Opinion

The Great Debate

Obama takes on the presumption of thuggery that permeates Martin case

By David Dante Troutt
July 24, 2013

Everyone looks to their president for protection against calamity, and black voters are no different. One little discussed fact of the Obama presidency is how it has been a singularly disastrous economic period for the first black president’s most loyal constituency: black people.

This has led to a running joke in families like mine where, nonetheless, black people cannot utter a word of criticism about him. They love him unconditionally.

On a recent visit to my older relatives in Detroit, I again asked whether there was anything more they thought President Barack Obama could do for blacks. These are wise retired folks in their 70s and 80s, fixed-income veterans of America’s race relations and unions. With their beloved city then teetering on bankruptcy, declared just days ago, none offered anything but new ways to praise him.

The only slightly critical comment was this tempered whisper: “Sometimes I wish he felt he could love his color without fear.”

This muted feeling of unacknowledged (but not unrequited) love in the face of so much hardship was finally answered when Obama—unannounced, without notes yet with immaculate clarity—spoke candidly about the acquittal of the man who killed an innocent black Florida teenager, Trayvon Martin.

The president’s remarks were not the direct statements about how African-Americans have suffered disproportionate rates of unemployment, foreclosure, lost wealth, criminal prosecution or other measures of opportunity collapse for which some have long pined. But because he spoke in the present tense as a black man for black people and began by establishing the context for his/their/our understandings of the case, he came close.

He began by explaining how he could identify with the parent of a boy deemed dangerous — because he too was a boy deemed dangerous who lived to become a parent. “When Trayvon Martin was first shot I said that this could have been my son,” Obama said. “Another way of saying that is Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago.”

This is the presumption of dangerousness that permeates the Martin issue and keeps it in the streets.

Martin’s tragic death is much more than the failure of two laws that conservative PACs have successfully pressed to pass in dozens of states—Stand Your Ground and leniency about carrying concealed weapons. It is that Martin could not escape the suspicion of being a thug, rather than a scared child.

The verdict corroborated a widespread view of Martin’s thuggishness. It validated the look of horror in George Zimmerman’s eyes as he pulled the trigger. And this loose idea of Martin’s thuggery is close to the idea of the teenager’s worthlessness. These laws plus these attitudes ultimately gave Zimmerman permission to kill him.

Obama spoke to this perception of thuggery in personal terms that suggested only his current position exempted him from the same suspicion.  “There are very few black men,” the president said, “who haven’t had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on the doors of cars.  That happens to me– at least before I was a senator.”

When Obama’s comments rebutted the presumption of Martin’s thuggery, the lens turned back to the teen’s humanity, which had been eclipsed by stereotype. Until then, the only look of horror the jurors seemed to have imagined was Zimmerman’s. The only self-defense they envisioned was his too. As they made their way through the judge’s confusing instructions, the only ground they considered standing on was Zimmerman’s.

Obama reminded us that there is another look of horror in those encounters. It originates with the sense of threat from a strange man following Martin in the rain to the gun suddenly aimed at his chest. This is a danger too often perceived by black men throughout American history—especially when the threat appears to come from a white man. But even in those many cases where both victim and shooter are black men, the horror is just as real — and as unacceptable.

Obama spoke to the simplistic way that black-on-black violence feeds perceptions of black male worthlessness. Of disproportionate involvement in violent crime, the president said, “It’s not to make excuses for that fact — although black folks do interpret the reasons for that in a historical context. They understand that some of the violence that takes place in poor black neighborhoods around the country is born out of a very violent past in this country, and that the poverty and dysfunction that we see in those communities can be traced to a very difficult history.”

This is painfully complicated context, presented by, of all people, the president of the United States, who comfortably added that there is frustration when “that context is being denied.”

Self-defense law is typically all about context. Yet the Zimmerman verdict showed how the Stand Your Ground law diminishes context in ways both counterproductive and discriminatory. Without providing a basis to distinguish one kind of threat from another, the law presents the unmanageable scenario of equal rights to use lethal force — whomever shoots first wins.

Yet not for Martin. His right — even to react in fear — was negated by the presumption of thuggery in people’s minds. His right of self-defense as a frightened young man seemed invisible under the law.

“And for those who resist the idea that we should think about something like these ‘Stand your Ground’ laws,” the president continued, “I’d just ask people to consider, if Trayvon Martin was of age and armed, could he have stood his ground on that sidewalk? And do we actually think that he would have been justified in shooting Mr. Zimmerman, who had followed him in a car, because he felt threatened?

