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Thursday, September 29, 2016

No sooner had the jury’s verdict in the George Zimmerman murder trial been announced than a journalist friend posted on my Facebook page: “If it weren’t such a tragic case, I’d forgive you for feeling smug.”

Maybe I should have felt insulted. But I’ve got a thick skin. Besides, my friend doesn’t know me very well. I reminded her that I’d described the case as “a lamentable tragedy of errors marketed as a multimedia morality play on the combustible theme of race.” Absolutely nothing good could come of it.

And nothing has. Inchoate public reaction to the entirely predictable not guilty verdict has only confirmed that view.

To me, the most poignant moment of the trial came when defense attorney Mark O’Mara questioned Tracy Martin, the victim’s father. Many pundits said the lawyer had made a terrible mistake. I thought otherwise. At issue was whose voice could be heard screaming for help on a neighbor’s 911 call that recorded the fatal shot—an unbearable thing for any father to hear.

Tracy Martin’s great dignity, sincerity and terrible sorrow ended up underscoring two points Zimmerman’s lawyers badly wanted to make. First, when he’d initially heard the 911 tape, he hadn’t recognized his son’s voice. Whether he’d said it definitely wasn’t Trayvon’s voice, as police said, or that he simply couldn’t be sure, as he testified, wasn’t as significant as his uncertainty.

Second, Tracy Martin’s change of heart came about only after political interference by Sanford’s mayor caused the tape to be played for the entire Martin family simultaneously—sure to affect their individual perceptions, but minimizing the usefulness of their testimony.

Equally important was the implied message O’Mara sent to the jury: that although a trial is an adversarial procedure, Tracy Martin was not the Zimmerman team’s enemy. They respected his grief, they trusted him to be truthful, and they didn’t fear his testimony. Rather, it was the prosecution that ended up looking as if there were aspects of the story they didn’t want told. Not a critical moment perhaps, but a telling one.

As a father of sons, I felt great empathy for Tracy Martin. Like the jurors, however, I also thought he was probably mistaken about the voice on the 911 tape. Common sense says it’s more likely the guy getting his head pounded into the sidewalk crying out for help than the guy doing the beating.

But then I saw the case as a tragic collision between two confused, frightened strangers rather than a melodrama pitting good against evil. Once a feverish, opportunistic media campaign to depict the crime as the racial atrocity of the century got underway, keeping a clear mind took effort. Debunking the incendiary falsehoods promulgated on MSNBC alone—seemingly at the behest of the Martin family lawyers—could fill several columns.

  • sigrid28

    Atrociousness is in the eye of the beholder.

  • Dominick Vila

    The most poignant moment for me was the way defense attorney John West intimidated Trayvon’s girlfriend, they way she was ridiculed, the climate of hostility created by the defense during and after her testimony, and the demonization of a young woman who was clearly uncomfortable being there. Not having a good education, not being sophisticated, and being afraid or intimidated by some people are not crimes, and should not be a reason for people who, allegedly, interpret and debate our laws and our rights, to go after someone the way John West did during this trial.

    • Allan Richardson

      The prosecution set her up for the abuse by not giving her any practice, or explaining to what she needed to know about the mechanics of testifying. She was asked to read a letter she had never seen, without being briefed on what was in the letter, which she could not read, then insulted for not being able to read it.

      She was obviously uncomfortable on the stand, as if she were afraid of being a witness. And being black in a white run town, she may have been AFRAID of retaliation by police or private citizens if her testimony had convicted George. She may be privately RELIEVED at the “not guilty” verdict because it means her own life is in less danger.

      • DurdyDawg

        Your merely assuming your suspicions but I can agree that she was probably intimidated but not because of any whites but because of authorities that she wasn’t used to and many people are somewhat overwhelmed in being a witness. She did nothing wrong, just being in a situation that she probably had never experienced with sharks who were willing to sacrifice anyone but their client and you are absolutely correct concerning the unprofessional actions of the prosecution but let’s try not to create more hatred as there’s enough of that without making assumptions.

    • RobertCHastings

      The alternate juror claimed that Trayvon could have fled. Based upon his phone call to Jeantel, he WAS fleeing when Zimmerman hunted him down and shot him.

      • Dominick Vila

        I think it is important to remember that Trayvon Martin had the right to be there inasmuch as he was staying in his Dad’s girlfriend’s house in the Twin Lakes neighborhood. It is also important to remember that he was not engaged in any criminal or suspicious activities when he was singled out by George Zimmerman. Not surprisingly, the GZ aficionados are busy portraying Trayvon as a dangerous and violent criminal, a drug addict, and a man capable of turning an innocent person into a pulp. Never mind that the only thing the coroner found were traces of Marijuana, which usually has a lethargic effect on users, that the one who had two retraining orders against him was George not Trayvon, and that the lacerations on GZ’s head were so superficial and minor that he did not have to go to an ER for stitches, was coherent at the scene of the crime when the police arrived within a couple of minutes of the shooting, and that he walked without assistance or evidence of a serious beating into the police station where he gave his deposition in a coherent and calm manner.

        Hyperbole prevailed and succeeded during the trial, but the coup de grace was Florida’s Stand Your Ground law and the instructions given to the jury by the judge.

        • RobertCHastings

          Everything you present was available to anyone who reasonably wanted to get at the truth. Even one of the jurors at least implied that it was the Florida laws used in this case that made it impossible to find Zimmerman guilty. It is only reasonable to assume that, until Florida’s laws are closely examined by the DOJ, this sort of incident will continue to occur, and perpetrators like Zimmerman will continue to be exonerated.
          Even the media are complicit in this travesty, for from the beginning they were saying how weak the state’s case was against Zimmerman. Holder was spot on with his statement to the effect that the laws should make violence LESS likely.

          • Dominick Vila

            Ironically, the right blames the media for the support that Trayvon Martin enjoys among people capable of rational thinking. In my opinion, the media was and remains complicit in hiding George Zimmerman’s violent nature, the fact that two former girlfriends claimed abuse and got restraining orders to protect themselves from GZ. The fact that there was no swelling, no bruises, no blood or DNA on Trayvon’s hands, suggesting the tiny lacerations suffered by GZ we, very likely, self inflicted, got lost in the very persuasive arguments presented by the defense, which shifted the focus from a kid being shot to death by a thug, to a poor innocent man doing his civic duty being beaten by an out of control teenager.

          • RobertCHastings

            You know how to call them, my friend. And the media has the balls to complain about surveillance when they have all been doing pretty much the same thing Murdoch has been doing in GB. We need some honest and courageous journalists like Walter Cronkite and David Jennings and Barbara Walters who are not afraid to ask the hard questions. I have been a subscriber to The Rolling Stone for several years, and I could not have been happier to see their latest issue with Jahar Tsarnaev on the cover. However, even better was the article on climate change.

          • Dominick Vila

            Policy to mitigate the effect of global warming – or climate change – is likely to be one of the greatest casualties of Republican obstructionism and “conservative” myopia. That is, until the effects of global warming become so obvious that even the disciples of the oil industry have no choice but to back pedal. When that happens, you can bet they will blame Democrats for not investing in projects designed to save our cities, protect the availability of potable water, and invest in new urban development and transportation concepts. Little will be done on these fronts until savvy entrepreneurs see an opportunity to profit. When that happens, conservative politicians will do a 180 and will embrace what they have oppose today, with the shameless cynicism that is their trademark.

          • RobertCHastings

            One of Britain’s greatest Christian writers of the twentieth century, who most of us know as the author of the Narnia books, C. S. Lewis, penned another series of books in the 1950’s entitled “Perelandra”. Presciently, this series of books portrayed a Christlike figure, Ransom, battling the senseless predations of those who would, for greed alone, destroy the planet. It is telling indeed that this was written by a renowned Christian author, and it is the “Christians” of today who are the object of his scorn.

          • Dominick Vila

            Like so many other British authors, C.S. Lewis was ahead of his time. I enjoyed Somerset Maugham’s short stories in my younger days, because of their clarity, objectively and simplicity.

          • Vazir Mukhtar

            Your happiness at the Rolling Stone cover that’s upset so many Bostonians is curious. Perhaps you share the opinion of one of my friends (also a subscriber) who said that people need to realize that those who do evil are not necessarily ugly.

          • RobertCHastings

            The article on Jakar Tsarnaev was not an effort to glamorize a terrorist, but to humanize him. We all have our own demons. By demonizing him, the media and others dehumanize them and those with who they are associated, making it easier for society to find enemies where none exist. What caused Jakar and his brother to do what they did may never be accurately known, but it MUST be understood that what they did resulted from their personal choices, choices they made as individuals within the framework of their personal experiences.

          • Vazir Mukhtar

            You refer to the Rolling Stone article, which I have yet to read. We agree in that the photograph was an attempt to humanize Mr Tsarnaev.

            Genuine enemies are also dehumanized to arouse the civilian population and incite the troops, as you know. I well remember the names given to the Germans and Japanese during WW II, the North Koreans and Chinese during the Korean War, and the North Vietnamese during that war.

            I also concur with your last statement.

            Thank you for your reply.

