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Boardman writes: "In the distorting mirror of the Zimmerman verdict we glimpse all too much of who we are today as a nation - not what each of us is, nor what all of us are, but an inescapable collage of how exceptional we are in so many ways of which we should be ashamed."

Abdul Kebbeh, 6, holds a sign at Westlake Park on Sunday, July 14, 2013 in downtown Seattle. Hundreds of people gathered at Westlake and marched to the United States Court House to protest the acquittal of George Zimmerman. (photo: Joshua Trujillo/seattlepi.com/AP)
Abdul Kebbeh, 6, holds a sign at Westlake Park on Sunday, July 14, 2013 in downtown Seattle. Hundreds of people gathered at Westlake and marched to the United States Court House to protest the acquittal of George Zimmerman. (photo: Joshua Trujillo/seattlepi.com/AP)


United States of Zimmerman

By William Boardman, Reader Supported News

16 July 13

 

A jury verdict is not the same as moral judgment

he most important thing about the Zimmerman verdict is that it's a clear demonstration of how the American legal system is only about law. It is not about justice. It is not even about the consequences of killing another person.

The verdict demonstrates that, despite the protestations of the law that it is about justice, that's only a pretense to cover the reality: that when the law produces justice, it's a fluke, an accident, a surprise. The law is only about the law.

And it's no wonder, when you stop to think about who makes laws and why. Justice is one of the last things on the legislative mind, if it ever gets there at all.

And so the Zimmerman verdict can be seen as a metaphor for the American way of life and death these days, a psychic rorschach blot of our culture, a measure of the zeitgeist in the United States of Zimmerman, the US of Z.

In the distorting mirror of the Zimmerman verdict we glimpse all too much of who we are today as a nation - not what each of us is, nor what all of us are, but an inescapable collage of how exceptional we are in so many ways of which we should be ashamed. Here's a sampling of those reflections.

A Rough Guide to Life in the United States of Zimmerman, the US of Z

In the US of Z the law allows people to hunt each other.

In the US of Z you can be a self-appointed volunteer vigilante, and you have permission to decide a person is up to no good based solely on the color of his skin, and maybe the time of day and your own bigotry.

In the US of Z you may racial profile to your heart's content and the judge won't let it be used against you in court.

In the US of Z, you don't have to feel remorse if you kill someone, even if that person did nothing wrong, even if you went out of your way to get to kill him. You can just believe it was God's plan.

In the US of Z, there is confusion about whether Trayvon Martin is another Medgar Evers or Emmett Till. He might have grown up to be a Medgar Evers. He died an Emmett Till.

In the US of Z, the acquittal of someone who stalked and killed a young black man comes as no surprise. But it's still surprising that Zimmerman's defense attorney asserted, in all apparent seriousness, that in the same circumstances, Zimmerman would not even have been charged if he was black.

In the US of Z, it is no surprise for a black man to go uncharged when he does not survive his arrest. That's not what the defense attorney meant, because in the US of Z, it's the killer Zimmerman who is somehow the victim.

In this US of Z, there are white people who believe that black people don't care about dead black boys except when whites kill them.

Is It Ever Fair to Arrest a Judge's Son?

In this US of Z, people still think it's unfair that Zimmerman was even arrested 44 days after the killing. They don't believe that George Zimmerman's father, Robert Zimmerman, a retired Virginia Supreme Court magistrate, reportedly talked the police out of arresting George the night he killed Trayvon.

In the US of Z, the Zimmerman verdict no doubt gives some hope to Michael David Dunn, 45, a Florida white man who killed an unarmed black teenager in the back seat of a car for having the music too loud, shooting him at least eight times. Dunn has pleaded not guilty, saying he felt threatened and acted in self defense, and besides the law gives him the right to stand his ground.

In the US of Z, having rap music too loud for the guy who drives up beside you in the parking lot is an even worse offense than walking home in the rain with Skittles and iced tea while black.

In the US of Z, WWB - Walking While Black - is risky behavior that sensible people avoid. So is SITBSWB - Sitting in the Back Seat While Black.

"Healing Dialogue" for the Zimmermans Starts with "Blacks Are Bad"

In the US of Z, your older brother can go on TV (CNN) and trash talk your victim and pretend he's starting a healing dialogue and the news people will just nod.

In the US of Z your brother's behavior doesn't seem so odd because your father, the retired Virginia magistrate decided to publish an e-book right before your trial started, with the title: "Florida v. Zimmerman - Uncovering the Malicious Prosecution of My Son George."

In the US of Z, Judge Zimmerman makes clear, among other things, that in his view the "True Racists" in the US of Z are all African-American. And the judge names names, including: the Congressional Black Caucus, the NAACP, the Black Chamber of Commerce, the United Negro College Fund, and Trayvon Martin's undertaker.

In the US of Z, someone puts up a "Kill Zimmerman" page on Facebook that gets more than 7,000 "likes" in just a few hours, gets reported by an unknown number of people, and doesn't get taken down right away.

In the US of Z, perhaps counterintuitively till you think about it, the Zimmerman verdict, like the O.J. verdict, went to the money side.

In the US of Z there is little appreciation of the dark irony that the Zimmerman verdict was delivered in Seminole County.