But Martin represents even more for black people and for all of us. If the perception of worthless thuggery can rely on such flimsy evidence as Zimmerman’s that fateful night, then maybe thuggery is more than a hoodie, a school suspension and marijuana use. Maybe its perception requires black students to overcome presumptions that they’re not capable or deserve excessive discipline at school. Maybe it justifies stop-and-frisk tactics that, as New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly is alleged to explain, are partially designed to intimidate young black and brown men into believing they are suspects until proven otherwise.

Worse, maybe the perception of worthless thuggery presumes bad parenting by black parents, bad decision making by black consumers, bad work habits among black job applicants and bad black neighbors. Maybe Detroit—a city that is 82 percent African-American, a city my cousin likes to say helped black people first learn how to be black — is now bankrupt because of the thuggery of bad black governance, too.

Maybe “We are all Trayvon” is a way of collectively saying that, at some level, we are all scared of being taken for thugs and paying thug consequences.

To this the president was moved to speak, employing not anger but executive empathy.

We expect our presidents to set a policy course, to govern their vision through a constitutional combination of legislative influence and agency decision-making — especially in a period of acute economic harm.

We’ve seen Obama’s two policy powers stymied consistently by the fierce opposition of enemies in Congress, bent on frustrating his executive appointments, denying his legislative agenda and denigrating him personally.

This happens to be the perspective of my elder family members. The right’s willful obstructionism is the main reason they won’t criticize the man. They don’t believe he has been allowed to do the job for which he was twice elected.

Yet a president has another power in addition to and even because of the fierceness of his opposition. That is to deliver his moral imprimatur, to make statements, to consistently promote a rhetorical transformation in how the country ought to think and talk about its values. This is also how change happens.

Obama could have been using this power all along, with more explicit references to the disproportionate burdens faced by black folk, or poor folk, or victimized folk. He could have better highlighted neglected patterns of exclusion in housing opportunity. He could have declared his administration’s intention to enforce anti-discrimination laws already safely on the books. He could even have made explicit the importance of healthcare reform — done right — to the particular communities that have been most marginalized by the current system.

However, Obama’s remarks about Martin finally reached the core of these concerns — by dignifying even the identities of Americans who every day are trying not to die.

What about Detroit? It too is trying not to die. To many, Detroit is the profile of municipal delinquency, a testament to undisciplined black leadership and the ignorant voters who supported them. Many suburbanites there believe anyone with a brain has long left the city.

But the truth about the city’s demise, like the truth about a teenager’s character, is more complicated. In the city’s case, Detroit represents uniquely unlucky facts around the loss of solid manufacturing work that doomed many urban centers in America. The circumstances were overwhelming. The leadership was not up to the task.

But it would be unfair to tarnish the residents — like my family who stayed on — with a “broad brush,” as the president said.

Thus, Detroit is, like Martin, a broader symbol of things we need to do better as a nation. Sad that the canaries in the coal mine are so often black. Fortunate that, this time, a black president can at least explain that sadness to all of us.

 

 

PHOTO (Top): Trayvon Martin banner. REUTERS/Jonathan Alcorn

PHOTO (Insert A): President Barack Obama pauses as he talks about the Trayvon Martin shooting in the press briefing room at the White House in Washington, July 19, 2013. REUTERS/Larry Downing

PHOTO (Insert B): Brendon Daniels holds up a can of iced tea and a bag of skittles during a rally in support of slain teenager Trayvon Martin in Orlando, Florida, July 17, 2013. REUTERS/David Manning

 

 

 

Comments
22 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

How much longer will it take Americans to overcome their racist prejudices? Most of them are brought up and even taught in schools to look down on all humans they have insufficient contact with and are totally ignorant about! Conrad B.

Posted by Darnoc | Report as abusive
 

I don’t understand why we don’t use a current photo of Trayvon. He was 17, not 12 at the time of the shooting.

Posted by glassgardner | Report as abusive
 

Why does everyone say he was killed for walking to the store for skittles and tea? He was killed when he brutally attacked a neighborhood watchman breaking the mans nose and smashing his head onto the pavement.

Google “Antonio West” and ask yourself why Obama and the media have not said one word about this killing. You will be physically ill when you read about this.

Posted by chncit | Report as abusive
 

Mr. Troutt, you are a demagogue.

