Nobody Could Have Anticipated This

Honestly, I haven’t known what to say aboutthe Trayvon Martin case because there’s just so much hurt there, but I can’t get this family out of my mind. We’ve got a young black kid going to 7-Eleven to get his little brother some Skittles and a trigger-happy wannabe hero with a history of seeing boogeymen behind every bush, plus a completely fucked up Florida state law that makes it nearly impossible to prosecute gun crimes, and a local police chief who mangled the case eight ways to Friday. It’s just a perfect storm of suckitude all the way around.

No, scratch that, it’s not a perfect storm, this was absolutely, 100% predictable. Because young black teenagers will walk to the store to get candy. And trigger-happy neighborhood watch captains with a hero complex will shoot innocent people. Stupid redneck cops will look the other way. Every piece of this story played out exactly as we all said it would. Somehow “told you so” just doesn’t feel adequate to the situation.

So now the Dept. of Justice and the FBI are getting involved. Finally, finallya grand jury is being convened.Finally I’m hearing calls for Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee to resign.

The Sanford PD doesn’t have a good track record, by the way; their last police chief resigned in 2011 after a police officer’s son with a history of violence was filmed attacking a homeless man. That police chief didn’t do anything either, until public outrcy demanded justice. Sanford, I think you have a cop problem. Just sayin’.

Predictably, the gun loons and Teanuts are circling the wagons. So far their best argument is that this can’t possibly be a hate crimebecause George Zimmerman was Hispanic. Right, of course, only white people are suspicious of male black teens, all of those other brown folk are just kinda lumped in together into one big happy chocolate soup, amiright people? /sarcasm.

I’m pretty much an open book regarding my strong dislike for guns. Every time I write a blog post expressing my intense dismay at another wingnutty piece of legislation putting ever more people into unsafe contact with guns, the gun loons troll my place en masse telling me I need to read my Constitution. Or else I’m misinformed, and here are these reams of data showing states or countries with really liberal gun laws, and see how they have fewer gun accidents? So I’m just wrong and hysterical, blahbedy blah.

And you know what? I don’t fucking care. Just shut up. You own a gun to kill things. Killing is wrong. Isn’t that the “pro-life” position? People arestupid andirresponsible and can’t be trusted with guns. Rednecks in particular are bad with guns. And also, you know what? Sometimes, shit just happens and innocent people die. This shit happens every single day in this country. And it seems logical that if there are fewer guns out there, fewer accidents like this will happen. But the gun loons live in a fear-based world, where everyone needs to be on high alert because some black kid might try to steal their laptop.

And really, is this the argument? I need a gun to protect my shit? I don’t get that. Take the fucking laptop. Unless you’re transporting gold bouillion and bearer bonds on a regular basis, you don’t need a gun to protect your shit.

I don’t buy the “I need to protect myself” argument, either. Unless you actually know someone who wants to kill you, and that has to be a very, very small number of people, then there are other ways of defending yourself. You know, if all you have is a gun then everything looks like a target.

And please don’t tell me we need an armed populace to protect against tyranny. Seriously? You think your collection of AK-47s is going to match the entire U.S. arsenal that we’ve spent billioins of dollars building? Hilarious. In this day and age, a piece of computer code will do more damage than all the militia nuts in Georgia and Montana combined.

Nothing was stupider than seeing the Teanuts assemble at their little rallies with their guns strapped to their hips, like they were such a threat. If you guys were anything remotely close to threatening you’d have been rounded up and hauled off to jail like the Occupy protesters were. The Tea Party threatens no one in power, they’re tools and half-wits recruited by the powerful to support the status quo. Hilarious. The fact that they were able to wave their guns out in the open unmolested is proof of how toothless they were.

And finally, this is a main reason why I won’t go to Florida. Ever. Most of my relatives think it’s because I’m still pissed about the 2000 election, but that’s not it. It’s this “shoot first, ask questions later it’s MAH RIGHT” attitude that completely permeates Amygdala America. I don’t want to be around it. Florida’s law is so nebulous, anyone can claim they felt “threatened” by anything — a cross-eyed look, a liberal bumper sticker, a Sikh wearing a dastar, two guys kissing, whatever. No one reads the statute before they decide it’s their right to blow some kid away. People are stupid, I’ve already said that. They’re fearful and reactionary and it takes cases like this one to wake some folks up.