William M. Boardman has over 40 years experience in theatre, radio, TV, print journalism, and non-fiction, including 20 years in the Vermont judiciary. He has received honors from Writers Guild of America, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Vermont Life magazine, and an Emmy Award nomination from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

 

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-94 # bmiluski 2013-07-16 06:39
I just wish that the black racists in this country would take a good look in the mirror and think about their hatred towards people of other colors.
 
 
+29 # NAVYVET 2013-07-16 12:02
You are a poor benighted soul, and you should see a mental health counselor! ASAP.
 
 
-26 # JackB 2013-07-16 19:34
You have to understand there are only white racists. Even people like Sharpton & Jackson who are best described as being professional racists since that is how they make their living - they are not racists. They are liberals & it is an immutable law of nature that liberals are never racists. At least that is how they describe themselves.

Google Joshua Heath Chellew. He was a white man killed last month in Georgia by four black teenagers. What do you think the chances are that:

- Obama will think at least one thug could have been his son if he had one?

- That Holder will start an investigation into the crime or call it a hate crime?

- That there will be a media circus over the crime (or even coverage)?

- That Jackson & Sharpton will be marching for justice.

- That there will be groups of white liberal demonstrators marching for "justice"?

- That RSN will have an article supporting those demanding "justice"?

- That the "Thumbs Down" folk on the board will go all righteous & sanctimonious demanding "justice". The can recycle all these posts - just change the names?

I think the chances are a number between zero & none.
 
 
+15 # Regina 2013-07-16 20:58
So you jump to the concussion that ALL black teenagers are murderers or other varieties of felons. Just like Zimmerman.
 
 
+1 # JackB 2013-07-17 22:19
Do you have even the slightest idea what you are talking about?

I did not jump to any concussions. I didn't even jump to any conclusions. I never said, or even implied, that ALL black teens are murderers or felons. The incident, as reported, talks about four black teens & one white victim.

Not sure what the Zimmerman bit means. Do you have any idea what it might mean?
 
 
+8 # lmorneweck 2013-07-17 10:20
You clearly don't get it. None of those things you listed needs to happen because it is overwhelmingly likely that the four teens (rightly or wrongly labeled as gang members) will be quickly tried and convicted for what they did. Don't try to equate a gang attack by young black men with an unprovoked vigilante attack by a middle aged white man. It just doesn't work.
 
 
+2 # BKnowswhitt 2013-07-19 18:32
Personally i'm tired of the liberal name blaming bullshit. No one is one way or the other. Humans are complex. There is reaction here that is valid. Yeah because of profiling sometimes based upon actions like in the case you state (and i presume that it's real) - but you can't blame someone standing up for the dead kid. And this one is Zimmerman's word. The kid has no word. We want justice served just like you want it in the case you state. So as a liberal on many views give up the right left game ... you must watch too much Fox 'News' ...
 
 
+1 # WBoardman 2013-07-21 14:37
These are provocative questions.

Also ideological questions, political questions,
that seem at first blush ahistorical.

But they deserve attention. Working on it.

Meanwhile, even ignoring race questions,
is there any way the Zimmerman case was handled
with professionalism and care?
Everyone involved (except those who recused)
acted well below the level of professional competence:
police, morgue, prosecutors, judge, jury, sheriff's officers
sequestering the jury.
This is not a suggestion of conspiracy,
since the benefits of incompetence went both ways.

The exception might be the defense.
Depends on how you weigh putting the victim on trial,
which is a traditional legal tactic,
albeit morally despicable.

Actually, the first responders seem to have done their best.
All downhill from there,
as if there wasn't a dead child at the center of it all.
 
 
-81 # bmiluski 2013-07-16 06:44
I'm looking at that picture of a small black child holding up a sign that says "Don't Shoot". I wonder, is that directed at white people or at black people. Because roughly 7,000 blacks are murdered and 94 percent of the time the murderer is another black person.
 
 
+66 # Buddha 2013-07-16 08:16
"In this US of Z, there are white people who believe that black people don't care about dead black boys except when whites kill them."

He's talking about fools like you bmiluski
 
 
-37 # bmiluski 2013-07-16 09:36
Buddha no matter the size of your ego, you will never know what I'm thinking. So please, stop making a fool of yourself by assuming you know my thoughts.
I'm just questioning the fact that black people don't become as outraged about the disproportionat e amount of black on black killings. Where are the marches, where are the demonstarations , where is the outrage. Because this is the true outrage.
And just as a side-bar.....I marched with Martin and Jesse.....did you?
 
 
+17 # Billy Bob 2013-07-16 17:20
Who said they don't become outraged about black on black crime? You haven't been paying attention. Talk to a few blacks and you'll see how outraged about it.

This particular murder is different. It's not "just" a murder. It's also very illustrative of what people consider justice when it involves a black victim and a white perpetrator.
 
 
+9 # Skyelav 2013-07-16 17:54
I see the point you're trying to make. Yes indeed there's something to be said for sweeping your own side of the street. Yet it doesn't help the black community to have the George Zimmermans of the world go scott free.
 