Trayvon Martin can be referred to as a “…innocent black Florida teenager…” ONLY because he did not live long enough to be caught and prosecuted. Pictures on his cell phone and related facts strongly suggest he was already an experienced thief. Any “innocence” the “real” Trayvon has as an individual was long gone.

You suggest that Martin did not deserve being suspected of being a thug. I absolutely disagree. We know his LATER pictures show a six foot athletic thug, the one that surprised and attacked Zimmerman. This person had tattoos and gold teeth consistent with an “in yo’ face” attitude. I don’t think he was afraid in the slightest until Zimmerman’s gun went off.

Responsive politicians in dozens of states enact Stand Your Ground laws because the evening news constantly shows sociopathic predators, many black, preying on ordinary citizens, many black. It quickly becomes obvious that there is NO WAY our society can afford the number of police necessary to protect our lives and our property.

The same situation existed in the “old west”. Given such reality, no one has come up with any better solution to the problem of the uncivil in society. This is why it has become necessary for citizens to be allowed to carry concealed weapons. Thousands upon thousands of aggressive youth affect the attitude, actions and appearance that got Martin killed, and they pay a high price for doing it. Their choice. Their consequences.

If it looks like a duck, quacks like duck and walks like a duck, most people will believe it’s a duck until proven otherwise. They feel threatened by such people because there is ample history to associate them with unpredictability and violence. When you adopt “the look”, you should expect the prejudice and risk that is justifiably associated.

When Obama speaks of the woman apprehensive of him in the elevator or the car locks clicking when he walks by, that is a reaction to the culture black America has adopted and celebrates. When that changes, so can the concerns and apprehensions of civil Americans.

Yes, Obama’s current position exempts him from such suspicion, but what exempted him from the danger that stalks blacks is that as a youth he was smart enough to refrained from allowing his actions and appearance to reinforce existing fears. Black youth in general does the exact opposite, and pays a heavy price.

They don’t realize that such actions and inactions have consequences they should want to avoid. They don’t understand that THEY are why others view “thug-like” teenagers of ANY race as “worthless. Worse, they see this again and again in their own communities day after day.

To put it coarsely, civilized society can respond and relate to “house blacks”. They cannot respond and relate to “field blacks”. Black youth culture affects a fearsome persona and then can’t understand why others fear and mistrust them? Please. Non-black Americans don’t WANT to fear blacks. But the reality “out there” is that they MUST!

Your description of “…a strange man following Martin in the rain [with a] gun suddenly aimed at his chest…” presumes facts not in evidence. Few young thugs are stupid enough to try to jump someone they know is armed. I don’t think Trayvon even suspected Zimmerman was armed…he never mentioned that in his cell phone call. It would appear the horror of the “… gun suddenly aimed at his chest…” exists only in YOUR mind.

“the violence that takes place in poor black neighborhoods around the country is born out of a very violent past in this country, and that the poverty and dysfunction that we see in those communities can be traced to a very difficult history.” No question.

But society in general has seen the error of the “old ways” and corrected the great majority of associated wrongs. It is up to the black community in general and young males of today in particular to demonstrate their value to society. Those that do, the “Oreos”, usually succeed. THIS is the “…context…being denied…”.

It is simple fact that actions of many, many young black and brown men are what has created the current valid presumption that blacks are untrustworthy. It is simple fact that “bad parenting by black parents, bad decision making by black consumers, bad work habits among black job applicants and bad black neighbors” DOES further the presumption of “worthless thuggary”.

Unfortunately that presumption is all too often reinforced by reality. In this case, there was but one physical aggressor, Trayvon Martin. “We, the people” are NOT “all Trayvon. We are “all Zimmerman”!

Yes, America looks at Detroit and sees “… the profile of municipal delinquency, a testament to undisciplined black leadership and the ignorant voters who supported them. Many suburbanites there believe anyone with a brain has long left the city.”

“We, the people” may not know WHY black “leaders” of third world nation-states AND politicians have exemplified corruption at it’s most blatant and sordid. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see with our own eyes how often this is true.

The responsibility of repairing a reprehensible reputation falls solely to the black community. Good luck with that.

Posted by OneOfTheSheep | Report as abusive
 

I am dismayed by some of the comments here, and mystified by the presumption that Mr. Martin somehow deserved to be killed because he was a “thuggish” black man of 17. When I was Mr. Martin’s age a “thug” was a “hoodlum” was a “gangster”, all terms referring to white criminals, not to black teenagers, as now. We had a different term for black people in general where I grew up, less a euphemism, but no less dehumanizing.

