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100 Followers! Tuesday How To: Make Use Of A Couple Of Zeros

June 11, 2013

By addressing something really important, again. Which nicely dovetails into a day that I actually decided I should type some words.

Remember this?

It’s still kind of an open question. There’s literally a trial going on right now which will maybe, possibly but probably not, help us determine an answer. `

Yeah the Trayvon Martin Trial? It’s in jury selection right now. So we all know what I’m reading/listening/watching. Because, you know, I think it’s important if a whole state still thinks it’s OK to hunt black folks.

In my reading up on this important, hunting black folks issue, I found and interesting thing.

NPR, the liberal news source, if one defines liberal and factual as synonyms, quoted the Orlando Sentinel this way

“Defense attorneys will likely favor people age 40 and older, predicted Orlando jury consultant Susan Constantine. They’ll also want managers, authority figures, people who are analytic — engineers, for example — those who are unemotional and will focus on the facts.

“Expect prosecutors to favor people ages 18 to 35, those with lower-paying jobs — for example, social workers, construction workers or people in service industries — and, in general, those who rely more on emotion in making decisions, Constantine said. Defense attorneys will favor whites, prosecutors blacks, she said.”

Wait, what?

NPR thinks people who favor the facts will favor the defense? The. Fucking. Defense? Not, you know, the team defending the value of the life of a black child but the man who took that life?

In making this assertion both the Sentinel and NPR illustrate the real problem as well as the difficulty of finding a workable solution. Both news outlets make the mistake of accepting the premise that the facts favor George Zimmerman. Both news outlets allow that idea to go by without question. Both causally assert that the facts favor the defense and,as a result,  the prosecution will be seeking out people who will be swayed by emotion.

Can we pause for a minute and look at what they are really saying?

What they’re really saying is the defense that Zimmerman is putting forward has the facts on its side. They are accepting as factual the idea that Trayvon Martin and not the man who fucking shot him, is responsible for his death. Moreover, they are accepting the idea that Zimmerman was right, or at least acting in a responsible fashion when he initiated the encounter that resulted in the death of a 17-year-old boy.

That is both the fucking problem and the all to often lethal danger of being not Caucasian in America.  Most people agree that the end of that encounter was tragic. A pathetically few people appear to be even remotely aware that the real tragedy is the beginning of that encounter. It never should have happened in the first place. Trayvon Martin should not have lived and died in a world where walking while black is an offense for which one can be executed. A kid walking down the street looking at houses (as you do, while walking down the street like a person) should never cause anyone to reach for a gun. But it did and now a child is dead. We still live in that world, because don’t for one second convince yourself that black kids in Florida are safe from other people who think they look suspicious who decide to stand their ground.

The trial matters, but the law that allows us to even question whether or not Zimmerman was right to target, follow and eventually shoot Trayvon Martin matters more, as does the systematic, ongoing dehumanization of Florida’s People of Color. Most important is the idea, expressed often in regards to both this case and overall SYG laws, that it is acceptable or even necessary to meet a threat, such as the one PoC apparently pose by existing, with force.

It’s killing us and it’d time for a change



One Comment leave one →
  1. June 11, 2013 7:50 AM

    I have no words that will cover what I am feeling. It breaks my heart every damn time. I see a parents pain of losing their child; the loss of all that potential for the community; and there is no legitimate reason for it. Just ignorance and hate.

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