A Death in Florida

By Jennie

The February 26 killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, FL has received little media coverage, at least relative to the sensational details of the case. Martin, a high school junior with dreams of someday becoming an aviation mechanic, was visiting his father in a gated community in Sanford, near Orlando, when he gunned down by a neighborhood watch volunteer who was “patrolling” the area. The youth had gone to a nearby grocery store to pick up an iced tea and some Skittles for his 13-year-old brother. On the way home, he caught the attention of George Zimmerman, a 28-year-old criminal justice student. Zimmerman apparently found Martin suspicious and called 911 to request that the police come out. While on the phone with the police dispatcher, Zimmerman observed Martin running and decided to pursue him, against the advice of the dispatcher. Some sort of scuffle ensued, and Zimmerman shot Martin dead.

It’s not clear what behavior of Martin’s Zimmerman deemed suspicious; on the released police dispatch tapes, Zimmerman tells the dispatcher that Martin is a “real suspicious guy” who “looks like he’s up to no good or he’s on drugs or something.”

What has disturbed many observers is that as of today, almost three weeks after the shooting, Zimmerman has yet to be charged with any crime, and it’s not clear if he ever will be. If he is, it’s certainly not clear that it’s not due solely to public pressure, as the police attitude towards the violent death of a child at first appeared remarkably cavalier. Martin’s father was told by police that Zimmerman was not initially charged while the case was being investigated because he had “a squeaky clean record” and was a criminal justice student. The former turned out not to be true; Zimmerman was charged in 2005 with battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest.

What is clear is that Zimmerman took his neighborhood watch duties seriously, apparently patrolling nightly with his dog and a loaded gun (which he was licensed to carry). Between January 1st and the evening Martin was killed 57 days later, Zimmerman had apparently called the police 46 times to report disturbances, people he deemed suspicious and windows left open. The picture that emerges of Zimmerman unavoidably has vigilante overtones.

Also clear – and troubling – are the racial overtones in the case. Zimmerman reportedly singled out young black men for harassment during his patrols, and told neighbors, both in person and via email, to be wary of young black men seen in the neighborhood. Zimmerman is himself Latino, and his father has publicly claimed that he has friends of all ethnic groups, but if the reports are true, Zimmerman was undoubtedly racially profiling neighborhood visitors, and that profiling may have lead to the death of an innocent young man.

The Sanford area is not free of racial tensions, particularly between police and the local African-American community; in one case two years ago, it took police almost two months to arrest the son
of a police lieutenant who was caught on tape sucker-punching a homeless black man. The slowness of the police response in this case has reopened old wounds and resentments.

Police practices obviously vary from case to case and from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but in circumstances such as this, where an unarmed, blameless teen is targeted, pursued (against explicit police instructions) and killed by an adult, the ultra-cautious attitude rankles, and it’s easy to suspect that race plays a role.

Florida has what is known as a “stand your ground” law; it’s legal to shoot to kill in response to a “perceived threat” rather than being expected to attempt retreat before using deadly force, which is the standard in most parts of the country. The problem becomes – what is considered a reasonable “perceived threat?” (One assumes that the perceived threat is expected to be held to some sort of reasonable person standard. One may be being overly optimistic.) Is the fact that the perceived threatener is an African American male enough to make the threat valid in the eyes of some?

What is clear is that a young man is dead, through no fault of his own. Trayvon Martin went to the corner store. There is no evidence beyond George Zimmerman’s perception that Martin did anything untoward on his way home. By Zimmerman’s own account, he stalked and then chased Martin, resulting in a physical altercation. At that point, if anyone had the “right” to shoot anyone, it was Martin who had the right to use deadly force on Zimmerman, at least according to Florida law. Martin was the one pursued by a stranger. Zimmerman was the one who initiated a confrontation, based on very questionable reasoning. How long will it take for George Zimmerman to be charged in this case? And why has it received so little media attention?

About the Author:
Jennie has contributed to Imperfect Women since its inception in 2009. She writes about politics, celebrity news, and anything else that catches her interest. She can be reached at jennie@imperfectwomen.com.

Comments

  1. PattyPie says

    Man. What a horrible story. I would run from a man following me in the dark with a dog and gun too.

    Goes to the store to get an iced tea and skittles for his brother and never makes it home. Just the thought of it sends chills up my spin. I feel so sorry for Trayvon and his family. :-(

  2. Pam@IW says

    I agree and I don’t understand why any man who has called the police that many times in that short of time did not have his gun license revoked.

  3. Chardonnay says

    I saw Trayvon’s father being interviewed by Anderson Cooper on CNN this evening. Hopefully other news outlets will pick it up and Trayvon’s family will get justice sooner rather than later, or possibly, not at all. Very disturbing. If I were on a jury, and this is what I was presented with, I’d convict him in an instant. It reeks of vigilantism. People like Zimmerman should not be allowed to carry a gun. What I don’t understand is why the Florida police have not arrested him. I would be willing to bet that if it was a black neighborhood watch guy and a white teenager was dead, the black neighborhood watch guy would have been in jail before morning. Sad that racism still exists.

  4. snickers says

    How sad that gated communities allow security to carry guns. This was a kid, from the picture he looks very slim, not a thug. I hope Zimmerman is arrested and full justice is done. Sounds like Zimmerman has had past issues, which has set himself up for charges to be brought.

  5. Sage says

    I have followed this story too, and it is heartbreaking. This Zimmerman reminds me of a story I read about a guy who was fascinated by fireman and wanted to be one. When finally becoming one he turned out to be an arsonist. By setting fires he could be the hero who put them out. Zimmerman by seeing someone who was ‘suspicious’ could be the hero who catches or in this case shoots them. He should be in jail.

  6. lynn says

    Sad story. My question is why wasnt this man who killed the poor kid arrested and tried by a jury? Isnt that what this country is about? You are innocent until proven guilty? But you shoot someone even after the 911 operator told you to not chase and you get off scott free without being judged by a jury? It is just sickening. I am sorry if I am not making sense. Time for bed. Night.

  7. says

    The picture of Trayvon smiling and looking so young and full of promise just breaks my heart.
    .
    I think it is pretty clear that an outside agency, such as the FBI, needs to step in and take over the investigation from Sanford law enforcement. Their lack of action is appalling and disgusting.
    .
    This Stand Your Ground law sounds very problematic to me. If I were a citizen of Florida, I would what do what I could to try and repeal it. I cannot imagine how parents of African-American young men deal with the anxiety of sending their sons out knowing that there are George Zimmermans out there operating with apparent support from law enforcement.
    .
    Let’s just hope that the media attention this case is finally getting will get the wheels of justice moving.
    .
    My thoughts and prayers will continue to be with the Martin family.

  8. MarieS says

    I see that the Feds are investigating now. This would be as a hate crime, right? That’s going to bring the the actual ‘stand your ground’ law come under scrutiny as well.

  9. Mojito says

    How sad… And completely preventable if someone would have put Zimmerman in his place. 46 calls to the police about suspicious activity? How does that not raise a red flag to someone?

    And now a young boy is gone and Zimmerman hasn’t been charged. I think that’s a bunch of BS.

  10. Lily@IW says

    Why is the guy still on the streets?
    That poor kid. I can’t believe he’s dead. So unjust and unnecessary.

  11. Roozerdo says

    It sounds like to me that Zimmerman had been waiting a long time for the oportunity to be a “hero” for his neighborhood. It’s sad that Trayvon happened to be the one. I saw his poor moma on the news begging that Zimmerman be arrested and charged and to let a Jury find him innocent or quilty. I can’t imagine someone killing my child and not having to answer for it one way or another. I’m glad to see that the FEDs have finally steped in. I bet we find out a lot more about the local law inforcment when all is said and done. BTW, The Neiborhood Watch that Zimmerman was so involved in, wasn’t even properly registered, so it wasn’t A REAL Neighborhood watch program at all.

  12. Pam@IW says

    The Skittles thing really gets you. Someone just out to get his brother a pack of skittles. I think I read somewhere that the girlfriend of the young man that was killed was on the phone with him when this was going on and he was clearly telling Zimmerman to leave him alone. So sad.

  13. MarieS says

    This morning I saw a report on the case that was truly disturbing. The parents were not notified of the shooting until 3 days after it happened. That’s right they didn’t know their son was dead. The police had his cell phone and his father was calling the cell looking for him. They had enough time to run a drug test on the boy but didn’t bother notifying the next of kin?

    And the local police deemed the killing self defense. That is why the shooter isn’t under arrest. They have no intention of arresting him.

  14. Lily@IW says

    Pam, I agree, that he was getting candy for his brother really gets to you.
    How on earth could it be self-defense if unarmed Trayvon was running away from the guy harassing him? I can’t believe there has been no arrest. I saw this on my FB this morning. The parents are distributing a petition:
    /
    Please join us in calling on Norman Wolfinger, Florida’s 18th District State’s Attorney, to investigate my son’s murder and prosecute George Zimmerman for the shooting and killing of Trayvon Martin.
    /
    change.org/petitions/prosecute-the-killer-of-our-son-17-year-old-trayvon-martin

  15. Mojito says

    Not only does that bastard who did this need to be arrested, the officers who handled this case need to be investigated as well! How do you let parents of kid who has been murdered wait 3 effing days to be notified?!?!?! That just really pisses me off!!!

  16. Jennie@IW says

    Ugh. They did a drug test on the victim but not on the perpetrator? Nice.
    .
    The police chief is really making himself and his department look worse with his comments on the case. Saying, “I’m sure if George Zimmerman had the opportunity to relive Sunday, Feb. 26, he’d probably do things differently. I’m sure Trayvon would, too” implies that Martin did something wrong, and I don’t think any of the evidence presented indicates that. What was the kid supposed to do? Not be a black male teen? Not go to the store? It also presents an equivalency Zimmerman’s and Martin’s actions that is insulting under the circumstances.
    .
    He also said, in response to the racism charges, “Our investigation is color blind and based on the facts and circumstances, not color. I know I can say that until I am blue in the face, but, as a white man in a uniform, I know it doesn’t mean anything to anybody.”
    .
    Oh, yes, poor, poor you. It’s just so hard to be a white man in a police uniform in Florida, isn’t it? I think he’s forgetting who the victim is here.
    .
    The transcript of the 911 call also includes Zimmerman muttering the phrase “fucking coons” apparently while chasing Martin.

  17. CJ says

    So little media attention? This story has been all over the internet, CNN, Fox News, ABC, NBC and CBS for weeks. To their credit, two neighbors that were the first on the scene after the shooting have made sure the story got out. This is a tragic and horrible story, but what about the 50 people that have been shot in Chicago in the last five days? Many of them innocent children. Ten dead, including a six year old girl that was sitting on her front porch Saturday afternoon.

    For some reason, the press does not want to report on the war zone that is Chicago. A city that does not allow the purchase or ownership of a handgun has become an American War Zone.

    Barely a mention in the press regarding the blood bath that is going on in Chicago. The past weekend is not unique for Chicago. Take a look at the number of shootings over the last year. Warm weather months are of particular concern.

    Yet, the press doesn’t report about all of the children that were murdered or are in critical condition from the violence in Chicago this weekend.

    Where is the outrage from the press? Is it because it is Chicago? Is it because the shooters are primarily minorities? The victims are African Americans, Latino and white.

    You don’t see any marches of injustice for the children that were killed in Chicago this weekend. Why?

    The press does a good job deciding what Americans should be outraged about. The only person on TV that I saw do a segment on the blood in the streets of Chicago was Bill O’Reilly.