Posted by hawaiimike | Report as abusive
 

The sheer length of the last post makes one wonder just who is the real demagogue. Moreover, the rage and self-righteousness in their tone cuts off all conversation, howling their need to assert, “I am right, and you are wrong!” This saddens me for so many reasons, some I have described, and others that deal with how little effort this poster is willing to put himself in another’s shoes, and that maybe the conclusions he draws about particular groups don’t apply to all of it’s members. If this poster has a black friend, ask them their thoughts. And if they don’t, I urge him or her to get one.

Posted by mtks | Report as abusive
 

How long can this pity for black culture be carried on? I feel sorry for the 10 – 20% of blacks who are trying to escape being identified with the liberals in their race so that they can just be Americans, not African-Americans.

Posted by Gabowski | Report as abusive
 

All Zimmerman can be proved of doing that is wrong are not protecting himself by having partner (witness) and following his suspicion of blacks fed by by press reports of a higher than average crime rate. Finally not being a track star, he did not try to run away first as would be required if there was no stand your ground law.

For Obama and Holder to attack stand your ground laws because the laws recognize that most people are not track stars ect. amd to indicate Zimmerman is guilty of anything utter than stupidity in not at lest one partner with him is attempt to subvert both justice and the legal system.

Their attack on stand your ground type laws promoted me send money to the NRA which has some nut stands such as resistance to background checks. Also that and the fact Obama’s appointments appear to be by race and sex not ability alone motivates me to ignore him in the next election not send him money as in the last.

Do not support the Republicans either who oppose low cost higher education, wanted austerity programs in a recession, and gust worker programs and more green cardes when there is high unemployment. Etc., ect.

Posted by Samrch | Report as abusive
 

Blacks who do not want to looked upon with suspicion must work to lower their crime rate to the national average.

As for my self I am white but live in middle to upper class black area and find them for the most helpful and fine.

Posted by Samrch | Report as abusive
 

I’m glad that Obama took on “the PRESUMPTION of thuggery”–but I wish he’d take on the ACTUALITY of thuggery.

I try to look at everyone as individuals. If their manner of dress, mannerisms/posture and general appearance seem kind in nature, I’m bound to hang out with them. However, if you are wearing your pants belted around your thighs with your underoos sticking out, baseball cap sideways and are yelling about N!@@ers and H0s…I’m crossing the street. I don’t care if you are black, white or latino. Same reason I cross the street when some wide-eyed, greasy haired meth head is coming at me. It’s called self-preservation and thus far it’s working. It’s such a pity that most people seem to think this is a reflection on their entire race–as it is not.

I worked with gangbangers in southside Chicago and Gary, Indiana. They have no respect for themselves, their race, their community or anything else.

Instead of sticking your head in the sand Mr. President, how bout we have a VERY REAL conversation about America’s perception of these little domestic terrorists? How bout we talk about the drop out rate for young blacks? How bout we talk about the teenage birthrate of young blacks? How bout we talk about the screwed up family dynamic of young blacks in these communities? How bout we talk about the fact that young black men commit 10x the violence of other races COMBINED? How bout we talk about the biggest killer of young black men?

How bout we make a change? How bout you restore hope? How bout doing it sooner, not later?

Posted by sgtrena | Report as abusive
 

@mtks,

“The sheer length of the last post makes one wonder just who is the real demagogue.” So words, or dialogue = demagogue to you? PLease.

[It] “…saddens me…how little effort this poster is willing to put himself in another’s shoes, and that maybe the conclusions he draws about particular groups don’t apply to all of it’s members.”

Who cares? Let’s look at some pertinent facts here. Blacks are statistically involved in much more crime and much more violent crime than their percentage of the American population. That’s a problem of the black community to resolve. They don’t seem to know that.

Trayvon was a young black, and let us presume that more than half of young blacks never do anything illegal. Way more than half of the young males dress and conduct themselves exactly the same as those that are through and though young violent criminals with no respect for life of any color.

It is silly to expect the “rest of America” to “put themselves in the shoes” of the innocents. No one can tell by looking at them which of all these young black sagging pants males wearing hoodies to hide their identity on the street are the innocents. If one of them twelve years old and unarmed puts his foot through my front door do you think I’m going to check his ID before blowing him away?

In Europe in 1944 if anyone put on the uniform and acts like a Nazi, they could expect to be treated according to the image they thus projected. If caught by the Germans, they would be executed as a spy. If an American soldier ran into them, he would attack and try to kill them.