          • RobertCHastings

            I was surprised when I read the article. Comments made it seem that Rolling Stone had actually interviewed him and was treating him like a rock star. If you can find a retail outlet that still sells RS, buy it. It is a very, very interesting article, trying to explain how Jakar got where he was emotionally, and why many more like him are out there. As with the study by a journalist found in “Columbine”, there ARE reasons that people do the things they do, and much of the motivation for such actions are in clear sight, if people just look. I felt anger when my parents divorced. Jakar’s parents divorced AND went back to Russia, basically abandoning him as a kid. Tamerlan was out of work and about to lose public assistance, for his family and for himself. Both young men were going through a great deal of emotional stress, and so are many of those with whom they associated in Cambridge.

          • Denhunter

            Too funny! The ‘laws’ that Zimmerman ‘used’ were drafted and ,enacted by Democratic legislatures DECADES ago! They are essentially the same laws enacted in every state in the union. Self defense is self defense.

            The SYG statute, which was never used, applied or referenced in this case, was passed by a Republican legislation in 2005. However, since the Democrats and blacks hate THAT statute, they keep bring it up when it has NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS CASE.

          • RobertCHastings

            I watched one of my favorite shows, “The First 48”, last night. This episode regarded a case in a section of Miami, FL in which an individual was involved, in some way or another, in a neighborhood dispute. The person of interest had been arrested about five years ago (another episode of First 48) for chasing a thief down the street and stabbing the perp with a knife, killing him. He was convicted of 2nd Degree murder and given a lengthy sentence. However, just last year, only two years into his sentence, he was released, based upon SYG. Apparently, in Florida, it is acceptable, under SYG, to pursue an unarmed person whom you merely suspect of being a thief and stabbing him in the back (as he runs away from you), resulting in his death. The perp did nothing to notify the police, by this mere act of negligence possibly resulting in the thief’s death. In the current episode, however, the freed killer was, poetically, killed as a result of something entirely unrelated.
            Stand Your Ground is wrong, period.

        • It is important to get the facts. The police tracked TM’s phone to his Dad’s house. He went home, then doubled back and came at Zimmerman from the shadows. They have foot prints that verify that. It was raining. TM had been walking up close to the homes, not on the sidewalk. With his history of B&E, anyone with an ounce of intelligence would know he was casing the homes. He was acting suspicious, that is what drew GZ attention, not his color. When asked he said he might be black. TM was thrown out of school for selling drugs. When searching his bag, they found stolen jewelry and B&E tools. This was not a good kid. I have many blacks,etc in my family…none of them act like TM

    • middleclasstaxpayer

      The “climate of hostility” as you put it, was established long before the court case ensued. It began when your esteemed president Obama proclaimed :”If I had a son, he’d look like Travon.” This ill-conceived & extremely prejudicial remark by your president created a very real climate of hostility against the defendant, even though Obama, like all of us, knew absolutely NOTHING about what had occurred that night. The climate of hostility continued when all news outlets showed a picture of an innocent looking 12 year old Travon for over ONE YEAR, instead of a current photo of the towering 17 year old, 6′ 2″, 175 lb athletic giant who loomed over the 5′ 7″ much shorter defendant. As done previously in the case of the black Boston professor, Obama spoke out well before he knew what he was speaking about, prejudicing all who heard his ill-thought-out & harmful remarks.

      • Dominick Vila

        Acknowledging that Trayvon Martin could have been anybody’s son was neither prejudicial nor intended to incite violence or bias. The killing of a 17-year whose only crime was the fact that he was black is a tragedy, and an example of what is wrong with our society and where our focus must be.
        The media does tend to feed on sensationalism. The facts, however, involve a coroners report that indicates no evidence of swelling, bruises, lacerations, blood or DNA on Trayvon’s Martin indicating he beat up George Zimmerman. George Zimmerman was not savagely attacked, he was following a teenager who was heading home after buying a bag of Skittles and a drink at a 7-Eleven. GZ was not beaten to a pulp, as some suggest, he was coherent and steady when the police arrived, when he walked into the police station, and he was interviewed by the detectives on duty. He did not go to an ER and did not need stitches or medical care. I have worse lacerations on my legs when I weed whacked my lawn that GZ had on his head.
        Ultimately, the verdict was influenced by Florida’s Stand Your Ground law, by the instructions given to the jurors by the judge, and by an outstanding performance by the defense team, who managed to transform a thug with two restraining orders on his record, and physical training at a police academy into an innocent and defenseless victim, and a kid who was not engaged in criminal or suspicious activities into a savage.

        • middleclasstaxpayer

          You are making a lot of unsubstantiated assumptions, while ignoring other facts that came out in the trial. You & I were NOT at the scene. We can only deduce information from trial revelations. The defendant had a broken nose. How did that occur? The 17 year old was high on drugs, a fact that doctors testified could easily make him aggressive. I wonder what you would do if you were being beaten by a MUCH stronger, bigger & more physically fit aggressor? You nose broken & blood pouring down your throat??? Just grin & bear it. I assume.

          • Dominick Vila

            You are correct, we were not at the scene of the crime. The only absolute truth is that the inert body of a 17-year old was in the premises, and that a 28 year old carrying a 9mm admitted to the killing.
            The coroner’s toxicology report indicate traces of cannabis (marijuana) in Trayvon’s blood. Marijuana does not cause aggressiveness, it is often used for medical purposes – and it is already legal in some states – because it produces lethargy and reduces pain.
            Even if we assume that GZ claim that his broken nose was not self-inflected but the result of a blow by Trayvon, and even if we ignore that there was no physical evidence on Trayvon’s hands to support that claim, the fact remains that Trayvon’s was not engaged in suspicious activities when he was profiled by Zimmerman, that Zimmerman followed him after being told not to do so and to wait for the police, and that a person that is being followed by a stranger – and feels threatened – has the right to defend himself. The latter are the basis for the Stand Your Ground law, unfortunately that law is not applied as intended in some cases. This is one of them.

          • middleclasstaxpayer

            You apparently did not follow the testimony carefully, as DOCTORS stated that marijuana could have easily made Martin more aggressive. If you feel that Marijuana is harmless, I am assuming you recommend its use to your children & grandchildren. But why do you continue to inject race into this matter (alleging “profiling”) when BOTH participants were minorities….a black & a Hispanic. You DO admit that people have a “right to defend themselves” which is exactly what occurred. Would it have been better if their paths had not crossed, of course. But that is not the case, and the defendant did defend himself against a larger, stronger, more physically fit opponent with sad results. Eye witnesses placed the taller Martin on TOP, pummeling the weaker defendant underneath.

          • Dominick Vila

            As a non-smoker and a person who doesn’t even take aspiring and flushed pain killers down the toilet after major surgery, the last thing I would do is recommend marijuana or any placebo to anyone, let alone my kin.
            First and foremost, George Zimmerman’s father is a white man, and his Peruvian mother is part white. Judging by her physiognomy I would say that much of her ancestry is either Quechua or Aymara. Secondly, what makes you think that there are no racists among the so-called Hispanics-Latinos. After living almost three decades in Spanish-speaking countries I agree that ethnic intolerance in most Latin American countries is minimal, but that doesn’t mean there is no prejudice.
            George Zimmerman did not single out Trayvon Martin because he didn’t like his hoodie, because he didn’t like his stature, or because he smelled bad. He singled him out, the same way he singled out four African Americans for walking through his neighborhood before the TM tragedy: because he was black and in his distorted little brain that was enough reason to consider him a threat or a target.
            One of the eyewitnesses, Ms. Lauer, testified that the man on top got up immediately after the shot was fired. She, like most of the eyewitnesses, with the exception of one, was unable to distinguish or identify who was who, but her testimony was clear. The exception was John Goode who was not only able to identify the two men fighting and see the blows, he could even see the color of the clothes they were wearing!
            Obviously, you have made up your mind, and the fact that there is no physical or DNA evidence suggesting that TM inflicted the superficial lacerations on GZ head and punched him on the nose, means nothing to you. That’s fine, you are free to think whatever you wish. For me, the fact, the evidence and the testimonies given by witnesses mean something entirely different. As far as I am concerned the Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman tragedy was murder one.
            Make no mistake, the next phase of this travesty of justice will be George Zimmerman writing a book and making millions off the death of an innocent kid whose only crime was his skin color.

          • middleclasstaxpayer

            OK, so by your logic, president Obama is white, as his mom was white, right? You are actually correct that racial profiling was used in the incident. By court testimony from Martin’s friend, Martin described the defendant as a “creepy ass cracker”, a clear description of the mind-set of the 17 year old in denigrating a fellow citizen. Add the drugs that doctors stated in testimony could easily make the 17 year old more aggressive, and you have a lethal combination of racism & mind-altering drugs at work. The outcome was tragic, but at least one party to this incident had racism & animus towards the defendant, per his own telephone statements to a trial witness. Since neither of us was there, all we can go on is sworn court testimony. If you believe In our system of laws, that should end the matter. As memory serves me, when O J Simpson was acquitted of the obvious murder of two whites, blacks celebrated & cheered in public, and O J was allowed to live his life in peace from then on, with no federal investigation, no White House comments, no Attorney General threatening lawsuits. End of the matter My how times have changed.

