At 7 PM on the night of 26 February 2012 in Sanford Florida, two men had an altercation in the rain that left one of them dead.
The people involved were 17 year old Trayvon Martin, black, and 29 year old George Zimmerman, Hispanic. They are the only two who know exactly what happened that night, and, unfortunately, Mr. Martin is dead so we can never have the complete story. What we do know is that someone started a fight that Mr. Zimmerman ended with a single gunshot.
The event ballooned into a media circus that lasted a year and a half until, 13 July 2013, George Zimmerman was found not guilty of second degree murder after what was very nearly a hung jury. Threats of violence, and some actual violence, erupted following the verdict. Protests were staged around the country. The President made two comments, one good, one bad. This is pretty much the most objective account of what has happened.
Now here's the part sprinkled with my analysis.
First, Sanford is a lower-middle class community with a crime problem. 18.5% of the population is below the poverty line. In 2011 the people of Sanford formed a neighborhood watch program to deal with the crime, with Zimmerman being appointed as the coordinator. George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin's father's fiancee (where he was living at the time) were renting homes in the town.
Trayvon Martin was not a kid, as many portray him. Neither was he innocent. He was not the ten year old seen in the pictures. He was a grown man, he portrayed himself as a thug on the Internet, and he was a petty criminal, having been suspended from school many times for painting graffiti and stealing jewelry. His parents were divorced. His mother sent him to live with his father because he was too much trouble for her. The night of the shooting he goes out in the rain to a 7-Eleven and call his friend Rachel Jeantel (who lacks all common sense and tact). After 18 minutes on the phone the call abruptly ends for unknown reasons. Martin was not most likely not buying candy at the 7-Eleven, he was buying ingredients for a drug popular in the hip hop gangster culture that he talked about frequently on the Internet. The drug, known as "purple drank," "lean," or "syrup" is made with cough syrup containing codeine or dextromethorphan (such as in Robitussin DM, which Martin was talking about with some friends on Facebook). He most likely was planning on mixing the Skittles and Arizona watermellon drink that he had purchased with the Robitussin to create "some fire ass lean," as one friend called it. Extended use of the cough syrup based drug is linked to liver damage and psychotic episodes.*
Next, George Zimmerman is often portrayed as "lily white", a "white-Hispanic", or as "mixed-race" by people trying to spin the case. Unsurprisingly, NONE of these same people call the President "mixed-race", "white-black", or "white" when both he and Zimmerman have one white parent. The President is 100% black and Zimmerman is white above any other races, if not entirely white. This is not because of his complexion or features. Zimmerman has dark skin and his eyes and other facial features clearly belong to someone who is not white.
According to the other wiki, "during the 18 months preceding the February 26 shooting, Zimmerman called the non-emergency police line seven times. On five of those calls, Zimmerman reported suspicious looking men in the area, but never offered the men's race without first being asked by the dispatcher." Zimmerman takes his job very seriously. I would argue too seriously. He was driving around with a gun, safety off, looking for suspicious men. 26 February he finds his sixth suspicious looking man, and this time it does not end well.
Zimmerman calls the police from his truck saying he has found yet another suspicious looking man. After four minutes he gets out of his truck to follow Martin because, as the tape indicates, Martin started running at this point. The dispatcher advises Zimmerman not to pursue Martin but he doesn't listen. Martin calls Rachel Jeantel back but his call gets disconnected again, for unknown reasosn.
Someone started the fight. When it was over Zimmerman was bleeding from his nose and the back of his head, Martin was shot in the chest and lie dead in the grass with bloody knuckles.
There were eight witnesses, of whom only two saw part of the altercation. They reported (from wiki):
A witness to the confrontation just prior to the shooting stated that Martin was on top of Zimmerman and punching him, while Zimmerman was yelling for help. This witness, who identified himself as "John", stated that "the guy on the bottom, who had a red sweater on, was yelling to me, 'Help! Help!' and I told him to stop, and I was calling 911". He went on to say that when he got upstairs and looked down, "the guy who was on the top beating up the other guy, was the one laying in the grass, and I believe he was dead at that point."
One eye-witness statement given the night of the shooting describes "a black male, wearing a dark colored 'hoodie' on top of a white or Hispanic male who was yelling for help." The witness said that the black male was throwing punches "MMA [mixed martial arts] style." After hearing a "pop," he saw the black male "laid out on the grass." When the witness was subsequently interviewed weeks later by a different agency, the witness said he thought that the black male was either punching or pinning the lighter skinned male underneath him. He was no longer certain who was calling for help, having not seen their mouths in the dark. He was still certain that the black male had been on top of the lighter-skinned male.
