Obama’s Speech: Cynical Me and Cynical He – UPDATED

This afternoon, President Obama showed up before the White House Press Corp and talked about the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case. You can read the full text, here.

I agree with much the president says. Racism is — and always has been — “a God-damned thing”. As a nation we should be under no illusions that just because we’re no longer in a Jim Crow era, that we are living on the Starship Enterprise where racism is a thing of the past. Profiling is real. African Americans (and for that matter, Hispanics) have a genuine right to resent it.

The death of Trayvon Martin is a tragedy of the first order. A wanna-be cop in a state with some laws that should probably be reviewed made spectacular errors in judgment (and yeah, Martin made one too, is throwing first punch) and as a result, one family is grief-stricken with loss and another will never be the same.

But we can’t actually know whether George Zimmerman was racially profiling or was just suspicious because he saw someone in a hoodie, looking at houses on a rainy night (which, by the way, is no freaking crime and Zimmerman should have stayed in his damn car).

From what I’ve read Zimmerman is a walking American melting pot: part Caucasian, part African-American, part Hispanic; I suppose, depending on how he identifies, he could still be a racist who hates some part of himself, but — unless his lawyer is a liar — it seems his kid-mentoring and other volunteer activities would belie that charge.

In fact, if these stories are true, Zimmerman appears to have precisely the sort of instincts toward volunteering and community service that we should try to encourage in each other. Except for the cop-wannabe part.

A very irresponsible press seemed to want racism to be the motive for this awful shooting, even editing a 911 audio tape to give that impression. Why? Why take a terrible tragedy and try to ramp it up, and make it more sensational, more emotional than it already was?

If you want to do a story on racism, there are plenty of them to go around. Why distort, exaggerate and hype this one, when others would meet the case?

Anyway, today the president made his remarks and I thought they were mostly good. I especially like the part where he says a national discussion of race should not be about politicians grandstanding but real people talking. Yeah, we need that.

Nevertheless, when I first read the headlines and the pull quote from his remarks (“Trayvon Martin could have been me”) I wondered what he was doing? President Obama is often deliberately divisive; culture wars and straw men have been his friends these five years. “Divide and conquer” is a political method, after all — if you can keep people screaming at each other and hating each other with trumped-up “wars on women” and talk of “fat cats with private jets” — they’re not paying attention to the fact that the government is tracking their every move. Was this yet another an attempt to keep the house divided?

I also wondered (as does Allahpundit, here) whether the president was trying to serve a sop to the press and his base (I am redundant) because bringing civil rights charges against Zimmerman seem difficult.

In other words, I was ready to really hate the statement.

But then I read his remarks, and watched the video, and found myself agreeing with much of it. It might be the best speech President Obama has made about anything, in a while. I agree with Chris Wallace (and Zimmerman’s brother) that this wasn’t stoking racial tensions or trying to further divide. In watching the videotape, I was actually touched by some of it, and Obama has never touched me, before.

And yet….

And yet….

A part of me cannot help but think that the only reason President Obama addressed this story so personally today was to get these other headlines off the table, and thrown down into the memory hole:

A Bombshell in the IRS Scandal A higher office is implicated.

A White House Point Man at IRS is Revealed

Detroit Files for Bankruptcy

What Policies Governed Detroit since 1961

Judge Rules Bankruptcy Must be Withdrawn

Biden: We don’t know if WH can help!

Federal Court Rules NY Times Reporter Must Testify in Leak Investigation

NSA Phone Snooping Cannot Be Challenged in Court, Feds Say

HHS Admits You Might Not be Able to Keep Your Doctor Under Obamacare

Insurance Rates to Spike Over 70% in Indiana

Pentagon Does About-Face; Will Make Marine Colonel Available to Talk to Congress

Housing starts fall 9.9% in June

Hobby Lobby gets stay on HHS Mandate

Anti-Americanism in Egypt

The thing is, I know that questioning the motivation for Obama’s speech today is cynical. And I know that cynicism is one of my besetting sins; I’m not proud of it. It’s something I struggle with, every day. I wish I were not just now wondering if Obama made this speech today because the Duchess of Cambridge had not delivered her baby in time to make all the bad headlines disappear, and keep them from being discussed on the Sunday talk shows.

