Haha yes, I am sure Sheehan did not come up with that point by himself. In fact, I am shocked he didn't blame Julia Gillard for the deaths of all the blacks at the hands of other blacks in Chicago.
Where I think Sheehan is perhaps missing the point (and I don't disagree with all of his article, and I understand the point he is making) is not specifically whether Zimmerman was guilty or not. But it is the themes of judging people based on race. I am happy to accept your views on the case, and even your views on the idea that Obama prejudiced the case by making comment (you have done more reading on this than me it seems). But what you are refusing to acknowledge when you bring up the Chicago blacks killing blacks point is that the idea of a person being pre-judged because of their skin colour (and what comes with it) with regards to committing a crime is a real issue. Black gangs killing other black gangs is a problem, of course it is. But that problem does not mean one cannot bring up racial stereotyping (although of course they are related). Ultimately, if a black person followed Zimmerman (when told not to) and shot him, there is doubt as to whether he'd have been found not guilty. That is just the reality.
This video is an interesting case study if truth be told: Racial Stereotyping: You see a black guy, white guy, pretty girl committing a crime. What you do? - YouTube
Last edited by Jono; 23-07-2013 at 05:40 AM.
2. Did he have a gun?
3. Was trayvon armed?
4. Did police tell Zimmerman that they'd handle it?
5. If a guy without a badge pulls a gun on you at night, you have the right to defend yourself, including bashing his head in. At that point it's your life vs his.
2 - Yes, what's your argument? He is the neighbourhood watch. His having a gun is not an issue.
3 - No, but what's your argument? You can still beat someone enough to make them fear for their life.
4 - No. The dispatcher told him they didn't need him to go after Martin - but this is a liability issue (as the dispatcher testified), it is not a direct order. What the evidence suggests (and Zimmerman himself said) is that he lost Martin and didn't chase him down. He went less than 100 yards out from his car to see exactly which street Martin fled to. That's when Martin returned, confronted Zimmerman and then initiated violence.
5 - The gun wasn't pulled until after Zimmerman was being bashed on the ground, and was used only after his life was threatened. If it had been pulled earlier why in the hell would Martin have attacked him? Moreover, why would Zimmerman pull his gun out like that to begin with?
There were no signs of struggle (in terms of Zimmerman initiating the violence), they even checked under Martin's nails for Zimmerman's DNA. The prosecution's own witness testified that Martin got on top of Zimmerman and bashed him. All the other evidence points to this also. Zimmerman suffered lacerations to the back of his head, a broken nose, whereas Martin had scuffed knuckles (from the punching) and the bullet wound. Zimmerman's back and Martin's knees were wet and grassy which also corroborated that story. The ballistics report also corroborates the story of Martin being on top and then suffering the bullet wound.
So, what's left that could have initiated that fight is more likely verbal. But then, you have to argue why Zimmerman would randomly instigate a fight and threaten Martin to the point that he would fear for his life. Many tried to make the claim that Zimmerman was a racist, which none of his past history shows he was. If you listen to some of the arguments, it almost sounds like people think that Zimmerman put on an act for almost 30 years, to then initiate and dupe Martin into a fight because he was racist...so that he could get away with murder.
Last edited by Ikki; 23-07-2013 at 06:38 AM.
Zimmerman was a neighbourhood watch, in a neighbourhood which had suffered a spate of burglaries, many by black men; and it was his job to make sure of the safety of that neighbourhood. As much as I wish it wasn't like that, I can't deny that blacks (youths too) are disproportionately represented in criminal activity. That's not a statement on them so much as I think it is an institutional problem; but its true nonetheless. For someone to pretend that Zimmerman being suspicious of such an individual was misplaced is being disingenuous. But it wasn't that simple in any case. Zimmerman's call was made because he thought Martin was acting suspiciously, walking around in the rain, in the dark, and that he looked like he was on drugs. The autopsy showed that Martin indeed had THC (he smoked marijuana) in his body, and found out that he was a regular lean (another drug) drinker. In fact, the things he went to buy from the shop (skittles, arizona ice tea) are 2/3 parts of the drug. From Martin's Facebook/Phone convos, we know he was into his lean. Martin also had a history indicating theft (his backpack was found with women's jewellery and a screwdriver) of which he was suspended for - which I believe was the reason he was visiting his father in the first place.
Zimmerman may have been guessing, but ironically I think his intuition was probably right in being suspicious - not necessarily that Martin wanted to steal anything that night. That aside, I wouldn't doubt (and I think his own defense team kind of admitted) that an element racial profiling may have been present.
Unfortunately, Martin himself, too, racially profiled Zimmerman. He knew he was being followed, being suspected, and from his text conversations with the girl at the time of this event suggested that he was angry/upset by it. I can understand him being upset, he wasn't doing anything wrong in his eyes; and I am sure it wasn't the first time he or other black men were judged in such a fashion. I think if he had actually talked to Zimmerman nothing would have happened.
But it does not justify what he did later, nor did Zimmerman's suspiciousness of Martin make him a racist. In the end, a person, especially in a country where you can legally carry guns, shouldn't resort to violence. And the irony of it seems to be that those wanting 'justice' for Martin were doing their own profiling. They were trying to make Zimmerman fit into a stereotype that could easily explain the case in Martin's favour.
As I said, I don't mind the general argument you're bringing forth. But in this case it is just dangerous when you know the facts. The average man having his opinion on the street may not sway sentiment so much...but the President doing it is hugely influential. In this case, for his sympathy, George Zimmerman may have to fear for his life - for the thugs that do not know any better and who may be angry with the verdict just may try to give Zimmerman their own version of justice. That's just how I see it...if he were to have made any comment it should be very generic and vague and only AFTER the trial. Ultimately, he is everybody's President.