 
+10 # Al21 2013-07-16 21:32
LOL! Certainly you did. And I bet you even have some black friends too. The vitriol you've spammed over and over again on these articles about the case so refute any fantasy that you'd like the readers to believe, it is truly laughable. No doubt you can post your little badge that says you marched for civil rights to prove to us all that you are a fair person,lol.
Just like George Zimmerman, you are your most fervent believer.
 
 
+9 # CTPatriot 2013-07-16 23:19
Riiiiiiiiiiiiii ght. And some of your best friends are black too, I bet.

So how is it that someone who allegedly marched with Martin and Jesse now seems to be heavily invested in spewing the same racist dog whistles that seem to be emanating from the far right in relation to the Zimmerman trial?
 
 
-36 # bmiluski 2013-07-16 09:37
By the way buddha, Zimmerman was bi-racial not white.
 
 
+16 # reiverpacific 2013-07-16 16:56
Quoting bmiluski:
By the way buddha, Zimmerman was bi-racial not white.

Strongly Latino as I pointed out previously to a storm of self-righteous (Gawd knows why) thumbs down -but then I don't post for scores.
BUT, did you ever hear the Big Bill Broonzy song "Black, Brown and White"?
Chorus:
"If you'se white, you'se allright,
If you'se Brown, stick around
-but if you'se BLACK, oh bruthah.
Git back git back, git back"!
Still true, innit?!
 
 
+25 # Billy Bob 2013-07-16 17:28
The problem with that is that Zimmerman's race isn't the issue. Zimmerman wasn't being stalked late at night because of his looks. Martin WAS. The fact that Martin was being stalked because (even though completely innocent) it was assumed he was up to no good was based on a profile of Martin - BASED ON HIS (not Zimmerman's) RACE.

It's not like there was even a crime that night that "Officer Zimmerman" was responding to, where the perpetrator was described as a black man. Not at all. It was that a black kid was walking toward his fathers apartment when a stranger approached him and started asking questions. That stranger had no right to do so. He was a self-appointed unofficial "neighborhood WATCH" - NOT a cop, even though he desperately wanted to be one and was acting the role.

What do you tell YOUR kids to do when approached by strangers?:

1. Run away? Martin tried to, but that only made him "more suspicious" and provoked a response from Zimmerman, "Why do these fuckin' punks always try to get away?"

2. Scream for help? Someone WAS screaming for help right before Trayvon Martin was shot DEAD. Suddenly the screams stopped, even though Zimmerman claimed he didn't know Martin was dead and was still worried about him.

3. Stand their ground? Trayvon may have been doing that when Zimmerman decided to pull out his ace in the hole - A LOADED GUN. Martin was trying to defend himself, but that fact, may have scared Zimmerman to the point where Martin "needed killin' ".
 
 
+6 # karenvista 2013-07-18 19:21
Billy Bob, Zimmerman said in his Hannity interview that he didn't identify himself and never asked him any questions. Since he didn't testify that's the only statement we have from him.

It probably would have turned out a lot better if he had identified himself and asked Trayvon where he was going - unless Zimmerman just wanted to start something and finish it before the police got there.
 
 
+9 # Phlippinout 2013-07-16 20:45
He considered himself white and had a huge problem with people of color. So says his neighbors and his own relative. He had neighbors of color who said he confronted them as well.
 
 
+6 # Regina 2013-07-16 21:07
Not established. bmiluski. "Latino/a" has been applied to mixed-race persons in Spanish conquistador-in vaded countries. Many citizens of those countries are descended from subsequent Spanish immigrants to those countries who did not intermarry with the indigenous (miscalled "Indians!) population or later African immigrants. Mrs. Z. was identified as Peruvian, but no mention of "race."
 
 
+10 # Al21 2013-07-16 21:37
Latins are not a race, bm. They are a cultural minority.
 
 
+6 # karenvista 2013-07-18 19:17
Quoting bmiluski:
By the way buddha, Zimmerman was bi-racial not white.


Please don't tell me that you think Hispanic is a race.

Native Americans, north or south, are classified as Caucasians racially.

Zimmerman is half European Caucasian and half Peruvian Caucasian. That would be 100% Caucasian.

Of course we all came from Africa so...........
 
 
-2 # bingers 2013-07-20 02:07
Quoting bmiluski:
By the way buddha, Zimmerman was bi-racial not white.


Are you so disconnected from reality that you don't know that there are millions of white Hispanics?
 
 
+5 # Depressionborn 2013-07-18 05:50
Hi Buddha, justice is injustice if not equal to all. Are you for equal justice?


“Life invests itself with inevitable conditions, which the unwise seek to dodge, which one and another brags that he does not know, that they do not touch him; but the brag is on his lips, the conditions are in his soul. If he escapes them in one part they attack him in another more vital part. If he has escaped them in form and in the appearance, it is because he has resisted his life and fled from himself, and the retribution is so much death.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson
 
 
+30 # dkonstruction 2013-07-16 09:23
Quoting bmiluski:
I just wish that the black racists in this country would take a good look in the mirror and think about their hatred towards people of other colors.


Since I'm white and believe that the Zimmerman Verdict was wrong does that make me a white racist (in this case a self-hating white person or as I think we should be referred to "people of no color")? Quoting bmiluski:
I'm looking at that picture of a small black child holding up a sign that says "Don't Shoot". I wonder, is that directed at white people or at black people. Because roughly 7,000 blacks are murdered and 94 percent of the time the murderer is another black person.


