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  • The Race Card

    Posted by Michael Kennedy on March 24th, 2012 (All posts by )

    There was a shooting in Florida this week that has now accumulated all the “usual suspects” for a racial extravaganza. The bare details are that a Florida neighborhood had had a high number of burglaries in the previous year. The neighbors had instituted a “neighborhood watch.” The watch member on duty saw a black teenager in a “hoodie” sweatshirt acting in a way that he thought was suspicious. He called 911. The 911 call was recorded but the record may not be clear. A new eyewitness has said that the shooting victim was attacking the shooter and was on top of him as the shooter called for help. The shooter was not arrested and now the local police chief has removed himself from the case. The shooter is in hiding, afraid for his life. Was this a terrible mistake ? Surely the shooting was not done in malice. The shooter is Hispanic and a local resident. Local neighborhood watches are common in Florida, which has a “stand your ground” law. Self defense does not require retreat but this was on a public street, not the shooter’s home. I suspect neighborhood watches are about to be disarmed in Florida.

    The usual suspects have all appeared, including Barack Obama, who seems to insert himself into every racial incident. Of course, Al Sharpton (MSNBC commentator) is heavily involved. Hopefully, the body count will not reach previous levels in Sharpton’s activities. Sharpton did manage to convince some suckers (sorry, supporters) to pay his debts in the Tawana Brawley hoax I guess that means he can go back to New York for his MSNBC gig.

    This may be the substitute for the failed contraception ploy the Democrats attempted. Maybe there really was a crime committed by an excited neighborhood watch member. If so, the magnitude would be voluntary manslaughter, hardly a reason for the attempted lynching now going on in Florida and Washington. It is ironic that the group, which suffered 100 years ago from lynching, now seems to promote it. I think the Republicans would do well to stay away from this case with the exception of the usual sympathy for the victim. It is getting ugly and the facts are far from established.

     

    31 Responses to “The Race Card”

    1. Dan from Madison Says:

      It is shameful to watch Sharpton, Jackson, Farrakhan and all the rest do their deal. And so predictable. Same old scam, nobody trying to analyze the facts and/or do some diligence on the case, just kneejerk reactions.

      Sadly, if Jackson could extricate himself from his nice offices in Chicago and work to improve the neighborhoods in that city, he could do so much good but sadly the crime continues to spiral out of control there with nobody giving a damn and the body count goes up daily. I guess there isn’t any money in it.

      One nit, I believe the suspected shooter is half Peruvian and half Caucasian, not Hispanic.

    2. Subotai Bahadur Says:

      There is a noise-to-signal fog in relation to this event, plus the overlay of race and politics that usually has priority over fact. I don’t know enough to be sure about what happened, but some points that raise my suspicions:

      1.) the pictures of Trayvon Martin do not look like someone who is 17. Closer to 12. Are they using a child’s picture to garner sympathy? Witnesses have said that Martin was on top of Zimmerman beating him for part of the fight. How big and dangerous was Martin? If he was as small as he appears in the picture and was unarmed, his threat level is pretty low. If he had grown to 6’4″ and weighed 200+ lbs. ….

      Conversely, I found out that the picture of Zimmerman in jail orange being used in the media was from a 2005 arrest and booking. Was that done by the media to make Zimmerman less sympathetic? He had a Concealed Carry Permit, which means that whatever happened in 2005 did not result in charge and conviction. Somehow, by the way; Zimmerman whose appearance is obviously Hispanic is classified as White in the media condemnations. He is, I understand, Peruvian in ancestry. In normal times, the media would describe him as Hispanic and thus part of the masses oppressed by Whites. But that would not serve the Narrative.

      2.) in a quick search of news reports, I can’t find a time hack for the shooting. The closest thing I can find was “a rainy night”. There is a large difference in perceived threat for a stranger walking in a neighborhood at dusk than at say 0300 hrs.