Except, even that news might not have keep them from talking about the IRS, or the NSA.

Now, the men and women Calvin Trillin referred to as “the Sabbath Gasbags” know what they’ll be talking about this Sunday, and it won’t be the IRS or the NSA or Benghazi or Detroit or the Economy. Even if they do mention a newborn prince or princess, this Sunday the conversation will be about these remarks made today.

And they’re important remarks; they deserve attention. Yet, we’ve been talking about race-relations in America — constructively or not — for a very long time; we’re going to have to figure out what constitutes constructive dialogue on race and then embrace it. Today is one more day, however, that the press gets away with not talking about issues involving government abuse and over-reach, the loss of fundamental rights; the possibility of cover-ups. And those are pretty important issues, too.

I hate that I am such a cynic. But our president has shown himself to be a pretty cynical politician, himself.

Perhaps it is because I am too-much a cynic that I recognize it in others, and cannot help but wonder whenever our president does…gosh, almost anything. Some of that is my fault. Some of it is his.

Probably the biggest “must read” to come out of this story:

To be brutally honest, the only reason people are even aware of Trayvon Martin is because it became a topic within mainstream news and pop culture. Meaning: News directors saw it as a profitable, sensational story. Hundreds of blacks die annually in South Side Chicago without even a blurb. Trayvon isn’t in the mainstream news for any reason other than ratings and profit. The news coverage on the Zimmerman case almost implies that the killing of this young black man is somehow an anomaly and I resent that.

In this country, if it isn’t streamlined through mainstream media and pop culture, it doesn’t seem to warrant national debate. Our “government” continues to wreak havoc on our civil liberties and there is little to no protest from the black community because of media diversion tactics that keep such pertinent issues out of mainstream media. But if Jay-Z or Rihanna were to make mention of it, we’d suddenly be jolted out of our sugar comas and protesting on freeways.

My point being, people are up in arms about Trayvon based on regurgitated pundits and manipulated facts aired to elicit emotion while fueling America’s anger and division. That’s how you boost ratings. No different from Piers Morgan’s desperate rant over gun control when he knew his ratings were in the dumps. And from where I stand, anyone who still relies on corporate-owned media pundits to support an argument isn’t equipped to offer worthwhile solutions.

People are using Trayvon Martin’s death as an excuse to project their own deep-seated issues with racism and will not be capable of intelligent, empathetic debate until they’ve cooled down and afforded themselves an education.

Yes, and that likely applies to all. Read the whole thing.

UPDATE II: Did Obama bury main thrust of speech and re-inject racism? Krauthammer says yes.

So many have emailed this to me that I will post it. A scathing indictment of the press regarding this case. For someone like me, who did not follow the story closely, it’s worth watching:

YouTube Preview Image

Obama; Psychic Duality and the Churches

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • MeanLizzie

    There ARE neighborhood watch groups all over the country and I have nothing against them. I’m not sure they ought to be armed, precisely because of stories like this one. It is astounding to me that I’ve praised Zimmerman in this story, and simply questioned his judgement and that has gotten some people so ferociously angry. I don’t see why we can’t say both of these men made some stupid choices that night which is why we have this tragedy. And my main point remains — aside form MSM Malfeasance — the president made a speech with many good points, yesterday….but I believe he did it for a cynical motive.

  • nathanofbrainfertilizerfame

    I have followed you in a somewhat desultory manner for some time time, so I know of your history in criticizing President Obama. That’s what makes it so shocking and upsetting that you got fished in on this one.

    Absolutely, there was nothing in Obama’s speech worth saying by him.