          • Dominick Vila

            President Obama is half white and half Black African. George Zimmerman is half white and half Peruvian indigenous. So what? The ethnicity of a person has very little to do with their behavior, although it often influences prejudices fostered by the environment we grow up in.
            In the case of President Obama, the positive influence his mother exerted on him contributed to the character, honesty, determination and to his decision to delay material goals when he graduated from Harvard and devote instead part of his efforts and time trying to help others as a community organizer.
            George Zimmerman did not exhibit similar attributes. In his case, he abused and scared two girlfriends to the point that restraining orders had to be issued. His inability to graduate from the police academy turned him into a frustrated and insecure man. The facts that no arrests were made when he reported four trespassing through his neighborhood, all by African American males, exacerbated his frustration when the police investigated the incidents and concluded that the trespassers had the right to walk to their homes.
            Trayvon Martin was not under the influence of behavioral changing drugs. Again, the coroner’s toxicology report indicates traces of cannabis.
            I don’t know what I would say if some creepy idiot decided to follow me while walking my pooch on a dark rainy night, but I doubt it would be nice regardless of the ethnicity of the person following me.

          • middleclasstaxpayer

            The comparison between Obama is that, if Obama can call himself black (with one white parent) than Zimmerman can be described as Hispanic, also with one white parent. Yet our “unbiased” media (and you) continues to describe this as a “racial profiled” situation, when in fact BOTH men were minorities.
            Regarding drugs, you admit you wouldn’t recommend them to loved ones for obvious reasons, yet you see no problem in fact that Martin had illegal drugs in his system, which sworn doctor testimony stated could easily increase Martin’s aggression. Add Martins racist comments (creepy ass cracker) & perception of the defendant, and you have a uncomfortable combination of bad attitude & heightened aggression. You also state that the defendant had no redeeming attributes, yet he aspired to help his fellow man (and risk his own life in the process), by becoming a police officer. Chances are, his poor physical condition caused him to not be accepted, not his willingness to help others, sometimes at his own peril. You accuse me of having already “made up my mind”, yet my beliefs are supported by court testimony & facts, while you have “made up your mind” based on what you’d “like to believe.” Two different situations, one based upon facts, the other based upon “hoped for” outcomes.

          • Dominick Vila

            I describe George Zimmerman’s decision to follow a person who had not done anything wrong and was not engaged in suspicious activities racial profiling because there is no other explanation. That is, unless George was deliberately looking for someone to kill that night for reasons that only he knows, a possibility that I do not believe.
            Our debate on this issue is centered on our interpretation of “facts”. For me the facts are quite simple: (1) after watching a basketball game with his Dad a 17-year old kid went to a 7-Eleven where he bought a bag of Skittles and a drink. (2) Trayvon Martin was walking home on a dark and rainy night wearing his hoodie. He was not engaged in suspicious of criminal activities, and did not demonstrate aggressiveness towards anyone. Even GZ did not suggest that. (3) When George Zimmerman saw Trayvon Martin walking through “his” neighborhood, he called 911 to report a potential trespassing. (4) The 911 operator asked him to stop and let the police handle the situation, indicating an officer was on his way to the scene. (5) Zimmerman ignored the advice given by the 911 operator and decided to handle the situation himself. How far he was planning to take his neighborhood watch responsibilities is anyone’s guess. (6) When TM noticed that he was being followed by a creepy guy he did make some comments to the girlfriend he was talking to that could be interpreted as racist, inasmuch as they described the ethnicity, or supposed ethnicity of the man following him. (7) A physical fight took place, but contrary to the example shown by O’Mara during the trial using a dummy to demonstrate vicious pounding against the pavement, GZ’s superficial lacerations on the back of his head (2 cm and .5 cm long) were inconsistent with O’Mara’s energetic sideshow. (8) GZ shot TM at point blank range. Some witnesses testified that the man on top got up immediately after the shot was fired. One testified that in spite of the darkness and rain he was able to see clearly and identified TM as the aggressor. (9) The body of a 17-year old was lying on the grass when the police arrived, and a 28 year old man with a 9mm gun was in the premises. The shooter was coherent, was walking steadily, and did not need ER care, stitches, or examination to determine if he was suffering from a concussion or other physical impairments.
            You can try to demonize Trayvon Martin as much as you wish, but I doubt anyone capable of rational thinking will believe TM was the aggressor and GZ the victim in this case. Nobody denies that Trayvon Martin was a troubled kid, that he used marijuana, that he got in trouble in school, but very few people believe those are justifications to shoot a teenager or anyone else but that matter.

          • middleclasstaxpayer

            You say “no other explanation” is possible but racial profiling. Then why, when the defendant was asked by the police dispatcher if suspicious person was white, black or Hispanic, did defendant state “I THINK he’s black” NOT he IS, but simply “I think he’s black.” Even defendant wasn’t sure who he was watching. He was simply doing his volunteer job….his neighborhood had many home break-ins & burglaries, and even a “home invasion” where a white woman’s home was invaded by three black thugs while she was AT HOME, scaring her so much she immediately moved out of town. But I suppose if that type of situation were occurring in your neighborhood and you saw something, you’d simply ignore it….none of your business as long as they invade someone else’s home, right?

          • Dominick Vila

            Why did George Zimmerman tell the police dispatcher, I think he is black? Very likely because he is not as dumb and defenseless as some people think he is. One of the things police academy trainees learn is criminal justice, and in Florida that includes familiarity with the Stand Your Ground law.
            The fact that there were break-ins in George Zimmerman’s neighborhood, which happens to be the same neighborhood where Trayvon Martin was staying, is no justification to single out a person who was not engaged in suspicious activities and ultimately shoot him dead. Had Trayvon Martin been engaged in a break-in, nobody would question the right of a neighborhood watch to follow him, report his activities to the police, and confront him if necessary. But that was not the case in this instance.
            As for black thugs breaking into innocent white people’s homes, do you feel the same way when white thugs break into black people’s homes, or is there a difference between the two? I don’t have a problem with you mentioning the fact that there had been break-ins in the area, I don’t have a problem with you saying they were thugs, but why did you have to add the term “black” to describe the thugs? Does burglary become a greater crime when a person of color is involved, or is our justice system – and our society – as color blind as we pretend they are?

          • middleclasstaxpayer

            He answered a DIRECT QUESTION from the dispatcher…”is he white, black or Hispanic” with his honest reply…” I THINK he’s black.” He wasn’t even sure, but was simply doing his job as a neighborhood watchman…..I’m certain he “watched” everyone who transited his neighborhood….no problem in that…if you were walking in YOUR neighborhood and one of you fellow residents …a “watch person” …checked you out, what would you do? Berate him for protecting your home, property & loved ones, or simply say “thanks for your volunteer service.” Defendant was only doing his “volunteer” job as committed to…we will never know what Martin was doing, only how it ended. Could it have been avoided…probably by either or both of them…we will not know, and either will you. The reason I referred to other break-ins is to help you understand the motivation of residents to attempt to defend & protect their neighbors, their homes, their loved ones & their property. If YOUR neighborhood was subjected to the break-ins & burglaries they suffered, maybe even YOU might become more motivated to help your fellow man.

          • Dominick Vila

            I confess that I live in a middle class community – no gates – where people go for walks, ride their bikes, and talk to one a another without fear of anyone following us or calling the police because he/she considers us a suspect.
            I am not sure how I would react if someone in my community decided to follow me on a dark and rainy night, when I take my pooch for his last walk of the day, for no reason other than the fact that the person decided I should not be there. Most likely, I would hurry up, drag my dog home, and call the police to report a creepy fellow was following and is outside my house. Then again, if I was packing a gun, there is a good chance I would take the law into my own hands, consistent with the protections afforded in Florida to those who are not committing a crime and feel threatened. Honestly, I don’t know how I would react, but I doubt I would approach the creepy fellow and engage in a friendly conversation with him. I am not interested in expediting my permanent departure.

          • middleclasstaxpayer

            I agree with you 100%. Thanks.

          • CeciliaJayne

            I wouldn’t be packing a loaded gun and tracking down my prey.. oh I mean the child. simply because he is in the neighborhood. I guess Martin paid with his life because the “thugs” and he are all black. Zimmerman was suppose to report his position and wait…… Zimmerman will kill again….

          • middleclasstaxpayer

            You obviously paid no attention to the trail proceedings, nor to the testimony. That small Florida community has been besieged with break-ins, robberies & even a home invasion, where three armed men invaded a lone woman’s home while she was inside.
            Therefore, the local police asked for volunteers to form a “neighborhood watch” committee to help. Witness testimony found that the 17 year old threw the first punch, breaking the defendant’s nose, after which the 17 year old pounced upon the defendant & began pummeling him. That’s when bad went to worse. Maybe bad choices on both sides.

