Trayvon Martin, a seventeen year old high school student was walking home in his father’s gated community in southern Florida, talking to his girlfriend on his cell phone and carrying an Arizona iced tea and a bag of skittles when he found himself cornered by a man carrying a 9mm handgun who shot and killed him in cold blood because he “looked suspicious”.
Without any further information you would assume that this assailant was rightly arrested and charged with 1st degree murder awaiting trial; surely if your son or daughter were gunned down walking back from the store with candy and the shooter was found at the scene you would expect this to be the case. But as we will see, the underlying stigma of being black in America is still an issue that we can no longer ignore. George Zimmerman had initially not been arrested or charged with any crime by the Sanford police; they cited the “Stand your ground” law that is now being implemented in many states.
The fact that George Zimmerman was not arrested came as a shock to many as the events of the incident came rolling out. The lead investigator the night of the shooting recommended that Zimmerman be arrested and charged with manslaughter. He was promptly ignored.
However here we are in the midst of a national movement to bring justice for Trayvon and the Martin family. After an outcry for justice in Florida and around the country, Zimmerman was finally arrested and charged with 2nd degree murder. The facts in this case have slowly come to light thanks to Trayvon’s parents pushing for answers that were and are not forthcoming. Once this tragedy caught the attention of the public, those with a keen understanding of the history of racism in this country smelled something strange in Florida.
Let’s simply look at some of the facts that have come out recently to get a clearer picture of what actually happened that night. Trayvon Martin was a black teenager wearing a hooded sweatshirt that night, walking through his father’s place of residence, in which he was not a familiar face. George Zimmerman, the self-proclaimed neighborhood watch leader was doing his nightly rounds in the gated community.
It should be noted here that residents in this community were not thrilled with Zimmerman’s exploits as a self-styled vigilante. He was viewed as too assertive and overly ambitious in his pursuit of anyone he deemed to be doing wrong in the neighborhood. He was sitting in his car when he spotted Trayvon walking and promptly called 911. During his conversation with police he was told not to pursue Trayvon, a command he ignored because as he said in the call, “they always get away”.
Zimmerman pursued Trayvon Martin, as we know from Trayvon’s girlfriend who was on the phone with him at the time. She stated that Trayvon was nervous about a man that was following him and that he was quickly making his way back home. From here on we must refer to the 911 calls made by a few of the residents who were in the immediate vicinity of the shooting, where terrible screams for help can be heard right up until the fatal gunshot that killed Trayvon. Trayvon’s mother, Sabrina Fulton has positively identified the cries of help as coming from Trayvon..
The screams of help on the calls have the tone of a young man, and Trayvon’s father has said that they are unmistakably from his son. The screams abruptly stop the moment we hear the gunshot; it is then that the scared residents say there is a dead man lying in the street. Trayvon was still on his phone up until moments before the shooting.
The Sanford police arrived on the scene and assessed the event by getting George Zimmerman’s side of the story and performing no investigation into what had transpired. They took him into custody and brought him to the station to document his statement. His story asserts that he was the victim of an assault at the hands of Trayvon Martin, a 17 year old who was unarmed and much smaller in stature that Mr. Zimmerman.
In the statement given by Zimmerman he says that when he got out of his car he was attacked by Trayvon Martin. He claimed to have gotten into a scuffle and suffered a broken nose and a gash to the back of his head and the reports from his lawyer were that he had blood on the back of his head from the injury, as well as blood coming from his nose with grass stains on his shirt from the scuffle. His lawyer at the time even went on national news to reiterate that storyline, when in fact he showed himself to be quite uninformed about the circumstances of the case
When the video from the Sanford police station became public it clearly showed that Zimmerman had no signs of injury on his face or the back of his head; both of which were plainly visible on the video. So here is where the questions begin. Why didn’t the police investigate? Why didn’t they do a toxicology analysis on Zimmerman, yet performed one on Trayvon Martin? Why did they accept his story of being attacked and approached by Trayvon when he clearly stated he was following him? Why was Trayvon tagged as “John Doe” and his family not notified for 2 days of his death?
The more facts that come out the more this event stinks of incompetence, unwillingness, and dispassion of the Sanford police force. What gives this an undertone of racial bias a disturbing and ominous gust of wind beneath its wings is the disgusting response by the bloviating Right-Wing media.
At first they ignored it, and then when the subject of race came into the picture as a possible motive they went absolutely ape-shit. I liken it to telling an alcoholic that they have a drinking problem. When they are called out they fly into a rage and try to fling as much shit on you as they possibly can.