Last edited by Ikki; 23-07-2013 at 06:36 AM.
I'm incredibly perturbed by your argument here because Obama hasn't questioned the verdict at all. What he talked about in his remarks the other day were about race relations more generally - and on that, he absolutely has to be the leader of the discussion - in the context of some of the issues surrounding the Zimmerman case.
Without wanting to be that guy, this is an interesting point I saw raised:
In the end, I think detailing the legal specifics of the Zimmerman case slightly misses the point - and I'd really want to hear the opinions of proper lawyers and the like first - which is that the perception of the Zimmerman case, as a man who racially profiled an unarmed black man walking down the street as being a violent hoodlum and then killed him, as one that reinforces something of a reality for many African Americans. And that is the real point here.
do you think people will be allowed to make violins?
who's going to make the violins?
What I am saying is that Obama should not be saying anything right now, lest it be taken as an endorsement of Martin's side of events; simply because he is being sympathetic.
The timing of his statements pre-trial, along with the protests of Sharpton et al, are the reason this case even went to trial. The previous State's attorney and police department knew there wasn't enough proof, which is why they couldn't charge Zimmerman earlier. Even Alan Dershowitz, a notable liberal Harvard Law Professor said that the affidavit filed by the prosecution was so flimsy that the State's attorney (Corey) should be disbarred.
So it is abundantly clear what kind of effect public furore can have: a person who should not even be charged is having to fight for his life against 2nd degree murder and manslaughter charges at trial.
Now after the trial, Obama has once again made a statement, and also coupled that with the prospect of Eric Holder bringing up Zimmerman on federal charges. This is insanity...let it go. Just shut up.
This stuff will only further fan the flames. I don't have a problem with the message itself, but the use of it here. Even a Civil Rights figure like Cornel West has called him on this. Where were these kinds of statements 5 years ago?
P.S. I find the screenshot also cringeworthy. You're talking about Zimmerman here, someone who fought for a homeless black man's rights, raised money for a black church and who took a black girl to his high school prom. It may be the case that black people share an unfortunate (understated really) reality in America...but why should he share it/be punished when what he did was all lawful and justified? It's incredulous. Zimmerman didn't chase down Martin because he was black...if all he cared about was colour then he'd be chasing people in that neighbourhood all the time (20% of the people that live in that community are black).
Last edited by Ikki; 23-07-2013 at 07:39 AM.
Legalities of self-defence aside (I don't have any issue with the decision itself - was the correct one in the end), the big issue for mine is why Zimmerman was anywhere near Martin. Unless there's some aspect of the 'job' in the US which differs from here, neighbourhood watches here are supposed to call the police at the first sign of trouble, not to initiate any action, following, etc. whatsoever. The presence of a gun does escalate the situation; would Zimmerman have even been out in his car without one? The lack of firearms by neighbourhood watch types here does a fairly good job at naturally limiting their activities but, even then, they're often a pain in the arse for police.
Fact is, Zimmerman was simply not suitably trained to be doing anything other calling the police well before he actually did. A real copper has the training to know that asking for a private chat with a badge in hand would likely have defused this situation from the get-go. He'd also have been less likely to lose Martin in the streets, less likely to get jumped and more likely to be able to fight him off if things went that way and, if he hadn't pulled out the badge before that point, having the ability to produce a badge tames many situations like that (stiffer penalties for attacking a ****ing cop and all that). Zimmerman got in way over his head, lost control of something he'd never seen before and had to use a gun in a situation he helped happen when someone properly trained could possibly have stopped it from happening at all.
This is the sort of **** that happens when suburbanite idiots overstep their bounds. Back off right away and call the police, let the ones who actually know what they're doing deal with it. I don't care how much crime you've had in your area, unless you are directly being threatened or attacked, you're likely to just be in the way.
Last edited by silentstriker; 23-07-2013 at 09:10 PM.
With the above logic, anyone can assault anyone else simply because they know the other guy has a gun. It doesn't work like that.
Martin got away while Zimmerman was in the car talking to the dispatcher. While on the phone he tells the dispatcher that he has lost him.Um, maybe because he thought he had no other choice but to fight or die when a guy with a buzzcut and no badge came up to him pointing a gun at him in the middle of the street????
With all due respect, you should probably read more about the case. As I said, this wasn't one of those iffy or debatable decisions. An overwhelming amount of evidence was for Zimmerman and against Martin.
Last edited by Ikki; 24-07-2013 at 01:03 AM.
I haven't actually read/seen what Obama said exactly so I won't comment on that issue but I 100% agree with Ikki about the actual case.
He shouldn't have been found guilty with the law as it is but that's because the law is wrong. There's a lot to be said in his defence in terms of mitigating circumstances that would reduce his sentence, but it's absurd that you can do what he did and face no repercussions at all.
Yeah, so much. Were the same situation repeated in South Australia, aside from firarms offences, acts to endanger, etc. (yes, yes, Zimmerman was legal where he is in carrying a concealed firearm), the response to the Zimmerman shooting an unarmed person in self-defence might have been somewhat different, proportionality and all that. Not a lawyer but I reckon Zimmerman might have been in trouble on both the subjective and objective elements of the self-defence test. May possibly have been implicated as the person who initiated the confrontation being that he didn't back off when he had the chance. Hard to say, of course, but it sucks that he faces absolutely no sanction for his actions short of public being looked at funny for the next couple of years.
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