Monday, July 15, 2013

The Zimmerman "Race Riots": Blame the Media

Skittles
Skittles (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I'm blaming the media for the Zimmerman "race riots" or whatever they are called these days. Normally the media bend over backwards to minimize racial aspects of crime -- especially when it is blacks on the doing end. But, in this case, they went out of their way to emphasize race. The victim was black; the perp was white. Except, he was hispanic; so he morphed into a "white hispanic". Then, they created a story-line, a narrative: innocent-eyed black child (cue the photo as a 12-year-old) buying candy mowed down by white vigilante.

In fact:

* Martin was a 17 year old "child", not 12

* the neighborhood, and Zimmerman himself, had been plagued by burglaries, most if not all perped by black youth (the media downplayed this dimension). Being watchful seems a reasonable response.

* Martin had been caught defacing school property and with a bag of lady's jewelry, and a screwdriver that could be used as a burglary tool, and no good explanation for why he had the jewelry or where he got it from. In other words, he was likely involved in burglaries either as a perp or a fence. This was not reported as crime proceeds because the local police were under a directive to "reduce" crime by black youths (once again the race angle); so it was simply reported as "found items". There is a good chance the guy Zimmerman thought  suspicious had, in fact, burglarized at least once.

* According to Martin tweets, the Skittles and the beverage he bought were two out of the three ingredients needed to make a home-made hallucinogenic. A less innocent spin on the Skittles and "iced tea" (it was actually a watermelon concoction) promoted by the media.

* Based on the phone call to his girlfriend, Martin clearly had an "attitude" of racial enmity towards whites -- "crackers".

*  There is little doubt that it was Martin on top of Zimmerman, breaking his nose and bashing his head against the concrete sidewalk, and not Zimmerman on top of Martin. This fact didn't fit the media narrative so it was seriously downplayed.

* There is no evidence that Zimmerman initiated the contact/confrontation with Martin, although the media narrative was that he had. He claims he was ambushed. When told by police there was video of the altercation, he reportedly said, "thank God".

* Given the wounds to Zimmerman, it's pretty clear who the guy was screaming "help, help".

* **

It is tragic that the only weapon Zimmerman had was a gun. Martin may well have been a minor perp heading for punkdom, but he didn't deserve to die. Too bad Zimmerman didn't have pepper spray or something. It's also too bad that in shooting Martin, the shot was lethal. Unfortunately, regardless of who started it, if you find yourself on your back getting your nose broken and your head bashed against a concrete sidewalk, at some point you are going to take whatever you have in hand and defend yourself. Unfortunately, it was a gun.

I think "not guilty" was the only verdict open to the jurors based on the evidence at hand and I blame the media for puffing up this black hat/white hat, good guy-bad guy narrative and I lay the blame for the unlawful, violent demonstrations that America in now experiencing at their feet.

I'm open to be corrected. Please keep any comments civil and constructive.

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19 comments:

Anonymous said...

I did not see much by way of riots. could be that the media could not gin up enough hate.

RkBall said...

You're right; riots aren't quite the right word. Mayhem, maybe.

Pissedoff said...

Don't count your chickens too soon. Some of the comments would be laughable under different circumstances

http://nationalreport.net/breaking-negro-vigilantes-vow-vengeance-after-trayvon-martin-verdict/

Anon1152 said...

So much to say...

Right now I want to focus on one point. You say that Zimmerman "morphed" into a "white hispanic" Charles Krauthammer has mentioned this phenomenon, and more-or-less said that there was no such thing as a "white hispanic" until this Martin/Zimmerman case. A claim which is... completely untrue. I grant that race is a complex subject with a long history. And we can go into more detail if you want. But, I think that I'm on fairly solid ground when I claim that "white" is a "race" and "Hispanic" is an "ethnicity." In fact, I worked in a call centre in Chicago (nearly 10 years ago) and often I would have to ask callers questions for federally-mandated demographic record-keeping requirements. One of the questions asked whether the caller categorized him/herself as "non-white hispanic". Or maybe it was "non-hispanic-white". Either way, both are real categories. Hispanic people are people of Spanish descent/extraction/whatever. And many of them identify as (and are identified as) white. Martin Sheen (born Ramón Antonio Gerardo Estévez) is (I think) uncontroversially "white". He might also be considered hispanic, given his original name. Rita Hayworth (remember her?) was born Margarita Carmen Cansino); she was considered white, wasn't she?. Alexis Bledel's father is from Argentina (and her mother, born in Arizona, moved to latin America as a child). Alexis Bledel appears to be "white". I'm sure if I knew more about pop culture I could come up with more examples. But my knowledge of pop culture is, sadly (or not-so-sadly?), limited.