    The devil can quote scripture, it doesn’t make him a good choice to minister people.

    President Obama’s speech made race relations worse, and perpetuated racism for his political gain.

    You don’t see who the sucker is in this poker game, do you?

  • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

    I’m going to post one more on this because after listening to the news events today I’m furious. George Zimmerman did nothing wrong. NOTHING! He saw a suspicious person in the neighborhood he didn’t recognize. He called it in to the police. He followed him to make sure he wasn’t breaking in. He did not confront Trayvon. Trayvon surprised him somehow and clocked Zimmerman with a punch. The punch caused Zimmerman to fall to the ground. Trayvon got on top of Zimmerman and started pounding on his head By some miracle Zimmerman got out his gun and fired. It tragically killed Trayvon. But someone pounding on your head is life threatening. If I had been in the same circumstance, I would have done the same thing. Trayvon suckered punched Zimmerman; Trayvon pinned Zimmerman down; Trayvon pounded on Zimmerman’s head; Trayvon had marajuana in his blood. This is an open and shut case. The racial hucksters are stirring up racial division. I’m sick of it and the president is feeding into it.

  • tdrda

    Yes America still has issues with racism. But I believe it had been lessening with every decade. Didnt we just elect TWICE the man who gave this speech? It seems funny to me that he stands up there as the freely elected PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES and bemoans this country (again).

  • Gail Finke

    I’m not ferociously angry, sorry if I gave that impression. I am not even angry. I thought that you came across as angry, but reading back you don’t, so I guess it must be the divisive nature of this story, which makes everyone think he or she is being criticized. I think there’s a lot of defensiveness toward Zimmerman because many people take criticism of Zimmerman to mean that one is not permitted to watch out for their neighborhood or do anything to report crime. I have heard this, very strongly worded, from more people than I like to remember. As I do live in a neighborhood with a neighborhood watch group, I think a lot of people who live in areas that don’t need them jump to conclusions about who would be in one and what sort of person he must be. My neighborhood, for instance, is a very nice one — but large and a big mixture of race and income, like a small town. So we do have crime, unlike many suburbs my friends live in, but mostly in pockets and the business district. Most crime is committed by residents or friends of residents. So a neighborhood watch makes a lot of sense. I htink a lot of people (not you!) think it means some sort of wild-west style vigilante group.

    I think the facts of hte story have very little to do with what people are reacting to emotionally. It is VERY cynical of certain groups to turn this into a way to get power for themselves (certain activists come to mined) or prove how “evolved” they are (certain media people come to mind), and that is an ugliness that goes far beyond individuals getting carried away when a story hits a nerve. It is a calculated, “let’s see what we can do with this” mentality that I find extremely disturbing. I really don’t like people much, sometimes…

  • Jan

    Neighborhood watchmen aren’t necessarily armed, but private citizens have a right to be. Should he have been? I don’t know, I don’t live there and don’t know what its like to do so…but I won’t second-guess him.

    I think what is really pissing people off is that you used the term “wanna-be cop” about Zimmerman, which is only half the term usually employed by those I’ve seen debating (read: arguing it into the ground :) ) this. The other half of course is that Martin was a “thug,” which you didn’t say.

  • MeanLizzie

    Sorry, Gail, I didn’t think of you as being particularly angry. I was just meaning the thread in general. I GET that Zimmerman has been distorted by the press. And I don’t have an issue with neighborhood watch groups, either. My son lives in a neighborhood I like a lot, very diverse, low-middle income, and everyone lives pretty peaceably together, but recently a shop owner was beaten by robbers. A neighborhood watch is not a bad idea. Still not sure armed watchers are good things, though. Had Zimmerman not been armed, he possibly would never have left the car, just made his phone call, which was all that was warranted.

  • MeanLizzie

    Oh, did I have to use a certain word in order to be acceptable? Oh well.