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18 thoughts on “Nobody Could Have Anticipated This

  1. Jay in Oregon says:

    You’re 100% right. There is nothing in this story that is in any way out of the ordinary.
    Entitled gun nut with authority issues? Check
    Teenager hassled and shot because of Walking While Black? Check
    Police department fucking up a perfectly straightforward investigation because of racial bias? Check
    Police department covering up the fucking-up of investigation? Check
    If it wasn’t for the presence of witnesses (including a girl who was on the phone with Trayvon minutes before he was killed) who could attest that Trayvon was hassled, assaulted, and shot without provocation then he’d be just another statistic.

  2. pansypoo says:

    walking while black. i try to be extra nice to young black males. i’d like to apologize for my race. i do meat some very nice black guys at estate sales.

  3. kaylynne says:

    First I am a loyal follower who most of the time says “You go woman!” and even when disagreeing, I consider your rights and read to see if I can learn something or need to rethink my own idea(s) about something.
    The murder of Trayvon is tragic, awful, horrendous and I cried after trying to see how I would feel and it scares me too much to even go there.
    I am afraid that with the hyper media coverage and the rightwingnut situation in this state, yes I am a Floridian, it will be too simple for outside agitators even from other areas in Florida to mix this up into a situation that would play into the wrong hands who would use it for some type of gain. Power, control or to further a political agenda.
    Riots and street violence are bad very bad. More deaths, more injuries, property damage that would impact ordinary folks AND the domino effect of more coverage, more …
    I take great pains (not perfect here) to not demonize, generalize or inflame.
    This could happen anywhere in the U S and abroad.
    Too much generalizing is going on and it has evolved (on the liberal side) into geographic bigotry which ironically sounds like the narrative coming from other places. The reaction has been “Oh that’s awful!”… “How dare ‘they” say something like “An American murdered innocent women, children and unarmed men, therefore Americans are… I’m losing track of the states in which reprehensible behaviour is going on. Losing track of hurtful and hateful and thoughtless remarks. Very disappointed in the number of intelligent liberals who know better than to descend into that but who are losing it. Your page, delete if you wish. Thank you.

  4. Oh I think a Rodney King-type situation in Florida and elsewhere is very likely if Zimmerman is not arrested and prosecuted and Bill Lee isn’t fired. I’d say that’s a given, and my little blog post is not going to change that. That became inevitable the moment Jeb Bush signed the “Shoot First, Ask Questions Later” bill into law.
    The problem is, the law is supposed to protect us from this stuff. And Florida’s law, written by the NRA, is what actually created the situation in the first place. And I don’t see that law getting changed, ever. Because white people made that law and that’s who’s in charge.
    Sorry but that’s reality.

  5. MapleStreet says:

    Couldn’t agree more.
    May I add that from everything I’ve read in news reports, the “neighborhood watch” fellow has a prior conviction for violence (?assault?). While the police have to have extensive training in using their firearms – especially on when it is lawful to shoot (such as you see the perpetrator with a gun heading toward you) and also how to avoid having to use your firearm (even Florida police which are also known for other abuses such as blind stops of automobiles and then searching the automobile under coerced permission). The neighborhood watch guy called 911 and was told by the dispatcher not to follow nor approach the victim. Although some message boards are citing Florida’s self defense law for firearms, they ignore that the guy was actually accosting the victim by approaching. Oddly, the comment boards don’t seem to look at how this is a good reason against various castle laws.
    And very few seem to ask why a neighborhood watch (duty to see and report to the police) was carrying a firearm.

  6. Elspeth Ravenwind says:

    I’m sure Mr. Zimmerman is being sought after to join the ranks (and I do mean ‘rank’) of the NOPD who are on a really good roll of shooting folks unnecessarily. :(
    Justice for Trayvon NOW!

  7. R. Manhammer says:

    > This could happen anywhere in the U S and abroad.
    That’s not true. It could never happen in New York City, Portland, Seattle, Canada, Britain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, etc. They don’t have the same fear-based guntard culture we have here, particularly here in Dog’s Failed Confederate Paradise For White People Only. I say this as a native of the Failed Confederacy.
    I’m not saying those places don’t have murders, but you’ll never see an unarmed black kid gunned down by some neighborhood vigilante with the full backing of the law and the aid of local law enforcement.

  8. joejoejoe says:

    Florida’s not THAT backwards. It went for Obama in 2008 and the county where my Mom lives (Volusia) went to Kerry by a hair in 2004. Good chunks of Florida are as backwards as you’ll ever find (like the Legislature) but I’m not sure Florida as a whole is much worse than any place else in America. There are pockets where it is still unreconstructed but the same is true for pockets of New York and Indiana. If the gun laws in Florida in particular are what bother you then I think it’s reasonable to avoid the state but if the general level of racism and stupid are what bother you I’m not sure how you can so much as drive across any 3 states in the US without striking a pocket of the worst of human nature.