My point here is only that "hispanic" is an "ethnicity" and "white" is a "race", and that there is no contradiction involved in claiming that someone is a "white hispanic". Meaning that it is not inaccurate to call Zimmerman "white".

That said, I'm not sure that Zimmerman's race or ethnicity matters much here. People like Krauthammer (and perhaps you yourself) seem to want to argue: "this can't be about race because Zimmerman isn't white". I doubt that that argument holds water.

RkBall said...

Anon1152: Yes, I was aware of what you said regarding race vs. ethnicity. The point here though is the media were not willing to let the facts (and the photos of Zimmerman) speak for themselves. In order to fit the white-Americans-are-racist-and-blacks-are-always-mistreated-because-of-skin-color-and-not-behavior, they had to make sure that Zimmerman was characterized as "white". Otherwise, since they identified Zimmerman as Hispanic, why did they have to go farther and add "white". Especially when, objectively, he is brown?

Anon1152 said...

So much to say....

I'm going to try to respond to the points that you've noted with the symbol "*".

*"Martin was a 17 year old "child", not 12"
- Sure. I don't recall anyone claiming that Martin was 12. I do know that older pictures of Martin were used. When someone dies, the pictures of them that are published are surely going to be from before they died. Some of the first pictures of Zimmerman that were shown were from years ago too. Oh. Like that mug shot of his. Yes. Zimmerman has been in trouble with the police before (for being violent). You didn't mention that in this post. But you felt it necessary to mention that Martin may have planned to make a hallucinogen from the skittles he bought?But whatever.

*"the neighborhood, and Zimmerman himself, had been plagued by burglaries, most if not all perped by black youth (the media downplayed this dimension). Being watchful seems a reasonable response."
- Ok. I would like to know more about the evidence that black people had been responsible for the previous burglaries. And why that means that any random black person in the area would be more of a suspect than any other person. Being watchful does seem to be a reasonable response. Calling 911 does seem to be an acceptable response. Carrying a gun, and following the person you've seen (who so far as you know hasn't done anything wrong) and going to confront them (after the 911 operator asks "are you following him?" and says "we don't need you to do that") is not a reasonable response. If Zimmerman was afraid, he wouldn't have (or shouldn't have) followed Martin around and confronted him in the first place.

"* Martin had been caught defacing school property and with a bag of lady's jewelry, and a screwdriver that could be used as a burglary tool, and no good explanation for why he had the jewelry or where he got it from. In other words, he was likely involved in burglaries either as a perp or a fence. This was not reported as crime proceeds because the local police were under a directive to "reduce" crime by black youths (once again the race angle); so it was simply reported as "found items". There is a good chance the guy Zimmerman thought suspicious had, in fact, burglarized at least once."
- This was not reported as a crime because the police were ordered to "reduce" crime by black youths? It sounds like it wasn't reported as a crime because there was no evidence of a crime. Having jewellery is not a crime, unless it can be proven to be someone else's jewellery. Having a screw driver is not a crime. I walk around with something that could be construed as a screwdriver all the time. (Well, I think it's technically called a "multitool"). I've never been under suspicion for that before.

And even if Martin had "burglarized at least once" in his past.... what does that mean? Are you allowed to stalk someone (at night, with a gun) on the unproven off-chance they may have committed a crime in the past?

Anon1152 said...



*"* Based on the phone call to his girlfriend, Martin clearly had an "attitude" of racial enmity towards whites -- "crackers"."

Well, Martin wasn't following Zimmerman at night. Zimmerman was following Martin. His "attitude" that you describe, if he indeed had that attitude, didn't instigate this confrontation. And, quite frankly, I can't blame black people for being suspicious of white people. Especially if the white person is armed and following you around at night while you're doing nothing wrong. Oh, and the last few hundred years of history might also be considered relevant. But whatever.

*"There is little doubt that it was Martin on top of Zimmerman, breaking his nose and bashing his head against the concrete sidewalk, and not Zimmerman on top of Martin. This fact didn't fit the media narrative so it was seriously downplayed."
- There is little doubt? I have my doubts. But even if Martin were on top of Zimmerman, I think a case could be made that Martin was defending himself (against the strange unidentified man who was following him at night with a gun).