Black on Black crime is definitely an issue in this country but what does that have to do with the Zimmerman verdict or the complete difference in sentencing in this country based on race (e.g., the differences in sentences that blacks receive for drug possession vs. whites)? So, yes, black on black crime is a serious issue in this country that has to be confronted (and ultimately it will have to be confronted by African Americans since i'm afraid most white don't really give a damn since most live in all (or almost all) white neighborhoods but again this has nothing to do with and should not be used to dismiss the also very real problem of police (and in this case private vigilante) violence against blacks and other people "of color" (living in NYC there is a long and ongoing history of this.
 
 
-31 # bmiluski 2013-07-16 11:59
dkonstruction.. ...I'm trying to figure out how my calling out the black racists in this country has anything to do with you if you're white. My statement was NOT ABOUT YOU.
Black on black crime is NOT an issue. It is a crime and an outrage and should be addressed NOW. Concentrating on white on black crime is just a diversion. Respect yourself and others will respect you as well.
 
 
+11 # Billy Bob 2013-07-16 17:29
So, if blacks didn't kill each other, Zimmerman wouldn't have joined the parade and killed an innocent boy who was only trying to walk to his dad's house?
 
 
+14 # CTPatriot 2013-07-16 23:33
Here's what you fail to understand and why your point is totally irrelevant to this discussion. When a black man murders a black boy, the black boy is dead and the black man gets arrested on the spot and is sent to prison for the rest of his life.

But when a well connected white/hispanic man murders a black boy, the black boy is dead and the white/hispanic man is given a pat on the back by the police who then conduct a sloppy investigation and label the black boy "John Doe" because the white wanna-be-cop said he was acting suspicious and he was wearing a hoodie so he must be some low-life punk unworthy of the extra effort needed to ID his body.

See, the racism here is about inequal justice. If Zimmerman had been a black man whose daddy wasn't a retired magistrate, he would have been arrested on the spot.

And just to further drive home my point, the same incompetent Sanford prosecutors not long ago sent a black woman to prison for 20 years for firing a warning shot into the ceiling of her home in order to stop an abusive husband who was about to attack her.

White guy murders black boy and isn't even arrested or charged until a massive public outcry. Black woman murders noone, gets arrested without any public pressure, charged and gets 20 years.
 
 
+3 # Phlippinout 2013-07-16 20:38
Funny, i am looking at a picture of a horses ass and I thought
maybe bmiluski was near by with more intelligent white perspective.
 
 
+12 # Henry Braun 2013-07-16 06:52
HUH? AFTER THE ZIMMERMAN TRIAL

Telling about
means honoring the past:
our comfort sitting next to the cave fire,
bees from the queen on down
remembering their honey.
Everything tells.

Damning the past is necessary telling
as well. Early death that clicks out
the light in young bodies,
the simplifying “Yes/No,” “Here and There”
of war.
"What happened?" will forever haunt our lives.
 
 
+58 # Barbara K 2013-07-16 06:58
It is a sad situation and doesn't say much for our country when black children are killed by zealous white gun nuts for no reason at all, except their own bigotry. The most endangered people in America are black men and boys. Better get the gun laws fixed. Will it have to come to the black people needing to arm themselves for protection? Is that what it will take?

..
 
 
-42 # edge 2013-07-16 08:39
Quoting Barbara K:
It is a sad situation and doesn't say much for our country when black children are killed by zealous white gun nuts for no reason at all, except their own bigotry.

..


WOW! What a sick sick mind you have!

OH, blacks go have guns, look how many kids are killed in Chicago every single year...and they are killing other black kids, NOT white gun nuts!
 
 
+10 # Billy Bob 2013-07-16 17:31
"and they are killing other black kids, NOT white gun nuts!"

...Maybe it's time to start.
 
 
+7 # Phlippinout 2013-07-16 20:49
EXACTLY!
 
 
-38 # skylinefirepest 2013-07-16 11:21
Ok, Barb, your comment indicates a gross ignorance of gun laws, and black on black crime. Do a little research before putting this stuff out for public consumption. Oh, and a seventeen y.o. six foot tall gangbanger is still a "child" by your definition?? And black people are armed, some for their protection, and some to commit crime!! And, by the way. Zimmerman is as white as our current president, or didn't you know that??
 
 
+18 # Billy Bob 2013-07-16 17:33
Martin made a 6-foot tall target that night, didn't he? Who said he was a "gang-banger"? According to THE LAW a 17-year-old IS a child.

Once again, was Zimmerman being profiled because of his race that night? Martin WAS, or didn't you know that???
 
 
-31 # MidwesTom 2013-07-16 08:06
As this country slowly declines both economically and socially, I would expect to educated and ambitious black people start moving to Africa. As a multi trip visitor to the souther half of Africa, I am stunned at the wealth that is now appearing in many places. One will see more $75,000 dollar cars in traffic in Abuja Nigeria than in Chicago. Harare, Zimbabwe is beautiful even under their rotten government, which once Mugabee is removed I expect this country to boom like crazy.