  • MeanLizzie

    Well, we all know he doesn’t much like the country. No news there. :-)

  • markkrite

    Gee, MeanLizzie, I didn’t intend for you to get so emotional yourself, sorry my riposte to what you posted got under your skin so much. As for the CAPS situation, doesn’t it all come under the rubric of free speech, CAPS and all? I post comments at quite a few blogs, but yours is the ONLY one that has a problem w/CAPS. Btw, the meme that Zimmerman should’ve (shoulda, woulda coulda,tip of the hat to the great ennabler Hillary) stayed in his car is just plain absurd. By not doing so, Zimmerman may have saved lives in the furute; Trayvon was clearly a very disturbed, violent even, kid who might have visited mayhem on some poor soul in the future.And perhaps in some strange way, Zimmerman who clearly did not relish having to save his own life by taking another’s life, did just that. We’ll never know for sure, I guess. But, also clearly, past is prologue in a lot of our lives, and Trayvon’s past life tragically reflects the incredible turmoil of rootless urban black underclass life in these United States. And please don’t call that statement racist. It’s just a fact of life here in America. Another stat you might ponder over: African-Americans in America commit more violent crimes disproportinate to their population numbers. They constitute roughly 12-15 % of the population, but, especially in black-on-black crime, predominate in violent crime. Google it, or whatever search engine strikes your fancy, and you’ll find it’s largely true. And that’s not even considering the abortion stats in the black community. I’m sure you’re hip to that stat, being pro-life and all. GOD BLESS ALL, MARKRITE

  • MeanLizzie

    You misread me and flatter yourself. I’m not emotional at all. I just think yelling in caps is unnecessary. And this has nothing to do with abortion. And who did I call racist? You assume a lot.

  • MeanLizzie

    No, I didn’t. I also didn’t think it would be construed as a love letter to Obama, but it was so, so it goes…

  • MeanLizzie

    No, I’m not saying “you shouldn’t get out of your car to check, blahblah miniscule chance some thug, etc…” I said he’d already called the cops. He’d done all he needed to do. Following was a poor decision. Trying to argue that he needed to do more is um…kind of like floundering. :-)

  • LisaB

    Oh, that is the saddest truth of all. My heart aches for my country.

  • SteveP

    Your cynicism is well placed: given the revelations of the extent of data collection authorized by a secret court, the tax-targeting of political opposition, and the Executive “kill list,” the “I am Treyvon Martin” protests are closer to reality than, perhaps, the participants realize. President Obama’s performance brilliantly redirects righteous anger at his Administration back into one’s local neighborhood. While I disagree with his action I cannot but admire the skill with which was executed.

  • Micha Elyi

    Good analogy.

    Let me get the story straight. A guy with a black grandfather violently assaults another guy whose grandfather was black and might have killed his victim but for the victim having a gun and using it 40 seconds into being head-bashed into the sidewalk curb. The case is taken to trial by a female attorney and the trial ends with a acquittal by an all-female jury. Race baiters, professional and amateur, loudly blame white men. Welcome to Obama’s post-racial America.

  • el_polacko

    george was offerred a job which would have given him a uniform and a ‘police’ car and he turned it down….so much for being a “wannabe cop”.

    all 50 states have self-defense laws. this case had nothing to do with ‘stand your ground’…so what laws do you think need changing as a result of this case ??

    if you had followed the case at all, you’d know that george was out of his truck trying to keep track of martin (who was darting inbetween buildings in the dark and rain) and to get an address location. when the dispatcher asked if he was following martin, george said “yes” and then he was told that “we don’t need you to do that” and george answered “okay” and was returning to his truck when he was jumped by martin who was less than a couple hundred feet from ‘home’ and safety. he chose, instead to circle back and attack george, allegedly because he thought he was gay. he chose poorly.

    as for our president announcing that he identifies with the young thug is incredibly inappropriate and did nothing but spread mis-information and exacerbate racial tension. how bizarre that you found his comments to be “touching” !