      3.) Zimmerman is described as a “self appointed neighborhood watch captain” in some reports, and as being “a volunteer with the neighborhood watch” in others. The former implies vigilante. The latter could easily mean he was part of a group organized by the police. I looked and found that he apparently WAS the organizer of the local Neighborhood Watch, under the rules and policies of the National Sheriffs’ Association. Under their rules, you are not supposed to be armed on patrol, but his carrying was legal because he had a permit. He was driving [and carrying] on an errand when he spotted Martin, not specifically on patrol. Under NSA rules, he was just supposed to call in the report and not approach suspects. His criminal liability may be covered, but his civil liability may be horrendous.]

      All three are ways to slant public sympathy.

      These are not probative matters, but could well be indicative of typical media playing fast and loose with the truth to further the “Narrative”.

      As for whether the shooting was legally justified, that depends on interpretations of local law and perceived threats. I cannot speak to them, other than to note that I know of cases here where a shooting was ruled as legal when the assailant was beating the concealed carry permit holder. There are conflicts that have to be resolved between if he was told by the dispatcher NOT to approach the subject and did so anyway -v- the perceived threat at the moment AND the fact that in the normal course of events, Zimmerman was legally entitled to be where he was too. This case will likely turn on that.

      The New Black Panther Party has issued a “Wanted: Dead or Alive” poster for Zimmerman. http://weaselzippers.us/2012/03/23/new-black-panther-party-circulating-wanted-dead-or-alive-poster-for-george-zimmerman/

      And Spike Lee has re-tweeted Zimmerman’s home address.

      http://twitchy.com/2012/03/24/spike-lee-retweets-george-zimmermans-address-threats/

      I suspect that Zimmerman and/or his family are going to meet a bad end. And that if there are any suspects arrested there will no hint of a “hate crime” mentioned, and probably no conviction.

      Subotai Bahadur

    3. Michael Kennedy Says:

      All good points. The witness story is here. I still think it interesting that a lynching is the desired end for such light of society as Spike Lee. Obama sure feels the need to comments, doesn’t he ? It makes me suspicious.

    4. Dan from Madison Says:

      Subotai Bahadur – your point number one is right on the money. I haven’t seen any photos even close to a 17 year old.

    5. pst314 Says:

      Don’t forget: Spike Lee is so proudly racist that he has said he gives the hate stare to interracial couples.

      And what does it tell us about his admirers that this did not destroy his career?

    6. pst314 Says:

      The New Black Panther Party? Would that be the gang of thugs that the Obama administration refuses to prosecute when they engage in explicitly racist voter intimidation at polling places?

    7. pst314 Says:

      “The 911 call was recorded but the record may not be clear.”

      CNN played a clip in which some listeners said they could hear Zimmerman say “coons”. They had to process the recording to remove noise, and even after processing it is not clear if that is what he said. But if it is, that is a definite clue that he might have behaved, er, ah, um, “unprofessionally”.

    8. Sgt. Mom Says:

      Those would be the very same ones, Pst314.
      I have a feeling that this will rebound very badly on Spike Lee, and on Sharpton and the other race-card pimps.
      I do have a feeling, like SB, that the pictures being used of Trayvon are those of him very much younger, and deliberatly released for that purpose. He is supposed to have been over 6-feet tall and athletic.
      Additionally, the accused in the shooting actually seems (as more accurate information seems to be seeping out) to be a fairly contientious and well-thought of person in his community. Which is a pretty mixed-race area, and has been especially plagued recently by robberies and break-ins. So … I think the lovely narrative is already being spoiled. It might very well turn out to be something akin to the Duke-Lacrosse rape ruckus.

    9. Sgt. Mom Says:

      Oh, and according to this newspaper report, the New Black Panthers are recruiting a posse with the intention to hunt for Mr. Zimmerman, and are collecting donations to that they can offer a reward.
      http://discussions.orlandosentinel.com/20/orlandosentinel/os-trayvon-martin-new-black-panthers-protest-20120324/10

    10. Jonathan Says:

      -The facts aren’t clear. Anybody who insists it’s obvious that Zimmerman should be prosecuted is either an idiot or has an ulterior motive.

