that freedom is not given; it must be won through struggle and discipline, persistence and faith.” A wise man, Frederick Douglass…and a Republican.

But alas Obama, ever the hyperpartisan hack, just could not help himself, once again destroying something good by diving into the deep end of the stagnant, fetid pool of race and class warfare, hitting on each and every word, phrase, and talking point he knew would send his minions into a state of furious Pavlovian salivation. He just could not help himself. Asking Obama to refrain from race and class warfare is like asking the ocean to stop being wet; and of course he blames everyone but himself.

Trayvon, Detroit, and Random Thoughts

On the aftermath of the verdict in the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case:

Does anyone appreciate the irony of those outraged by Zimmerman’s acquittal now demanding a repeal of Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law (which was not even used as a basis for justifying the killing of Trayvon)? Has it occurred to them that, without that law (and assuming, against all evidence, that Trayvon attacked Zimmerman out of fear for his life), Trayvon would have been guilty of felony assault? Without Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, if Trayvon truly feared for his life, he would have had a legal obligation to flee from Zimmerman, and could have been charged with a crime for his failure to do so.

Attorney General Holder now calls for a review of all Stand Your Ground laws, reasoning that they “senselessly expand the concept of self-defense and sow dangerous conflict in our neighborhoods.” He might be interested to know that, in Florida, blacks account for approximately 34% of all cases where SYG was invoked (even thought blacks represent only 17% of the population of the state), and blacks have successfully used that defense 55% of the time, a higher rate than white defendants.

Speaking to the White House press corps a week after the Zimmerman verdict, Obama said that “Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago.” Considering that Obama was raised in Asia and Hawaii, went to elite private schools, and generally lived a life of privilege, it would appear that the only thing he has in common with Trayvon is brown skin and a penchant for smoking marijuana.

George Zimmerman rescues trapped driver

George Zimmerman

A little more than a week after being aquitted in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman is back in the news because of his efforts to help rescue someone from an overturned truck last week in Florida:

George Zimmerman, who has been in hiding since he was acquitted of murder in the death of Trayvon Martin, emerged to help rescue someone who was trapped in an overturned truck, police said today.

Sanford Police Department Capt. Jim McAuliffe told ABC News that Zimmerman “pulled an individual from a truck that had rolled over” at the intersection of a Florida highway last week. Florida Highway Patrol is now handling the case, McAuliffe said.

The crash occurred at the intersection of I-4 and route 417, police said. The crash site is less than a mile from where he shot Martin.

This comes just days after President Barack Obama weighed in on the shooting and trial, which further fanned the flames of racial divide in its aftermath, and protests throughout the country against the verdict. Despite being found vindicated in the eyes of the judicial system, Zimmerman continues to receive death threats, according to ABC News, and has to wear a bulletproof vest in public.

Holder Calls for Repeal of ‘Stand Your Ground’ Laws

One of many issues that has come under fire since the start of the whole George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin drama has been “Stand Your Ground” laws.  To many, they were the root of Martin’s death.

Zimmerman’s acquittal has clearly done nothing to change this.

Yesterday, Attorney General Eric Holder threw his own opinions into the ring.

“Separate and apart from the case that has drawn the nation’s attention,” Holder said of the Zimmerman case, “it’s time to question laws that senselessly expand the concept of self-defense and sow dangerous conflict in our neighborhoods. These laws try to fix something that was never broken. There has always been a legal defense for using deadly force if – and the ‘if’ is important – no safe retreat is available.”

Holder said the law has “victimized too many people.”

“By allowing and perhaps encouraging violent situations to escalate in public, such laws undermine public safety,” Holder continued. “The list of resulting tragedies is long and – unfortunately – has victimized too many who are innocent. It is our collective obligation – we must stand our ground – to ensure that our laws reduce violence, and take a hard look at laws that contribute to more violence than they prevent.”

First, I’d like to point out something to Mr. Holder.  “Stand Your Ground” laws only apply to actual cases of self defense.  His desire that you or I should have to try to get away from a criminal before being able to defend ourselves will not save innocent lives.  No, it will further empower criminals who will then know that they can have their way after you retreat.

Reasoned perspective on George Zimmerman verdict

George Zimmerman

Over at Slate, William Saletan has joined the plethora of pundits voicing an opinion about the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case.  However, unlike the vast majority of them, Saletan seems to really understand a little something called “reality” when it comes to this case:

The problem at the core of this case wasn’t race or guns. The problem was assumption, misperception, and overreaction. And that cycle hasn’t ended with the verdict. It has escalated.

I almost joined the frenzy. Yesterday I was going to write that Zimmerman pursued Martin against police instructions and illustrated the perils of racial profiling. But I hadn’t followed the case in detail. So I sat down and watched the closing arguments: nearly seven hours of video in which the prosecution and defense went point by point through the evidence as it had been hashed out at the trial. Based on what I learned from the videos, I did some further reading.

It turned out I had been wrong about many things. The initial portrait of Zimmerman as a racist wasn’t just exaggerated. It was completely unsubstantiated. It’s a case study in how the same kind of bias that causes racism can cause unwarranted allegations of racism. Some of the people Zimmerman had reported as suspicious were black men, so he was a racist. Members of his family seemed racist, so he was a racist. Everybody knew he was a racist, so his recorded words were misheard as racial slurs, proving again that he was a racist.

Reason: Racism, gun violence on decline

As a result of the Trayvon Martin shooting, the topic of racism has, unfortunately, been given new life in American politics and culture. As the shooting became a prominent fixture in the news, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and even President Barack Obama jumped into the fray by making statements that pinned the incident as racially motivated. Others have used it to attack the Second Amendment and gun owners.

But in a video at Reason, Kennedy, a former MTV personality, is setting the record straight, noting that race relations are better, according to poll data, and incidents involving gun violence are actually on the decline:

Floridians back “Stand Your Ground” law

In the wake of the Trayvon Martin’s death, many on the Left have been blaming Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, a statue passed last year that allows use for the use of deadly force in self-defense (my home state of Georgia passed a similar law a few years ago). They say that the law empowered George Zimmerman to target Martin and claim self-defense.

While I have no opinion on Zimmerman’s guilt or innocence in the case at this point — I believe too little is known to jump to conclusions one way or the other, the ire over the “Stand Your Ground” law seems a little misplaced and, in some cases, dishonest. Dave Kopel, a Second Amendment scholar, explains:

The assertion that Florida law allows shooting whenever someone believes it to be necessary is a flat-out lie. The actual law of Florida is that “a person is justified in the use of deadly force” if “(1) He or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony” (Florida Statutes, Section 776.012).

The second part of the law provides special provisions for self-defense against violent home invaders or carjackers. Neither of those is relevant to the Zimmerman case.

If the factual claims of Trayvon’s supporters are true, Mr. Zimmerman criminally attacked Trayvon and killed him, while having no reasonable belief that Trayvon was perpetrating a forcible felony, or imminently about to kill or gravely wound Mr. Zimmerman. So Florida’s self-defense laws simply would not apply, since Mr. Zimmerman would have no right under Florida law to use deadly force.

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