It ain’t no different “in da ‘hood”, dude! Looking and sounding like a thug is going to get you treated like a thug. The way you look and act make others mistrust you, not for what you are, but for what you appear to be. First impressions are important, and some carry serious BAGGAGE, whether YOU know it or not.

Posted by OneOfTheSheep | Report as abusive
 

Over the weekend in Jacksonville, FL a lovely 20 year old girl working at a cell phone store was gunned down by a Trayvon lookalike. Surveillance video shows him stalking down the street toward his victim. Any hunter knows what a stalking predator looks like. The leer on his face is frighting.

Posted by jdmeth | Report as abusive
 

Are you aware that the stand your ground law was not used as a defense in this case? It seems you are not aware…of many facts about the case.

Posted by MisR128 | Report as abusive
 

Sybrina kicked Trayvon out of her home because he was out of control.
Tracy knew this, yet he didn’t supervise his son when he was called on to help correct the situation.

Posted by MonicaKey | Report as abusive
 

Face it people Tayvon Martin was a punckassbitch thug troublemaker who found trouble and paid the price. That’s all. He is the poster child for all black youth. Stupid, worthless, thieving scum. All you black and black apologists who suffer from negrophilia are so blind you can’t see that you all epitomize the stereotypes.

Posted by lionyiddish | Report as abusive
 

OOTS,
The poster above me is a skinhead, in case you can’t tell the difference still.

Posted by Benny27 | Report as abusive
 

OOTS,
“Blacks are statistically involved in much more crime and much more violent crime than their percentage of the American population.”
So what? crime justifies more crime? It really is the wild west in your head, isn’t it?

“Responsive politicians in dozens of states enact Stand Your Ground laws because the evening news constantly shows sociopathic predators, many black, preying on ordinary citizens, many black. It quickly becomes obvious that there is NO WAY our society can afford the number of police necessary to protect our lives and our property.”

You are ignoring the massive increase in reporting of crime, at the same time that violent crime is decreasing. If you are terrified of all the violent crime, I suggest you stop extrapolating from the news. The USA is supposed to be a free country, meaning people can wear whatever they want, while those of you who are afraid of a piece of clothing should probably move into the woods where you would feel more safe. I wear a hoodie all the time, is that because I want to hide my face? No, it is because I want to keep warm. What gives you the right to decide why another person dons a sweater? Racial stereotyping, of course.

“If one of them twelve years old and unarmed puts his foot through my front door do you think I’m going to check his ID before blowing him away?”

Zimmerman didn’t get his front door kicked in, he admitted to following the young man. Hardly the actions of someone fearing for their safety.

You say you have a problem with Nazis, but have no problem with collective punishment and racial profiling. Don’t be surprised when people call you a demagogue in return… something you hypocritically blamed the author of this article for…. and then you commit right away. So I guess a demagogue is anyone who disagrees with you?

Posted by Benny27 | Report as abusive
 

@Benny27:

“You are ignoring the massive increase in reporting of crime, at the same time that violent crime is decreasing. If you are terrified of all the violent crime, I suggest you stop extrapolating from the news.” So you would have us not watch the news, to each be the ostrich with head in sand ignorant as to what goes on in the outside world. Now I understand how you get YOUR perspectives!

“The USA is supposed to be a free country, meaning people can wear whatever they want, while those of you who are afraid of a piece of clothing should probably move into the woods where you would feel more safe.” I will repeat what I said above without apology for you and others that read without retention:

“In Europe in 1944 if anyone put on the uniform and acts like a Nazi, they could expect to be treated according to the image they thus projected. If caught by the Germans, they would be executed as a spy. If an American soldier ran into them, he would attack and try to kill them.

It ain’t no different “in da ‘hood”, dude! Looking and sounding like a thug is going to get you treated like a thug. The way you look and act make others mistrust you, not for what you are, but for what you appear to be. ”

If it”s cold and you wear a ski mask into a bank, your life is in danger even here in the “free” United States. Why? Because of others before you who entered dressed like that to conceal their identity. You WILL be “profiled” based on community experience. Get used to it!

Posted by OneOfTheSheep | Report as abusive
 

OOTS,
You seem to have a problem reading, as I suggested that crime is over reported in the news, therefore you will get a distorted perspective if you base what is happening around you on news coverage. They don’t report all the people that don’t get mugged, obviously.

The fact that your example of inappropriate clothing is the Nazis says a lot. In your example the US and Germany were at war, so wearing a military uniform would indeed earn you those bullets. Are you saying we are at war with people wearing hoodies, or that they are anything like a military uniform?