      -If it turns out that there is enough evidence to prosecute Zimmerman it won’t be much more difficult to arrest him in a week or a month than it would have been at the time of the incident. Why the rush?

      -“Stand your ground” is a red herring. The purpose of that law is to stop abusive prosecutions of people who are otherwise justified in defending themselves and happen not to be at home. Zimmerman will be prosecuted despite the stand-your-ground law if a grand jury decides he was not acting in self-defense.

      -Who is clamoring to prosecute Zimmerman? 1) The Democrats, who would do anything to distract from Obama’s terrible record going into the elections, and who probably see this case as a gift that will help to fire up the base and give them more black votes in critically important Florida and elsewhere, 2) the race hustlers, who live by making trouble and then extracting payoffs in exchange for promising to make the trouble go away, 3) the media, because conflict brings viewers and ad $, and maybe some of them think it will help the Democrats. (Yesterday the Miami talk-radio guy who comes on after Rush, a nominal libertarian, was clamoring for Zimmerman’s prosecution.)

      -Who wants to repeal Florida’s stand-your-ground law? Democrats and prosecutors. Many elected Democrats are ideologically hostile to self-defense, and prosecutors want more discretionary power. The talk-radio guy I mentioned was happy to give a prominent local Democratic pol a forum on this topic.

      -Obama says he doesn’t want to get involved in this issue but of course he does anyway. What a jerk.

    11. Jonathan Says:

      Another point. Some of the idiots in the national media discuss this case as though Zimmerman’s possible identity as a hispanic mitigates against anti-black racism as a factor in this incident. In fact racial animosity in South Florida is as likely to exist between blacks and hispanics as between blacks and whites. The 1980 Miami riots started after a hispanic police officer shot a black motorist.

    12. PenGun Says:

      This is working. You all need guns of course. Then you can set up groups that define one view/point/tribe as the victims and others as the oppressors. All in the name of freedom and justice you understand.

      The great experiment is moving to a new level as things get tougher and everyone more crazy. I am glad I am watching from a distance.

    13. pst314 Says:

      “Those would be the very same ones, Pst314.”

      I should have ended with “/sarc”. :-)

    14. pst314 Says:

      “I have a feeling that this will rebound very badly on Spike Lee, and on Sharpton and the other race-card pimps.”

      I don’t think it will do any harm to their careers. They could be filmed ritually killing a six-year-old white child (or “better”, the child of a Korean grocer) and it wouldn’t harm the esteem in which they are held. Their supporters have turned their backs on civilization.

    15. Ginny Says:

      Indeed, Sharpton has been essentially guilty of real murder, let alone the murder of reputations, etc. It hasn’t seemed to stop him. I hope nothing happens to Zimmerman or his family.

    16. Michael Kennedy Says:

      PenGun says, “This is working. You all need guns of course. Then you can set up groups that define one view/point/tribe as the victims and others as the oppressors. All in the name of freedom and justice you understand.”

      Odd that you should mention this. Sturm Ruger, the fourth largest gun manufacturer in the US has stopped taking orders. They have sold a million units in the past three months and cannot fill any more orders this year. You, of course, will draw the wrong conclusions. Gun sales spiked with Obama’s election. This may be a negative indicator for the election next fall. Their stock is up over 500% since 2007.

    17. Michael Kennedy Says:

      I posted a comment on Washington Monthly, a lefty blog I used to read, that this was moving too fast before the facts were known. I allowed an hour for my comment to be deleted and I was pretty close. It’s gone. There do seem to be a couple that have reservations at least. Maybe they read mine before it was deleted.

    18. Dragonfly Says:

      To all of you who believe there’s a conspiracy with the photo: I ask that you please use common sense. The boy is dead. Ergo, no news photographer can go to his house and take a candid, up-to-date picture of him. So where would they get a photo? FROM HIS FAMILY.