          • Equalforall

            You still conveniently leave out the “fact” that the gun was behind Zimmerman’s back covered by a shirt and coat and that Martin was on top of him with his legs running down the sides of Zimmerman. Impossible to get the gun. Plus Zimmerman’s testimony in the reenactment said that Martin saw the gun and reached for it. Again, impossible for Martin to see it under Zimmerman’s back which he reenacted reaching behind his back for the gun. Another point- George’s lawyer said George was having his head pounded into the concrete sidewalk over and over again. HMMM! Two small cuts on the back of the head. Also Martin’s body was located 25 feet away from the sidewalk. Hard to imagine how it got that far when George rolled him over and spread Martin’s arms. Finally, I take it since Martin was such a hulking person that you have never seen the results of an MMA fight where someone got pounded in the face over and over. It is more than just a nose problem.

          • Harold L. Harris, Sr.

            Young person, we use race for almost everything, and I can be just as racist against a black person as I can to a white. I caught myself clutching my wallet a little tighter while shopping in a mall that is used almost exclusively by people of my race. So, don’t confuse racial profiling being as against only those of a different race. That is where we get lost. When a white person call someone “White Trailer Trash”, that is profiling. I’m sorry, but you really need to try and understand what role race plays in your life before you try to defend your positions because your racial overtones are really exposing them self.

          • middleclasstaxpayer

            Well said, my friend!

          • Harold L. Harris, Sr.

            Why is it necessary to try and destroy the image or value of
            one person to make another person better?
            Facts are facts and suggestions are just that, things that we would like
            to be true. Here is a suggestion from a
            Law Enforcement person; Mr. Martin had Mr. Zimmerman in a headlock, in his
            attempt to escape, Mr. Zimmerman caused the wounds to his head and his twisting
            also caused the injury to his nose. This
            simply explains why there was no Zimmerman DNA associated with Martin. Again, this is not a fact, just a suggestion
            of what might have happened.

            From your position, I would suggest you will not accept this
            as a possibility and I do understand this.
            However, we as a nation have decided to divide on this as many other
            issues according to race and right now, that are the bigger problem. Martin is dead and Zimmerman is walking free
            after a fair trial and that is a fact that maybe we all should just accept.

            For me, no law should ever be written that allows
            individuals citizens to use a deadly weapon as a means of defense, but that is coming
            from someone that have a real love for people, all people. You can justify your beliefs based on any
            information you wish to use, but as have been said before, Zimmerman did
            profile this young man and that is what led to this fight in the first
            place. I do believe that if this had
            ended with Martin somehow taking control of the weapon and using it to kill
            Zimmerman, you would not be a solid in your defense of someone fighting for
            their life.

            Some other facts; this kid had every right to be where he
            was, he was only walking home after buying some treats for himself and his
            younger brother. Mr. Zimmerman was told
            to remain in his vehicle that was nowhere near where the fatal shot was fired,
            so he was clearly outside of his responsibility as a Neighborhood Watch
            person. He was in fact armed while “performing
            this duty” something that is told to these people that they are not to do.

            From where I stand, there is nothing we can do for any of
            these people involved, one is dead and the other is living with the knowledge
            of what actually happened. Some have
            wished him to burn in hell, but I pray for him, because killing is easy, living
            with it is not. Can you spell PTSD? What really worries me are those that have
            taken sides based simply the race of the individuals. I have lived a long time and I have been
            called many names and have actually called other a few names myself, but when
            performing my official duties, I have always been professional, looking simply
            at the facts of the crime without allowing race to help guide me in any way. How this nation became so divided is truly
            beyond me, how we can hide from the facts that we are who we are and then
            justify our beliefs by destroying the Caricature of others. We are not post racial and this trial has
            made that point perfectly clear, but now we need to get people to accept that
            they are using any set of facts that will justify their already perceived beliefs
            based solely on race. Of course, I have never
            met a confessed racist except myself, because I know me and my thoughts and I
            have to work hard to get past them to be a professional.

          • RobertCHastings

            Marijuana IS harmless and is NOT a “gateway” drug as so many would have us believe. Components of Marijuana are used, under FEDERALLY authorized prescriptions, for various medical issues. Unlike some other compounds developed by the government (LSD, etc.) for the treatment of various psychological disorders, marijuana does not induce people to act unthinkingly and irrationally, at least no more than alcohol does.
            The right to defend oneself is deeply imbedded in Common Law and is the basis for “a man’s home is his castle”. However, longstanding Common Law makes NO PROVISION for the kind of behavior encompassed by Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, which is, simply, an abomination. As a taxpayer, you should have enough sense to realize where these laws are coming from and the ultimate goal behind this legislation. Do a little research on ALEC, your eyes might actually be opened.

          • willybird

            I tell you, I get a little tired of this race business, does not matter as to the race of these two people, where their mother of their father is from or any of that. We have a situation here where the chain of events brought these two people to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and we had this tragic result, and no testimony to refute the version of the person who stood trial on this matter. We can discuss this thing to death, there is so much misinformation being spread around about this thing that I do not believe that even the two people who were involved would even know the truth, but these two people were there and they know what happened even though there is one who cannot say what happened and there is no body who can say they were there and saw exactly what happened, with the exception of the defendant. Unfortunately the State had no case to begin with and could not prove what they had beyond any reasonable doubt. If I had served as a juror on that case I would have acquitted based on what both sides presented, not having anything to do with race or my personal opinions but based on the case and the law as it applies to the case.

          • middleclasstaxpayer

            Well said. Thanks

          • RobertCHastings

            Stronger and bigger? Where did you acquire your observational and mathematical skills? Trayvon was 5’10” and weighed 150. Zimmerman may have been an inch or two shorter, but he certainly outweighed him, even before he put on all the weight for the trial. And Trayvon was 12 years younger, without the experience that Zimmerman had in mixed martial arts. Apparently, you have never been around anyone high on pot. Unless there is some other drug involved, potheads ARE NOT aggressive, and the tests you cite did not show other drugs. Your assessment of the situation is, as you complain about that of Mr. Vila, based upon supposition and the testimony of a certified liar.

          • middleclasstaxpayer

            You apparently did not pay attention to the trial facts…Martin was 6′ 2″ and weighed 175 lbs. He was very physically fit compared to the much shorter & overweight defendant. At trial, DOCTORS testified that the marijuana in Martin’s system could have easily made him more aggressive than normal. These are facts that came out during the trial. For over one year, media outlets showed photos of a 12 year old Martin, not the 17 year old who towered over the defendant.

          • RobertCHastings

            Trayvon Martin was 5’11″tall and weighed 158 pounds, pretty close to Zimmerman’s size. My source was Wikipedia, which is probably more reliable than your source. Do try to remember that ZIMMERMAN was the aggressor, NOT Trayvon Martin. Trayvon, at the time of the confrontation, was a MINOR, being assaulted by an adult of 28 years who was trained in mixed martial arts. You have, apparently, never partaken of Marijuana or ever associated with anyone who has. The tests of Martin’s blood showed Marijuana, but NO other drugs that could have made him aggressive. Marijuana, when mixed with certain drugs, can cause aggression. This was not the case as nothing else showed up.

          • CeciliaJayne

            I have known many pot heads in my life and they are anything but aggressive.They are calm and chilled and are some of the most easy going people, you wouldn’t even think they smoked.An attorney here in Ky was one and he ran for office numerous times.

          • RobertCHastings

            Smart politicians who have smoked it when they were younger have no issue with admitting to it, fully understanding that pot is NOT the dangerous drug it is made out to be. I won’t name any names, but over the past twenty years we have heard several admit to it.. I am sure you are not referring to Mitch McConnell, but he sure does need SOMETHING to chill him out.

          • RobertCHastings

            Interesting. I would think his family would know his size. Over the past year, many folks have been posting a picture of Trayvon Martin showing him with tattoos and well into his twenties. Autopsy showed no tattoos and, as you say, he was only 17, by Florida law, a MINOR who was beaten and killed by an adult. Trayvon Martin, according to Wikipedia, was 5’11” and weighed 158. I seriously question your assertion that Martin “towered” over Zimmerman, or that he was an imposing physical specimen that terrified Zimmerman just by his appearance. Zimmerman was ARMED and was trained in mixed martial arts, being perfectly capable of either defending himself from an assault, or of initiating one himself, which he was known to have done in the past (two restraining orders against him).

          • CeciliaJayne

            don’t forget about the assault on the police officer and the fact he was kicked out of a community college for being a danger to them. Zimmerman is a hot head and he will kill again.

      • RobertCHastings

        Obama knew much more about what happened that night and in the aftermath than you know. Did you speak, personally, with the parents, or did you just glean what you could from whatever sources you chose?

    • Gapper

      The Prosecution in Florida has for a long time been given excessive liberties in the court room. Has anyone asked why the prosecutor is allowed to demean and intimidate in order to manipulate someone into statements that are not true or that they don’t know but make them up just to get the heat off their back? Why do we allow this behavior? None of the prosecution team will be challenged or held accountable for these actions. Where was the judge’s oversight? They will repeat these behaviors over and over in the future. Everyone who watched this trial should have learned about how devious the state machine can get when attempting to invent facts through intimidation and should recognize that this is a systemic state problem. In spite of this misbehavior, however, the jury sifted through the nonsence and came to the right conclusion. They were the only puritans in the entire process.