I recently met a native Nigerian lawyer who is practicing in Louisville, Kentucky;, and he was about to visit Nigeria, with the purpose of considering relocating due to better opportunities there. I am not black, but if I as frustrated as the author is with America, I would look for greener fields where I would be welcomed.
 
 
+22 # reiverpacific 2013-07-16 09:07
Quoting MidwesTom:
As this country slowly declines both economically and socially, I would expect to educated and ambitious black people start moving to Africa. As a multi trip visitor to the souther half of Africa, I am stunned at the wealth that is now appearing in many places. One will see more $75,000 dollar cars in traffic in Abuja Nigeria than in Chicago. Harare, Zimbabwe is beautiful even under their rotten government, which once Mugabee is removed I expect this country to boom like crazy.

I recently met a native Nigerian lawyer who is practicing in Louisville, Kentucky;, and he was about to visit Nigeria, with the purpose of considering relocating due to better opportunities there. I am not black, but if I as frustrated as the author is with America, I would look for greener fields where I would be welcomed.

As usual, you need to look deeper.
In Africa, your lawyer might indeed do well if he goes to work for Shell oil or any of the other corruption-spre ading, polluting multi-nationals -mostly in extraction and it's related slave-labor and exploitive top-down structures.
Remember NIGERIAN journalist, Ken Saro-wewo and associates, hung with the collaboration of Shell for exposure of it's corruption and careless pollution, or Charles Chukwu, attacked, beaten almost to death and hung by the arms until found, for exposing an illegal arms increase at border posts.
Yep, y'r Nigerian might be able to thrive -if he chooses his associates VERY carefully!
 
 
+2 # bingers 2013-07-20 02:13
But reiver, that's the world Tom wishes for. Where only corporations have rights and all of us are slaves or corporate stooges.
 
 
+16 # Billy Bob 2013-07-16 17:35
Can you tell the rest of the kids in the class why you keep traveling to Nigeria? Would it have something to do with Nigeria's vast oil reserves? Do you know what Nigerians (not your friends, but the ones who LIVE in Nigeria and are too poor to be in contact with you) think of the oil industry and what it has done to them?

Spare us the phony concern.
 
 
+36 # Buddha 2013-07-16 08:20
In many ways, racism is WORSE today than before the CRA and end of Jim Crow. At least back then, racism was overt, many happy to put on their white hoods and put on bumper-stickers of "White Power" and "The South Will Rise Again". Now it has gone into "hiding", where those who clearly push racist policies (selected disenfranchisem ent of minority communities, for example) and have no problem with unarmed African-America ns minding their business getting chased down and murdered in the streets, loudly protest much that they aren't racist. It is all Make Believe nowadays.
 
 
+3 # karenvista 2013-07-18 19:45
Buddha, I was shocked to go online to the Houston Chronicle's website chat room and see the virulent racist comments there, many because there had been a few dozen people protesting the Zimmerman verdict at City Hall.

There were more than 5,000 posts there and after hours I could find maybe two dozen of us who posted remarks against the verdict and in support of the protestors rights.

The commentary was of the type that I haven't seen or heard since the 50's. It was actually horrifying to see who lives here in the 4th largest city in the United States. I'm white and these people scare me. I can't imagine what it must be like to be surrounded by them if you were black.

We will have to die out before this hatred is gone. Our children don't think this way- Unless they are raised by a bunch of White Supremacists.
 
 
+47 # dtwin 2013-07-16 08:29
I was listening to the radio on Friday morning and I heard two thirty second sound bites of the two attorneys giving their closing arguments and it was at that moment that I knew Zimmerman was going to be found not guilty. The prosecutor came off as a loud ill-prepared buffoon. He had to stop 3 times to restate his words more correctly in 30 seconds. He was loud, obnoxious, and treating the jury like a group of idiots. The defense attorney was calm, stated his position and that of his client and moved on. Again, that is ALL I HEARD. Radio and not TV, but it was clear to me that in addition to everything else that failed Trayvon in this trial, he was incompetently represented. Also, if Justice were truly what mattered most, the prosecutor would be allowed to call the accused. I know the legal reasons not to, but I don't feel they outweigh the pursuit of justice. Just my opinion. Don't call justice Roberts or Scalia on me just yet. If we are to heal the scars of racism in this country, we have just dealt a severe blow to that effort. I am a white man living in the Northeast and I don't pretend to know the fear that black people live with every day, but George Zimmerman was given an order to stay away by the police and he ignored it. That should be guilt of incitement at the very least. He caused the confrontation, even if Trayvon Martin fought back when he accosted him. I am very saddened as are we all by this awful event. RIP.
 
 
+10 # Regina 2013-07-16 21:13
The Florida state attorneys threw this case for the preservation of their careers. Pure softball.
 
 
+47 # Old Uncle Dave 2013-07-16 08:35
There are two kinds of people in the US, those who have faith in the justice system and those who have experience with it.
 