The eighth witness, Jeantel, heard part of the altercation from the phone: "She then heard Martin say, "What are you following me for?" followed by a man's voice responding, "What are you doing around here?"" The phone then went silent.
What happened after that we can only speculate. Zimmerman asked Martin what he was doing out at night, then someone started the fight. Trayvon Martin was either the instigator or else he got the upper hand and had Zimmerman pinned to the ground and was whaling on him, or as Jeantel calls it "whoop ass." An audience member's mouth falls open at the revelation that Jeantel basically admitted it was Trayvon who started the fight. Foreign national Piers Morgan tried to pull her fat out of the fire by asking "if Trayvon was being attacked, would he have 'whooped ass' as you call it?" She immediately corrects him, saying that "whoop ass" cannot be conjugated to form "whooped ass". He nudged her a second time and she finally gave the answer he wanted, that yes, Trayvon was defending himself, because Android phones can't be turned off if you're the one on top in a fight.
There is a difference between beating someone to death and "whoop ass". "Whoop ass" is all fun and games, even if it leads to concussion and paralysis or death. It's the intent behind "whoop ass" that counts, and the intent is, well I don't know. Jeantel is about as clear as mud. I've understood dogs and cats better than I understand her. I don't know what the difference between "whoop ass" and a savage beating is, and according to Jeantel that misunderstanding is why Zimmerman killed Trayvon.
Tracy Martin, Trayvon's father, listening to 9-1-1 recordings, testified that the person crying for help was not his son, although he later changed his story after the case. Sybrina, Trayvon's mother, testified that it was her son. A neighbor testified that it was Zimmerman. The FBI analysed the recordings and said the quality was too poor to determine whose voice it was.
As the autopsy reveals, Martin was on top of Zimmerman when he got shot. It also revealed that Martin had extensive liver damage well beyond what would be expected in a 17-year-old, further evidence that he was on a drug run the night he got shot. (*I'm not condemning recreational drug use, I'm merely illustrating that
Trayvon Martin was not an innocent little boy who got shot because he
was a black kid out buying candy. Also, if this drug - and potentially others - had caused this much damage to his liver it probably also caused damage to his brain, and he was likely not thinking clearly the night he went out and started a fight when he could have easily outrun Zimmerman home and called the police if he was really worried. Yet in spite of what all rational people would know is a bad idea, Martin likely started a fight with a man in the middle of the night and ended up dead.)
There is no evidence that Zimmerman was racially profiling Martin. Zimmerman has black relatives, he has worked with the black community in Sanford to get them more active in the neighborhood watch program, and he was "one of the few to take any action to protest the 2010 beating of Sherman Ware, a black homeless man, by the son of a Sanford police officer."
What do I think happened? George Zimmerman went out looking for trouble. Trayvon Martin went out possibly looking for something to burgle, if his past is any indication, and no doubt open to the possibility of a fight. Rachel Jeantel goaded Martin into starting a fight with an armed man in the middle of the night. It was Jeantel who sewed the seeds of fear or rage or whatever in Martin while they talked on the phone. "Some creepy ass cracker is following me." "He can't do that! You better whoop ass so he gets the message!" The gang culture Martin and Jeantel idolise combined with confusion and testosterone took over rational judgment and Martin and when Zimmerman asked "what are you doing here?" Martin started beating him. Zimmerman greatly underestimated Martin and, fearing for his life, took his gun and shot Martin, happening to hit him fatally.
In President Obama's first address regarding the verdict, he acted like a leader and said basically "it's a tragedy that a family lost their son but the justice system is based on evidence and, let's face it, there's no evidence to convict Zimmerman, so we should accept the verdict of 'not guilty' as a victory for our justice system, as it is better to let ten guilty men go free than to put one innocent man in prison. Now, in respect for the family let's all put this behind us."
In his second address he said (exact quote) "you know, when Trayvon Martin was first shot, I said that this could have been my son. Another way of saying that is Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago. And when you think about why, in the African-American community at least, there's a lot of pain around what happened here, I think it's important to recognize that the African-American community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences and a history that -- that doesn't go away." He then went on to say "there are very few African-American men who haven’t had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on the doors of cars. That happens to me, at least before I was a senator. There are very few African-Americans who haven’t had the experience of getting on an elevator and a woman clutching her purse nervously and holding her breath until she had a chance to get off."