  • el_polacko

    perhaps you don’t know that skittles and watermelon juice are two of the ingredients for the intoxicant drink called “lean”…which martin bragged, on his facebook page, of being good at mixing-up . the drink induces agressiveness and paranoia.

    george was not “patrolling the neighborhood”. he was on his way home from the grocery store when he noticed somebody darting around in the dark and rain and was reasonably suspicious considering the rash of recent burglaries in the complex. he called the cops and tried to keep track of martin’s whereabouts which is exactly what he should have done as neighborhood watch captain.

  • David M Paggi

    That this was a bad case to take to trial is now quite evident, because clearly missing was sufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that any crime had been committed, much less second degree murder. This is not to say that defendant Zimmerman was without some blame; it merely could not be adequately determined.

    So, ads were sold, ink was spilled, footage was broadcasted, and the media have shown reckless disregard for both the truth and the potential mischief their reporting can cause. While not be a criminal, Zimmerman is nobody’s hero either. Absent Herculean effort, as exemplified by the late Chuck Colson, or some stroke of extraordinary luck, Zimmerman will be living this down for the rest of life – a fate worse than death.

    Therefore there is something else on the agenda of the opportunists who are attempting to turn this fiasco into a civil rights case. Unlike OJ, it is unlikely Zimmerman has sufficient assets or business interests to be a fruitful target of civil litigation. Presumably he has enough sense or good advice to never again participate in a Neighborhood Watch program, even if some such organization would be so reckless or foolish to have him. So they really can’t get anything of value from him or restrain him from doing something he wouldn’t do anyway, or would gladly agree not to do if they would just go away.

    Actually, picking on him now could provoke a backlash. In the first place, by now it should be obvious to the most casual observer that further crushing George Zimmerman will neither bring young Mr. Martin back nor advance any legitimate cause. Whether he is racist or not is beside the point, he is not going to lead anyone to do anything, anywhere, for any reason. There is no pressing need for a “Stop George Zimmerman!” campaign. On the other hand, pursuing him in this
    fashion could drive him to accept defense support from the fringe: individuals
    and organizations that really are racist. Should this occur the so-offended
    plaintiffs will have ironically created a national platform for their opponents, who otherwise can’t get an inch of coverage in the local rag.

    So, what is the real goal here? Why whip up discontent by making wild accusations of racism when no honest jury of any composition could return a conviction on the available evidence? Moreover, what would victory look like, with no real objective in sight? Could it be that since coverage is not only free but ample in our biased media, fund-raising could never be so effective or so cheap?

  • el_polacko

    the dispatcher was asking for the suspect’s whereabouts and the address location which is why george was ‘out of his car’. your assertion that he should have waited for a crime to take place is ridiculous.

  • Oysteria

    I’m truly curious. You keep announcing your amazement at people’s “ferocious anger” because you “praised” Zimmerman. Perhaps you haven’t considered that the entire tone surrounding your one single comment that could be construed as “praise” of Zimmerman didn’t come without a caveat or three; should have stayed in his damn car; wanna-be cop; spectacular errors in judgement. Yet the one and only mention of Martin’s culpability in the outcome of this tragedy was in parentheses. So why the shocked amazement? I’m not a bit surprised at the responses.

  • werewife

    Brief correction (which might not actually BE correct, I grant): Last I heard, the stolen jewelry found in TM’s possession was NOT returned to the owner, as that would have connected it with a particular crime and required moving forward with the burglary case against TM. It was merely stored in police custody as “found property” so that the process you refer to above could proceed (i.e., classifying this as a school discipline issue rather than a police matter). Otherwise…

  • werewife

    The wisdom of Lily Tomlin (of all people!): “No matter how cynical you get, it’s never enough to keep up.”