      • Dominick Vila

        I agree, and will add that in addition to a mediocre or unwilling prosecution team, the defense also engaged in behavior that was nothing short of despicable. The way they treated Jeantel was disgusting, and the example O’Mara used to illustrate the alleged beating the poor George Zimmerman suffered at the hand of a vicious Trayvon Martin, using a dummy and a level of violence that had it been true would have caused at least a concussion and extensive trauma, was a cynical tactic used to achieve their ultimate goal.

    • CeciliaJayne

      The way he persecuted Jeantel and the way he put Marti on trial for his own death is one of the many reasons that Zimmerman was not held accountable. I still don’t understand why the Judge even stood for this behavior out of West.I believe the prosecution is responsible for the reason there was no accountability for Martin’s murder Zimmerman will kill again,,,,,

  • stcroixcarp

    This case demonstrates the evil and carnage of the Stand Your Ground and Conceal and Carry laws. If Zimmerman had not been allowed to conceal and carry a gun, and if the law did not allow him to shoot another individual because he thought the person meant him harm, this tragedy would not have happened. Zimmerman was a “law abiding” citizen, not a gang banger, hired assassin, or serial killer.

    • CeciliaJayne

      If Martin had lived this trial would have shown Zimmerman’s true color’s that night in Feb.2012.This case had no one but the liar Zimmerman speaking about Martin’s action’s that evening and he is a habitual liar.Once a liar always a liar. Remember he even lied to the Judge about his finances at the beginning of this trial .Zimmerman will kill again…

  • FT66

    The six women on the jury lacked sense of reasoning. What made them allow Zimmerman walk free on self-defense while this issue was not brought during the trial at all? The whole world is laughing at the greatest nation on earth doing such blunders. The so-called “Stand Your Ground Law”, doesn’t make any sense. Allowing people to shoot when they feel they are in danger! Do all people who possess guns have the same IQ?

    • Sand_Cat

      I understand one of them mentioned “the riots” which led to the trial in her pre-trial questioning. Since there were demonstrations without violence, this obvious bit of prejudice should have excluded her from the jury hands down.

    • DurdyDawg

      I don’t believe it relates to lack of intelligence but rather a green light to go above and beyond civil boundaries.. We have been conditioned to be cared for for so long that we can’t even regulate ourselves thus look to our protectors to regulate for us then when they create a controversial situation it gives a few free reign to do what has become legal without worry of legal retaliation but not taking into account what it produces within the populous.

    • CeciliaJayne

      In Ky you have to prove your life was in danger.Not the circus Florida has going on in the name of justice.And NO not all people think like Zimmerman or should we say Not think with his A.D.H.D

      • FT66

        Well said Cecilia, I admire Ky and not Florida at all. They acted like Mafias.

  • Patricia Houghtalen

    Zimmerman was a vigilante who dogged a young boy at night causing Trayvon to be in fear and then Zimmerman got out of his truck causing a confrontation that he now claims led him to be in fear for his life so he shot and killed an unarmed boy. Zimmerman never should have gotten out of his truck and attacked this young man, if Trayvon had been in possession of a gun he would have been justified in shooting this aggressor, Zimmerman is a murder.

    • CeciliaJayne

      Zimmerman is afraid of his shadow and he will kill again

      • Patricia Houghtalen

        CECILIA you are right, he probably will kill again. He got away with murder once and has Fox Network crawling all over him so I would not be surprised if he does not do the same type of thing again to keep the spotlight shinning on him. He should be in jail and the prosecution team with him since they did such a lousy job of getting justice for Trayvon.

  • Equalforall

    I would like to know how Zimmerman got to his gun when it was located behind his back under his shirt and coat with Martin on top of him allegedly pummeling him and had his knees in Zimmerman’s armpits with his legs running down Zimmerman’s sides.. How could Martin even see the gun? This came from Zimmerman’s own reenactment. Also, Martin’s body was well away from the sidewalk. Zimmerman’s head was not badly damaged. There was no big cuts or bruising. Take a look at MMA fighters after a face pummeling. No bruising on Martins knuckles. It does not add up.

    • Allan Richardson

      Zimmerman had so few cuts, they could have come from slipping on wet grass and falling face up with the back of his head hitting the concrete ONCE. Being “bashed onto the sidewalk” repeatedly would have left more scars. And if he didn’t already have the gun out, pointed at Trayvon, he would not have been able to squeeze it between their chests and line it up VERTICALLY to shoot; the shot would have entered on the side of Trayvon’s chest. None of this was brought out at the trial by the prosecution.

      Actually, I doubt that the police and State Attorney’s office ever INTENDED to prosecute. The fact that George’s trip to the police station was so SHORT, he was released almost immediately (they did have to take a few pieces of evidence, including his gun, to make it LOOK good), he was not tested for drugs (but the victim was), Trayvon’s jacket was sealed in an airtight bag with the rainwater, which they should have known would destroy any DNA evidence, and they sat on the case for months before going through the motions of arresting and charging him.

      The one thing that might have saved Trayvon’s life, or at least enabled his killer to be punished, would have been a Google Glass with its camera running and feeding the video to his Google account.

      We need to change laws, and the law enforcement culture, that allowed this to happen. As the Attorney General of the United States pointed out, HE was racially profiled by cops in DC even AFTER he became a federal prosecutor! And every white guy who was turned down for the police academy but “feels like” a cop will patrol his neighborhood looking for anyone with the “profile” of an unwelcome intruder. This is NOT acceptable in this new century.

    • CeciliaJayne

      It never will either….. because it was Zimmerman’s nostril’s flaming that night. Zimmerman was frustrated and angry because the thugs always got away and that night, he made sure no one lived to tell.Even the community college where he studied criminal justice kicked him out because he was a danger to them.

  • Harold L. Harris, Sr.

    The only thing I have to say is; heaven and hell exists between our ears where our thought lives. There is only one person alive that know what really happened that night and that person will live the rest of their life knowing the truth. I know that we sometimes want to see justice done as we think it should be done, but if Mr. Zimmerman acted in self defense, then the rest of his life will be lived without any regrets, but if on the other hand he intentionally killed that kid; his moments where he is alone with his thought will be rough at the very best. Nothing anyone can say or do from the outside can punish or console him as his mind will do in the end. His freedom or punishment will live with him forever because only he knows the truth.

    • Sand_Cat

      Whether he acted in self-defense at the last minute changes the fact that he was the agressor in this little confrontation not at all. He has no right to live without regrets, and hopefully he never will succeed in doing so.

      • Harold L. Harris, Sr.

        I agree with you about the final results because he did act irresponsible. We can all comment on the facts as they were presented during the trial, my reasoning deals with the facts that he know what actually happened. He is the only person that really knows what actually happened that night and because that is the final fact, he is the only person that have to live with it. As a nation, maybe we should be outraged at the verdict, but our response must be measured to find the true cause of the problem in the first place. The Florida law that allowed this to happen and will allow it to happen again unless something is done to change the law itself. Our yelling at Mr. Zimmerman is only serving to make a hero out of someone that does not deserve the status. Those who would rush to his defense is doing so, not because they think he is right, but because they think that anything that a Liberal can be on the side of, they have to be against. I am a Conservative in many issues and very Liberal on others. Responsible gun ownership is a very personal conservative idea that has gotten lost in this debate because we are focused on the act and not the true cause.

    • CeciliaJayne

      I like the part where he burns in Hell for eternity……

      • Harold L. Harris, Sr.

        I would rather that this be a learning opportunity for him and the rest of us as well. His burning in hell will serve us nothing, not even the satisfaction of watching him burn unless we wish ourselves to be there with him. Hearing that he helped someone after an accident on the news the other day may just be the first step that he is trying to atone for his actions; or it could be that he has always been that person and we just have not seen it. The why does not matter, the simple act is a reflection of self-awareness and healing. It is better to want good to come out of a bad situation than to wish for more bad. I can only wish him well in his future because to wish him ill only reflect on a single moment in history that I allow to live inside of my head. I don’t rent out space in my head to anyone.

        I pray that the God I honor bless the Zimmerman family as well as the family of Mr. Trayvon Martin. The impact on them will last a lifetime while for the masses; it will only serve as a footnote in a long and violent history, soon forgotten by everyone except students of history.

        • CeciliaJayne

          What you heard was the media’s atonement for Zimmerman as the family wasn’t hurt in the accident and no one required emergency treatment. There was another man there first, who had already pulled them to safety he was just there to get back in the lime light.I believe Zimmerman’s true charter has already been shown in the murder of this child. Zimmerman may never be held accountable for this murder in this life but he will be held accountable in his after life.Zimmerman will murder again…..

          • Harold L. Harris, Sr.

            I really don’t think we disagree on his guilt and I concur that I also thought that this accident story was simply made for his re-entry into society as some kind of hero. My larger point however is simply this; I want him to receive a just punishment and I think that once the courts have spoken, his punishment now lies in the hands of the “Most High God” and whatever that punishment may be, we may never know, but he (Zimmerman) is the only person alive that know the truth and he must spend the rest of his life living with that truth haunting him. That is something that none of us can do no matter how we may feel. I have said that I believe that hell is located between the ears and inside his head is a place he will never be able to escape. All we have to do is pray for the families because I also believe that Mr. Zimmerman will be the person that will expose himself and one day beg for forgiveness.

