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WTF Florida?
Skeeve
How can someone stalk another person through a neighborhood, confront them, then get into a fight and kill them and not be held accountable?

What the fuck am I missing with this shit?

Zimmerman is a free man and Martin is in the ground. Sad
"The world is my country, and do good is my religion." - Thomas Paine
 
JohnH
I do not think most of america understands what "walking while black" means. This was from the beginning an example of what "walking while black" means.

Frequently police or others hassle or even kill non white americans. The number of unarmed african americans or hispanic americans that get shot and killed by police is alarming. Currently there is a movie out called "Fruitvale Station" which examines the life of Oscar Grant who was shot in the back by a BART policeman in front of multiple witnesses in the Fruitvale BART station. Grant was a man with flaws but did not deserve what happened to him. It was at worst an execution by a man who knew he could get away with it and at best horrible police work to the extent the perpetrator should have been severely punished. He spent 2 years in jail.

Americans have routinely tacitly allowed or ignored killing of the other. Read "American Massacre" some time. As far as that goes read about how the mormon church was driven out of places other than Utah, it somewhat worked both ways.

The dominant culture in america can harm the other with impunity (I know this is also a world wide problem). The courts and legal systems for the most part encourage this in subtle and direct ways.

There is no need to ask "what the fuck". It is the norm.
 
JohnH
I cannot edit so I must add.

The use of deadly force by people who feel they can get away with it does not necessarily mean only by whites. Those in the police who are non white also know they have a get out of jail free pass and act accordingly. It is both the dominant culture and their forces who know about the pass they are given, the forces do not need to be of the dominant culture.
 
Skeeve
I don't know how that edit function keeps changing. Should be fixed now.
"The world is my country, and do good is my religion." - Thomas Paine
 
Photon
Skeeve wrote:

How can someone stalk another person through a neighborhood, confront them, then get into a fight and kill them and not be held accountable?

What the fuck am I missing with this shit?

Zimmerman is a free man and Martin is in the ground. Sad


Well, I'm not sure this characterization was established. He "followed" not "stalked". And "confront" is a loaded term as well. From the evidence, there was an altercation and it was not easily determined who started the physical fight. Zimmerman did have injuries (albeit minor) that weren't inconsistent with a self-defense claim. Hence, the acquittal.

Now, I find it extremely disturbing that a neighbourhood watch individual, trying to patrol his neighbourhood while armed with a firearm, ends up shooting an unarmed minor under any circumstances. There are so many things about this case that if anyone had made different choices, the outcome would not have happened. If Zimmerman hadn't followed Martin against the advice of the 9-11 operator, if Martin hadn't doubled back or had just ran home, if Zimmerman hadn't got out of his truck, if Zimmerman hadn't had a gun, if there hadn't been a physical altercation however started, Martin would still be alive. But looking at Florida law, and given the evidence presented, I don't see how they could have done anything except acquit.

But something is screwed up somewhere when an unarmed teenager is shot through the heart, even if he attacked Zimmerman (which wasn't clearly established, but there definitely was reasonable doubt as to how the altercation started). My personal view is that concealed firearm permits and the 2nd amendment to the U.S. Constitution need some serious reworking or limitations. It might have been a much different outcome if Zimmerman had brought a club to the fist fight instead of a handgun.
 
Skeeve
I'll concede stalked, but not confront. How else did he and Martin come into contact?

He was a self-appointed neighborhood watch participant, and had no legal basis to question Martin, that is for law enforcement if they deem it necessary.

Manslaughter should have been the minimum acceptable outcome of this, and I blame inept prosecutors. A 17 year old boy lost his life because of an overzealous vigilante.
"The world is my country, and do good is my religion." - Thomas Paine
 
Photon
I agree with you. The problem is they way Florida defines manslaughter. In other jurisdictions, if you kill another person, even in self defense and without malice, but use an unreasonable deadly force you can still be convicted of voluntary manslaughter. But not so in Florida.