The Right proceed to perform a full on character assault against Trayvon Martin, with a white supremacy group hacking into his social media accounts and so called reputable Right-Wing media outlets posting phony pictures of a kid that looked like Trayvon giving the finger to the camera, as well as a suspicious leak of his high school suspension records that indicate nothing but the fact that he acts like most kids in high school. In fact one of his teachers said “he is an A and B student who majors in cheerfulness”.
Yet the onslaught continued. People on the Right in this country jumped at this like dogs on a ham bone. Much thanks to Geraldo Rivera for kicking this all off with his infamous “hoodie” comment, proving once again what an incompetent reporter he is. Geraldo insinuated that a black kid wearing a hoodie was as much a reason for his death as Zimmerman’s actions.
He did however express concern for the well being of black and Latino children seemingly acknowledging the danger to minorities who dress a certain way and the unspoken white fear associated with soft bigotry. This may be a stretch, but I would like to think Geraldo recognizes racism exists in this country to an alarming degree.
There was a justified reaction from people on the Left; they felt this was giving validity to the fact that it’s OK to assume that wearing a certain garment is grounds for suspicion and therefore justifies aggressive action to some measure. When the Left brings up Racism, the Right fires back, as if because the country elected an African-American to the oval office racism is somehow over in America.
First let’s acknowledge the fact that this president has been openly disrespected by the Right in the halls of Congress as well as in public. They attempt to de-legitimize him by starting the “birther” movement claiming he was not even born in the U.S., and they claim he is a subversive Muslim, Socialist, and Communist plotting to destroy America.
Racism exist folks, and the Right has transformed from outright hoodie wearing racists to soft bigots over the last few decades. The support of this man, under the circumstances of this murder, is callous and impetuous. In the 911 call Zimmerman can be heard saying “They always get away…..fucking coons”; although the media has softened that and reports the statement as “fucking punks”. This is as clear as day, yet the Right-Wing media and its vitriolic followers are saying he said anything but what is blatantly audible to any sane person.
Zimmerman followed him, moved in to engage him in an aggressive manner; the kid was screaming for help and was gunned down because Zimmerman didn’t want to let another “coon” get away. His obsession with wanting to chase people down is evidenced by the 46 calls to 911 he made as a self appointed leader of the neighborhood watch.
The neighbors wanted nothing to do with him, as many times it was the residents themselves who was calling 911 to report. This is not just obsessive; it stinks of a mental fixation. Given that nothing was investigated. As we now know, Zimmerman’s father was a judge, and he has a record of violence that has been buried, including assaulting a police officer.
So what does the Right do? They go out of their way to smear the reputation of a 17 year old kid who was walking home with some candy and was shot down because an obsessed vigilante who uses racial slurs shot him in the chest while being black in America. The comments on Right-Wing media outlets have been atrocious. These people are truly sick. There is a level of systemic racism that is so prevalent and at the same time buried under mountains of denial.
The Right is a cancer on our society, and a hindrance to the progression of a civil society; it amazes me that can claim to be people of God while spewing such vitriolic hatred. The truly dangerous aspect to their ideology is the level of impassioned foolishness that brazenly slurps up anything the cognitive manipulators in the concentrated hegemony of corporate owned mass media on the Right provide; no matter how ridiculous and without facts it may be.
This support for corporate greed and the sociopathic policies they push for and get have all but decimated our financial strength as a populous. There are some points about financial conservatism that I believe in, like keeping a sound budget, but the ways I would go about it are much different than the ones who have the balls to call themselves conservatives; military budget, hello.
They have led us into needless wars, helped bankrupt the middle class, and systematically un-educate our children in a myriad of ways that I am sure are unclear to the radicals that are driving them. I do need to be a bit fair; the radicals in the party make the most noise and the most ambitious. There are Republicans that have some decent ideas, yet they are for all intents and purposes essentially in the middle. More and more this extreme ideology is seeping its way into the mainstream belief system of this inherently indoctrinated schismatics.
The truth is Trayvon Martin was killed by a man that was looking to do something to someone and felt he had the right to do what he deemed necessary. It appears he had a racial motivation to do what he did, and the 911 calls indicate that he had a sinister agenda by cornering a child and killing him in cold blood while he screamed for help that never came. The sad truth is that in America, white fear and its subsequent soft and many times hard line bigotry has always been more important than black lives.