  18. Jennie@IW says

    CJ, at the time I wrote this, the real press coverage was just starting. It has been all over the news the past couple of days, but before that, the coverage was very scant, considering the murder happened almost a month ago at this point.
    .
    Why are you trying to politicize this story? Some stories get national traction while others don’t. One thing that is often lamented in some circles is that pretty missing white girls get way, way, way more media attention than when minority girls and boys go missing. I understand why that bothers people, but I also think that there is a lot that goes into why a story goes national.
    .
    The subtext of what you’re saying seems to be that you’re offended that a white/Latino person killing an innocent black person is getting more attention than black people killing other black people. Why are seemingly so defensive on the issue?
    .
    BTW, the “press” doesn’t need to manipulate me into feeling outraged by the actions of George Zimmerman and the inaction of the Sanford police department.

  19. CJ says

    Jennie, I simply find it interesting that there is no outrage for all of the children killed in Chicago. To me, it is heartbreaking that the numerous children that were killed in Chicago last weekend are some how less important because their killers weren’t white/latino. It doesn’t make for a good story in the mind of many writers.
    /
    It is just one weekend of horrific violence in Chicago, that once again doesn’t get national attention.
    /
    There is no “subtext” or bigotry that you are not so subtley trying to imply. It is simply outrageous to me that no one or very few in the press want to bring attention to the children that are getting killed walking to school or sitting on their porches.
    /
    I lived in Chicago, so I read the Tribune everyday. Otherwise, I certainly wouldn’t be aware of what was happening. If 50 people had been shot with 10 dead in New York or Washington D.C. during a five day period, you can rest assured it would headline news on every internet news site and television station.
    /
    Even in your response/attack to me in post #19, not a bit of outrage or concern from you over all of the blood shed in Chicago. By the way, the six year old girl has a name, Aliya Shell. LaRonda Jamison, 13, remains in serious condition, while an unnamed 16 year old girl is in critical condition. In case you had any interest.

  20. says

    Some stories get national traction while others don’t.
    .
    I agree with this. Sometimes we can decipher a possible reason and other times it just seems to be the luck of the news cycle. I’m thankful the Trayvon Martin murder is getting its due. It took quite a while. (I’m not sure when the story first started to break, but it was weeks after his death.) I think there are so many aspects to the Martin case that have people of all walks of life and political ideologies stunned, saddened and seeking answers. The very fact that the murderer is walking the streets a free man is just….well there are no words.
    .
    CJ, of course, the Chicago murders should receive attention too. Thankfully, from the article I just read it appears the murderers of little Aliya aren’t walking free like George Zimmerman any longer. May they rot in jail.
    .
    I think one of the best aspects of Twitter, blogs and similar social networking outlets is the ability to educate ourselves about news we might otherwise miss and do our part to get the word out if we feel it needs a larger spotlight. That’s what you have done with the Chicago murders and what Jennie has done with the Trayon Martin one. A small positive in two otherwise dreadfully sad stories.

  21. Wendy says

    I live in the area where this tragedy occurred. Uncomfortably close. It breaks my heart. I have a teenage son, and can’t imagine the pain of hearing him yell for help on 911 tapes and then hearing him shot. Mr. Zimmerman should be in jail. The police department here may have many faults, but you also have to look at the laws here. There have been many questionable “self defense” killings since this law was passed. There was a case of a older black man killing a white neighbor. It is not about race. It is about a stupid law that turns people into vigilantes. This law was passed in part, in response to a lot of looting and other crimes post “hurricane free-for-all.” The local authorities have handled this poorly, but the law needs to be revisited, because there seems to be a lack of common sense enforcing it. My prayer are with the family. Maybe something good can come of such a horrible tragedy.

  22. Wendy says

    Between this Zimmerman case and the Anthony case, we are going to have to change our state motto to, “Florida..you can get away with murder.”

  23. Pam@IW says

    “Between this Zimmerman case and the Anthony case, we are going to have to change our state motto to, “Florida..you can get away with murder.””
    .
    Wendy, I know it is not a funny situation but that made me smile.

  24. stu says

    CJ,
    I am in agreement with you. I have always said that the news picks and chooses which tragedy it wants to sensationalise. We have so many tragic murders in Los Angeles. Way to many to list but they usually go…..3 year old sleeping in bed and killed by a stray bullet. This happens way to often. So I ask where is the outrage? This is typically Black on Black killings. Where is the outrage by the National news,Sharpton,Jackson and the President? Could it be the story that NPR and the LA Times are trying to push….A white Hispanic (Zimmerman)…what the hell is that?
    Yes sometimes a news cycle has something to do with what’s get covered but this is starting to raise the heat in a direction it probably need not go. This is without a doubt a terrible tragedy. This needs to go through the justice system and work it’s way through…but it is far from the only tragedy happening to our children.

  25. stu says

    Sorry but I just saw this headline…Trayvon Martin case: ‘Blacks are under attack,’ says Jesse Jackson.
    I find him to be one of the biggest hate monguring people we have in America.

  26. says

    Stu,

    Jesses Jackson ia always around for the photo opp. but he’s nothing but a pot stirrer. He should get a real job and leave this family alone. They were geting their message out without him and Al being hanger ons. Wonder where he was when all the deaths were happening in Chicago. No news media for him to pose for.

  27. CJ says

    Stu, don’t know if you’ve ever read the book Shakedown, but the reverend is far too busy with other endeavors to worry about the blood shed in his home town. Only the Rainbow Coalition headquarters are on the south side, some certainly wouldn’t live there.

    Sadly, there are real pastors working and living in the midst of the blood shed that don’t get much if any press.

  28. JennieIW says

    It is not about race.
    .
    When Zimmerman is hear on the police tapes calling Martin a “fucking coon” and when he’s known to have told neighbors to watch out for black males in the area, but it’s not about race? I just don’t even know what to say to that.
    .
    Speaking only for myself, it would be nice if those who have made it clear that they could not possibly care less about the murder of Trayvon Martin to take their obsessive hatred for various black leaders to another thread; there’s an open discussion thread available in The Lounge.

  29. Loriann says

    IMO Zimmerman should of been taken into custody and at least let the magistrate decide where to go from there. Part of the reason this has gotten so out of hand is that they
    did not arrest him to start with. He was clearly told to not follow. The media is painting a big picture by putting up pictures of Trayvon that are clearly 3 or 4 years old. It is becoming a huge media circus.

  30. JennieIW says

    The media is painting a big picture by putting up pictures of Trayvon that are clearly 3 or 4 years old.
    .
    Do you have a link that proves that? Not that I think it’s relevant, but I’m curious. I’ve seen various pictures of him in which he looks slightly different ages (all clearly teenaged, though). Kids can look different from day to day.
    .
    I’m wondering if I’m missing your subtext though; it seems to be, “the media is manipulating to make this look worse than it is.” And since I’ve heard NO credible evidence that suggests that Trayvon did ANYTHING wrong, or anything that contributed to his murder, then I kind of wonder what it matters, or how it could look worse. He could have been 6’8″ and 240 pounds, and he wouldn’t have deserved in any way what was done to him. He was targeted for no apparent reason and he was followed for no reason (against police instructions). The ironic part of it is that *if* some fight occurred after Zimmerman confronted him, it was Martin who was well within his right under Florida law to defend himself and “stand his ground.”

  31. stu says

    Speaking only for myself, it would be nice if those who have made it clear that they could not possibly care less about the murder of Trayvon Martin to take their obsessive hatred for various black leaders to another thread; there’s an open discussion thread available in The Lounge.

    Disgusting statement..plain and simple. WHO said anything about not not caring about this tragic death. Obsessive hatred…lets understand that when you have hate mongers that thrive on the death of their own kind and look to inflame the situation you bet I’ll speak out about it. I don’t care if I am the only one who does. The media loves these people because of their need to fulfil their …if it bleeds it leads…motto. By the way when idiots like Sharpton, Jackson, and now even Farakahn with his posting of “Dead or Alive”posters for Zimmerman take advantage of such tragedies I am shocked that you would not feel the same way.
    As a Father this hit’s home because that child could have been anyone’s kid.

  32. HB says

    When one reads that the ‘new black panthers’ have posted a ‘wanted dead or alive’ on Zimmerman’s life…what in ‘our world’ is in the name of JUSTICE? The FACT that the police have an eyewitness who gave his detailed report on the night this happened…that is in direct conflict to what is out there now…how about a collective time out & let this move thru’ the justice system? (This eyewitness is in protective custody now.)
    /
    Perhaps at a later date I will share what happened to me just 4 days ago. I’ll just say that I was a witness to crimes in our ‘upper middleclass neighborhood’ & the PD are VERY aware of the consequences of what I saw, & what I reported. (My weapon was my cell phone camera…while innocently walking our dog.)

  33. stu says

    HB
    Thanks for the clarification that it was the Black Panthers that put out the Wanted Dead or Alive poster to create more anger and racial divide? Funny the Govt won’t do anything about this threat!

  34. HB says

    stu…I hadn’t read your comment. I have this BAD habit of starting a comment…& then got caught up in watching tennis on t.v.! ;0(

    I wish it were ‘funny’ about what the government hasn’t…will not do…in re. to the new black panthers. (All the more reason why Eric Holder needs to find a new job!)

  35. JennieIW says

    When one reads that the ‘new black panthers’ have posted a ‘wanted dead or alive’ on Zimmerman’s life
    .
    And white supremacists are applauding Martin’s murder. What does that prove? What do the actions and words of the “new Black Panthers”, whoever they are, prove?
    .
    Some of the posts over at Stormfront don’t sound that different than some of the posts in this thread, so if anyone wants to find some like-minded people…

  36. Wendy says

    Jennie, I said it is not about race, because I live here and black and white people work together, live side by side, worship together. Mr. Zimmerman is hispanic. What he did was criminal and he should be in jail. I am appalled at the way the police department has handled this. What I am saying, is the Stand Your Ground Law has misused and needs to be revisited. I want justice for the family, but I don’t want my small town turned into Ground Zero for everyone’s political agenda. I am very glad that outside investigators are taking over this case and pray that justice will be done. People have said Zimmerman targeted blacks, other say he didn’t. Hopefully, he will have his day in court. The bottom line is that the police and local prosecutors dropped the ball. It would be no less tragic if it had been a black man that had shot Trayvon. Zimmerman was a wannabe cop/vigilante that went too far and it resulted in an unthinkable tragedy. What would be a greater tragedy would be to incite race divisions in our town.

  37. says

    Loriann says…The media is painting a big picture by putting up pictures of Trayvon that are clearly 3 or 4 years old. It is becoming a huge media circus.
    .
    I have been following the tweets of Charles M. Blow, a New York Times columnist who has been writing about this tragedy extensively. He met with Trayvon’s mother today. She shared many recent pictures of Trayon. This is what Blow said today after meeting with Sybrina Fulton:
    .
    “And for all the ppl who say the pics we’ve seen of #Trayvon are old: wrong! I saw picks taken 2 weeks before shooting. He has a baby face.”

  38. Wendy says

    Having stated my feelings on the subject, I have to add that if I was this child’s mother, I would have called in whatever help I could get, to get my voice heard. Again, I can’t begin to imagine her pain.

  39. JennieIW says

    HB, I would not tell you to go elsewhere, even if I had the authority to do so. It just bothers me that a thread that was about the tragic death of a young man has devolved into discussions of crime in Chicago, the “new” Black Panthers, Jesse Jackson, etc. I think it’s devolved because there are people who see the murder of a young black man as a political issue, and as conservatives they feel the need to redirect, to change the conversation, rather than just acknowledge that the murder of this young man was tragic and senseless. (Whereas early on in the thread there were conservatives who posted and had no problem talking about how sad the story is, without any “buts” or other qualifiers to change the flow and make it about something else.)
    .
    I feel like it’s disrespectful to Trayvon’s memory. Imagine….imagine if there were, God forbid, a terrorist attack in the US. Say it were a car bomb, and it killed five people. Say the perpetrator was a Muslim who was angry about continued US involvement in Afghanistan.
    .
    Now, imagine that Pam wrote a post about the story, and amid all the sad and angry posts, I started posting about other things: how many people were killed by government troops in the DRC in the past week, and why are we talking about that? Or about how many Afghanis have been killed by US troops since the invasion. Or about the racist, anti-Arab rhetoric from the right that has sprung up in the wake of the attack. How would you like that?
    .
    I wouldn’t ever do those things. First of all, because I would also be horrified by innocent Americans being killed, rather than indifferent. But also because it would just be WRONG.
    .
    I don’t expect everyone to care about Trayvon. Clearly there are people who don’t. But to utterly ignore his murder in this thread and then go on to hijack to go on about one’s hatred of various black leaders is just wrong and in poor taste, IMO.