  • bbjab12

    The atrocity comes with you writing a piece that shows your true heart and attitude that an unarmed boy is followed and attacked by an armed stranger, in his own neighborhood, trying to defend himself, whether he was the one screaming or not is grounds to write Trayvon as the aggressor and evil person in this, is just plain racially biased and insane! I’d like to see someone grab your butt and see what you’d do if you were in the same situation! You better hope you can be the one on top and defend yourself! And oh yeah, for you it’d be legal because of “stand your ground”. You know, the law for whites and not blacks in Florida!

  • krickettwest

    This young man just wanted to go to the store and buy some candy and a drink and go back home he didn’t know a stranger was stalking him he didn’t know he was going to be followed he didn’t know he was going to be confronted by a armed stranger he didn’t know that he was going to have to fight for his life and he certainly didn’t know he was going to loose his life! He just wanted some candy and a drink and to go back home. He was only 17 he had more life to live …he had more life to live!!!

    • Allan Richardson

      Actually he had just turned 16 two or three weeks earlier.

  • The Prosecution rested…
    The Defense rested…
    The victim rested…in peace.

  • Patricia

    So you really think Peruvians cannot be racists? Most South Americans are racists. History reveals how the majority population, who considers themselves white, treat the Black population especially in Brazil. Get a grip.

  • howa4x

    I think it is sad that the media played this out like a TV drama with endless commentary on each and every word. The ranked witnesses and divided them into defense winners/losers or prosecutor winners/losers. This follows on the heels of the salacious Jodi Arens case that had viewers transfixed on the sexually intimate details of her short relationship. Trials now are high stakes drama and played out to enhance network ratings while being played to a nation of voyeurs. We are so biased in our views that no matter what the outcome we refuse to believe it. We fall into the CNBC/Fox delineation.
    Each participant had other options in the Zimmerman trial. One could have stayed in his car and the other could have patiently explained why he was there, but they didn’t.
    While this was going on we had weeks of killing in our urban areas where black youth act out the gansta lyrics they hear 24/7 and are shooting each other at a frightening pace. No one seem interested in that, and it becomes just the background sounds of urban life mixed in with the sirens. We live in one of the most violent countries in the world that is not in the midst of a war, and sadly this ongoing drama has yet to reach the final act.

    • ObozoMustGo

      Howie… good common sense post. I could not agree more. I’m sick and tired of the damned race hustling that goes on in America. We will not get over this until we the people refuse to see racial distinctions and instead view character distinctions. We are not blacks, or whites, or hispanics, or asians, or purple polka dotted, or whatever. We are Americans. That is the only distinction that matters.

      Another thing that bugs me…. Remember, before the verdict came out, the news and public figures were publicly asking people not to riot. Now, let’s stop to think about this. Why would they ask black people not to riot? Isn’t it because they presuppose that blacks are prone to bad behavior like rioting and burning vehicles and attacking innocent people? Well, you tell me… what’s more racist than presupposing behavior of people because of the color of their skin??? The very news media and public officials that decry conservatives, falsely calling us racist because we disagree with Obozo, is the most guilty of them all!!! I am sick and tired of this race crap. It’s gotten worse under Obozo. Not even I expected that.

      Have a nice day, Howie! I hope you well.

      “Without Freedom of Thought, there can be no such thing as Wisdom; and no such thing as public Liberty, without Freedom of Speech; which is the Right of every Man, as far as by it, he does not hurt or control the Right of another. And this is the only Check it ought to suffer, and the only bounds it ought to know. This sacred Privilege is also essential to free Governments, that the Security of Property, and the Freedom of Speech always go together; and in those wretched Countries where a Man cannot call his Tongue his own, he can scarce call any Thing else his own. Whoever would overthrow the Liberty of a Nation, must begin by subduing the Freeness [sic!] of Speech; a Thing
      terrible to Public Traitors.” — Ben Franklin

      • howa4x

        thanks for agreeing. It has gotten worse under Obama because there are many people who can’t stand that a black man is president. I agree most conservatives aren’t racist but there is a cohort of them that are. Until all of American’s can’t see color and just look a the man we will have this problem

        • ObozoMustGo

          No problem Howie. When you’re right, you’re right. And I will say so. But I must say that you’re belief that people hate Obozo just because of his skin color IS the exacerbation of the race problem. How do I know this? I know because every single conservative I know would vote for and support Alan West, Mia Love, Star Parker, Herman Cain, Dr. Ben Carson, Guillory in LA that just switched parties, etc. etc. etc. You see, if we were racists, we would not support people that were black. But we do. So your assessment is wrong at face value. It’s IDEOLOGY that we despise or support. That’s it. Nothing else. That being said, the truth is that there is no other country on earth that is as accommodating and tolerant of other races, religions, etc. etc. as America. Yet, there are still a few people that are, and will always be, racists. Heck, there’s a certain percentage of people that still think the moon landing was staged. There will always be idiots. Nothing will change that. But we cannot run our society and government with preferences for race. It’s silly. It needs to end.

          Like I said above, the expectation for black rioting by the media and politicians IS RACIST! They are presupposing bad behavior because of skin color. THAT IS RACIST. I have not heard anyone else bringing this perspective up. I think I am right.

          Have a nice evening, Howie!

          “If you don’t read the newspaper you are uninformed, if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed.” — Mark Twain

          • howa4x

            I agree Ideology is the issue in this country. I’m a progressive /registered independent and see Obama as a centrist leaning right of center president. His healthcare act was an image of what Romney passed in Mass. and left most of the issues untouched in the illness intervention system. The insurance industry, and big Pharma are still in control and to say this plan is socialist tells me people don’t understand what the term means. The public option that wasn’t even given a serious look by Obama would be more of a socialist plan for health care. His turning the war on terrorism into a drone/special forces war is not a socialist campaign, and is something if Bush was still president, he would do. He has deported more people than any other president, and immigration from Mexico is at a trickle. He even supported the 1st phase of the Keystone pipeline which angered most environmentalists, including me. Fracking is at an all time high and we are producing more natural gas than any other country, and soon will have enough surplus to export. The stock market has hit the highest number ever recorded, and housing starts are back to pre 2007 levels. Corporate profits are at an all time high. He nor his policies hasn’t put a stop to any of it. I would like you to tell me one socialistic plan that he has advanced or implemented. I don’t see it. but then I don’t watch Fox or listen to right wing radio.

            Have a wonderful day and nice chatting with you

          • midway54

            Your post is a well stated viewpoint, with which I agree as one who also is a registered independent with progressive leanings.

            “I don’t see it. but then I don’t watch Fox or listen to right wing radio”. Nor do I: I learned a long time ago that doing was an utter waste of time, because of its blatant distortion of the news verified from time to time by some who had left the place and later described the morning meetings among the crew to establish the day’s rightwing gospel.

  • Peoples425

    The true atrocity or “damn shame” in this entire article is that someone with such a biased perspective such as yourself is allowed the ability to write such a litany of perspective trash.

    1st, let’s get to the point of the fact that Zimmerman was not “overweight” at the time of pursuing Trayvon Martin and had been trained in MMA style fighting as well as training with Police on a fairly frequent basis. The question should be asked is whether or not this individual is either drunk or stupid (sidenote: There was a toxicology report done on the victim, but not the shooter as is protocol in all shootings, self defense or not) because he says he wasn’t able to get a hand free or land any punches, but yet was able to grab his gun to shoot. He also says that he was hit so many times that he couldn’t realize what was going on or that his head was being slammed into the ground. The injuries sustained by Zimmerman weren’t sufficient enough to warrant “life or death” thoughts considering the 2cm or .5cm cuts on his head or the fact that there weren’t any swollen knuckles or bruises in Martin’s case.

    By no means am I trying to imply I know Martin’s character in the least, however given the circumstances, even if Martin did approach this man who could’ve appeared to be a threat with a gun that’s following you for no apparent reason, I would be more apt to believe that Martin could’ve defended himself, but considering the outcome of the interaction from that night, it’s only one side of the story that we are allowed to hear.

    • pm1

      No, there is the evidence, and eye-witness testimony. It speaks loud and clear. The only reason this went to trial, was to appease angry violent mobs.

      • fishingfly

        There wasn’t compelling evidence and only questionable eye witness testimony. The only real “witness” left was GZ and he had already “tampered” with the other witness- TM. I noticed the same thing Peoples425 did. GZ seemed to have added about 100 lbs for the trial. I am willing to bet that his defense team suggested that to make him appear weaker. I think one major point missed at the trial was the whole “Neighborhood Watch” program in that gated community. We have in our homeowners association, which isn’t gated, and it’s very informal and no one cruises around in vehicles armed with weapons. Most of us have the stickers in our windows identifying us as part of the Neighborhood Watch Team. The emphasis is on “WATCH”. If we see suspicious activity we report it. We provide extra eyes for law enforcement. THAT”S ALL!. I’m surprised that the prosecution didn’t pursue this line. Was GZ following the same process and policies that all of the other members were? Were there any other members? Did the people in the neighborhood even know who he was or what he was doing or was this just his cover? I haven’t heard anything so far that would lead me to believe that he actually had a legitimate role as a “guard” in this community and this was just an excuse for him to play cowboy.