 
+16 # NAVYVET 2013-07-16 11:56
Yep, good comment. From traffic court to a sensational murder trial, that statement is correct. Once burned, never again a believer. My bipolar, paranoid ex husband sued me for 2 years in state and federal court FOR ALLOWING MYSELF TO BE KIDNAPPED!! Yes, it was tossed out as frivolous in the end, but it cost me time, money and agony. And that case was nothing compared to the travesty of the acquittal of Zimmerman! Or the "trial" of Bradley Manning. Or the genocide of other people of color including the Native Americans. And so on.
 
 
+13 # RobertMStahl 2013-07-16 08:45
The wholesale auction of humanity continues. This amounts to a posting of Zimmerman's face to the front of the dollar bill, and to the overall collective bullying tactics of an old guard having leaped forward dramatically after 9/11 with its racist agenda for pure power, obviously based on fear. Zimmerman has become a deformed George Washington via power wielded by a criminal syndicate originally out of the breadbasket of Chicago. As this icon, we call our government the law, who force the rest of the world in trade agreements [sic] to support the dollar. Listen to Paul Craig Roberts (http://www.kingworldnews.com/kingworldnews/Broadcast/Entries/2013/7/14_Dr._Paul_Craig_Roberts.html). In the meantime, silver and gold are maintained in crazily depressed relative states by shorting the paper ETFs in the open market, thereby forcing the bullion banks to lower the price of the physicals. All of this is done for market access, and, has failed as you read this. Invest in silver. In chaos math, a separatrix, or chaotic event, is mapped out as more than one ripple, always. This system, through racism and other means, amplifies any ripples at all that begin so 'purely,' off on the sideline, and as fast and as far as it can take it. Invest in silver. The "US of Z" is, probably, not as far as they intend to go with the racist tendencies, the strange fruit mapping a discordant musical analogy non-randomly, or what might be imagined for chaos, now, so far gone as to never..
 
 
+26 # Interested Observer 2013-07-16 09:04
Whenever I have mentioned the word "justice" talking to a lawyer, the response is an eye roll as if I had said "Santa Claus, Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy" all in a single word.
 
 
+41 # db4635 2013-07-16 09:38
I am a white woman living in north Florida. I knew when I moved here that it was a racist environment. Two unarmed Black men in my county shot dead by police while fleeing. I knew when I heard the rationale for Stand Your Ground Law and the people, including legislators, spouting this rationale, that this law was for White people reacting to Black crime. There was no thought to applicaton of the law, protection of innocent. They just wanted the legal right to shoot Blacks they thought were committing a crime. No thought for cruel and unusual punishment. A notorius case where the killer was found justified by a judge in a simple, "Stand Your Ground hearing" after the killer had interrupted a burglar, chased him down the street, shooting him in the back. Another involved an innocent bystander that tried to calm an argument and was shot by a man "standing his ground" in a public place. No charges.
 
 
+20 # NAVYVET 2013-07-16 12:00
I used to live in Florida, joined the Navy to GET OUT after I graduated from college--but not before simply getting signatures on a civil rights petition caused my dismissal (and loss of a Phi Beta Kappa key). The South should disgust all of us, and its infection has spread everywhere in the country.
 
 
+7 # Billy Bob 2013-07-16 17:44
The irony is that Florida wasn't even directly involved in the Civil War, was it? It's gone to great lengths to separate itself from that image, but hasn't bothered to actually fix the problem itself. I used to live in Texas (for WAY WAY WAY too long) and it seems very similar. I considered Texas the corruption capital of the world. I never thought any other state could even rival it (of course I've never lived in Mississippi or Alabama). Louisiana was close enough.
 
 
-5 # fredboy 2013-07-16 10:23
We've got to do the unthinkable and elect a president who espouses goodness.

Just look at the opportunity being wasted: Imagine a good president speaking to all of us and asking us to begin sharing goodness, kindness, and caring with and for one another. A president who would say "The next time you feel rage or anger, stop and think for a moment, then respond instead with kindness. Oh, it will take a great heart to do this. But isn't it time we all developed great hearts and souls of goodness?"

Carter and Eisenhower and Roosevelt could have done it. That's what we need now. Right now.
 
 
+13 # EternalTruth 2013-07-16 13:19
I'm not sure why you're getting all the negative votes. I agree with the sentiment you express. I guess it's just a little too "why can't we all just get along" to satisfy folks here, without any concrete solutions (or righteous outrage) offered. Whatever. Here's to optomism! Here's to peace, love and understanding! Noble, optimistic ideas are necessary before we can effect the change we would see.
 
 
-4 # Depressionborn 2013-07-19 05:32
not here Eternal, not here:

The slightest hint that America is unjust is manna from heaven for Leftists. They build their self-esteem on being wiser and more compassionate than "the masses". And given America's black/white tensions, a chance to see others as racist is not to be missed. It is America's most powerful form of condemnation so any chance to use it must be used even if it is only remotely justified.

It's pathetic that people need to condemn others in order to boost their own self-esteem but that's Leftists. They never cease finding fault.

Note however that commentators refer to the 6' tall Martin as a "child". So the constant media use of pictures of Martin when he was a child may have misled some commentators in an important way. It would have made it less plausible that Zimmerman acted in self-defense.


not my words but my thoughts
 
 
0 # reiverpacific 2013-07-24 19:45
Quoting Depressionborn:
not here Eternal, not here:

The slightest hint that America is unjust is manna from heaven for Leftists. They build their self-esteem on being wiser and more compassionate than "the masses". And given America's black/white tensions, a chance to see others as racist is not to be missed. It is America's most powerful form of condemnation so any chance to use it must be used even if it is only remotely justified.