  40. Pam@IW says

    Wendy, I feel the same way you do. I pray that justice will be done, whatever that may be. I was and am quick to judge Zimmerman but I hope that this is fairly investigated because he is innocent until proven guilty and I know I don’t know all of the evidence. I hope that this does not divide your town.
    .
    Been there and done that living in Los Angeles and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.
    .
    Trayvon, and his family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  41. JennieIW says

    Wendy, given the “fucking coon” comment, it’s just hard for me to understand someone saying this wasn’t about race.
    .
    I feel like if you talked to a black person you might find that in a lot of their minds the case has not so much incited racial divides as revealed them. All of these middle-class white suburban folks talking about how “it could have been my kid”: not likely.

  42. says

    Wendy says..I don’t want my small town turned into Ground Zero for everyone’s political agenda.
    .
    I understand your perspective. I don’t fault you for it. But I also don’t fault those people who want to take advantage of the momentum to keep the pressure on Sanford and the state of Florida to do the right thing. If the media firestorm had not happened, nothing would have been done. Sanford was happy to sweep this murder under the rug. And I think it’s appropriate to ask a larger question – “Why?”
    .
    Also, on a related topic, I really don’t see the point of giving attention to the likes of the New Black Panthers. They are a fringe organization that is racist themselves. They do not speak for Trayvon’s parents. Have you listened to the parents? When the parents have been asked what they want the outcome of all this to be, they have simply stated they want the arrest and trial of Zimmerman. Perfectly reasonable. They have handled themselves with class and dignity and I think we should focus on that and ignore others who might be preaching violence or are just there for a photo op. Let’s keep the focus on justice for Trayvon and his family.

  43. Wendy says

    I’m sorry that I got involved and derailed this discusion. I was just offering some perspective from someone that lives here. I have friends and relatives of every color. No one that I have talked to finds this anything less than criminal and tragic.

  44. Pam@IW says

    I have always thought these threads should go in whatever direction people want to take them. Our threads have always been pretty open and I think after commenting about the general topic people do want to discuss other things that they feel might be relevant.
    .
    If I wrote a post and people strayed from what I wrote, I would figure it is something they have a need to talk about and are coming to a place such as Imperfect Women where they feel comfortable talking about it.

  45. JennieIW says

    Wendy, FWIW, I wasn’t talking about you. You made it clear that you find Martin’s murder tragic, and even if you and I disagree on Zimmerman having a racist motive, I don’t feel like you’ve derailed the discussion at all.

  46. Wendy says

    And as I have said before, I would continue to scream until my voice was heard. I meant absolutely no disrespect anddid not in any way mean to trivialize this death.

  47. Wendy says

    Jennie, i know what you are saying. I am not naive about race, and Sanford has a history. I guess what I didn’t convey clearly, is that I firmly believe our police department could have reacted equally appalling in a similar situation regardless of race.

  48. JennieIW says

    Really? Because they are incompetent or because they are so rah rah about the “stand your ground” vigilante business? I guess I think (it’s just my feeling; obviously I don’t know) that if the victim had been white Zimmerman’s…hyper-vigilance on matters of security would’ve been more of an issue. He would’ve seemed like more of an aggressor and possibly a nut, simply because the police involved would not have seen a white 17-year-old boy as a threat. Whereas killing a black male “in self-defense” would seem more reasonable to them.

  49. snickers says

    Jennie,

    While I respect your opinion, it was the black leaders including the President who jumped right on this tragic death.

  50. says

    I read the whole thread of comments and I think you misunderstood Wendy, Jennie. Wendy didn’t say it wasn’t about race for Zimmerman. I think she meant there is another issue here along with racism. It’s about a bad law (Stand Your Ground) that I learned a bit more about because Wendy gave her perspective (thanks Wendy.)
    .
    You may disagree and feel racism is the only thing that matters here, but I think Wendy may be right. There is racism. It is evil in itself and even worse if it results in an unarmed youth being murdered. But if the incident resulted in Zimmerman’s arrest, we would not be talking about this. Why did the police fail to arrest him?
    .
    Was it because of systemic racism?
    Or because of a racist cop who decided to ignore the death of a black youth?
    Or is it because of a law enacted after hurricane-madness that needs to be revisited because the police do not understand how to apply it?
    .
    It could be one or all three of those reasons. I may be wrong, but think Wendy was pointing out the third, and saying that in her experience, that is what the problem is. I respect that. I didn’t know the law was relatively new. I wonder now if that will be something that comes up in the investigation into why the police handled it poorly. Perhaps the policeman does not understand the law. That would be incompetence, not racism. Or perhaps he does understand the law and it’s a really dangerous law?
    .
    I also think it’s relevant when public figures appear to take advantage of important national discussions to promote their own agenda. I don’t know if Jesse Jackson is doing that, but I wouldn’t be surprised. It just happened when Rush Limbaugh derailed an important discussion about the First Amendment and made it about the nasty names conservatives and/or liberals call women. Annoying! Anya was right to point it out here at IW (since I agree 100% with her on that point, lol.)

  51. JennieIW says

    snickers, I respect your opinion as well. But as Anya points out, without the pressure of some of those black leaders, this story might not have gone anywhere. They called attention to an injustice, which was IMO the right thing to do.
    .
    As for the President, he was *asked* about Martin (more than once, I believe). Only yesterday did he respond with a very honest answer that I do not believe was politically motivated. What he said was the truth – he has that connection to Martin that other politicians, and other Americans, may not. I see as it as an opportunity to try to understand a different perspective. I know of many black parents who have spoken out in the past week about having to have “the talk” with their teenage sons.
    .
    As much as some here would like to claim that racism doesn’t exist, or that the most virulent prejudice experienced in modern America is against white, middle-aged, middle-classed straight males, the reality is a bit different.

  52. says

    Jennie, that is a really good point about when ‘in self-defense’ seems reasonable or not. And THAT would be systemic racism. You are saying it might be the default setting in the police department that self-defense makes sense when it’s against a black male than someone from any other group?
    .
    That’s what the investigation into the police reaction needs to uncover.

  53. Wendy says

    Jennie, I don’t know. I do know the department has had problems for years and not all of them race related. I was just saying to my husband, that I thought the chief should resign permanently or be fired. How do you not bring someone in for questioning in a case where someone is killed regardless of the circumstances. Zimmerman should have been red-flagged as a wack-a-doo when he called 911 all the time. You may be entirely right about it. The whole thing is a tragic mess. And I didn’t mean to sound selfish petty about the attention this has brought our town. Like I said, Sanford has a history of segregation, etc. I guess I am saddened when I see old wounds opened, but perhaps that is the only way for them to truly heal.

  54. JennieIW says

    Ann, all she said was that it wasn’t about race. I happen to disagree. I believe it was about race for Zimmerman. I believe race very well may have been a factor – perhaps an insidious, subconscious one, but a factor nonetheless, for police. I am really not a firebrand on racial issues (on a different, much more liberal board, I am often the one going, “oh, jeez, it’s not always about race, people!”), but I wish people would look at themselves and question why they are so quick to dismiss the racial aspect here.
    .
    As for leaders using the case for their own gain, consider that it’s a lot more personal for some of these people. Much as you had a strong point of view on the birth control issue because of your faith, they may have strong point of view on this case because of their race and their experiences.

  55. Loriann says

    JennieIW
    He could have been 6’8″ and 240 pounds, and he wouldn’t have deserved in any way what was done to him.
    Oh I totally agree! Zimmerman was told to not follow, if he had done that, none of this would of happened no matter how it happened.

  56. Loriann says

    And I could be wrong on the pics, I had read he is 6’2 so kind of figured they were showing older pics.

  57. says

    Oh, I agree that leaders would feel a strong personal connection on this issue- no disagreement from me there. I am not the one who objects to discussing leaders- I actually think it was you who said it was off-topic. I just meant it’s all appropriate for discussion, even when they are derailing the topic.
    .
    Wendy said more than “It’s not about race.” She said it is about a law that needs a second look. It’s an important point. So is your point that there is a racism in that police department. I hope a proper investigation will uncover the truth.

  58. JennieIW says

    I actually think it was you who said it was off-topic
    .
    I said that I find it disrespectful when one hasn’t said one word about Trayvon Martin in this thread to start posting about how much they hate Jesse Jackson. Did you see the point I was trying to make with my hypothetical example?
    .
    When I said that that was all Wendy said, I mean that she didn’t specify for whom it wasn’t about race. So I didn’t know if she meant the case wasn’t about race at all, or for the cops, or what.

  59. says

    Jennie, I do not have a strong point of view on the birth control issue because of my faith. I have a strong point of view on the religious liberty issue because of my nationality. I have a good understanding of the birth control issue because of my faith. But now we are off-topic.

  60. Wendy says

    Ann, you expressed what I was thinking so much better. I should have said it is not just about race. But this discussion has made me look at things differently(which is why I love this site:)). I saw a news program that was interviewing black mothers of teenage sons and the discussions they would have with them about always keeping their hands out of their pockets,make sure you get a receipt and bag for anything you buy, take off your hood, etc. I am the first to admit that I have never had those conversations with my 17 yr old son.

  61. says

    #64 Regarding Jesse Jackson- I got it. Correction noted. Yes, I think I understand.
    (We are both fine-tuning tonight!)
    Regarding Wendy’s point- you say you didn’t know what she meant, and I commented on what I thought she meant. That’s why I wrote that I read through the whole thread. I had a different understanding of that sentence. I would not have cut/pasted it because I thought it needed the context of the greater point- the law is dangerous.
    .
    I guess I spoke up because Wendy apologized for “derailing the topic” when she actually added another salient point.

  62. Holly says

    I am really disappointed in the direction that this thread has taken and the personal and offensive comments made by a very few people. In regards to thinking that people on this thread could not “care less about Trayvon Martin’s murder, I do not see one shred of evidence that this is true. Everyone has commented about what a tragedy it is and how heartbroken they are for his family.
    As far as people and their “obsessive hatred for Black Leaders” stating that Jesse Jackson and AL Sharpton are getting the Media’s attention to keep themselves in the spotlight is not “obsessive” it is fact! Just look into both of their histories and you will see the numerous bandwagons they have jumped on most of the time without even knowing the facts. How does commenting on Jackson or Sharpton take away from our true caring and compassion for Trayvon Martin and his family?
    Jennie wrote: HB, I would not tell you to go elsewhere, even if I had the authority to do so. It just bothers me that a thread that was about the tragic death of a young man has devolved into discussions of crime in Chicago, the “new” Black Panthers, Jesse Jackson, etc.
    On a previous thread Anya had a very good answer when Stu asked the same question:
    How did this conversation morph into “free birth control” when it was about forcing a religious org. to be mandated to do what it does not believe?
    “Stu, I don’t think “the conversation” is or has to be about any one thing. People have different concerns and agendas and that is reflected in the twists and turns this ‘conversation’ has taken”. Seems to make sense.
    Two remarks today really seemed inappropriate and full of prejudice. Telling those that do not like the Black Panthers or Sharpton or Jackson that they could find “like minded posters” on Stormfront (did not know what that was) the White Supremecist site was just disgusting. Just because there are differences of opinion does not make someone who disagrees with you a David Duke follower and to imply that is ugly. The other comment was that ” All of these middle-class white suburban folks talking about how “it could have been my kid”: not likely.” Obviously you have no idea how many middle class kids, especially boys,of all races, are killed at parties, on the street, working at fast food places, etc. More stereotyping! Pretty pathetic.