  • Sandy

    ISTM that you are using “cynicism” as a cloak of sorts to hide what seems to be an emotive response to the death of TM. Many posters have previously commented on the facts of the case, which apparently you had not informed yourself. That is unfortunate, because many, like I, read your writings for the solid presentation of ideas developed on a foundation of truth. In this case, your ideas came atop a foundation of emotion, and it shows in your writing–which was very disappointing.
    BTW, what would you say to a big black man, 42 years old, who in in 2009, shoots unarmed white 17 year old, killing him, in a small town, Greece, NY (outside of Rochester). Charged with manslaughter, was acquitted by jury.

    See: http://therochesterian.com/2012/03/21/recalling-roderick-scott/
    http://smugtownbeacon.com/news.php?viewStory=420 and http://themartialist.net/?p=306

    Roderick Scott and George Zimmerman are a community’s sheep dogs, they keep the wolves away. Funny thing that when seconds count, police are only minutes away. Do you want to give our communities over to the wolves?

    Very disappointed in this column.

    Vires et Honestas.

    Take good care and

    God Bless,

  • richard40

    Excellent summary of the case, similar in both facts and reasoning to what I have stated in various forums. You also had a new fact I did not know, that one of the previous black teens Zimmerman had reported on neighborhood watch turned out to be actually guilty of burglary (a source for that would be helpful). The race baiters and the press had always given the impression that Zimmerman had reported only innocents to the cops. You never see a cogent factual summary like yours on any of the Sunday shows discussing this case, even though your summary and reasoning mostly matches what the jury concluded. What you typical see is a leadoff from some race baiter like Kavis Smiley, where they will completely distort the facts to make Zimmerman out as an intentional murderer of a completely innocent Treyvon. Nobody else on the show will challenge those boldfaced lies. And then the rest of the show will discuss what we all need to do to heal these wounds to the black community.

  • richard40

    You are not Al Sharpton, but you still got it wrong, and I suspect in an effort to sound middle ground you compromised with evil and lies. Here is why:
    1. I see nothing wrong with the Fla laws, and even if you don’t like Stand your Ground it was not even a factor in this case, which was a conventional centuries old self defense case, so why make it one. You are playing into the hands of the gun grabbers who are falsely claiming that the Stand your Ground law was responsible for martins death when in reality it had no relation to the case at all.
    2. You cite Zimmermans mistakes (mistakes not crimes), and mistakes which caused the tragedy only because they provided a motive for the unstable Martin to undertake his even more confrontational and ultimately criminal actions later. But you say nothing at all about Martins even worse mistakes and crimes that occurred after Zimmerman stopped following him.

  • richard40

    I am more inclined to go with the “don’t prevoke a potentially unstable and violent personality by following him” mistake, since it more closely fits Martins later actions. I don’t oppose Zimmerman following Martin because Martin provided no reason to be followed, but because it was potentially risky for Zimmerman, as was later verified.

  • John

    It wasn’t soda. Watch the Afterburner video and see the Arizona Watermelon, Skittles, and cough syrup recipe for Lean.

  • pi2r2

    never got to the root question of demarcation between the privilege of offense and the privilege of self defense at the heart of this case. that is why it’s so dividing. we are bombarded with immoral unethical invasions of our God given privileges of choice now people cry that their invasion is curtailed a little bit. they can go to hell. stop making bad decisions. heard the expression mind your own business? Martin shouldn’t have been snooping around the complex. it’s Zimmerman’s position and duty to look after the interests of security in the area. Let that be a lesson to the next person who wants to invade on another’s privileges. Martin’s just a stupid drug addict punk.