It's pathetic that people need to condemn others in order to boost their own self-esteem but that's Leftists. They never cease finding fault.

Note however that commentators refer to the 6' tall Martin as a "child". So the constant media use of pictures of Martin when he was a child may have misled some commentators in an important way. It would have made it less plausible that Zimmerman acted in self-defense.

not my words but my thoughts

So d'you build your shallow self-esteem on demonizing freedom-seekers and truth-to-power- speakers? I seem to remember that you are a God-botherer, so isn't this what Jesus C' was hung on a tree for?
The left has spent most of it's short, patchy life trying to get a small foothold in this monopolist-prop agandist -imperialist nation in the face of mass-condemnati on from the top down, always potentially Fascist (in fact sheltered many Nazi armaments and human experiment experts and experimenters for it's own nefarious uses.
A nation of panem et circences drones, of which you are one.
 
 
0 # bingers 2013-07-20 02:19
It may just be that the premise sounds like conservative rhetoric, like "compassionate conservatism" and there is no such thing in politics these days as a Republican who is good. Every one of them in Washington is thoroughly evil from the word go. We recognize the weasel words, and if we have misjudged fredboy, sorry, but his words sound exactly like the wingnut garbage we're all so familiar with.

I would posit that while there are tons of bad Democrats there as well, the only politicians who are working for good are Democrats.
 
 
+11 # reiverpacific 2013-07-16 17:03
Quoting fredboy:
We've got to do the unthinkable and elect a president who espouses goodness.

Just look at the opportunity being wasted: Imagine a good president speaking to all of us and asking us to begin sharing goodness, kindness, and caring with and for one another. A president who would say "The next time you feel rage or anger, stop and think for a moment, then respond instead with kindness. Oh, it will take a great heart to do this. But isn't it time we all developed great hearts and souls of goodness?"

Carter and Eisenhower and Roosevelt could have done it. That's what we need now. Right now.

Nice dream and I wish for it with you in a utopian-hope kinda way -but in an entrenched plutocracy, you're goin' to get the fruits of a monopoly media's constant propaganda, in which no even mildly progressive being would get to run, as I'm sure Bernie Sanders figured out and does what he can from the sidelines, mostly ignored or mocked by the pathetic monopoly "Panem et Circences" press extant in the US.
 
 
+1 # Skippydelic 2013-07-18 23:57
"A president who espouses goodness"???

I see the point you're trying to make, but at the same time, it comes off as being *way* too Pollyanna-ish!

The Zeitgeist today is *far* too cynical to allow a President to call for 'goodness'; he'd get eaten alive! :-(
 
 
+24 # ansleypk@aol.com 2013-07-16 10:49
I was stunned when I first heard George Zimmerman state that all of this was God's plan, which is ludicrous. So if some irate person shoots George Zimmerman on the street, that would be God's plan, too? Absurd!
 
 
+22 # Agricanto 2013-07-16 11:16
We should have finished the Civil War when we had a chance to obliterate the Confederacy and all it stood for. But now the racists and state's rights reactionaries, gun nuts, Texans, exploiters, and militarists have got the Supreme Court and the House of Reps. The south will rise again indeed. And the union is not better for it. Zimmerman's dad: Virginia, a very racist and right wing state. The GOP is the new south. The problem in America is that it has become the US of Z because we don't despise the right as much as they despise everyone who is not like them.
 
 
+16 # NAVYVET 2013-07-16 11:50
I believe that Zimmerman's father in law was the one who leaned on the police. Did his father do that, too? Here you have a guy of dubious mental health being literally CODDLED by influence! Nothing new, but the police let him get away with it.
 
 
+7 # Regina 2013-07-16 21:15
His father is a judge!
 
 
+13 # fredboy 2013-07-16 12:32
Agricanto, I wish it was just the South. I live in Florida now, and many of the people I have met from the Northeast and the Midwest--educat ed, successful, you name it--are blatant racists. Lived in the South most of my life and never heard the "N" word used as much as it's used here by many of the Northerners I've met here.
 
 
+24 # greglawum 2013-07-16 12:55
As far as the case is concerned, one need only ask this question:

If a 28yo black man was driving and walking around with a concealed gun and made it a point to confront a 17yo white boy he felt was suspicious, as if it is any of his business, (the dispatcher told him he need not continue to follow the child) and an altercation ensued that left the white child dead, would there be any doubt that a jury, any jury in the US, would with speed convict that black man?

You need not wonder, because if you are honest with yourself, you know the answer.
 
 
+16 # Selwick 2013-07-16 14:56
That is the essence of it. Nothing else.

Of course, people to trying to justify their racism are avoiding this answer.

The South is the South and remains the South. Nothing has changed. White supremacy and 'good ol' boys' club. Nothing good about it, though.
 
 
+13 # Billy Bob 2013-07-16 17:40
Believe me, the conservative racists ARE honest with themselves. They just don't think the rest of us can see through it.

What you described is, as Selwick puts it, "the essence of it and nothing else."

