Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Excuse Me As I Justify

As the attempts to discredit Trayvon Martin have grown in intensity and frequency since his death something has become obvious. It is not that George Zimmerman had no reason to fear for his life during his brief encounter with Trayvon because he might have truly been in danger. It is not that Al Sharpton's name is still an epithet to many white folks. That is beyond obvious.

What has become clear as pundits and amateur sleuths have tried to fine some way to slander Trayvon is that white people believe deeply that their fears are justified. They believe that their mistreatment of minorities is beyond reproach. They believe, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they and their ancestors have mostly made the right decisions.

That is why Trayvon's memory has been attacked. Though the rationale offered is about balancing sympathetic media coverage, or discovering the truth, that's a smokescreen. Martin's history wasn't known to Zimmerman as he walked through that neighborhood. There is no evidence that he was "high" or stealing. He was just walking. And that action, combined with all the "truths" known about black men, is what led him to be deemed suspicious.

Trayvon may have enjoyed marijuana. He may have postured like a gangsta with friends. He may have even stolen things on occasion. But George Zimmerman did not know that as he approached him on that rainy street. Besides his "gut" feeling that Trayvon was trouble and he had no other reason to deem the teen suspicious and initiate contact.. But, the truth is that many white people think that gut feeling was perfectly reasonable.

This was evident in the blatantly racist column written by John Derbyshire that outlined exactly how white children should handle black folks. It was obvious in the comments made by conservative pundits railing against the unfairness of the whole situation for George Zimmerman.

Behind the calls for truth and transparency is the belief that Trayvon deserved to be questioned and feared. Geraldo basically made that point when he ranted about hoodies. Despite statistics that show that most white people are victimized by other white people, certain folks believe that they know the face of crime, they've always known the face of crime and that face doesn't look like them.

That belief justifies certain "precautions". It justifies certain laws and practices. Racial profiling isn't racism, it's good police work. Discrimination isn't immoral, it's just nipping problems in the bud before they can truly blossom. Trayvon Martin's death may have been a tragedy, but you can't make an omelet without hurting Humpty Dumpty.

This mindset inflames and poisons racial discussions. It causes people to defend positions that are illogical and immoral. Ultimately, it just makes things worse. But the blame for that rarely falls on white folks, instead it gets placed on the backs of black people. White people are behaving sensibly, black people are behaving emotionally.

And that's how evil gets justified.



stephen matlock said...

"There is no evidence that he was "high" or stealing. He was just walking. "

This is a key point. A man - or a boy, or anyone - should be able to live his life without fear that someone with think he's dangerous and then have that someone take the law into his own hands.

Prospector said...

I hear what you're saying. It's actually even deeper than you say here. White folks I've noticed actually expect us to be even more aggressive than we are. Why? Because they would never take the kind of shht they put us through without a lot of blood being spilt and they expect us to be coming for our revenge any minute. They've been waiting for this to happen for such a long time that now they're on "hair trigger mode" and every move a Black man makes is the beginning of the "Big Payback". I can understand how they are afraid too. Especially considering we really are some of the "sharpest tacks" on the planet when we're on our game. It's no wonder you won't see them pushing historical facts about the Tuskeegee Airmen or The Harlem Hellfighters, or The 761st Tank Batallion or The Buffalo soldiers combined with the Black Seminole Scouts that are responsible for clearing the southwest practically by themselves. These were all among some of the fightingest asses that you'll ever find anywhere. They should be afraid. The one thing they don't usually take into account though, is that we (in our Black Conciousness) suffer from such an extreme case of Stockholm Syndrome that we are essentially the very best friend that they have in the world. There is literally no other group of people on the planet that they can count on the way they can count on us. I know you know what I'm saying. Rodney King expressed our general feeling clearly even after they kicked the livin' daylights out of him. "Why can't we all just get along?" Why indeed?

Anonymous said...

You must be Jean Grey from the X-Men because you were reading my mind. Good points all around.

garb said...

You just don't get it. All that stuff is irrelevant. Zimmerman was within the law to walk up to Trayvon and ask him what he was doing. It's not a crime or violation of rights to ask someone what unfamiliar what they are doing in a neighborhood. To claim that racism had anythign to do with that simple act...the confrontation....is to ignore the fact that Zimmerman was a homeowner and that the neighborhood had been subject to buglaries. Every other homeowner would be worried about their home and would want to participate in attempts to protect the neighborhood.

Either way, the "confrontation" is irrelevant. What DOES matter is whether a physical altercation ensued and, if so, who started it. These facts are ESSENTIAL to a valid self defense claim. Looking at all the facts, including the extent of Zimmerman's injuries and the witness statements of the events, we can rule out a scenario where Zimmerman walks up to Trayvon, shoots him for no reason, and then proceeds to injure himself. That scenario doesn't fit the facts.

When you further look at the injuries, they paint a picture as to who was the aggressor. Scrapes on Trayvon's knuckles indicate he was punching Zimmerman. Zimmerman lacked any such injuries. Zimmerman's back being wet and head being smashed supports his version of the events and the witness statements. Finally, the gun was fired at an extrememly close range, further supporting Zimmerman's claim that he fired the gun in the middle of an altercation.

Thus, the facts indicate that Trayvon died because of Trayvon's actions. The facts indicate that at some point, Zimmerman and Trayvon met and at some point, Trayvon began assualting Zimmerman....THEREFORE, self defense would be justified.

I find it utterly incomprehensible that black people cannot look at these facts from a logical perspective and reach the same conclusion. instead, they want to focus on a "threat" that hasn't existed in over 80 yrs.

garb said...

Rodney King expressed our general feeling clearly even after they kicked the livin' daylights out of him. "Why can't we all just get along?" Why indeed?
Rodney King was drunk...took officers on a high speed chase jeapordizing the lives of innocent motorists...and initially assualted officers. Please...PLEASE....lets not make the guy out to be some kind of marytr. Apparently, you don't know anyone who's a police officer....but I do, and they have a tough job; and this guy got what he deserved IMHO. I'm not saying people weren't abused by the police before and racism wasn't at the base. I definitely know that happened. All I'm saying is that this situation was not one of them.

Raving Black Lunatic