  63. says

    I agree Wendy. I have heard this before. I have had this conversation with my son about driving- he fits the profile of a driver who gets pulled over to be ticketed- but that’s so much less frightening than fearing my son might be thrown in jail or killed for looking like he’s a threat just because he is who he is.
    .
    The 1,000,000 hoodie protest really interested me. It SHOULD be an innocent fashion choice. But I know a person who saw a man with his hoodie up, hands in his pockets approaching her at night and she immediately thought, “I am going to be robbed.” You know what? She was. At gun point. He had done it many times before. It was very traumatic. I imagine she will think the same thing everytime she sees a young man approach her with his hoodie up, hands in his pockets, which is sad.

  64. Wendy says

    Last comment, I promise:). Just have to reiterate that while Jennie and I rarely agree on political issues, I love the discussions, because they make me think. Such a great mixture of backgrounds and opinions on this site. I wish that all parties involved in this tragedy can get to the truth and justice will be served, lessons will be learned, and this child’s life will not be forgotten.

  65. says

    To add to what you said, Holly, I also do not think that not commenting first on something specific does not mean you don’t care about that.
    Nor do I think anyone fits a white supremacist mold here.

  66. says

    Nicely said, Wendy. I agree. Thank you.
    I don’t like that people feel insulted and I wish I could fix that. No one has ever hurt me, but I can see others do get hurt and I regret that.
    I have been snarky and mean at times, and this is as good a time as any to apologize for it. Sorry.

  67. stu says

    Well this will be one Conservative who will not be leaving this board and I hope HB will not either. I think your attempts to silence people by calling them racist, White Supremists(or Nazis,I’m not sure which or both)or saying why are you taking this subject in another direction is kind of funny. You are a very angry person. I don’t know if it’s because you don’t like Conservatives, Men or just people who don’t think like you. Which ever one it is I really don’t care.
    The Jackson, Sharpton and Farakhan reference is very relevant because the news media brought them into the picture. I don’t know what I would do if I was faced with the same situation but I would hope I wouldn’t stoop to the lowest common denominator to get my story out.
    Wendy you share some relevant info since this is from your neck of the woods. I would just wish people would let the powers that be let it ride its course before trying to make this terrible tragedy even worse.
    Last thing…I don’t know how many times everyone has said this was a terrible tragedy it is. Just seems some people can’t read or only choose to hear what they want.

  68. stu says

    I have told my White teenager to keep his hands on the wheel of the car if he is puled over, not to wear his pants down or wear a hoody that covers his face. My wife has been robed on the street by a white man with a hoody on in daylight and we live in a pretty good neighbourhood.
    I think this wearing a hoody tribute is very wrong. The reason kids are doing so is because in copies a “Gangster Look”. That is not something we should promote.

  69. says

    Wendy says…I am the first to admit that I have never had those conversations with my 17 yr old son.
    .
    Wendy, this very much resonated with me. As a mother of 20-year-daughter who wears hoodies all the time, I have to admit I have never once worried about her being profiled or targeted because of this. She’s 5’1 petite and white. I have other worries, but I’m happy that is one item I can check off the Mom Worry List.
    .
    Even though there has been some discord on this thread, I echo what Wendy says, I learn from reading other’s opinions. While I appreciate everyone’s contributions, thanks especially Wendy and Ann for always giving me food for thought.
    .
    Ann, #74 – yes we are (including Stu too). And I’m proud of that! As I know you are.

  70. says

    Stu, I will agree that the hoodie thing is getting a little silly. I don’t think it’s wrong. Many kids and others are doing it to show respect and acknowledgement of the Trayvon tragedy, but there is a point (for me anyway) where the point has been made and it’s time to move on to more important issues.
    .
    Let’s be honest and admit females wearing hoodies don’t really arouse attention or suspicion. Males of a certain age do. Males of a certain age and RACE absolutely do.

  71. says

    Loriann says:

    And I could be wrong on the pics, I had read he is 6’2 so kind of figured they were showing older pics.

    .
    That makes sense, Loriann. I didn’t know he was 6’2. I did hear that he was “tall and skinny.”
    .
    I think it’s important to remember that we may all be dealing with different pieces of information depending on our news sources. There are a lot of pieces to this news story.
    .
    Personally, while I understand why the particular picture of Trayvon that most of us have seen has resonated with so many, I also know that 17-year-olds can really run the gamut on looks. Some look like they just got out of middle school. Some look like they are graduating college. But Trayvon was 17. It doesn’t really matter if he looked it or not. He WAS a child. :-(

  72. says

    Holly, I just want to acknowledge your comment. It’s a little late (even for those of us on PST!), but I’ll try and be somewhat coherent. I hear your words. I think sometimes when death(s) are involved, it just feels different or weird to me (and others) to discuss topics that are ancillary to the subject at hand. To be honest, that is how I have felt on -this particular thread- despite the comment you quoted from me. That is just something I have to ponder to determine if I’m a hypocrite…I probably am – I’m human! Personally, I don’t want to discuss the New Black Panthers. I have ZERO respect for them. And Jesse and Rev. Al? Well, to me they are very much removed from the larger issue at hand. That’s my perspective.
    .
    My perspective is some have made personal attacks against “our side” as well. I don’t understand the anger at the POTUS for answering one question having to do with this tragedy. Again, IMO, why are we talking about the New Black Panthers or Jesse Jackson? They really aren’t very relevant to this story.
    .
    Emmett Till and Trayvon Martin – these stories are very different, but I still think we can learn from them. Learn to put ourselves in others shoes. I may be proved wrong, but I as I stand now, I do believe that Trayvon did NOTHING wrong. He was walking back from the store and talking to his girlfriend. It’s so very common – teenagers from all ethnic and economic backgrounds do it every day.
    .
    Why did Zimmerman kill him? And why did Sanford not pursue justice?

  73. stu says

    Anya..
    That’s why we need this to play itself out.
    The reason Jackson and his kind are part of this is because the news makes them part of it even if the family didn’t want them involved.

  74. Holly says

    Anya,
    I hope you understand I was using your quote as a way to show how conversations and topics transition and I thought it was a perfect explanation, in no way was I calling you a hypocrite.
    As far as why we are talking about Jackson,Sharpton,and the Black Panthers, I think Doug McIntyre of the Los Angeles Times explains it perfectly:
    “Last week, as the fury over Trayvon’s death finally forced his story on to the big TV networks and thus into our consciousness, the city of Chicago saw 10 killed, including a 6-year-old girl, and a staggering 39 wounded! Where’s the outrage over that?
    But 10 killed, 39 wounded are just statistics. Trayvon Martin is a cause.
    His death provides fresh meat for the loathsome political opportunists left and right who are exploiting this tragedy to score cheap points at the polls in November and beyond.”
    If anyone is disrespecting the death of Trayvon Martin it is the Media and these “Community Activists” who are trying to create a frenzy of anger so they can be in the forefront of it and in the spotlight.
    I have no problem with what the President said, in fact I think this is one of the few times I have seen real genuine emotion shared with the public. Just like most Americans I think he is heartbroken. This is very sad and I truly feel Zimmerman could have avoided this by waiting for the Police. He was not being threatened in fact he had not seen any crime occur. His paranoia got the best of him. Obviously he was unstable. And yes, Jenny it could have been anyone’s Son!

  75. HB says

    #38…hopefully by now Jennie, you know what I meant by bringing up what I won’t put in caps, the new black panthers. What happened to Martin is SERIOUSLY sickening! To me there is no dispute in that. What I personally loathe is the circus that has been ignited nationwide. I PRAY that parents will talk to their sons…I don’t care WHAT COLOR they are. I loathe that this has become a racial issue. I loathe that this vigilante group has put a bounty on the head of Zimmerman…not to gloss over the fact that the new black panthers are hoping to raise $1M to ‘further their cause’. Do you know what their mission is?
    /
    Holly, thank you for your quotes. Wendy, I appreciate your sensibilty…’Ground Zero’. I plainly think it’s right that this case be looked at w. cooler heads & less VENGENCE. The President had the correct message…then again, I don’t think any American needed to be reminded that Obama’s ‘son’ would look like Martin.

  76. Paige says

    But 10 killed, 39 wounded are just statistics. Trayvon Martin is a cause.

    Actually, this is partially correct. Trayvon Martin is a human being the media enabled us to get to know. It is hard to care about nameless, faceless people be they innocents killed in Chicago, Florida, my own city, or Afganistan. While some are adopting trayvon’s murder as a cause, most who care about him do so because they have “met” him through the media.

  77. MarieS says

    Correction: I passed on the fact that his parents were not notified for three days – I saw another news report that said 1 day. Both had the same reason – no ID. Anyone with a cell phone is walking around with more ID than a driver’s license ever had. So I still think it’s appalling and a lame excuse but not quite as bad as the three days I originally heard.

  78. CJ says

    Jennie, your suggestion in post #38, for anyone not in complete agreement with you, to go to Stormfront is beyond outrageous and is pure hate mongering. I’d never heard of Stormfront, so I decided to look it up. It is a white supremacy site.
    .
    You are the bully in the school yard. Suggesting that anyone posting here is a white supremacist is reprehensible.

  79. says

    HB,

    It takes 10,000 black panthers to find Zimmeran. This has become a racial issues, and it screams look at me, I’m jessie Jackson. How sad for this family.

  80. Holly says

    CJ,
    The comment about Stormfront (I didn’t know what it was either) would be laughable if it wasn’t so offensive and hateful. Having so many close friends of every ethnicity and religion and being Jewish myself obviously that comment directed to a few of us was based on a preconceived prejudice about people who do not share Jennie’s view. Once again if you don’t agree with x,y,and z, then you are a ——– just fill in the blank.

  81. JennieIW says

    Well since this thread has devolved into discussions of what an enormous scourge Jesse Jackson is to modern America, and how people bring death upon themselves with their choice of outerwear, I thought I’d just share this little item, further proof that everyone who says racism and prejudice are dead dead DEAD in modern America is totally right (oh, except for the poor middle class white males! Won’t SOMEONE think of their oppression?!!!!):
    .
    http://jezebel.com/5896408/racist-hunger-games-fans-dont-care-how-much-money-the-movie-made
    .
    For those too busy being harassed by the man for being white to click on a link, I’ll try to summarize: apparently, some fans of The Hunger Games book were disappointed to go to the movie and discover that a pivotal character – little Rue, whose (blah blah blah BIG spoiler) is a heartbreaking turning point in the story – is…BLACK! Despite the fact that Rue is described in the book as having “dark brown skin”, these fans are shocked – SHOCKED I tell you! – to discover that one of their favorite characters was, well, one of THOSE people. What these fans lack in reading comprehension, they make up for in virulent racism. Some sample tweets:
    .
    “why does rue have to be black not gonna lie kinda of ruined the movie”
    “cinna and rue werent supposed to be black” “why did the producer make all the good characters black smh”
    “Kk call me racist but when I found out rue was black her death wasn’t as sad”
    “I was pumped about The Hunger Games. Until I learned that a black girl was playing Rue.”
    “EWW Rue is black? I’m not watching.”
    “Sense when has Rue been a nigger.”
    “How in the world are they going to make Rue a freakin black bitch in the movie? lol not to be racist buuut I’m angry now”
    .
    For the record this “black bitch” is 12 years old in the movie.
    .
    Yes, morning in America! No racism here! Nosiree, the blacks and other minorities have it made! Now if only all of the poor oppressed members of the white race could stop being abused by Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton and all of those horrible racists (plus the huge, important and influential new Black Panthers!), life would be perfect!