      Duh.

      I’ve worked in a newsroom. Pictures of dead people come from their families. Some people get angry when they see the “sleazy dead person” (a stripper, for example), in a neutral photo and accuse us of trying to slant the coverage. This is beyond stupid, and one of the reasons that you get dismissed as cranks. I can’t stress enough the inability to go back in time and take photos of the deceased that are more to your liking.

      From now on: If you a see picture in the media of a dead person who was not a public picture, assume that the photo came from that person’s family. This is a sensible assumption, and you will be correct 99.9% of the time.

      In all honesty, what are you imagining are the options for obtaining photos of him? Use your common sense. Think. Waiting for the facts is a good idea, obviously. And so is using your head.

    19. bgates Says:

      Subotai – re “I looked and found that he apparently WAS the organizer of the local Neighborhood Watch” – apparently the Party does not approve of all forms of community organizing.

    20. Michael Kennedy Says:

      Dragonfly, nobody suggested otherwise. He was 17 and 6 feet tall. If the family choose to provide a photo of him at age 12, you can draw your own conclusions.

    21. Dragonfly Says:

      Again, Michael, why the conspiracy? Let me ask you: Your kid has been shot to death. A reporter comes knocking for a photo and a story. Do you really search through your album (assuming you are the type to take copious photos, and your child is the type to let you) to find just the right photo, or do you grab one that’s close at hand? Why do the parents have to have deceitful intention — what you imply by “draw your own conclusions”? Why can’t they just be grieving?

      This is silly. I’ve seen this complaint everywhere, and it’s just ridiculous. There are lots of valid criticisms about the coverage of this case. But the photo? That’s just dumb. Plain and simple.

    22. Dan from Madison Says:

      Dragonfly – god forbid a reporter/news agency could ask the question “got anything more recent”? So who’s dumb now?

    23. Sgt. Mom Says:

      Ok, Dragonfly, I’ll spell it out for ya – yes, they are definitly grieving parents, and yes, they could have gone with the photo that came easily to hand, the one that they have of their dear little boy, when he was charming and sweet and beloved and twelve or thirteen years old.

      But … and this is the big, Michael-Moore sized but … it is not the most current one of him, as a 17-year old high school athelete? He had a facebook page, it’s the work of a few seconds to pull down a pic from an internet site.

      See, it’s all about the narrative framing, when images are carefully choses to leave the casual reader/internet surfer with a specific overall impression … the impression that a canny media professional (or gifted amateur) wants you to have. In this case, we suspect that the narrative suggested was that of a poor widdle innocent black kidlet walking through a pristinely white neighborhood was brutally and unthinkingly set upon by a heartless and gun-happy white guy with an Aryan name. That’s the narrative frame, you see. Images of Trayvon Martin as a tall and fit HS sports team member? Oooooh, doesn’t fit the prooffered image, does it?

      And if you think that I – and some of the other Boyz are being unneccessarily skeptical and/or paranoid about this, just cast your mind back to items like Mohammad al Dura and other Pali-wood exercises. Think about fifty years and longer, of being subtly manipulated with images, for good or bad, I should add. I should think we have some credit for noticing the discrepancy and questioning the narrative being dished out for general consumption.

    24. Bill Brandt Says:

      Well stated Sgt.

    25. Michael Kennedy Says:

      Dragonfly, you might be interested (but probably won’t be) that a black friend of Zimmerman has come forward. As far as grieving is concerned, the shooting happened over a MONTH AGO ! Do you think the Obama allies could get something right with two months to do so ?

    26. Michael Kennedy Says:

      Sorry.

    27. Subotai Bahadur Says:

      Dragonfly

      Just to clear things up a bit, here is the picture of himself that Trayvon Martin put on his Facebook page.

      http://www.liberalsarehypocrites.org/domaindata/lah/blogimages/moretrayvon.jpg

      Glad to help.