If they wear a hoodie into a bank they wouldn’t be shot either, so your point is pointless. Though they would probably be told to remove the hood. Was Trayvon Martin in a bank?

Posted by Benny27 | Report as abusive
 

@Benny27,

Your response is so obtuse as to limit credible response. Civil society IS “at war” with the uncivil of any race as would as soon attack someone else as look at them.

Trayvon Martin was walking in a neighborhood that had been victimized. Witnesses had described those seen as “young blacks”. He was young and black. He was wearing clothes that made easy identification difficult, no different than the ski mask in the bank. He was wandering around, not going purposefully from point “A” to point “B”.

His choice, his risks. He doubled back with the intent to surprise and jump Zimmerman. He paid the price. We don’t have a statute providing capital punishment for extreme stupidity, but that is sometimes the sentence life hands out.

End of story, move along, nothing to see here.

Posted by OneOfTheSheep | Report as abusive
 

OOTS,
What you say is bald assertion. No one knows exactly what happened that day except Zimmerman, so you have no idea who doubled back where.

Civil society is not at war with people who look like troublemakers, war is a legal definition, and you sound like a crank for invoking it with respect to young black men who you deem to look wrong.

Racial profiling is wrong for the exact reason that you state: “Trayvon Martin was walking in a neighborhood that had been victimized. Witnesses had described those seen as “young blacks”. He was young and black.”

Thanks for making my point for me.

Walking around in a neighborhood is not “taking risks”. He got the “life sentence” you refer to for the fa\ct that he wasn’t armed. IF Zimmerman had ended up dead instead, you would presumably be so zealous in defending Trayvon Martin’s right to self defense? if not, then the problem is with you and your tainted view of the world.

Posted by Benny27 | Report as abusive
 

@Benny27,

I have repeated information produced in trial and that from credible subsequent comments. Take it or leave it, it is what it is. Whether or not you believe it is no skin off my nose. Civil society has ALWAYS been “at war” with troublemakers, and always will be. To argue otherwise is just plain silly.

I don’t know if we have more troublemakers today, or just more idiots who CHOOSE to look and act like them. If I spot someone on my property I can’t identify as authorized to be there, their life is in definite danger (regardless of race). When I stop at a traffic light, and I see someone of suspicious appearance, I lock my doors.

Why? Because if it’s a sociopath instead of just a “lookalike”, I’m unnecessarily vulnerable if I don’t. If that hurts their feelings, I don’t give a fig. If my doing so is “racial profiling” I could care less. That decision is MINE and mine alone. You can’t change it.

Zimmerman was Neighborhood Watch. He, and all similar volunteers like him serve their communities with countless hours. Theire presences make their communities safer to live in. Their neighbors appreciate what they do.

Zimmerman had an indisputable right to be where he was at that time in that community that night. Trayvon Martin is the SUSPECT here. It does not seem clear whether or not he had “moved in” with his father so as to be a “resident” rather than a “visitor”.

Comments from his father suggest Trayvon was bored. It is unclear why he allowed him out on his own at night in a neighborhood of questionable safety.

His father then left. That means Trayvon was not under meaningful supervision as he sulked around in concealing clothes in the rain for reasons we can not now know. Some are innocent. Some not so much so. Few 17-years of age are collectors of jewelry they or their family don’t own.

Circumstances certainly support the idea that he actually reached his father’s house and THEN made a unilateral decision to backtrack, surprise and “show the man” that had observed his movements by surprising and physically assaulting him. Had Zimmerman been alert with his gun out, even Trayvon would not have been stupid enough to jump him; so I don’t believe Trayvon knew Zimmerman was armed.

If Trayvon had gotten control of Zimmerman’s gun and killed him with it, and the same witnesses had told the same story, Trayvon would have been charged and convicted of murder. An unprovoked physical assault on another person is incompatible with any interpretation of “defense”. If you saw a cop following you on foot would you be stupid enough to jump him? Maybe YOU would!

Contrary to YOUR perspective, civilized society DOES NOT have to “step aside” and abandon our communities and sidewalks over to all the wannabee punks or thugs that infest them. They BELONG to the taxpayers that pay to build and maintain them.

Those who would challenge that ownership will likely learn some hard lessons along their way through life. Those like you who would defend such challengers are no better than they are (and as “at risk”). Have a nice day!

Posted by OneOfTheSheep | Report as abusive
 

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