  82. stu says

    Just getting back from my Cross Burning event I thought I had to respond. These responses you have been writing lately are just CRAZY!!!! Maybe you should read this link….http://dailycaller.com/2012/03/26/former-naacp-leader-accuses-sharpton-and-jackson-of-exploiting-trayvon-martin/
    Once again you have gone off the deep end…who has ever said there is no racism in America. If anyone has promoted hate it has been you with the remarks of we should go to “Stormfront site, apparently you are the only one on this board who knows what that is! Now you claim that the White Middle Class Male is somehow declaring “there is no racism” in America.How did you come to that conclusion from what you have read here? Nothing could be farther from the truth! Oh but you don’t really care about the truth because it doesn’t fit into your “stereotype” of the White Middle Class! Tell me how else does America suck? You obviously are one of those self hating Americans who thinks we are the evil in the world.

  83. Wendy says

    I don’t think anyone said there is not racism in America. When I said this is not about race, I meant there is more to this tragedy than race. Even Trayvon’s mother said,”This is not about black and white, this is about right and wrong.” Sadly, there is plenty of hate to go around in this country.

  84. Pam@IW says

    Sasha,
    The person who you are referring to is not the same person on Twitter. They have very similar names but are not the same person. Furthermore, this person was expressing their opinion and their was not one word about Obama in that comment. Take your dislike for the person on Twitter somewhere else.

  85. Pam@IW says

    I would just like to say that when I read this thread, I see a group of women and men who are most likely all good people. All of them. I think there are a variety of opinions, some that I agree with and some that I don’t. Do I sometimes get upset with something that someone says? Sure. Are there things that are said that are uncalled for? Sure…on both sides. But at the end of the day, I see some pretty decent people here just trying to express their opinion and hash things out.

  86. CJ says

    Sasha,
    FYI, I do not have a twitter account in which any statement regarding this case has been made. Once again, defamatory statements are being made. Do you think there are no legal ramifications for your defamatory and false accusations? Do you think you can hide behind a screen name? You did not give an opinion, but rather made a false and fabricated accusation regarding an alledged twitter account which does not exist. Blogging does not make you exempt from the legal requirement of proof.

  87. Sasha says

    Ok dial it back a notch or two CJ. I made a mistake and thought that you were someone else. Apologies were made… move on. Not sure why the entire comment was removed when a portion could have been edited. Censorship much?

  88. Pam@IW says

    Sasha, Your comment had info in it about another person who posts here that was wrong. So I deleted it out of respect for her. I welcomed you to post it minus the info that you had written by mistake. Not much more I can do than that.
    .
    Hope everyone is having a good day.

  89. Sasha says

    So why not delete Jennie’s comment that inflamed and offended so many people? A part of my comment was mistake and identity. And that mistake was addressed and rectified. That, too me, is censorship.

  90. Jennie@IW says

    Wendy, once again, I wasn’t referring to you. There are people here who constantly deflect any examples of behavior they’d prefer to ignore. They may not explicitly say “racism doesn’t exist”, but they imply that it’s not a problem, ignore examples of it when they are provided and state that black leaders (and our black president) are the worst examples of racism in America. Again, if I went into a thread about a terrorist attack on America and started insulting Americans and blaming them for their own deaths (the way some awful people did after 9/11), I would rightly be castigated for it. People with grudges, prejudices and too much time on their hands dragged this thread that was supposed to be about Trayvon Martin down with their endless rage at Sharpton, Jackson, Obama, et al.
    .
    FWIW, Wendy, I appreciate your contributions to this thread. I appreciate anyone with an opposing POV that who can state it clearly and intelligently without vitriol and without resorting to personal attacks.
    .
    Pam, I think there are a lot of good people in this thread. I think there are a couple of people whom I’ve never seen any evidence of goodness in, and I do think there are a couple of people who are racist. It’s too bad if people don’t like to be called racist; I don’t particularly like being called crazy (over and over) and disgusting, among other very personal insults, but I consider (and ignore) the source.

  91. Pam@IW says

    I tread very carefully before I call anyone a racist or crazy because I think it says more about myself than the person I would be pointing a finger at. I just think everyone needs to take a breather from personal attacks all the way around.

  92. stu says

    Racist, Sexist, so on and so on. I would love to see where ANYONE has said anything racist. It’s very easy to call people these names because you don’t want to deal with the reality in this world today. Do we still have Racism in America…of course we do …is it at the levels that the Left claims there is??? Not even close. The examples are too many to list. Not only too many to list but so many facts to back it up. Facts are a messy thing to the Left… something they prefer to ignore. Since Sharpton has been brought up on this thread(by me)lets look at his body of work and again tell me how racist we are. Tawana Brawley hoax, Brooklyn Heights riots, Sharpton called Condoleeza Rice and Colin Powell “subservient house slaves”. In 1998 convicted of tax evasion still owes millions, In 1987 he was found guilty of defamation in the Tawana Brawley case and fined $65,000 that he never paid, his non profit organization did. Should I go on?? Guess what.. with all the evidence of how bad he is he has a show on MSNBC. those “racists” are powerful aren’t they?
    This thread is how America is thinking. There have been way too many rush to judgement cases that have ruined people’s lives. Richard Jewel ring a bell?? How about The Duke Lacrosse case?
    As SAD AND TRAGIC as this case is a lot of people are seeing a manipulation by the press of what they want us to believe. Remember this was first reported as a crime committed by a ” White Hispanic”.
    I think most on this thread just wanted to grieve for a boy who was killed,I know I do, and also not rush to judgement where the facts are slowly coming to light.

  93. Wendy says

    I feel like perhaps the Sanford police department got a bit of a bad rap on this. I was the quick to jump on the bandwagon that they had handled this poorly. As more evidence comes out, the police did bring George Zimmerman into custody and the lead investigator wanted to charge him with manslaughter. The state attorney was the one to make the decision to let him go. I hope that justice will prevail, and this horrible error in judgement is rectified. It is so easy to get caught up in the horrible injustice, that rumors become facts.

  94. JennieIW says

    Yeah, I had heard all the stuff about Zimmerman having injuries and that turned out not to be true. I’m still not clear on the stuff about the Sanford Police letting him keep the gun – if so, I don’t understand that at all.

  95. Wendy says

    Hopefully, the investigation that should have been done at the beginning, will happen now. The one fact that I think will not be disputed, will be the fact that Trayvon Martin would still be alive today if George Zimmerman had listened to the 911 dispatcher and did not follow him. Trayvon Martin had a right to defend himself against an unknown person accosting him.

  96. says

    Wendy says: Hopefully, the investigation that should have been done at the beginning, will happen now.
    .
    Amen, Wendy. Personally, for myself, I do believe that a thoughtful and thorough investigation with minimal outside (media, etc.) interference is needed. It’s easy to get caught in the media hype – the latest about Zimmerman showing no visable injuries is certainly telling, however, I *do* want the investigation to be fair to Zimmerman. While I believe he should be sitting in a jail cell, he is certainly not “free” at this time. (Especially with idiots trying to out his address. Way to NOT help things). A rush to judgment won’t be bring Trayvon back.
    .
    Jennie, thanks for the posting on the racist “Hunger Games” tweets. I think sometimes because racism is more “underground” now, some of us forget that it still very much exists.

  97. stu says

    A small piece from “The Smoking Gun”
    MARCH 29–The comedian Roseanne Barr last night tweeted the home address of George Zimmerman’s parents to her 110,000-plus Twitter followers, only to delete the posting after “not fully understanding that it was private not public.”

    Barr’s posting of the correct Florida address of Robert and Gladys Zimmerman came at the same time Spike Lee was issuing an apology for erroneously disseminating a tweet that purportedly contained the home address of George Zimmerman, who last month killed teenager Trayvon Martin.

    So the Elite in the entertainment Industry think they can do what ever they choose without any repercussions. The only reason to make his address or his parents address available is because they want harm done to them. How in the world can’t people see how far and wrong this has gone?

  98. stu says

    I can’t believe that there is a KillZimmerman twitter account that has been up for four days…..any outrage about that?

  99. snickers says

    stu,

    I feel sorry for the community where this took place. Every news program has jumped on it, and turned it into a media circus, instead of waiting for all the facts to come out. I wonder how long it will be before hoodies are pulled from the racks and banned now.

  100. Paige says

    stu
    March 29, 2012 at 9:05 pm
    The President never lets an opportunity to try and score some political points as he has done in this case…anyone hear how the President consoled these parents>>>

    Stu, do you think every other President has contacted every the family of every victim of murder in the United States? How many people in the US are murdered every day? How much of a President’s day would be devoted to the effort of contacting each and every family? Is that a responsible use of the President’s time? Frankly, I would rather our President at given time, Democrat or Republican, spend their time on policy issues, global displomacy, and other matters of state.

  101. Ann@IW says

    Wait, the character of Rue IS black in the book. The actress who was cast was PERFECT. (Actually, except for the actor who played Pita, I thought all of the actors/actresses were cast very well.)
    .
    Yes, racism exists, and I think it did play a part in this case.
    .
    My goodness, who can take offense to what the President said? This case is newsworthy because of the racist aspect and the effects of the Stand Your Ground law. Why shouldn’t he comment? Plus, he is our first Black President. That’s historic. Of course he’ll be asked about newsworthy cases dealing with race.

  102. stu says

    Paige…My point exactly!

    I think the words the President said were fine, But he is the President of All of us and should act that way.

  103. stu says

    I don’t know if Zimmerman is guilty or not but I do know that there is a rush to judgement just like there was with OJ. Now you have NBC and MSNBC distorting what Zimmerman said to the dispatcher so he would seem to be racist. The left leaning main street media doesn’t even pretend to be running an agenda with this tragedy.
    Why? The link below is unreal just go to 2:43 and watch then tell me I am wrong.
    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/randy-hall/2012/03/30/msnbc-fixes-false-report-which-made-zimmerman-look-racist-doesnt-acknowl

  104. Pam@IW says

    This is such a tragedy as it is. The media needs to back off at this point. I saw the edits where they did not play the question asked by the dispatcher, only the answer.
    .
    Give us all of the news or none of it.
    .
    My prayers to this family.

  105. Pam@IW says

    Apparently NBC has apologized for editing the full conversation between the dispatcher and Zimmerman:
    .
    From the Washington Post
    .
    “During our investigation it became evident that there was an error made in the production process that we deeply regret. We will be taking the necessary steps to prevent this from happening in the future and apologize to our viewers.”
    .
    “That apology addresses the “Today” show’s failure to abridge accurately the conversation between Zimmerman and the dispatcher in this high-profile case. This is how the program portrayed a segment of that conversation:

    Zimmerman: This guy looks like he’s up to no good. He looks black.

    And here is how it actually went down:

    Zimmerman: This guy looks like he’s up to no good. Or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about.

    Dispatcher: OK, and this guy — is he black, white or Hispanic?

    Zimmerman: He looks black. “

  106. Pam@IW says

    (The Hollywood Reporter added “When asked if anyone at Today had lost their job or had been reassigned as a result of the investigation, an NBC spokeswoman said: ‘We will not be commenting on our course of action.'”)

  107. Lily@IW says

    That’s unbelievable. It changes the whole racist tone.
    Now, I’m just watching to see what happens next.

  108. CJ says

    Apparently, “apparently”, is used quite often when “reporting” erroneous information. Nice word for anyone that wants to write questionable and often inaccurate statements.
    .
    Apparently, the author of the above “article” didn’t want to bother confirming their “factual” information such as the number of times Zimmerman called the police from Jan.1 to the date of the shooting. Apparently, 46 times is wildly inaccurate, but why rely on facts when there is such a nice word – apparently.

  109. Pam@IW says

    CJ, Everything I read back when this article was written said the same thing that was written in this article. They are now making it clear that it was from Jan 1 of 2011.
    .
    There is a huge difference between writing about what the AP or mainstream media is reporting and changing the facts to fit your article or post.

  110. Pam@IW says

    NBC had the “the facts” and for whatever reason chose not to use it. Jennie clearly did not change anything or misconstrue anything to make her point. What she stated was what was being reported at the time.