Yes, I know what it's like to get nervous looks out of people as I walk by. I know what it's like for people to turn their porch lights on as I walk past their houses at night. Trayvon Martin probably couldn't have been me. I don't live in a high crime area, but I do like to go for walks at crazy hours of the night and I do often make people uncomfortable by my looks and mannerisms. No one where I live will probably shoot me, and I doubt anyone would have shot Obama either during his carefree childhood in Hawaii, or his time spent in Indonesia with his step father who owned a lot of exotic animals. I'm not saying he's lying, but he is definitely not telling the truth either when he says "Trayvon could have been me 35 years ago." Maybe during his time in Chicago, that cesspool of crime and human suffering, but not when he was 17. Obama did not move to the mainland until he was 18.
From the wiki page on Obama: "Of his early childhood, Obama recalled, 'That my father looked nothing like the people around me—that he was black as pitch, my mother white as milk—barely registered in my mind.'
He started to think about black nationalism and anger toward whites in spite of the colourblindness of his peers. Fellow student Mark Hebing recalls "we didn't think about his blackness." From the same LA Times article, we have more accounts of Obama's time in Hawaii:
"His reflections about the race issue surprised all of us," said Kellie Furushima, who knew him well. "He gave no indication of feeling uncomfortable in school, and I never witnessed or heard anyone being unkind to him.
"Being in Hawaii, we had a lot of different races," classmate Vernette Ferreira Shaffer said. "People would tell ethnic jokes, but it was more about making fun of stereotypes than trying to do a cool thing."
Hanging out and working with many black people, I know they make just as many jokes (maybe more) about black stereotypes as any other group. Comedian Chris Rock in Bring the Pain even jokes about the difference between "black people" and "niggers," whom normal black people hate more than white people.
Inside all of this is the anger Obama alludes to. Black people are angry about the way they were treated during the time of slavery and Jim Crow. He says "that doesn't go away." I ask why? Yes, it's true that the slave trade was one of the worst acts of inhumanity in history, but let us not forget it was started in Africa by black people selling other black people to at first Muslims and then to white people. There is still racial tension in Africa between Negroes and Pygmies, two distinct black groups who view the other as nonhuman and have fought wars to wipe the other out. It was also whites who eventually ended slavery, beginning with groups such as the Quakers and taking off when the Methodists got behind the abolition movement, finally culminating in the deaths of over 600,000 men to put a stop to the barbarism once and for all. Immediately after the Civil War many of the Southern states, with majority black populations, elected blacks to federal office. It was not until Reconstruction ended and the white Democrats took power once again that blacks were rendered slaves in all but name until the 1950s. President Eisenhower, Republican, wanted to solve the problem by passing a host of civil rights laws, and he did go very far but was checked by Senate leader Lyndon Johnson, Democrat, who was one of the biggest racists of the time. It was only after Johnson lost face for killing kids in Vietnam that he finished what Eisenhower started, and wrongly took credit for being a civil rights leader when he wanted nothing more than to reinstitute slavery. 50 years of indoctrination in public schools have led millions to believe that the Republicans, who fought and died by the thousands for the rights of black people, are evil while the Democrats, who fought and died to keep blacks enslaved and started the KKK, are good. Truly a cosmic irony.
Why does the racial hurt never go away? When my ancestors came to America a century ago we weren't even second-class citizens and we certainly weren't white (although I'd probably be considered white today I do not self-identify as white). We had hardships, we were mistreated, and we really still aren't viewed in that good a light, and still I have no racial anger toward anyone. I don't think to myself "my ancestors were treated like shit so I'm gonna hate white people forever!" It makes no sense to hold on to anger, to give that kind of power to other people who did nothing to me, and ruin my own life in the process by destroying my own mental health. Anger causes far more harm than good, especially to one's self.
Yes, blacks suffered more than probably any other group in history except the Jews, but just about more effort was put into fixing the injustices done to blacks than to any other group. Wars were not fought and countries were not destroyed to fix other race relations or bring other people out of bondage. I would appreciate one tenth the effort done for my people.
Why does racial hurt never go away? I argue because it is useful. The power elite keep blacks as victims through soft racism such as affirmative action and race baiters such as Al Sharpton. Blacks are not good enough to compete on their own, they argue, so big daddy government must give them a hand up and take care of them just as big daddy massa did. "Massa don't want to hear that slave shit, sing him something different!"