      • Peoples425

        The evidence has shown that a confrontation that was initiated by GZ and the only reason that this trial got the verdict it did was because of the shaky eye-witness testimony, the letter of the law that has ambiguous leanings and a history of demonizing minorities before the trial begins.
        The story speaks loud and clear, however it’s too bad there are too many deaf people around.

  • Sand_Cat

    If the author is correct – in his terms, Martin became the “agressor” – he conveniently overlooks the “stand your ground” law and mentality, which is clearly at the root of the problem. Martin “stood his ground” when threatened by an armed agressor. He also accepts the defense claim that Zimmerman was unfit without question.
    And his final paragraph is pure BS: if Zimmerman hadn’t been looking for trouble, had minded his own business, or desisted when asked to do so by the 911 operator, it wouldn’t have mattered at all what Martin did.
    It appears that “stand your ground” laws are intended to allow gun owners to shoot pretty much anyone they want to if they feel like it,with impunity, and I believe the majority of those shot have been unarmed black males, whose obvious fault of walking while black or driving while black, or doing pretty much anything while black, makes them fair game in a racist state in a racist society. Mr. Lyons makes some valid points, and seems to be genuinely concerned, but from the beginning he has been lost among the little trees in the forest of the ugly reality that Zimmerman lied (did he when he claimed perjure himself) unfamiliarity with the law he had taken pains to educate himself about, apparently with the intent of putting the knowledge to use, and Trayvon Martin presented the best opportunity to do so. Zimmerman was looking for trouble, and he got it. Regardless of Martin’s actions, there is no way Zimmerman should walk away with no penalty whatsoever.

    • pm1

      Madam Marie, give it a rest.

      • Sand_Cat

        Who is Madam Marie, or is it something I don’t want to know?

        I’ll give it a rest when open season on minorities by the poor, oppressed whites closes. Until then, you can read it or you can cram it.

  • karen_green

    Ah, all is well. It was god’s plan after all that Trayvon die. When I saw Zimmerman say he had no regrets because it was god’s plan I knew that an all white southern jury would not convict. I am so sad.

  • ObozoMustGo

    Gene, this may be the first article of yours that I have read and cannot disagree with. Well written and even handed. Nice job.

    It’s sad to see the number of comments on here that are completely based on false information, much of it that was fabricated by both CNN and NBC in the aftermath of the incident as they sought to foment public disharmony with their lies. Things like editing the 9/11 call to make it sound like something it was not. Editing the pictures of Zimmerman’s head to remove any cuts or abrasions. Deliberately using pictures of an innocent 12 year old child instead of a 6 foot tall 17 year old man. This is the stuff the so-called “news media” did. The deliberately lied and falsified information. And many ignoramuses still believe that garbage. Much of our problem in America IS that our news media is no longer about “news” but is instead about a political agenda. Too bad.

    Have a nice day!

    “Without Freedom of Thought, there can be no such thing as Wisdom; and no such thing as public Liberty, without Freedom of Speech; which is the Right of every Man, as far as by it, he does not hurt or control the Right of another. And this is the only Check it ought to suffer, and the only bounds it ought to know. This sacred Privilege is also essential to free Governments, that the Security of Property, and the Freedom of Speech always go together; and in those wretched Countries where a Man cannot call his Tongue his own, he can scarce call any Thing else his own. Whoever would overthrow the Liberty of a Nation, must begin by subduing the Freeness [sic!] of Speech; a Thing terrible to Public Traitors.” — Ben Franklin

    • pm1

      Sanity at last! Thank you.

      • ObozoMustGo

        pm… I am here to help!
        Have a nice day!

        • Equalforall

          My comment about how did Zimmerman reach his gun was not I repeat not base on CNN or NBC but the video of Zimmerman re-enacting the scene. He reached behind his back to get his gun. Impossible with someone mounted on top of you. You always blame the media without knowing the facts yourself.

  • Chris B

    Two confused, frightened strangers?! There you go again, Mr. Lyons, with the false equivalency. Zimmerman is a liar, and that’s well-documented. And this business about burglaries committed by black teens is just nonsense. Were there any actual arrests made to confirm the robbers were black teens? Or were those just Skittle-packing “punks” that someone happened to see the same day a robbery took place?
    At the very least, this was manslaughter, clearly and unequivocally. And if it wasn’t, we’re all now free to stalk people we deem repugnant until they’re provoked enough to fight back, at which point we can safely draw our guns and blow them away, knowing full well, without witnesses, the court will have no choice but to take our word that we acted in self-defense.

    • pm1

      You’re obviously very confused. It sounds like your brain is Chris B.

  • greghilbert

    While now dramatically reduced compared to decades ago, racism and its consequences are still significant in the USA, acutely so if you happen to be black. I watched the televised trial and commentator coverage closely. I think the problems glaringly exposed by the case are these: (1) our society and culture and economic system promotes predatory competition, aggression and violence, (2) laws pertaining to guns and their use are grossly inadequate, and (3) media and some politicians fanned the flames associated with race when they pressed this case as centered on racism. I believe the jury reached the only verdict they could given the evidence presented and the instructions given to them as to the applicable laws inclusive of “reasonable doubt” and Florida’s greatly flawed Stand Your Ground Law. Prosecutors did not prove beyond reasonable doubt that prior to the start of physical violence, Zimmerman was a RACIST vigilante or had otherwise broken any law. Prosecutors did not prove beyond reasonable doubt that Trayvon did not commence the physical violence or was compelled to it in self defense. Prosecutors did not prove beyond reasonable doubt that Trayvon was not pummeling Zimmerman and trying to bang his head on concrete, nor that Zimmerman was not on his back with Trayvon yet pummeling him, nor that Zimmerman was not yelling for help and fearing death or great bodily injury when he shot and killed Trayvon. All that said, what this exposes has far less to do with racism than it does the other problems which aggravate each and every consideration of the consequences of historical racism and such as yet persists. Young black males are greatly over-represented as to lack or shortage of opportunity, unemployment, being surrounded by crime, and being questioned and arrested and imprisoned for crime, and for being victims of crime. “We” do pathetically little about that, and young black males stand at the end of a long line comprised of the majority of the 99% whom the wealthy and powerful elite of our society economically predate. It is the elite who perpetuate the legacy and effects of racism. Turning back to this tragic case: The police dispatcher should not have said “We don’t NEED you to follow him.” He should have told Zimmerman “Do not follow him. Try to avoid him and remove yourself from the scene. This is now a law enforcement matter, and you could find yourself at risk of unlawful interference or willful endangerment of yourself or others if you disregard my instructions.” The point I’m trying to get at is that (1) law enforcement must by law avoid treating armed neighborhood-watch people (and anyone carrying a firearm) as extensions or agents of law enforcement, and (2) law should stipulate that armed citizens who interfere or willfully endanger themselves or others lose such right of self defense as might otherwise apply to charges of murder or manslaughter. In the Zimmerman case, were that the law, and had Zimmerman been so instructed by law enforcement when he called — but nonetheless got out of his car for any reason other than to remove himself from the scene — the jury could rightly find him guilty, and probably would have. More importantly, Zimmerman might have decided to stop “patrolling” on foot carrying a firearm, but even if he hadn’t, he probably would not have gotten out of his car after calling the police, and Trayvon would be alive and well.

    • metrognome3830

      Very well said, greg.

  • 1standlastword

    This strikes me as a very reasonable analysis!

    Thanks Gene

  • Qanni Katifa

    I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Zimmerman has a very short lifespan. Someone might shoot him and say they did so because they were afraid he might shoot them, so they “stood their ground”! He has a reputation now as a killer.

  • sftommy

    Lady Justice denied the Court Room and the Jury Room now stalks Zimmerman on the streets as assuredly as Zimmerman stalked Trayvon. No joy in that but no tears when her grasps makes right of this.

    • CeciliaJayne

      but didn’t you read he is now saving four lives in a vehicle accident that No one was hurt in.His P.R. trying to do damage control, it’s too late now.Just wondering how he could save one life an take another. I guess its because they were all white.

  • Lacywood

    Gene…I would wager that you have not read the transcript of the Zimmerman interview with Hannity. An alert reading of that transcript shows Zimmerman admitting many things, imcluding that Martin did not jump out at him from bushes but walked up and asked why he was following him, and Z refused to identify himself or state a reason. Z also says that at that time, he (Z) “grabbed” for something in his “pants pocket”, which triggered Martin to hit him.

    Got that? Stalker. Frightened youth who has already run from stalker. Youth confronts stalker rather than lead him to 12 year old alone at house. Stalker refuses to identify himself. Stalker grabs for something in his pocket. Victim defends himself from likely weapon. Note these facts are what Z admitted. Worse yet, Z tried to claim he went for cell phone but admitted it was in his jacket, not his pants, and also that he believed police were already near the scene and there was no need to call 911.

