Tag Archives: Trayvon Martin

No Winners Here


Many of us here in the U.S. have been watching the George Zimmerman murder trial closely.  I have to admit I’ve become addicted to the ongoing media coverage, but not because of any ubiquitously salacious intent.  It’s fascinating how attorneys for both sides dissect each bit of information, like butchers attacking a cow carcass.  In a way, that’s what attorneys are – butchers.

As people on all sides eagerly await the verdict, I know two things are certain: the victim, Trayvon Martin, will never come back home and no one will win.  There are never any winners in murder trials.  If anything, the concept of justice will win.  But, like beauty, that’s often an interpretation of the beholder.

I try to take in the boat loads of data slung at me regarding this case and sort through the definitive facts.  Here are the facts: the incident occurred on February 26, 2012, just after 7 P.M. local time, in the Retreat at Twin Lakes, a gated community in Sanford, Florida.  It was raining.  George Zimmerman resided at Twin Lakes.  Trayvon Martin’s father, Tracy Martin, did also.  The younger Martin was staying with his father because the teen had been suspended from school for possessing a plastic bag that tested positive for marijuana.  Martin had visited a convenience store, just blocks from his father’s home.  He was on the phone with a female friend when he became aware that someone was following him.  Zimmerman was carrying a Kel-Tec PF-9 9mm firearm.  He called the police to report that he was following someone.  Zimmerman and Martin got into a physical altercation.  Zimmerman shot Martin, and the teen died almost instantly.  Those are bulk of the facts.  Everything outside of that arena is mostly conjecture.

No one can explain why Zimmerman didn’t stop following Martin, as the police dispatcher instructed him.  No one knows exactly what words were exchanged between the two.  I do know we’ll probably see another case like this in our lifetime.

Here in the U.S. – mainly in the Southeast – issues of race and ethnicity still creep into debates about social justice and police activities.  And, to say that race doesn’t factor into this particular matter is akin to saying that Earth isn’t round.  It’s unfortunate, in this second decade of the 21st century, but that’s how it is.

Here’s another fact: no one involved in the Zimmerman – Martin case will ever be the same.  Not the families of the two principals; not even the 911 dispatcher who told Zimmerman to stay in his vehicle.  If Zimmerman is found not guilty, it will set off a firestorm of anger and protest.  If he’s found guilty of just one charge, he will most certainly be imprisoned.  Either way, no one will be satisfied.  Justice may win – but sometimes, that’s not saying much.


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Stupidity in Motion

Conservative commentator and author Michelle Malkin – a darker, shorter, but much more attractive version of Ann Coulterapparently posted the item above to “Twitchy,” her Twitter-based project with the following caption:


“Recognize these two people?  If you don’t we’ll help you out.  The man on the left is George Zimmerman, the man accused of murdering the boy on the right, Trayvon Martin.  The mainstream media won’t show you these two photos because they convey a message that no one else wants to take into consideration.”


There is one glaring error: the “boy on the right” is not Trayvon Martin.  Who he is, I don’t know and I’m not certain if Malkin herself composed the poster.  Twitchy has since retracted their “mistake,” an honorable admission in a business that doesn’t like to let truth get in the way of hyperbole.  This is not the first time Malkin has made outrageous statements. 

Like any good right-wing American, she supported Bill Clinton’s 1998 impeachment trial and thought the U.S. Supreme Court got it right in Bush v. Gore.  But, she criticized former Congressman Dennis Kucinich for wanting to impeach Vice-President Dick Cheney in 2007.  You know Dick Cheney – the man who used every excuse under the sun to avoid the military draft, then sent thousands of real heroes into a war based on lies.  But, like most conservatives, Malkin feels lying about a tryst with a two-bit overweight intern is worst than lying about a war.  Not surprisingly, Malkin waded into the Obama “birther” controversy; first advising conspiracy theorists to approach the issue with caution, but then saying they have a legitimate concern

Malkin has had her moments of clarity.  In 2007, she criticized the New York Times for not covering the Medal of Honor ceremony for Lte. Michael P. Murphy, a Long Island native and Navy SEAL who had been killed in Afghanistan two years earlier.  Murphy was the first Navy SEAL since the Vietnam War to receive the honor and the first in the current War on Terror.  In 2008, she rightfully dubbed the Bush Administration as “illegal alien-enabling” and the banking industry as “crime-enabling.”  But then, she threw “ethnic lobbyists” into the same mix.  “Ethnic lobbyists?”  That could only mean Negroes and Mexicans who’ve historically been the subject of unfair housing and banking practices. 

As a first generation Filipino – American, Malkin should know a thing or two about race relations in America.  Like Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, Malkin is a rare (token) Asian in the Caucasian-dominated Republican Party.  Christianized to look more Americanized and therefore, made more palatable to a base that acts as if bigotry is akin to Black slavery itself – it disappeared decades ago, and any inclination of its presence is just an overreaction from bitter, fragile souls.  I don’t know what Malkin’s personal experiences are with racism, but if she’s like many non-White people in this country, she’s either fortunate never to have endured much of it, or floats in some sort of bubble of denial.  I’ve met both types. 

Regardless, the picture above is another example of the covert racism of the ultra-conservative crowd.  It intimates that crime always has a dark complexion.  I can’t say if Malkin is directly responsible for its presence on her web site.  But, it’s still a site she established, and ultimately, she bears some accountability.  I wouldn’t expect her to apologize; extremists – conservative or liberal – rarely admit they’re wrong.


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Cartoon of the Day


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