      Subotai Bahadur

    28. Dragonfly Says:

      Subotai, thank you, but you and Dan and Michael are all missing the point: There is no conspiracy as far as which photo of the boy is used. The family gives photos of the deceased. It is dumb to suppose they do so intending to trick you. This is actually the one criticism of the media that isn’t valid. Photo archives at news organizations consist of the following: public figures, or living private people who are the subject of news stories and can be photographed candidly by news photographers. But dead private citizens who were never news topics until they died? Think about it.

      I understand the climate of suspicion that Sgt. Mom mentions. I am saying it is not rational to be suspicious about the photo. I don’t think tricking you is what the parents had in mind when they gave the photo to the reporters, I think they were probably thinking that they would never take more photos of him again. Of course, I’m not a parent, and several of you are, so maybe you have some insight into what’s reasonable for Martin’s family to have been up to at the time this all happened. Maybe I’m wrong and they were media-savvy enough to decide to play Michael Moore, and had the sangfroid to think of propaganda instead of their grief.

      A minor dies. So you get permission from the family to post a photo you get from the family. In the chain of events — dead kid, photo request, routine story, there is no reason to imagine there’s going to be conspiracies and social upheaval a month down the line.

      And a word of caution. On the internet you can go ahead and re-post something you see from another site. At a newspaper you have a legal dept. that dates back to dead-tree-days, and it’s not a given that you are allowed just take something from another site and appropriate it for your own uses, especially in the age of copyright trolls.

      I am sure at some point some reporter will embed himself with the family and get you all the photos you want, and all the stories you want. I strongly doubt anyone imagined the photo would be relevant back in February, though. Relevant enough to deliberately opt to mislead you, I mean.

      For Michael — you know what else is dumb? Assuming that I would be upset that someone said Zimmerman wasn’t racist. Why would that bother me, Michael? Have you met me? Again, why the leap in that direction?

      What does bother me is the rush to conspiracy theories, the rush to speculate, the rush to tar and feather before all the facts are in. You have one side lining up to claim that Zimmerman is guilty because he’s white. You have the other side lining up to insist Trayvon was guilty because he was black. Then there are the more reasonable assumptions of media manipulation based on the past experience that Sgt. Mom mentions. It was nice of you, Sgt., to do that historical name check (Dura) for anyone who might be reading, but I was aware of those events already, and the French (IIRC) documentary that showed the Israelis couldn’t have killed him. There’s Jenin, too. And the green helmet guy from the Israeli-Lebanon fracas a while back. And Dan Rather, a moron of the first water. And Crystal Mangum. I wasn’t calling for you to put blind faith in the media. That, too, would be dumb. No question of that. I was calling for sense and reason.

      This one aspect — the matter of photos of deceased victims used in news stories — is something I actually have knowledge about, and chose to inject what common sense I could. If all of you insist on imagining that the most likely reason that someone used a particular photo because they wanted to trick everyone, go ahead. It would be downright churlish of you, but go for it.

    29. Will Says:

      It’s great to see the comments regarding the ridiculous 4th grade photo that’s been pasted all over the web. Most teenagers are crazy to get their drivers license, and I’m guessing there must be a record with weight and height. (plus a non-smiling image)Now would be a great time for a Sharpton/Jackson/Panthers retrospective, to fill in the blanks for those who are too young to remember. I remember well, the Brawley fiasco, Freddy’s Fashion Mart and a number of less well-known incidents involving the MSNBC host.

    30. Bill Brandt Says:

      If anyone is disbelieving that this event could be manipulated by people wanting the maximum political impact remember Cindy Sheehan. Her son had been killed in Iraq, a San Francisco PR firm starting managing the tragedy –

      I can research timeline if you want but there are people like that out there – unfortunately –

    31. Sgt. Mom Says:

      Churlish? I’d prefer ‘bitterly cynical’ as a descriptor, myself. It’s so often justified by later developements.