  111. Mojito says

    That’s obvious to most of us Pam. How could Jennie know that the mainstream media wasn’t reporting the facts correctly. Jennie is CLEARLY not at fault.

  112. Kmom2 says

    There is so much of this case that is BEYOND wrong, but NBC’s “mistake” is reprehensible and so irresponsible, they need to invent a new word to describe it.

  113. CJ says

    Apparently, no one bothered to check local media outlets that were apparently correctly reporting, prior to March 19, 2012, that George Zimmerman had made 46 calls to local police over an EIGHT year period. The number of which the police did not consider excessive.
    .
    Apparently,had any type of effort been made to correctly fact check the misinformation given, the statement, ” The picture that emerges of Zimmerman unavoidably has vigilante overtones” wouldn’t have had the same impact.

  114. stu says

    There is a clear agenda here that there were racist intentions by a whack-job. The media got caught with their hands in the cookie jar and mislead everybody. Zimmerman is guilty in the opinion of the media and dam the facts.
    Once again I don’t know if he is guilty or not but at least let it play out.

  115. CJ says

    RE#112 The public police report was made available on March 7, 2012. The report states that Zimmerman had blood on his face and the back of his head when they arrived and was treated by paramedics.
    .
    The enhanced video tape now apparently shows injuries to the back of Zimmerman’s head. But, why confuse the facts with preconceived opinions?
    .
    It is sad that the many in the “main stream” media and wannabe journalists don’t report facts and distort the facts that are given to them to fit their particular ideaology. But, at least ABC and NBC have apologized for their “mistakes.”
    .
    Stu, I agree with you. I don’t know if Zimmerman is guilty or not, but irresponsible journalists have already convicted him.

  116. Kmom2 says

    IMO…Liberal media has to make it a “black against white” issue to help bolster support for Obama. We have had the rich vs poor…….now we are in the black vs white part of this campaign year.

  117. Marci says

    Sorry…46 calls to 911 in 8 years would NOT be considered excessive? In Sandford, FL????

    I live in big, mean ***scary*** Miami, FL …I was born and railed here….survived the “drug crazy, riot crazy” 1980s (also have lived in San Diego, CA, Denver, CO and several very small towns across the country as well) and I have NEVER called 911 except for medical emergencies for my stroke-victim, elderly father.

    And, no, I’m not nuts about the editing of Zimmerman’s conversation with the dispatcher…not at all. But in my opinion it does not affect the undertone of profiling/paranoia/vigilanteism in Zimmerman’s actions that day.

    I’ll wait to see how things pan out, but it doesn’t look to me like Zimmerman will be found justified for killing this poor kid.

    And, FYI, don’t let Zimmerman being a “white Hispanic” temper any potential for him having racist feelings against blacks. There are many Latins who are, what I would consider, highly racist against other minorities, especially blacks. (To be fair, prejudices between minority groups are not a rarity.)

    It has to be said, racism is an equal opportunity passtime. We should’t hand it a gun and give it a law that says, “Shoot first, ask questions later.”

  118. CJ says

    Marci, the police released information states the 46 calls were NOT to 911, but were to a non emergency line.

  119. stu says

    I disagree with the idea that calling 911 for an average of once every other month is a lot…especially if you are on the lookout for “suspicious activity” in your neighbourhood. In another lifetime many years ago we had someone calling 911 every Friday night about 30 to 40 times for years. Now that is excessive!
    I don’t know how anyone can’t see that there is an agenda here from the video tape to the audio tape and the reporting of the “White Hispanic”. Hate to say that this has been going on for years.

  120. Marci says

    Stu, I’m a little confused….”we had someone calling”? Do you mean your household or a neighborhood watchman calling 30 to 40 times on a every, single Friday night? And now there is an agenda in the media behind describing Zimmerman as a “white Hispanic” any more than there is behind describing Martin as a young, black man? I’m not at all sure what you mean by that. Which description is supposed to be inciting more skewed views about racism? If anything, I see some people mentioning (not just here at IW) that Zimmerman was a white Hispanic because that implies to them he was less likely, as a minority tempered by his “whiteness”, to have acted impulsively. I also think racist views about Hispanics might lead some peole to think he’d me MORE likely to shoot impulsively/unjustly. The same with Martin…young, black kid? Must have done it. Young black kind carrying skittles? Couldn’t possibly have meant any harm EVER.

    By the way….I see no mention in this thread, so it may only have been local coverage here in Miami, of Martin’s troubled school record (He is FROM So. Florida, not Sanford). Was there a liberal, feel-good, white-washing agenda in that coverage?

    CJ, okay, that’s a bit more reasonable considering he was on neighborhood watch…although I don’t think he was the neighborhood watchman for those entire 8 years, right? That would have made him 20 or so when he started? Maybe he was. Don’t know.

    Like I’ve said before, I don’t like anything that smacks of leaning one way or the other too much in the media…but you can’t argue that there’s as much skewing going on of both parties in this miserably sad occurance. Zimmerman the looney gunman or Martin the troubled teen? What to do, what to do?

    By the way…I myself am a “white Hispanic”, among other nationalities. I would call 911 if I needed to. I don’t own a gun, but would defend myself or my family if threatened…and, frankly, I wouldn’t care what law was on the books or not in that moment. But I also wouldn’t get out of my car against the advice of a dispatcher with police on the way and chase down a kid/man/woman I didn’t know who was apparently making themselves scarce. Just sayin’.

    This whole things stinks to begin with, and the media and all the hangers on didn’t have to do much to make it so.

  121. stu says

    Marci,
    That’s OK I live in a state of confusion. When I lived in Brooklyn I was part of Law Enforcement and we had this women who made those calls every Friday night. She was known as 5140… her building address and every time we heard the dispatch of 5140 we knew who it was.
    The reference to Zimmerman as a White Hispanic shows how biased the media is even more so now with the evidence of their selective reporting. I’ve been around a while and I don’t think I have ever heard the term White Hispanic before. when describing the President do we say a White African American?

  122. Marci says

    Stu,

    Okay, now I get it.

    Actually, I’m surprised having been in law enforcement you haven’t heard the term “White Hispanic”. I’ve heard it quite a lot as a lay person/court reporter. I’d suggest as an explanation it might be more prevalent in So. Florida with such a large Hispanic population hailing from all over the Hispanic world…but Brooklyn/New York City has a very similar demographic of citizens, no? Local law enforcement, witnesses, etc., need SOME way to differentiate between the Whites of, usually obvious, European decent and the Whites of, usually obvious, Latin/South American decent…at least as a preliminary identiifying tool. Honestly, in other parts of the country most people would probably just have labeled Zimmerman as “Hispanic” at first glance. I imagine the term “White Hispanic” may have even been on the Sanford PD police report of the incident.

    Witnesses in Miami will even go so far as to state what country they think a person is from just by looking at them…highly inaccurate and subjective, of course. Let’s just say they get pretty stumped when it comes to me, for example, since I’m half Latin.

    So, were you a police officer in Brooklyn (I assume that’s what “in Law Enforcement” meants)? That explains why you’re such a hard-ass.

    ;)

  123. CJ says

    Stu,
    Hear I thought your years ago and in another life meant that you were a frat boy that had parties every Friday night and the little old lady living next door always called the police to report it. lol
    .
    Also, you’re no hard ass.

  124. Rosemary says

    Stu: Wished I had met a “hard ass” when I was younger. Married two soft ones (some people never learn).

  125. CJ says

    Stu,
    Did you ever think you’d be getting all of this blog love? Heck, on just this thread you have Marci, Rosemary and me. LOL

  126. stu says

    So for the people that really want this to be a racist thing and are so quick to jump on the band wagon CNN enhances the audio tape and now the tape says ……
    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/cnn-enhances-zimmerman-911-call-again-and-reporter-now-doubts-racial-slur-used/
    Instead of letting the truth come out so many wanted Zimmerman to be a racist white killer.
    I’ll say it again …I don’t know what he is guilty of but at least I want it to play out.

  127. says

    The actions of NBC and its editing of the tape are deeply disturbing.
    .
    I’m on record being very appalled and angered by Zimmerman’s actions and the way the Sanford police department handled the matter. I can’t say conclusively why Zimmerman killed Martin, but he did kill him. I do believe this should go to trial as manslaughter at the very least. Let Zimmerman face a jury of his peers.
    .
    The one thing I have somewhat changed my mind on is the degree the media isn’t helping things. At first, I think it was important for the media to be involved because the case deserved wider attention. At this point, I think the requisite “circus” has begun and in their quest to be the first with a new bit of information, they are getting a lot of information wrong and potentially tainting a jury pool. I don’t have an answer for how to stop that, but I think responsible journalists should pull back a bit and concentrate on reporting facts and information that has been verified by numerous sources.

  128. Pam@IW says

    “cold”.
    .
    I have lived in Los Angeles for 32 years and worked for a major city school district for over 20 years. I had never heard the term “White Hispanic” used either. I do believe that racism exists among all races in the United States and yes we see minority races here in LA holding prejudices at a high rate. At one high school I worked at there was a major problem with the Hispanic/Black population and at another it was Hispanic/Armenian.
    .
    I am not the judge and jury of Zimmerman and this does need to be investigated thoroughly. I do want to know what the truth is and if Zimmerman is guilty I want to see him charged. For me, it is very hard to not feel he is guilty of some crime regarding this incident. I just can’t believe that this was necessary in any way.

  129. Marci says

    Pam,

    I’m not sure the labeling was necessary either beyond the actual facts of the crime, but I’m not sure how you can avoid one of the most basic things we do as human beings…distinguish ourselves as individuals.

    I’m sure you may have heard the term “light-skinned Black” or “dark-skinned Black”? Would “light-skinned Hispanic” bother people less, because that is used interchangably with “White Hispanic” around here? That seems to put a whole lot of weight on the term “White”, which, frankly, didn’t faze me in the least in “White Hispanic,” which by skin color and culture is ME, for cripes sakes. Maybe I’m just in more circumstances on a day-to-day basis where people are asked to describe other people, so I’m used to it. I can assure you, I see/hear “White Hispanic” all the time. And, I have to say having lived in both So. California and Miami, there is a VAST difference between the Hispanic communities of California, most of the rest of the US for that matter, and Miami. Five minutes off the plane at MIA, hearing Spanish spoken as (very nearly) the first language most places you go, is quite the culture shock for many visitors. Spanish/South American culture isn’t just “evident” in Miami as an influence, it very much is a vast make up of what Miami just IS.

    My point simply is, it may be a term that (for the media, let’s say) is simply descriptive…not meant to exaggerate a possible racist motive for this shooting. Although, in some people’s minds it *may* sound like a purposeful distinction, meant to cause harm. I suppose that would be pretty subjective. And you also, essentially, reitterated my point about a racist motivation behind a crime not being limited to White/Black with your mention of Hispanic/Black, Hispanic/Aremenian racial/cultural tensions.

    I don’t think the people protesting racially motivated violence against Blacks are worried about what race/culture Zimmerman is ONLY, or what ANY perpetrator’s race/culture is…rather that perhaps they are also upset that Zimmerman was not treated as a black shooter might have been, and that the black victim is marginalized or dehumanized. Whatever his color or creed, the fact Zimmerman killed someone and wasn’t immediately brought in for questioning or arrested is a strong indication something is very wrong with the investigation tactics of the Sanford PD, no question.

    We’ll let a jury decide if what Zimmerman did was a hate crime, but I think it’s perfectly fine for society to influence the way a tax-payer-funded police department in our country treats its citizens.

  130. Pam@IW says

    Spanish is pretty much the first language here is LA also in many areas.
    .
    Two days ago I was at the grocery store and this Armenian gentleman who was probably in his late 70s wanted to buy a ham he thought was on sale. He did not speak English so they were able to get a co-worker to explain to him that the ham was only $7 if he bought $25 worth of groceries. He was pretty upset and really wanted the ham but did not want to buy $25 worth of groceries. So I offered to put it in with my groceries so he could have it for $7 as opposed to $20.
    .
    He kept speaking to me in Armenian and I just nodded my head and he knew I had no clue what he was saying. Finally he pointed to me and said…..American? I said yes, American. And he then said “Gracias”.
    He did not know Thank You but he knew Gracias. I had to smile.
    .