  • richard40

    1. Since stand your ground has zero relevance to the Zimmerman case (stand your ground dealt with duty to retreat, but Zimmerman was pinned to the ground and couldn’t retreat), it was wrong of you to bring it up, except to cite is as yet another bogus argument from the presidents side. You are playing into the hands of the gun grabbers.
    2. Yes it was a mistake for Zimmerman to follow Martin, but not for the reason you cited. I see nothing morally wrong with keeping track of suspicious people in my neighborhood. The reason it was a mistake, is by following a potentially unstable and violent person, he was providing that person with a motive for their subsequent violent action, when Martin violently attacked Zimmerman.
    3. You mention nothing about Martins later even worse mistakes, like not peacefully leaving when they lost contact, Fighting with Zimmerman, and escalating that fight with MMA ground and pound to a dangerous level, that fully justified Zimmermans self defense actions.

  • http://www.picsofcelebrities.net/blog/2012/05/08/voice-season-finale Cromulent

    If Zimmerman wanted Obama to leave him alone he should have killed a US ambassador.

  • Cynictoo

    One thing sticks with me in reading some of Obama’s speech. It reminds me of 1990 in Trinidad, West Indies, when we suffered from an attempted coup. The coup leader made a speech on TV and when he said “there will be no looting” looting immediately started. His phrase was deliberate and was the starting pistol for looting to begin. I see Obama’s words being similar to this and being the starting pistol for demonstrations in numerous cities in the US. Deliberately. In his case, probably so that news headlines would be concentrating on the demonstrations and not on his abysmal government.

  • Doug

    So what exactly did George Zimmerman do that justified Treyvon Martin straddling him on the ground, bashing his head and pounding his face? Where was George supposed to retreat to?

    When you have an answer I’ll read more than the first three paragraphs.

    Lots of people want to be cops. Do you hate on all the “Wannabe-cops” who actually got to be cops?George applied and was turned down. He didn’t go on the drive-around. He owned a gun because law enforcement officers encouraged him to get one.

    “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” Obviously George wasn’t as rough as he thought he was, or needed to be. But he was out there trying. When was the last time somebody broke into your home and burglarized the place?

  • Doug

    The tragedy in Treyvon’s life started long before George pulled the trigger. Treyvon’s father was/is a gang member, or at least had gang tattoo on his neck until March of this year. Treyvon was involved in life of drugs, violence and crime.

  • Doug

    Clearly you didn’t follow the case very closely. Next time do yourself a favor and stay on those topics in your field of expertise. You missed here.

  • skeeter

    Oh Elizabeth,

    I’ve been reading you a long time, even back when you were anonymous! But you are a victim of the lamestream media on this one.

    I’m pleased that you updated with Whittle’s video – it is spot on. But apart and aside from whether GZ should have or shouldn’t have gotten out of his car, the real despicable item here is the President’s behavior, before, during and after this trial.

    You have to watch what this President does, not what he says. Generally if his lips are moving, he’s been lying. You have been taken in once again. (I want you to think about this in 5 years when Obamacare has destroyed medical care in the U.S.)

    This administration sent and funded personnel from the DOJ to advise and support protesters in Florida, AGAINST Zimmerman! Prior to the trial! This is in addition to the special interest groups that are funded by grants, these were DOJ employees. The Federal Government, Obama’s administration meddled in this case while it was being litigated. The President made prejudicial statements both before and after this trial. Enormous pressure was brought, up to and including firing of the police chief, in order to get this indictment, as no reasonable cause existed to charge Zimmerman in the first place.

    This President has set race relations back 50 years. About the only thing I can agree with it that his motive (in part) was to drive all of the Administration scandals off the airwaves.

    It is all I can do to pray for this President, because I find his actions evil, nothing less.

  • Dagnabbit_42

    Look, it was noble, but it was also unwise.

    The police had been called. His reason to get out of the truck was because he’d lost sight of a person who was acting suspicious, who might be dangerous.

    Now an unarmed man might be unwise in that fashion, and cause no grief, except to himself should he happen to be killed.

    But an armed man is obligated to exercise more discretion. With greater power comes greater responsibility. (Sorry for the cliche, but it’s true.)