If you take a look at just about every problem society faces today you can trace it back to people with power wanting more power, disenfranchising one group to play off another, keeping us all separated so we can't unite and defeat them. Racism has always existed and probably will always exist, but the idea of permanent racial victims exists only as a device by the elite to divide people.
Now, here's where I'm gonna get really racist, as one person has insinuated, by citing statistics. According to the FBI, 2,720 black people were murdered in 2010, 2,459 of them at the hands of another black person. Another study, conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, between 1976 and 2011, discovered that 94% of all black murder victims were killed by other black people.
One black violent thug was shot by an Hispanic idiot wannabe hero who's painted as "lily white" by race baiters and all of a sudden there's a huge outcry and the beginnings of race riots. The nearly 3,000 other black people killed by other black people every year - not a peep. If Zimmerman was black it has been demonstrably proven over the past three decades that the event wouldn't make the news. About 13,000 people are murdered in total every year. How many of them do we ever hear about on the news? How many of them get a "Justice for Jane Doe" campaign, or two televised speeches by the President, or mass demonstrations in the streets of major cities? How many millions of black babies are killed in abortion mills every year (Planned Parenthood was founded with the specific intent of exterminating black people)? How much harm is the government and racist leaders like Al Sharpton doing to the black community? How much harm is the black community doing to itself? And in spite of all of this we barely hear anything. Whites who speak out are labeled racist and blacks who speak out are labeled Uncle Tom.
Somehow is it more real when an Hispanic (or even a white) man kills a black man than when a black man kills another black man? Is that because the power elite in the media told you so? I don't think so. I don't think it's more real when OJ got off on the death of his wife because there was reasonable doubt because OJ was a black man killing a white woman. I don't think black people should consider it more real that George Zimmerman got off on the death of Trayvon Martin because there was reasonable doubt because Zimmerman was whatever the hell race you want to call him killing a black man. Can we not look past the colour of peoples' skins and see into the content of their characters as a great man once said before he himself was murdered by a racist? Must we divide ourselves among races, playing into the elite's hands, weakening our own power, enslaving ourselves? How does any of that make sense?
It is a tragedy when anyone has to die, but it is an even bigger tragedy when we let those deaths needlessly divide us further. Al Sharpton doesn't care about Trayvon Martin, neither does President Obama, and neither do any of the people on TV who are making money by hyping the incident. Obama will never have to bury his children because of a fight with an armed man, thankfully he has Secret Service to protect them. However, he is stuck seeing things through the lens of race as the elite of his day indoctrinated him, and now that he has all the power in the world he is using it to indoctrinate others. In his ignorance he is part of the problem, a problem that uses race to divide the one human race as evil always does to secure power for itself.
I might be veering off into even more alien ground here, but here is how I see the endgame play out. Evil has no power of its own. All power comes from God, even the power that evil misuses. Just as a solar powered machine cannot be used to destroy the sun, there is nothing evil can do to to defeat God.
All the super evil people in history have eventually outstretched their limits and were murdered by their own people. Stalin, Timur, Attila, Mao, all the tyrants, however powerful, however many millions they terrorised or killed, they were eventually killed by a guard or someone who saw the opportunity to strike and put an end to someone whom everyone hated. Evil loses because it isolates itself. In alienating all possible allies and ruling entirely through fear, evil leaves itself open to that one person who inevitably arises who has nothing to lose and the perfect opening to get at the tyrant one on one. Once they are free, the people, who have been living in secret, watching every step they take against the seemingly omnipotent authorities, immediately resume their lives where they last left off as best they can.
Although the New World Order has a lot of power on the Earth, all the power they have comes from God. No matter how powerful they get they can never win. They will lose; the only question is how much damage will they cause before they are taken down? How long will it take for the world to recover? It took India a century to recover from Timur's destruction, but it recovered. Stalin did his best to destroy the Russian church, but it sprang back once it was free to do so. The unconquerable spirit of free people will be restored as soon as the peoples' burden is lifted. How badly will they destroy the world? I don't know. Ultimately, it doesn't matter, because they cannot destroy our freedom, only we can surrender it. They can never destroy love. As A Course in Miracles says:
Nothing real can be threatened.
Nothing unreal exists.
Herein lies the peace of God.
That is why no matter how powerful they get, they can never be more powerful than you are. They have already lost. All else is just spectacle.
We should use this tragedy as a chance to unite against the evils of racism, not to add more fuel to the fire. With that I close my analysis of the Trayvon Martin case.