    Although, I am sure LA has more of a mix of cultures than Miami, we are still heavily Hispanic.
    .
    I am not bothered with “White Hispanic.” I was just saying that I had never heard of it. I actually did work in a setting where I was asked many times a day by staff, school police, students, parents and faculty to describe individuals. I guess light skin and dark skin were the terms that were used.

  131. stu says

    It is very apparent the “White” was used to push an agenda that the media had a Vested intrest in. To much proof to believe otherwise.

  132. Jennie@IW says

    I take online surveys regularly, and they almost always ask what race you identify as and as a separate question, whether you are Latino or not. So I think “white Latino” is a viable term.
    .
    Interesting to see Zimmerman given such scrupulous benefit of the doubt here, where various other entities are villified:
    .
    Jesse Jackson
    Al Sharpton
    Barack Obama
    The media
    The “liberal” media
    The new Black Panthers (sigh)
    All those racist minorities who are so mean to white people
    .
    …and that’s just a partial list.
    .
    I don’t recall so much wailing and gnashing of teeth over the “media circus” that was the Caylee Anthony case. There are always, always cases that become bigger deals and get more media attention than dozens of similar cases. It’s just the nature of the media and the 24-hour news cycle. People should also acknowledge that it’s not JUST the media driving it – it becomes a symbiotic thing between media and consumers. I mean, we’re all here talking about it. We’re not just victims of the media pushing this story.
    .
    I think some conservatives, for all they whine about how it’s the liberal media making this a white v. black, liberal v. conservative issue, need to take responsibility for their part in making it so. If you are spending more time discussing how tall Trayvon was, how much he weighed, what his tweets said, what he was suspended for school for, etc etc. – you are clearly “taking a side.” And there’s a reason that you’re taking that side. Don’t blame the media or anyone else if you really kind of want Zimmerman to turn out to be some kind of hero.

  133. stu says

    HERO?…I don’t get it! For all the posts written here and the Media scrutiny on this story I have yet to hear Zimmerman being given HERO status. As a matter of fact most people put at the end of their posts something to the effect of…I don’t know what happened here but I want it to play out, or go to a court to be heard.
    What I love is the Right and/or Conservatives are just sharing their opinions in a civil and respectful way…and that’s considered whining!

  134. snickers says

    So whining has becomne the issue here, because people want to see the the truth come out. Gosh, isn’t that what we have a justice system for?

  135. JennieIW says

    Snickers, for me the issue is the focus that so many people choose to take. Again, I go back to my example: if there were a terrorist attack against the US and the thread filled up with people completely callous to the real victims who instead wanted to go on about ancillary issues, I think people would be angry.

  136. snickers says

    Jennie,

    No one really knows who the REAL victim is. I want the justice system to work, and that is not whining.

  137. stu says

    Snickers,
    You just don’t understand if you don’t agree with the Left’s narrative that this was a White Hispanic Racist who chased down and murdered a young Black Male because he was wearing a hoodie then…well…you’re a Racist too. Oh you also can’t have any other valid points because…well…you just shouldn’t. Now Snickers please fall in line and get with the program. Your opinion doesn’t count so stop whining!

  138. Paige says

    Nothing can be done for Trayvon now other than to hope his death was not a total waste. Zimmerman’s life will forever be affected by what happened no matter what the circumstances were. It seems to me that the “stand your ground” law in Florida needs to be reconsidered to, hopefully, prevent this kind of tragedy in the future.

  139. Pam@IW says

    I so agree, Paige. If anything good comes out of this very tragic situation, it would be getting rid of that law.

  140. Holly says

    Snickers,
    I have been called a “Whiner” many times on this site. I have also been told to “take my ball and go home”! Consider the source. Often when our opinion does not agree with that of the person writing the post and they have no way to support their argument they result to emotional outburst and childish name calling. This usually happens when they are faced with actual facts and they are dug into a belief based on emotion and stereotyping. Whine On Snickers!

  141. snickers says

    I guess I didn’t realize I was whining for having an opinion. I just wanted to wait and see all the facts and let the court system work. Stand your ground law needs to be looked at for sure, but if a intruder came into my home, you bet I would protect my home and family.

  142. CJ says

    Snickers,
    The very idea that you’d like the facts and rule of law to prevail enrages and reduces some to name calling.

  143. CJ says

    Stu,
    A thinking person’s article by Dr. Steele. Before any name calling can begin, Dr. Steele is black.

  144. Jennie@IW says

    Snickers, can you tell me where I called you a whiner?

    I would love to have civilized discussion but some people are not capable of it, intellectually or emotionally. It’s difficult to be attacked over and over and be expected to turn the other cheek (while being told that you’re the one attacking).

    I certainly don’t want to make this thread about me or petty squabbles. It was supposed to be about Trayvon Martin, but those who don’t care about him insisted on hijacking the thread to talk about Jesse Jackson, Roseanne Barr and everything else under the sun.

  145. snickers says

    Your posts indicate that people who disagree with you are whiners. As far as Jessie and Al being brought into the post, do you remember they ran to Florida to get on the band wagon of the boys family. They are hanger-ons and only cause more problems for a community who is dealing with all of this. 10,000new blackpanthers organized, hell the city should shut down and kick these people out of there.This is the justice you want for all involved, well, I want the law to do their job.

  146. stu says

    Whiners
    Racists
    Subliminal Racists
    “The transcript of the 911 call also includes Zimmerman muttering the phrase “fucking coons” apparently while chasing Martin.”
    Your quote… never taken back
    “When Zimmerman is hear on the police tapes calling Martin a “fucking coon” and when he’s known to have told neighbors to watch out for black males in the area, but it’s not about race? I just don’t even know what to say to that.”
    Your quote..never taken back
    “I said that I find it disrespectful when one hasn’t said one word about Trayvon Martin in this thread to start posting about how much they hate Jesse Jackson. Did you see the point I was trying to make with my hypothetical example?”
    Show me ONE post here where someone..anyone did not say this was such a tragedy.Everyone agrees this is a horrible tragedy, but somehow you cannot acknowledge that.
    What you have done is shown you really don’t want dialogue you want to call people names and try to get them to leave. It also seems that it is you who presents an agenda. You have many posts where you infer that Conservative=racists,sexists,etc. You are the one stereotyping and lumping everyone together.

  147. JennieIW says

    Your posts indicate that people who disagree with you are whiners.
    .
    snickers, no. What I said was this:
    .
    I think some conservatives, for all they whine about how it’s the liberal media making this a white v. black, liberal v. conservative issue, need to take responsibility for their part in making it so. If you are spending more time discussing how tall Trayvon was, how much he weighed, what his tweets said, what he was suspended for school for, etc etc. – you are clearly “taking a side.” And there’s a reason that you’re taking that side. Don’t blame the media or anyone else if you really kind of want Zimmerman to turn out to be some kind of hero.
    .
    How does that translate to me calling “people who disagree with me” whiners? It has nothing to do with disagreeing with me. What I wrote was directed at those who see this case as a black v. white issue or a liberal v. conservative issue, but whine about how the media or Sharpton or whoever is being “divisive”, when they themselves are choosing sides based on their ethnicity or politics. There’s nothing to keep a white conservative from looking at the facts of the case and concluding that what was done was pretty messed up. Yes, all the facts aren’t in yet, but we know enough, and we know that a child is dead. Tell me, do you honestly think any of the white conservative urging caution and a measured response and letting the law do its job had the same response to say, the Fort Hood massacre? If someone’s response to the case is situational based on their race and politics, then yes, they are whining (among other things) to complain about OTHERS making it about race and politics.
    .
    I’d still like to know where I directly called YOU a whiner, though, snickers.
    .
    As far as Jessie and Al being brought into the post, do you remember they ran to Florida to get on the band wagon of the boys family.
    .
    I wonder if Trayvon’s family felt the same when they came down at a time when the case was getting very little national coverage. It’s possible the family actually felt they were helping since they were bringing attention to a case that was being virtually ignored. But I guess you know better than the parents of the murdered boy.

  148. JennieIW says

    Speaking of whining, George Zimmerman has set up a website and is accepting donations through Paypal. Donations for what, I’m not exactly sure. I myself am accepting donations so that I can buy the world’s tiniest violin on which to play the world’s saddest song in lamentation of Zimmerman’s suffering:
    .
    “As a result of the incident and subsequent media coverage, I have been forced to leave my home, my school, my employer, my family and ultimately, my entire life.”
    .
    You know who else was forced to leave his home, school, family and ultimately, his entire life? Trayvon Martin.
    .
    Zimmerman’s site features an American flag background (because what’s more patriotic than killing an unarmed black boy, am I right?), and a photo, presumably intended to be inspiring, of “Long Live Zimmerman” spraypainted on the side of a black cultural center at Ohio State University. I wonder who did the spraypainting, Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton? They are the only ones responsible for turning the case into a racial thing, right?

  149. says

    Maybe Al should pay his back taxes he owes before he spouts his mouth all over National TV. Go home and work in his own district, even the black leaders are tired of him and Jessie. Let the law work for this family’s loss. Watch Dr. Drew tonight, the best show and opinions I have seen since this all started.

  150. Paige says

    179
    Pam@IW
    April 9, 2012 at 8:32 pm
    NBC fired the producer who edited the 911 call.

    I was glad to hear that the producer was fired. Someone who distorts the news has no business being in that kind of job. Leave fiction to the fiction writers.

    I am not surprised about Zimmerman’s website. The Internet can be a powerful tool for raising money when you involved in an attention getting, politically/socially mobilizing situation. I am also not surprised at the choice of pictures Zimmerman used on his website. It is clear that he has a target audience who he thinks will most likely contribute (those who empathize with what he did that night) and he has chosen pictures he thinks will motivate That target audience.

    If needed, Zimmerman has a right to a defense and better it is paid for by private donations than by taxpayer money. However, if I were going to donate money in any case like this, I would send it to the victims families in the Tulsa,OK Good Friday massacre. They are struggling to find the money to bury their murdered relatives while showing some empathy toward the killers.

  151. says

    Paige says…It is clear that he has a target audience who he thinks will most likely contribute (those who empathize with what he did that night) and he has chosen pictures he thinks will motivate That target audience.

    If needed, Zimmerman has a right to a defense and better it is paid for by private donations than by taxpayer money.
    .
    As usual, Paige, I agree with you completely. Very well said. Jennie too, I agree with your points. I think we need to acknowledge that each side on the fringe of their own political ideology can be quick to judgment. The Fort Hood case you cited was a good example where extreme conservatives and those with anti-Muslim prejudice did not patiently wait for the facts to unfold, but instead started a frenzy with accusations.
    .
    Apparently, the special prosecutor plans to announce charges soon. Good. That is all Martin’s parents have asked for. Let Zimmerman explain his actions in a court of law. And let us all pray that an intelligent and rational jury is selected. It won’t be easy….

  152. JennieIW says

    Glad to hear that Zimmerman has been charged and I hope that the case is resolved fairly. I think it’s difficult once this level of scrutiny is attached to a case – I would expect the attorneys might ask for a change of venue, but to where?
    .
    Paige, the killings in Tulsa have weighed heavily on my mind. I do think the relatives of the victims have behaved with dignity, but no more so than the parents of Trayvon; I think they’ve been very dignified throughout this very painful time.

  153. stu says

    The good thing is now we will get to see the evidence in this case. The bad thing is Zimmerman will never get a fair hearing. There has been absolutely no presumption of innocence here….. we get to see how this will play out.
    I hope whatever the verdict is cooler heads do prevail.