    A person with Mixed Martial Arts experience (like both Martin and Zimmerman, although Martin was more experienced and skilled at it, whereas Zimmerman’s exposure and skill was rated as a “1 on a scale of 1 to 10), or who has access to a pistol (like both Martin and Zimmerman, but Martin was sharing a .380 with someone else whereas Zimmerman had his own pistol and was carrying it that night), or even a Really Big Muscular Dude (neither Martin nor Zimmerman qualifies in that category, really) has a higher obligation than most of us to AVOID altercations. Because, in the event of an altercation, they’re able to do more damage.

    So Zimmerman had a duty beyond his legal duty, to not get out of his truck, to avoid an altercation which might be lethal.

    And once he got out, and later lost sight of Martin, Martin had a duty not to double back and confront Zimmerman (let alone jump on top of him and start “raining down blows on his face MMA style” as a witness described it.

    By the way, here is where “Stand Your Ground,” which was NOT a factor in this case, COULD have become a factor, on either side. Once he deemed Zimmerman’s pursuit to represent a threat, Martin could not have legally advanced on Zimmerman to hasten an altercation, but he could, legally, have “stood his ground”; he had no legal obligation to flee. And likewise, once Martin advanced on him, Zimmerman could, legally, “stand his ground”; he had no legal obligation to flee. (However in this case, it was moot: Martin did not “stand his ground,” but advanced; and Zimmerman was unable to flee once Martin was on top of him.)

    But that is all by-the-way.

    The main thing is that while it was not illegal for Zimmerman to exit the vehicle, it was unwise: And his possession of a firearm obligated him to exercise greater caution than that. His noble intentions had to take a backseat; discretion would have been the better part of valour.

  • Dagnabbit_42

    By the way, Anchoress, I think maybe we CAN “actually know whether George Zimmerman was racially profiling or was just suspicious because he saw someone in a hoodie.”

    I think MSNBC inadvertently showed us how.

    Remember how they edited the 911 call so that it sounded like Zimmerman said “he looks like he’s up to no good…he looks black?”

    And then it turned out those phrases were from completely different parts of the call?

    Go find the part of the call where Zimmerman (who grew up playing with two black siblings, was on great terms with his black neighbors) finally says “he looks black.”

    It’s after the 911 dispatcher asks what ethnicity the suspicious person is. It hasn’t occurred to Zimmerman to even mention it, up until now. And when he answers, at first he isn’t certain. He says he “looks” black, at first. It’s only later when Martin passes into a more well-lit area that Zimmerman becomes sure and confirms, “black male.”

    That, at least, is how it reads to me. But I’m open to other interpretations, if they’re plausible and don’t involve re-editing the tape a la MSNBC!

    Anyhow, if I’m reading it correctly, Zimmerman isn’t even positive the person in the hoodie is black until after the 911 dispatcher raises the question. That’s not, y’know, the behavior of a Klansman out to hunt down his black neighbors. (But, then, nothing else in Zimmerman’s background suggests those attitudes, either. Even his prior history of 911 calls — rather extensive; he seems to have been the little-old-lady-on-the-lookout for his whole neighborhood — shows calls to complain about whites and Latinos and blacks, and once to help a black child.)

    Sure, this is all Monday Morning Quarterbacking, several months removed. But some post-game analyses are more plausible than others.

  • the Heck u Say

    We’ve had a ‘national discussion of race’ for over a hundred years-haven’t we about beaten it to death? I’ve worked for years – no, decades – with an assortment of black, white, male, female, Chinese, Italian, Vietnamese, Nigerian, Somali, Irish, Phillipine, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, atheist, and agnostic and others without problems based on background, heritage, belief, or appearance. I can’t be alone in this. Don’t we have other issues to ‘discuss?’

  • ponerology

    Don’t let the idea that cynicism is somehow bad infiltrate your mind. It is a necessary survival mechanism and one that the neo-new-agers have been brainwashed to think makes them ‘haters’ or bad catholics. This blog post is an utter waste of time.