  9. (O)CT(O)PUS says:

    According to the 911 telephone transcript, Zimmerman was warned by the dispatcher and specifically instructed NOT TO FOLLOW the teenager any further. From that point forward in time, it became a police matter, and Mr. Zimmerman made a disastrous choice with lethal consequences. Furthermore, it has been reported that Mr. Zimmerman made 44 similar telephone calls to 911 over a 2-year period. On one hand, this frequency of 911 calls may seem to be appropriate actions for a self-appointed neighborhood watcher. On the other hand, it paints a picture of a man who gets a vicarious thrill in accosting and bullying strangers in his neighborhood. Mighty suspicious indeed!
    Yes indeed, Florida has the most atrocious record of lynchings and murders compared with ANY state in the south, and this miserable history includes the case of the Groveland Four, the bombing of civil rights leaders Harry and Harriet Moore in their home on Christmas Eve night, and the massacre of the good citizens of Roseland.
    With respect to the so-called “Make-My-Day” law enacted in 2005, there have been 13 shooting incidents. Twelve of the victims were unarmed, and one of the victims was a young trick-or-treater shot dead on Halloween night. In all cases, the shooters were exonerated. This is UNACCEPTABLE for any so-called civilized nation.

  10. MapleStreet says:

    (O)ct(O)PUS –
    And wasn’t it Tampa where a Greek Orthodox Priest, wearing a big cross on his front, was beaten for being a Muslim terrorist?
    Thanks for the stats. What I was trying to say in my earlier post is that a cop shooting someone will have an extensive investigation into the propriety of the shooting including things such as did they follow SOP, did they see a weapon on the victim, did they appropriately call for back-up, etc. etc. But some wacko with a history of violence (I’m wanting to say assault of a police officer), gets to be a Neighborhood Watch Captain (implies the support of the community -which new about his background as well as some degree of leadership for the group) – and also some training from the police about what to do and not do. This combined with Florida law lets them shoot people without consequences?

  11. democommie says:

    Zimmerman is a murdering piece of shit.
    The police chief is a racist piece of shit who enable murdering pieces of shit like Zimmerman.
    It is not hard to decipher.

  12. (O)CT(O)PUS says:

    Maplestree, these are the fact in the case as reported by various news sources:
    Zimmerman pursued Martin against the explicit instructions of the police dispatcher:
    Dispatcher: “Are you following him?”
    Zimmerman: “Yeah”
    Dispatcher: “OK, we don’t need you to do that.” [Orlando Sentinel]
    Zimmerman was carrying a a Kel Tel 9 millimeter handgun. Martin was carrying a bag of Skittles and a can of iced tea. [ABC News]
    Martin weighed 140 pounds. Zimmerman weighs 250 pounds. [Orlando Sentinel; WDBO]
    Martin’s English teacher described him as “as an A and B student who majored in cheerfulness.” [Orlando Sentinel]
    Martin had no criminal record. [New York Times]
    Zimmerman “was charged in July 2005 with resisting arrest with violence and battery on an officer. The charges appear to have been dropped.” [Huffington Post]
    Zimmerman called the police 46 times since Jan. 1, 2011. [Miami Herald]
    According to neighbors, Zimmerman was “fixated on crime and focused on young, black males.” [Miami Herald]
    Zimmerman “had been the subject of complaints by neighbors in his gated community for aggressive tactics” [Huffington Post]
    A police officer “corrected” a key witness. “The officer told the witness, a long-time teacher, it was Zimmerman who cried for help, said the witness. ABC News has spoken to the teacher and she confirmed that the officer corrected her when she said she heard the teenager shout for help.” [ABC News]
    Three witnesses say they heard a boy cry for help before a shot was fired. “Three witnesses contacted by The Miami Herald say they saw or heard the moments before and after the Miami Gardens teenager’s killing. All three said they heard the last howl for help from a despondent boy.” [Miami Herald]
    The officer in charge of the crime scene also received criticism in 2010 when he initially failed to arrest a lieutenant’s son who was videotaped attacking a homeless black man. [New York Times]
    The police did not test Zimmerman for drugs or alcohol. A law enforcement expert told ABC that Zimmerman sounds intoxicated on the 911 tapes. Drug and alcohol testing is “standard procedure in most homicide investigations.” [ABC News]
    In a cell phone call moments before his death, Martin told a teenage girl that he was “hounded by a strange man on a cellphone who ran after him, cornered him and confronted him.” “‘He said this man was watching him, so he put his hoodie on. He said he lost the man,’ Martin’s friend said. ‘I asked Trayvon to run, and he said he was going to walk fast. I told him to run but he said he was not going to run.’ Eventually he would run, said the girl, thinking that he’d managed to escape. But suddenly the strange man was back, cornering Martin. ‘Trayvon said, ‘What, are you following me for,’ and the man said, ‘What are you doing here.'” [ABC News]
    Zimmerman was not a member of a registered Neighborhood Watch group. Zimmerman also violated basic Neighborhood Watch guidelines by carrying a weapon. [ABC News]
    In our system of jurisprudence, it’s up to a jury to decide (and I certainly hope a jury gets a chance to weigh the evidence).