I think criminally and morally Zimmerman deserves something of a punishment, but given the choices set down in Florida law, and given the evidence presented, a not guilty verdict was inevitable.
 
seeker
A friend of mine actually called me the other night to tell me she was happy about the decision. I find myself wondering if people in this country have become so radicalized that civility will become impossible.
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana
 
Hypatia
What I don't understand is that, it seems to me, Zimmerman kind of had the upper hand from the get go. He had a gun and a vehicle (I understand he was legally carrying the firearm, but I don't think most people doing neighborhood patrol has any business doing it armed with a gun). So he had the gun to defend himself, but he could have just driven away.

Zimmerman is older than Martin was, he isn't a kid. I don't like the idea of adults who can't make more rational decisions than Zimmerman did in similar 'urgent' situations looking out for neighborhoods armed with guns. It's too easy to misunderstand, to make a mistake.

And then, as Photon pointed out, there's the whole situation with way some laws are written, and the fact that they aren't always applied to all equally, IMO.
 
Hypatia
JohnH wrote:

I cannot edit so I must add.

The use of deadly force by people who feel they can get away with it does not necessarily mean only by whites. Those in the police who are non white also know they have a get out of jail free pass and act accordingly. It is both the dominant culture and their forces who know about the pass they are given, the forces do not need to be of the dominant culture.


If I recall correctly, you haven't been able to edit your posts for sometime now, is that right John? I don't understand why - seems to me there has been some conversation about it in the past. Maybe it's the skin you're using? Perhaps Jayon has some trouble-shooting thoughts that could help? Oh well, just some (hopeful) wondering out loud.
 
JohnH
Hypatia, I continue to have problems with the edit function, but that is not why I post.

I found this today.

http://www.counte...-profiles/

The last week was spent with family and friends in an isolated place. The fact that so few understand the other and how they might react in certain situations very much colors how some judge events. This was discussed in relation to the Zimmerman decision. Specifically that a young african american might react aggressively when confronted by someone presenting themselves as an authority figure.

How a male might react to a female who is dressed in a way that the male finds suggestive is a non racial way to present this.

I add this.

http://www.counte...going-out/

Once while walking to a movie my friend and I noticed an attractive female at a the bus stop, we looked at her. A few steps further on we realized we were early to the movie and decided to turn around to go back to the only bar nearby I liked. The woman we noticed immediately got up from where she was sitting and fled around the corner. About a half block or so further on our walk one or the other of us voiced the the concern that maybe we had frightened her, we both agreed we had. We ignore the feelings and fears of the other and as such do disservice to the whole.

By the way the edit function seems to have been restored to me.
Edited by JohnH on 07/25/2013 17:31
 
Skeeve
JohnH: How is this for relevant juxtaposition?

Two 7-Year-Old Boys, Two Dramatically Different News Stories
"The world is my country, and do good is my religion." - Thomas Paine
 
seeker
The article skeeve posted is a really good example of just how difficult racism is to overcome. Regardless of the black child's actual criminal intent he will be treated as though he intent was different from the white child's. Stereotyping will push him into the behavior that is expected of him.
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana
 
Hypatia
JohnH wrote:

Hypatia, I continue to have problems with the edit function, but that is not why I post.

I found this today.

http://www.counte...-profiles/

The last week was spent with family and friends in an isolated place. The fact that so few understand the other and how they might react in certain situations very much colors how some judge events. This was discussed in relation to the Zimmerman decision. Specifically that a young african american might react aggressively when confronted by someone presenting themselves as an authority figure.

How a male might react to a female who is dressed in a way that the male finds suggestive is a non racial way to present this.

I add this.

http://www.counte...going-out/

Once while walking to a movie my friend and I noticed an attractive female at a the bus stop, we looked at her. A few steps further on we realized we were early to the movie and decided to turn around to go back to the only bar nearby I liked. The woman we noticed immediately got up from where she was sitting and fled around the corner. About a half block or so further on our walk one or the other of us voiced the the concern that maybe we had frightened her, we both agreed we had. We ignore the feelings and fears of the other and as such do disservice to the whole.

By the way the edit function seems to have been restored to me.


*gasp* OMFSM!There really IS a Flying Spaghetti Monster!
 
Hypatia
JohnH wrote:

Hypatia, I continue to have problems with the edit function, but that is not why I post.

I found this today.

http://www.counte...-profiles/

The last week was spent with family and friends in an isolated place. The fact that so few understand the other and how they might react in certain situations very much colors how some judge events. This was discussed in relation to the Zimmerman decision. Specifically that a young african american might react aggressively when confronted by someone presenting themselves as an authority figure.