    There was much deceit in the Hannity interview, but just the above showed a “reasonable man” would believe that Zimmerman actually went for his gun and fabricated the grab for his cell phone claim to cover for what he had slipped and told the policewoman and what he feared a witness might have seen. There is not a shred of evidence that Martin was not the one forced to defend himself, other than self-serving and contradictory claims by the killer.

  • Jo6pK

    This article shows openly the inner bread gullibility of whites who
    defend racism, if Mr. Lyons even after hearing all the information by
    July 17th, 2013 12:00 am put forward by the..cops. Gene Lyons had to
    heard and read the cops telling Zimmerman to stop stalking this kid,
    which he ignored, he continued, forced a confrontation, after leaving
    his car, obviously, premeditate armed to kill another. Compare that to a
    17 year old on foot with no gun being profiled, stalked and murdered.
    Florida needs to be punished severely for allowing their courts to
    defend murders/racists. And a American history lesson for Mr. Clueless
    Lyons. If you had a scintilla of common sense or decency you would not
    defend a state, their courts for defending a murder because he was a
    racist, where is your consciousness as a human being? ?

  • RobertCHastings

    One of the jurors came out yesterday with the statement that she felt she has restricted by the laws of Florida that required her to vote as she did, implying that she actually felt Zimmerman was guilty. Unfortunately, Florida apparently does not write laws based upon common sense.

  • whatever

    Excellent essay Mr. Lyons, thank you.

  • Yee Hawwww it’s open season on black men. All y’all gotta do is kill em so they can’t tell their side of the story.
    We need to take firearms Laws out of the hands of the States & put it with the Feds where the 2nd Amendment comes from.
    But I think it prudent that all black men apply for legal firearms carry licenses in Florida. Then YOU can stand YOUR ground.

    • Freiherr von Koplitz

      that’ll cover about 1/4 the AA population, the rest are felons

  • Kelley Bennett

    TO KIP, WHY WASTE YOUR TIME IF EVERYONE IS STUPID OR DUMB.I GUESS YOUR SMARTER THAN THE REST OF US…..RIGHT SHUP UP AND TAKE YOUR RACIST COMMENTS AND PUT THEM ON YOUR PAGE.HOW YOU THINK YOU KNOW MORE ABOUT THIS CASE THEN EVERYONE ELSE.YOU KNOW HE GUILTY.BUT YOU SUPPORT A KILLER CAUSE YOU DO THE SAME.THE FACT THE ITS A BLACK BOY THATS MAKES IT OK.YOU KNOW JUST LIKE ME THAT WHITE AND OTHER RACES ARE SCARED OF BLACKS.WHY CAUSE THE MEDIA AND WHITE EXSPOSED THEM AS KILLERS,ROBBER AND GANG BANGERS.BUT THAT A SMALL NUMBER.BUT YOU WOULDNT KNOW THAT.YOU EVER LIVE WITH THEM ,FRIENDS WITH ANY……HELL NO OR YOU WOULNT BE SAYING THIS….GET.BRAVE ON LINE.

  • Ina Schiappa

    I already left a message. Where is it?? I can’t repeat it.

  • David Lewis

    stand your ground law should not be allowed in a case where one provokes the agression then fears for his life. had georgie not had a gun he would not have persude and created this situation. the only way this could be justified is if the kid killed georgie with georgies own gun

  • FRANCES HORWITZ

    I AM TIRED OF AMERICA BEING HELD HOSTAGE BY RACIST AFRICAN AMERICANS.
    THEY THREATEN RIOTS, BOYCOTTS AND COMMUNITY UNREST. WE HAVE COURTS THAT DECIDE THESE THINGS, LET JUSTICE PREVAIL. HOW MANY RIOTS WERE THERE AFTER THE UNJUST VERDICT FOR OJ SIMPSON????

  • Abdalhadi Haseen

    Bottom line is this , guns sucks and so do concealed weaponry. If you thing your billy bad a** when your carrying a weapon , so be it. I live in a state with no concealed weapons, so killing someone with a gun is crazy in the name of self defense. George Zimmerman could have been charged with a whole slue of charges but unfortunately the prosecution chose to mess the case up in the name of propaganda and money off a young mans death. If properly investigated we would have gotten to the bottom of this , shown how stand your ground is bs and would have been able to dissect the actions of George Zimmerman very easily. I don’t know what’s in Zimmermans heart but to live by the gun is sickening. I could never use a gun or other wise hurt a teen ager. We must teach our kids to call the police if your being followed or knock on the nearest door for help. Adults must learn to act like adults and not use violence. Also EMMITT TILL DIED IN 1955 so 300 yrs ago is so far off when we talk about racial violence. In the court of law he may be not guilty but in the court of life he is . God can forgive but wont forget. To kill a person seems crazy and I hope George Zimmerman can find a way to get forgiveness. But as stated before I feel if the prosecution would have treated this as a murder case and not as a legal circus , it would have been more beneficial to the parents of trayvon martin .

  • guest

    Reading the reactions to this case is easing my heart. I am Trayvon Martin so to speak. I walked everywhere growing up. I wore hoodies and was accosted by grown men(not to the extent of Trayvon) this case kept me up at night. Before this case I did not believe in guns unfortunatley after the ruling I am getting several.

  • jim

    don’t concern yourself with blacks killing themselves and everyone else off at a record rate just look at Chicago but a man defends his family and his community and he’s now a racist and a killer you people are absolutely ignorant and misinformed that kid was a thug looking for a fight shit the picture of him in a hoodie wasn’t even recent do any of you even know the definition of the word racist ? I guess if it were your community you wouldn’t have come out to see what was up either

  • Dubiaku

    You point out that many seemed to ignore testimony. I have been telling people that without being there, they can’t know for sure what happened or what was revealed. The gist is the same – that the jurors were more qualified than any of us to asses the truth. This is a case where the legal system worked as designed. It was flawless, in fact. But that seems to be something many ignore when condemning the outcome and thereby condemning the entire system as well. It was a sad and tragic situation. But George did not climb into his car that night planning to become famous by killing someone. He was just living his life, like all of us.

    I think the soul-searching and sense of regret or perhaps, unfinished business, expressed by the jurors shows that they had no agendas; they found the whole thing heart-rending. They did their duties admirably and deserve to be praised for their difficult work. And the case has been decided. Fairness never leaves all parties happy, but none lose completely, either, which is why we strive for it.

  • armed bear

    It is truly amazing to see the sheep of the liberal herd banding together and repeating (bleating) the approved rhetoric of the liberal mainstream lame media. None of you have a clue. I find it amazing that you people can even figure out how to post a message. You were bamboozled by a media marketing strategy and you fell for it, hook, line and sinker. You opened your willing mouths, sucked in the lies, deception and misdirection and swallowed deeply.

    There is no winning side to this argument. Yet you stupid people want to foist blame upon one while completely ignoring the contributions of the other. You argue that there was a fight, yet you react as if an innocent 13 yr old in a grey hoody was a the victim. You refuse to accept the reality that Trayvon was a thug wanna be, that Trayvon cold have easily escaped the situation and gone home, or he could have hung up and called 911 himself, but HE DID NOT. Trayvon chose to confront Zimmerman, then engage in hand to hand combat, willingly engaging Zimmerman. Trayvon could have disengaged with Zimmerman down, but trayvon chose to continue to administer blows in his attempt to “beat down” on someone. This is not a white black issue, or a race issue, it is a crime issue, but you sycophantic, knee jerk, reactionary fools suck up to the political correctness of the main stream lame media so you can feel self important and have discussions and feel self important and act as if you are informed and you have the real story. Reality check. Your only knowledge of this event, of the actions of the involved parties, is only what you have been fed by the media. You people lack the intelligence and courage to seek the real truth or stand part from your liberal ilk, so you blindly follow the rhetoric.

    Shame on you. Shame on you as people, as adults, as humans. You have been mislead, and you know it, yet you lack the strength or integrity to move against your liberal slanted views.

  • armed bear

    In case you liberal cattle have not followed the actual trial and refuse to accept any point of view other than that of the liberal PC brainwashing sect, Stand Your Ground, was not ever introduced as a defense. You people are nothing but a bunch of nittweets (new word, I coined it ) who repeat rhetoric and gossip. You act belligerent as if this was your case, as if you were involved. You fell for the media photos of a 13 yr old, so you cannot fathom a 17 yr old thug, gold toothed with pot smoke dribbling out of his mouth, who likes violence and was looking for a fight. No, you stupid liberals who scream out against censorship, say nothing about his twitter account being heavily redacted, then eliminated. You say nothing about Rachel “ghetto” Jeantel’s heavily edited and redacted twitter account to remove the racist remarks, drug, sex and alcohol remarks. No, none of you. Did you speak out when his parents trademarked his name, image and began selling tshirts, or when they accepted a million dollar payout from the HOA. Nothing was said. You are silent like the sheep you are. You want Zimmerman’s past made available, yet you feel Trayvon’s known criminal and drug past should be covered up to fit the angelic innocent image that your beloved president said could be his son. You people have zero integrity, zero honor, and zero courage. You are Sheep.