  13. whatwehavehereisafailuretocommunicate says:

    That last comment was fucking brilliant! Hats off to (O)CT (O)PUS I am so involved with this case. This case is waking up black America. It’s time to stop sitting down and watching bullies beat and kill us at will. Our ancestors faught to hard for this shit!! I’m not talking about violence as a reaction. I’m talking about uniting and becoming one. Our intelligence will help us protect and regain our rights. And just like someone mentioned earlier. Hispanics, latino’s, Mexicans hate black people. I used to be in the navy for 10 years a long time ago. I had a hispanic guy sit me down and explain it to me. He said “we hate blacks because no one talks about us. All we hear is Black and White and White and Black. We should be 2nd because were not as dark as black people.” Our skin is almost like theirs. I shit you not…He said it.

  14. whatwehavehereisafailuretocommunicate says:

    So…is the shooting still of a racial profiling? You better believe it! And personally I feel that this shooting goes way beyond what we actually know. Somebody wanted that kid dead. Zimmerman is an idiot from what I have seen. I wonder how many African Americans live in that neighborhood. I wonder if some people actually anticipated this reaction. I wonder was it done as a message to the black people in the area. After this, no other black person is going to want to live in that neighborhood with a police station like that. Maybe that was the whole intent so the whites property values could skyrocket again. We have a broken economy and if you know white people like I do they will protect their own and investments to the fullest. Even if it means scaring some black folks away. Zimmerman may have been a pawn. Think deeper people

  15. Lee from NC says:

    “And please don’t tell me we need an armed populace to protect against tyranny. Seriously? You think your collection of AK-47s is going to match the entire U.S. arsenal that we’ve spent billioins of dollars building? Hilarious. In this day and age, a piece of computer code will do more damage than all the militia nuts in Georgia and Montana combined.
    Nothing was stupider than seeing the Teanuts assemble at their little rallies with their guns strapped to their hips, like they were such a threat. If you guys were anything remotely close to threatening you’d have been rounded up and hauled off to jail like the Occupy protesters were. The Tea Party threatens no one in power, they’re tools and half-wits recruited by the powerful to support the status quo. Hilarious. The fact that they were able to wave their guns out in the open unmolested is proof of how toothless they were”
    THIS. So many, many times this. This was a righteous rant and every word is so true. But no one will listen, unfortunately.

  16. MapleStreet says:

    @Lee – Agreed. May I add we’re gonna trust a vigilante mob to always make the right judgements on the spot without falsely harming someone under mob mentality?
    (O)ct(o)pus = Thanks for the list. I also saw in one news article, but have not been able to even make a semblance of confirming, that all his calls to 911 were about blacks and included things like children playing in the street outside their house (imagine that in a gate community).
    Also saw 2 interesting articles on CNN just now:
    Does Florida Law Let Killers Go Freehttp://www.cnn.com/2012/03/20/opinion/toobin-trayvon-martin/index.html?hpt=hp_c1 The CNN legal analyst looks at the Florida Stand your ground law
    How ‘duty to retreat’ became ‘stand your ground’http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/21/opinion/bellin-stand-your-ground-law/?iref=obinsite by a law prof and former DC federal prosecutor.
    Here in Missouri the law recently was amended to include a castle doctrine that sounds to me that if you’re in my house, that is all the justification I need to blow you away – no obligation for me to retreat. So I guess I could invite someone for dinner and then get away with murder by shooting them sitting at my table during the salad course.

  17. Here in Missouri the law recently was amended to include a castle doctrine that sounds to me that if you’re in my house, that is all the justification I need to blow you away …
    THAT IS SO PRO-LIFE I CANNOT STAND IT.
    Jeeezus. Do they even know what the words mean?

  18. MapleStreet says:

    Southern,
    “Does Florida Law Let Killers Go Free” includes that since the law went into effect (may I add under Jeb Bush), “… reports of justifiable homicides have tripled, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.”

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