*"There is no evidence that Zimmerman initiated the contact/confrontation with Martin, although the media narrative was that he had. He claims he was ambushed. When told by police there was video of the altercation, he reportedly said, "thank God"."
- This is the claim that I find most puzzling. Zimmerman was following Martin. Zimmerman got out of his car to follow Martin. Is that fact in dispute?

*"Given the wounds to Zimmerman, it's pretty clear who the guy was screaming "help, help"."
- Ok. I guess I was wrong (above). This is the most puzzling claim. "Given the wounds to Zimmerman"? Have you compared the wounds Zimmerman and Martin each received? Have you compared the force/firepower available to Zimmerman compared to Martin? Have you thought about the fact that it was Zimmerman who started following Martin (at night, while carrying a gun)?


Well. I'm glad I got that off my chest. So to speak. I'm sorry if I appear overly confrontational.

RkBall said...

*"Martin was a 17 year old "child", not 12"

The narrative was, and continues to be, that he was a "child". A picture used this week in the National Post from the AP is that of a 12 year old.

Oh. Like that mug shot of his. Yes. Zimmerman has been in trouble with the police before (for being violent). You didn't mention that in this post.

Because this was covered by the media, and Zimmerman was not being portrayed as a beautific being.

But you felt it necessary to mention that Martin may have planned to make a hallucinogen from the skittles he bought?But whatever.

Not just may have and not just the Skittles. The Skittles plus the watermelon drink he bought are 2/3 of the ingredients, and his Twitters made it clear he had the 3rd ingredient. The media are still claiming it was iced tea. The reason, again, is because of the beautific, innocent narrative promoted by the media.

*"the neighborhood, and Zimmerman himself, had been plagued by burglaries, most if not all perped by black youth (the media downplayed this dimension). Being watchful seems a reasonable response."

And why that means that any random black person in the area would be more of a suspect than any other person.

Dude, I live in an Asian area of town. If I learn that there are break-ins going on and most of them are by white teens at night, if I see white teens at night, I am going to pay more attention to them than if I see a couple of Asian or black dudes. I don't think that makes me a racist. That is what used to pass for common sense.

If Zimmerman was afraid, he wouldn't have (or shouldn't have) followed Martin around and confronted him in the first place.

No evidence that Zimmerman confronted Martin.

RkBall said...

It sounds like it wasn't reported as a crime because there was no evidence of a crime.

Wrong. It was not investigated because the police were under orders to reduce black crime. Do a Google search. This was not costume jewelry. This was serious jewelry in a "child's" backpack, and he had no good explanation for how it got there.

And even if Martin had "burglarized at least once" in his past.... what does that mean?

It means that the beautific narrative promoted by the media was false. If the police had not done racial profiling, and if they had investigated the jewelry, they might have nailed Martin on a theft charge, in which case the guy Zimmerman was "profiling" would not be a 12 year old angel but a 17 year old with a rap sheet.

Arguably, Zimmerman's civil rights were jeopardized by the police's racial profiling.

Anon1152 said...

"white-Americans-are-racist-and-blacks-are-always-mistreated-because-of-skin-color-and-not-behavior"?

I think that's a caricature if not a straw man...

*

You say that Zimmerman is "objectively brown"? What "objective" standard are you using there? I've seen pictures of Zimmerman. He looks white to me. In terms of skin colour... he's probably the same "shade" as me. And I identify as white (and am... usually... identified as white).

Part of our problem has to do with the slipperiness of the word "race". How many "races" are there? Three? Two dozen? Many different typologies of race have been offered over the last few hundred years. And there are groups that were once considered "not white" who are now considered "white" (e.g., the Irish, the Jews...). This is one reason why I don't worry when people (like, say, Pat Buchanan) worry that white people will become the minority in America. I say: won't happen. It would have happened long ago... but we keep expanding the definition of "white".

RkBall said...

Try this.

http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2013/07/trayvon-martins-involvement-in-local-burglaries-covered-up-by-media-school-police-prosecutors.html

RkBall said...

Read this:

http://www.wnd.com/2013/04/police-buried-trayvons-criminal-history/

RkBall said...

"A boy's blood had been spilled on a rain-soaked patch of grass behind a row of mustard-colored condominiums by a man who had pursued him against the advice of 911 dispatchers. That man carried a 9-millimeter handgun. The boy carried a bag of candy."