  154. Pam@IW says

    I am glad the special prosecutor made a decision and moved forward based on the information that she had. Hopefully, this trial will be fair.

  155. Sasha says

    Why wouldn’t he get a fair trial? The Casey Anthony trial was a media circus and the court of public opinion found her guilty, yet she was acquitted for the more serious charges and guilty for the misdemeanors. I think the jury got it wrong, but my personal opinion regarding the outcome of that case is moot because of the legal due process afforded to her. So just like Casey Anthony, Zimmerman will have the opportunity to his own due process and I’m quite sure that there are 6 impartial, rational and intelligent people in Florida who will only look at the facts of the law to determine his guilt or innocence. And this case may never even go to trial if he proves that it was self-defense in the Stand your ground motion (if he’s still using that as a legal defense).

    Obviously the special prosecutor feels that there is enough evidence beyond a reasonable doubt to proceed. But at the end of the day, a young boys life was cut short. I personally feel that Zimmerman should be held criminally accountable for the choices he made that night (even if it was an accident), but my opinion doesn’t make it so. One in every seventeen adults in the State of Florida has a permit to carry a concealed weapon. Mr. Zimmerman was one of those adults. He chose to carry that weapon knowing the rules and consequences of such a choice. He chose to ignore the 911 dispatcher and he chose to follow an unarmed teenager instead of waiting for the authorities. So malicious or not, his choices set forth a chain of events that can never be undone.

  156. stu says

    First of all to think there will not be Political motivations involved in this case and it’s out come would be naieve.
    Ever hear of OJ? Where were those impartial citizens?
    Great stat 1-17adults have a carry permit…look how responsible the majority of people are. I don’t know that you can assume Zimmerman knew the person he saw did not have a weapon. Though it was very stupid of Zimmerman to follow Trayvon it was not illegal to ignore the 911 dispatcher…just very stupid.

  157. Sasha says

    I guess I’m naive then. I don’t think that (Liberal) politics will influence the outcome of this trial. I do believe that people can be objective/ open-minded enough to listen to the facts as they pertain to this case. If Trayvon’s own mother can keep an open mind to the judicial process, then I think that others can follow suit.
    OJ was acquitted…. like most celebrity trials. Zimmerman isn’t a celebrity, so apples to oranges.
    I’m aware that it wasn’t illegal for Zimmerman to ignore the 911 dispatcher and agree that it was stupid for him to take the law into his own hands. And not once have I made assumptions about Zimmerman’s state of mind. Zimmerman called 911 to report a suspicious person. A teenager walking in his gated community aroused suspicion. I mean, he was so bothered by Trayvon’s perceived actions that he requested police presence. In my opinion, a person with the wherewithal to seek police backup would naturally take precautions, just in case the other person was armed. It’s only logical to “assume” that a suspicious person could be armed; especially with FL stats on guns and his own education in law enforcement. But, his knowledge of the law became useful when he concocted that self defense story. I think he’s guilty and I hope that a jury of his peers find him guilty.

  158. stu says

    A little strange that you think there will be people who will be fair and open minded when so many have concluded he is guilty without knowing any facts….including you.

  159. Sasha says

    Opinions can change as the facts are presented in a court of law, as well as the court of public opinion. At present, I do think he’s guilty, based on how I perceive/ interpret the facts. Where I see guilt, there are many people that say he’s innocent because they see things differently than me. Would those be the “impartial” jurors that you seek?
    My opinion isn’t ironclad and is subject to change if the facts in this hearing change. I believe in humanity. I have faith in democracy and the freedoms it provides…. like justice. We are imperfect and sometimes there is injustice and the law doesn’t work. Sometimes criminals go free and the innocent are jailed. But I have to believe that, for the most part, it is fair and impartial and that we do get it right more often than not.

  160. Sasha says

    Snickers, right back at you. It’s obvious that you are a Zimmerman defender and that’s your right. I don’t intend to bash you for your opinion. This is *my* opinion based on the information that I have obtained thus far. Again, I reserve the right to change my opinion if the facts in this case change…. but I’m doubtful.

  161. stu says

    I don’t think anyone is a “Zimmerman Defender” on this site. I think it’s more about lets give this guy his due process and not convict him in the Media. If he is guilty…so be it but lets not jump on the bandwagon and convict him without any facts.

  162. Sasha says

    I’m not jumping on a bandwagon. I’m weighing in on a case that has garnished international media attention. I’m stating my opinion as I would about any current event. I’m saddened by the loss of Trayvon’s life and have the right to express that. I have no legal authority to convict Zimmerman with my opinion/ thoughts. Sure, the media has made its fair share of mistakes with misinformation, but without media pressure, I’m doubtful an arrest would have ever been made.
    We’ll have to agree to disagree regarding those that may or may not be defending Zimmerman on this thread.

  163. Pam@IW says

    “Why wouldn’t he get a fair trial?”
    .
    Maybe because the 12 jurors that hear his case will go into this process with the opinion that he is guilty too. Opinions can change but the juror selection process is one that is suppose to select men and women that are going in with an open mind. Men and women that don’t “perceive facts” ahead of time because they don’t know the “facts.”
    .
    I understand why people think he is guilty of something. I myself think he used extremely poor judgement that resulted in the death of a young man and in the back of my mind I think I know the “facts” also based on what the media has presented.
    .
    I most likely would not want myself or others who have similar thoughts sitting in those jury chairs if it was me or my loved one on trial.

  164. Pam@IW says

    “I would expect the attorneys might ask for a change of venue, but to where?”
    .
    At this point, I agree. Where? At least out of that county.

  165. Sasha says

    Oh please! I’m glad that the three of you are so evolved and never judge anyone or anything. I’m glad to know that you never have a “preconceived” notion about anything of importance in life.

    If any of you bother to fully read what I write, I stated that the facts are presented in a court of law. The people selected to be on a jury take an oath to uphold the law and to be impartial; meaning that they only review the facts (presented in a court of law) as they pertain to FL law.

    and Pam, there will only be 6 jurors.

  166. Pam@IW says

    I just took a walk through this thread. I did not see one person on this thread defend Zimmerman. It is a shame that when people say they want to see the legal system have a chance to figure this out without interference from media or whoever….they are accused of “defending” Zimmerman.

  167. Pam@IW says

    Sasha, I just told you that I have a preconceived opinion in my comment. I think he is guilty. That is why I would not want to me on this trial.

  168. Pam@IW says

    I have no preconceived opinion of you. I don’t even know you other than the other day when I removed one of your comments and it upset you.

  169. Sasha says

    My apologies. I’m east coast and it’s really late here. I read it quickly and wrong. I’m off to bed before I make a bigger ass of myself.

  170. Paige says

    Right now, with this case, I wonder how indifferent things might be if Zimmerman had not been carrying a gun that day. Would he have been less bold and listened to the dispatcher? Would Trayvon still be alive? Would George be going about his ordinary life as it was before February 26? The responsibility one takes on when they decide to carry a gun is enormous – you need to very certain about every judgment call you make if you are going to use it.
    .
    I have more questions than answers regarding this case and I am glad that those answers will come out in a courtroom. Where there any signs of a fight between Trayvon and Zimmerman? Whose voice is it on the 911 tape screaming for help? What made Zimmerman suspicious of someone just walking through the neighborhood?

  171. JennieIW says

    I haven’t see explicit defenses of Zimmerman but it’s clear that there are those who are on his “side”, if only because they perceive that as the conservative side (or for other reasons). Many of the people so concerned about a fair trial would not be expressing the same concerns under other circumstances. Speaking of Casey Anthony, I don’t recall there being so much wailing and gnashing of teeth over the idea that she might not get a fair trial. It would be one thing if people were consistent in their beliefs and not changing them based on politics or race or whatever.
    .
    I do want Zimmerman to have a fair trial – not for his sake but because I believe the justice system is more important than any one case, and individual cases of injustice are harmful to the system as a whole. That said, I am always surprised that so many people don’t understand that I, as an individual with NO chance of being on the jury, have no obligation to consider Zimmerman innocent until proven guilty. I can look at the evidence presented so far and make a judgment based on that. I’ve yet to read/see any scenario presented that justifies Zimmerman’s actions. Even by his own statements, it appears that Martin had the right to defend himself under the “stand your ground” law.

  172. JennieIW says

    What made Zimmerman suspicious of someone just walking through the neighborhood?
    .
    I think everyone knows the answer to that one.

  173. stu says

    That’s great …so lets take pride in being unfair. There has been absolutely NO evidence put out there by anyone yet …but there are those who just want to be right and convict because of some made up story that they have in their head.
    Maybe some of you should listen to Dershowitz on the subject……

    http://hotair.com/archives/2012/04/12/dershowitz-the-charging-instrument-filed-against-george-zimmerman-is-unethical-and-will-never-make-it-past-a-judge/

  174. Wendy says

    Unfortunately, I think the prosecution has overreached like they did with Casey Anthony. They should have charged him with manslaughter. I think it might prove difficult to meet the standards for 2nd degree murder. Although, I think comparing the two cases is comparing apples and oranges. She was out clubbing while her child was missing. Obviously, there were 12 people that thought she was innocent until proven guilty.

  175. Jennie@IW says

    When the differences between degrees of murder are explained to me, I kind of get them, but, often under other circumstances, I just find them perplexing. There always seems to be a gray area based on interpretation of events.
    .
    I’ve heard of similar cases where the charge is first degree murder, with the argument being that “pre-meditation” can be formed in a split-second. I tend to think those cases are usually overcharged, but it does happen.
    .
    Anecdotally, at least, I think of manslaughter more like, “bar fight where one guy hits his head and dies.” I guess that’s involuntary manslaughter? But even voluntary manslaughter, from my understanding, requires a lack of malice. If they are going to bring in the racial slurs Zimmerman allegedly used, I would think that suggests malice. Second degree seems more appropriate to me; Zimmerman chose to be a neighborhood watch captain, he chose to carry a loaded gun (an extreme choice IMO), and he chose to stalk and shot a 17-year-old boy without apparent provocation.

  176. Pam@IW says

    I do agree that choosing to carry a loaded gun is extreme for a neighborhood watch captain and I do believe that Zimmerman could have reported what he saw and got back in his car and backed way away from the scene.

  177. stu says

    The problem is that Zimmerman did not use common sense and that’s about all we really know. Though it”s just amazing that with all the evidence in and even the Prosecutor admits there was no racial slur used some people just can’t see their way to understanding that maybe this was not based on Race. Then again lets just stick to our agenda because a crime like this could only have been racialy motivated.

  178. Jennie@IW says

    Sorry, Pam, I should not have said “slurs” – I meant to refer to Zimmerman’s targeting of black people in his “patrols” – at least according to neighbors who have spoken out.
    .
    I was thinking of the Tulsa case, where in spite of the fact that he used the n-word on FB, one of the killers denies that the shootings were racially motivated. I was reading about it on a Tulsa newspaper website, and the comments are full of the most vicious, vile racist crap. It’s still so hard for me to believe that people honestly think racism isn’t a problem (or that it’s a problem solely created by Al Sharpton and other black people).

  179. Jennie@IW says

    BTW, Pam, re comment #224 – what would Zimmerman have reported? A black kid walking home from the store?

  180. stu says

    “” It’s still so hard for me to believe that people honestly think racism isn’t a problem (or that it’s a problem solely created by Al Sharpton and other black people).””
    For a very intelligent person I have to wonder sometimes…Where in the above statement …other than in your own mind has anyone said anything remotely close to what you are thinking they are saying? No one has ever said that race problems do not exist. What they do say is that we have come a long way since the 50’s,60’s, and 70’s. We are not a perfect nation but we do try to do what’s best. We try to improve and we get it more right than wrong. The problem isyou think people such as Sharpton and Jackson are legit. Examine yourself first before you keep calling others racists.

  181. stu says

    Oh and by the way in #224…If that is what he saw then that is what he should have said and stayed in his car.

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