How a male might react to a female who is dressed in a way that the male finds suggestive is a non racial way to present this.

I add this.

http://www.counte...going-out/

Once while walking to a movie my friend and I noticed an attractive female at a the bus stop, we looked at her. A few steps further on we realized we were early to the movie and decided to turn around to go back to the only bar nearby I liked. The woman we noticed immediately got up from where she was sitting and fled around the corner. About a half block or so further on our walk one or the other of us voiced the the concern that maybe we had frightened her, we both agreed we had. We ignore the feelings and fears of the other and as such do disservice to the whole.

By the way the edit function seems to have been restored to me.


Two good thought (and emotion) provoking articles, thanks John.
 
Hypatia


By this point in time we know not to and have learned so many lessons about how not to discriminate, and yet it continues. To what degree do you all think religion and faith in a god has to do with the degree of racism that still exists in our society as opposed to cultural influences being more of a cause, or even something else, outside of religion?

I think partly it's going to take making a concentrated effort to educate people about racism and discrimination, and refusing to tolerate any kind of discrimination from people and making it so that people know it isn't just a matter of it being inappropriate, it's a matter of it being socially morally unacceptable.

Personally I think religion and our own government are the two biggest obstacles and reasons why racism continues on the level it does.
 
Theory_Execution
I am a 6'4" guy, but in my mind I am still a small teenager, I do intimidate people simply by my size, and I often forget this.

I have had similar experiences with scaring women when walking late at night. I try to be as obvious with my presence as possible when approaching strangers (I walk quite fast, so catch people up).

In some cases, I will slow down to avoid getting close to and passing people.

I watched the videos of some of the accounts of the incident, I agree with the legal finding.
 
Hypatia
I have to admit that nearly anytime I am going to get on an elevator, for example, and it's just me and there's a man that is also going to get on, I won't. I'll wait until I can ride alone, or there are a few more people getting on. I am nearly always being acutely aware of who is around me, how close to me they are, and what their demeanor appears to be like.

When I had to have my car into the shop for repairs the garage sent one of their workers, a man, to pick me up from work and take me to pick up my car. I am very, very uncomfortable being in a vehicle with a man I don't know at all, and during the entire ride to the garage I had one hand on the door handle and the other on the seat belt latch in case I needed to jump and roll. lol, I know, a bit overboard looking back on it, but, that's just my reaction. *shrug*
 
JohnH
TE, I think you may be technically correct in that the "legal finding" may be agreed with.

In the context of the long history of legal oppression of african-americans in the US one may come to a completely different conclusion. Trayvon Martin was a young black man walking in a predominately white community while wearing a hoodie. Therefore a person who was not a cop but merely a neighborhood watch felt not only able to but compelled to pull over and confront him aggressively. The young black man ends up dead and Zimmerman walks.

Watch the videos of Oscar Grant being killed, and consider the very light sentence given to the killer. The events in Florida are very similar and the outcome was very similar.

One cannot divorce history and precedent from what happened in Florida. In that context although the "legal finding" may be agreed with the sequence of events and the outcome make me disagree greatly with the decision.
 
JohnH
Hypatia, odd being a man at times. I remember events such as being told by a lesbian she was such, simply because I remarked on a sporting event we were both watching. I assume she thought I was hitting on her even if I was already well aware she had no sexual interest in me.

I have routinely been careful when on the street walking and I realized a woman nearby may be troubled by my presence.

Fortunately I am now old enough that most women feel they can ignore me. Two hookers in the Tenderloin (San Francisco) made that clear some 20 years ago, still hints that I am dangerous remain.

It is a very unpleasant feeling and one I wish would go away.

I will also say that one of the drivers of continued racism is that few will acknowledge the situation of the other. Pushing 50 years ago I recognized that as a white male getting a degree in a very employable profession I was going to probably have an easy life. I considered the circumstances that led to that position and realized it was all blind, dumb luck. I considered the possible circumstances that might have made things different and realized they were in fact quite subtle and just a tweak here and there and my life might be very different. I have tried to be sensitive to the other ever since.
 
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