This was not from some third-rate source. This was the New York Times.

My quarrel is not with the events as they unfolded; it is with the media narrative that was spun.

RkBall said...

http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/06/what_the_media_choose_not_to_know_about_trayvon.html

Anon1152: I'm off to bed. I know you are a very decent fellow, and I enjoyed our exchange tonite.

Anon1152 said...

I also consider you a decent fellow. And I enjoy our exchanges.

*

I've looked at the links you provided.

And... I'm still unconvinced. If you want to say "Trayvon Martin was no angel", I would surely agree with you. Angels are Angels. Humans are humans. Young people, young males, young highschool students... often find themselves in various sorts of trouble. That is not uncommon. And the punishment for those transgressions is not (last time I checked) death.

And what trouble had Martin been in in the past (according to your sources)? He was caught with jewellery... which we *assume* he stole... but there's no evidence that the jewellery belongs to anyone other than him. He was caught with traces of marijuana in his backpack. (I must admit I don't consider that crime-worthy. If he'd been caught with a marijuana plant in his backpack... I'd have trouble justifying any sort of punishment. My knowledge of marijuana is limited... but I've never known marijuana to make anyone more dangerous... though alcohol has a well established history of doing that... and alcohol is perfectly legal). But I digress. Anyway... what other things was Martin guilty of? He was going to use skittles to make a hallucinogen? I'd like to see how that can happen chemically...

But none of this means that Zimmerman was right to follow Martin at night (while armed) and then shoot him. If Zimmerman wanted to report a suspicious person to the police, fine. But he didn't (or... shouldn't) have the right to follow him (at night) and shoot him.

And this argument that Zimmerman didn't confront Martin... baffles me. Martin wasn't following Zimmerman. Zimmerman (at night, while carrying a gun) was following Martin (who was unarmed and had every right to be where he was).

RkBall said...

But none of this means that Zimmerman was right to follow Martin at night (while armed)... Zimmerman (at night, while carrying a gun) was following Martin (who was unarmed and had every right to be where he was).

Zimmerman was a duly-appointed Neighborhood Watch captain in a posted Neighborhood Watch high-crime area.

While Martin had every right to be where he was, so did Zimmerman.

So, it comes down to, who precipitated the violent confrontation. Given the testimony of Martin's own star witness (the black gal), there is every likelihood that Martin precipitated the confrontation.

I believe that if either you or I had been followed by Zimmerman, no violence would have ensued. I have twice been "stalked" and "confronted" by Phoenix police who patrol our gated condo. I simply told them exactly what I was doing, thanked them for patroling our complex, and we each went on our way.

I think, on the probability of the evidence, Martin was the hothead.

RkBall said...

Skittles -- the main ingredient is the Robotussin cough syrup.

"Syrup also is made with over-the-counter cough syrups such as Robitussin DM, which contain dextromethorphan as the cough suppressant. Although dextromethorphan is used recreationally, it has dissociative effects as opposed to narcotic."

RkBall said...

Anon1152: Martin's girlfriend Jeantel offered three versions of testimony in his "defense". First, Martin referred to Zimmerman as a "crazy ass cracka". A straightforward understanding of this term is that it is derogatory racist slang for white-boy.

This is not PC. Perhaps that is why the Jeantel offered that cracka really means a policeman, or security guard or someone in authority. How does this help Martin's case?! It means the guy was showing animosity towards someone he believed was in authority, which in fact Zimmerman did have at least a modicum of as a duly appointed NW captain.

Then, she told the CNN guy Piers Morgan that she told Martin that Zimmerman was probably gay, and that the beating that Martin gave Zimmerman was not to kill him, but to teach him a lesson -- the implication was that Zimmerman should have realized this was just a beating, not lethal, and not shot him. It was all a cultural mis-understanding!

* * *

1. Martin should not have beat on Zimmerman.
2. Zimmerman should have defended himself (and did).
3. Martin was not "asking for it" and did not deserve to die.

RkBall said...

Update: the technical term for what Martin was administering is a "whoop ass".

http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2013/07/17/nobody_will_go_near_rachel_jeantel_s_revelation_that_trayvon_martin_inflicted_a_whoop_ass_on_george_zimmerman_because_he_thought_zimmerman_was_gay

"... nothing intellectually compelling or challenging.. bald assertions coupled to superstition... woefully pathetic"