Conservatives have needed to concoct all sorts of scenarios to get around those basic facts, and then have the nerve to lecture the rest of us about "just sticking to the facts". Well, for starters, most of "the facts" they're relying on to form their opinions are nothing more than heresay and conjecture.

THE ACTUAL FACTS show that an unarmed teenager was stalked and gunned down by a guy with a violent history and an obvious chip on his shoulder.

Anything suggesting Martin deserved the death penalty he got from "Officer Zimmerman" is based on people who have a mental image of all blacks that they've projected onto Martin.
 
 
-4 # Depressionborn 2013-07-18 12:03
"THE ACTUAL FACTS show that an unarmed teenager was stalked and gunned down by a guy with a violent history and an obvious chip on his shoulder.[quote name="Billy Bob

It is very interesting.

Those who support Martin seemed to have one set of facts, while supporters for Zimmerman quite another. From police reports and trial testimony the jury apparently saw the ones for Zimmerman, except for the stolen jewelry and the burglary tool in Martins pack; and the revealing stuff on his cell, which were held back by the school and prosecution.

The division here makes no sense. Where do the two divergent sets come from?
 
 
+17 # pernsey 2013-07-16 15:31
Zimmermans father was a former Virginia supreme court magistrate? That explains a lot, he must have been pulling more strings then a puppet show.
 
 
+8 # AUCHMANNOCH 2013-07-16 17:16
We all know that racism isn't the sole preserve of white people; you have only to have lived in Africa to know that.

Look what happened when Yugoslavia broke up.Tito kept a lid on centuries worth of racial and religious paranoia which boiled out again virtually overnight when Yugoslavia broke up.

I prefer to call it tribalism rather than racism as it seems that we humans still have brains hard wired by evolution to want to live in small groups where everybody looks like us and thinks like us. Only education and close contact with 'The Other' can solve that because we now live on a super populated planet and we are daily in contact with people who don't share our background.

But I had thought that America had come a long way on the path of mutual respect between races since I watched 'In the Heat of the Night' in my youth.Clearly like elsewhere in the world that is unfortunately not the case and too many Americans of whatever ethnic background seem to still think they are living on the wild west frontier. The right to own a gun and use it if you get a little bit frightened or 'feel threatened'is a problem though. I wonder how many Americans could be classified as paranoid AND own a gun.
 
 
-7 # BKnowswhitt 2013-07-17 00:19
O.k. I'll play this game. Trust me i'm liberal. The facts of the matter are that based on previous behaviour Blacks have committed heinous crimes on white people. However. As a result if you are Black you will be profiled based upon the fact that this is the history. So Black people and i defer to say 'most unfortunately' have to prove a higher standard to achieve justice. My conclusion is. As a result there are ground for great racial bias in this country and in this countries legal system. Please note: People who dont' necessarily lean left also recognize these facts! There are no winners here .....
 
 
+6 # BKnowswhitt 2013-07-17 19:31
I reply to myself here. Update. Sharpton today took the next step towards a movement to change the Fl law gun law. This is the change we need. Redneck governor there and legislators have said the law is good post Z'Martin Decisionie. These people are creeps. Let's pay attention and see if we can help somehow to get the change going ...
 
 
+2 # BKnowswhitt 2013-07-17 19:53
let me clarify one thing here. I see how this came out. Whenever there have been acts of heinous crimes black on white they get big play in the media. This is the history here. So as a result African Americans are by and large held to a higher standard. I'm saying it's correct. Just that reality is real. So the great racial bias in this system as they kowtow to the stereotypes to get the judges elected to keep people safe. So it is based upon perception not fact ......
 
 
+7 # WBoardman 2013-07-18 16:37
All I can say to BKnowswhitt is:

Thank God almighty, at long last,
black people have stopped lynching whites.
 
 
+1 # BKnowswhitt 2013-07-19 18:38
I'll ignore that one. I marched in the very first MLK day in atlanta i was one of the 'unarmed' guards around Coretta King and Andy Young. This case was decided in the jury selection. They know how to pick via selection and listening to the jurors you know what happened. Again it's a bad law. We have made great progress in this country however since the civil rights movement things have gone back to the old ways in many ways ... we need a new movement in this country and maybe folks will care again like we did in the 60's ..
 
 
+1 # WBoardman 2013-07-21 14:49
Jury selection mattered,
but the arguable decision point was
when the police failed to gather evidence.
 
 
+7 # JSRaleigh 2013-07-17 21:10
Unfortunately the obvious lesson from this case is if you're a black kid in Florida you need a gun. It won't make you any safer, but it might let you take your murderer with you.
 
 
+7 # wwway 2013-07-18 06:25
I'm glad that Eric Holder is leading a dialogue about stand your ground laws and questions why the lightest provocation or perceived threat is grounds for deadly response.
I'm hoping that the man who shot a teen for loud music is found guilt of murder. The NRA would argue that the teen should have had a gun. Still, even if that teen had a gun he never would have suspected getting killed for listening to music.
Are Americans really hell bent on making their society that un-safe?
Isn't your right to walk about and live in your community with a reasonable expectation of doing so unmolested more important than one's right to shoot you just because?
 

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