Monday, July 15, 2013

WHAT TRAYVON MARTIN AND I HAVE IN COMMON

I THINK I'M  IN A UNIQUE  POSITION TO COMMENT ON THE GEORGE ZIMMERMAN ACQUITTAL----BECAUSE I HAVE FACED A VERY SIMILAR SITUATION------AND SURVIVED.

I was in my late thirties---traveling the Eastern US alone --living in my tiny black ford falcon van.  Late one night I found myself near the exact spot where George Washington crossed the Delaware.  Despite the hour, I wanted to visit the spot.  So I drove into the park and was about to get out.

From out of nowhere a cop car raced up and an armed officer got out and began yelling at me:  WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DOING?

MY ANGER SURGED----(I WILL NOT ALLOW ANYONE TO TALK TO ME IN THAT TONE.)  IN A GREAT FURY, I GOT OUT OF MY TRUCK AND WENT AT THE OFFICER YELLING:  "GODDAMMIT I'M HERE TO VISIT THE CROSSING SPOT AND NOBODY CAN GET AWAY WITH TALKING TO ME THAT WAY".  And in my fury I walked menacingly toward the officer.  He pulled his gun and said to me "Whoa there son---you're about to get killed."

That sobered me and I stopped!  But continued to rage at him for his manners.

To my utter amazement---HE APOLOGIZED.  Said that I had spoiled a drug stakeout.  Said that I could file a complaint with his captain if I wished.

I calmed down and began to realize how close I had just come to getting shot.  MY ANGER HAD NEARLY GOT ME KILLED.  

Do you see the similarities to the Trayvon Martin /George Zimmerman case.  Trayvon no doubt felt the rage of being unfairly targeted----AND THEN CHARGED AND ATTACKED ZIMMERMAN.   He was not as lucky as I ---his anger did in fact get him killed. 

That is why I think the verdict of not guilty was fair.  Whatever bad judgments and actions Zimmerman made CANNOT JUSTIFY TRAYVON'S ATTACK. 

Oppressed people everywhere are obliged to intelligently deal with their anger or pay a terrible price.  Trayvon Martin chose the path of violence and paid with his life.

22 comments:

Sondra said...

This time Randy, I disagree because Zimmerman used deadly force to stop what was a fist fight? If he was only defending himself he was a grown man Trayvon was a child, even I could over power someone of his size physically, yes I may get a bloody nose, a broken bone, but we both would have survived. Deadly Force is the difference in this case, Zimmerman used it inappropriately!
OF course the Jury may not have been given that choice, so I find Zimmerman guilty!

sail4free said...

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And who was that screaming on the 911 call? It sure the heck wasn't Zimmerman . . . more likely Martin in his death throes AFTER he's been shot. IIRC, there were no eye witnesses as to what Martin supposedly did to Zimmerman; only Zimmerman's account as the victim is not around to dispute his telling of the story.
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This is ON the Florida state legislature for passing 'Stand Your Ground' . . . more innocents will die before they grow a brain.
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His own neighborhood watch group had told him -- repeatedly -- do not carry a weapon; call the police -- let *them* do their job. I cannot justify the paranoid antics of yet another self-appointed judge, jury, and executioner. I hope street justice will prevail in this case.
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Randy said...

Sondra---Sail4free: We are all agreed that Zimmerman was wrong to follow Trayvon after being told not to. But that cannot justify Trayvon attacking
Zimmerman.
And Sondra: Trayvon was 5'11" to Zimmerman's 5'7" http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/07/12/Zimmerman-defense-silhouettes
heres the evidence,

Sooperedd said...

Randy I agree with you.

Too many people are not holding Martin accountable for his part in this senseless tragedy.

While Zimmerman could be the most Racist, idiotic person in the world the kid exercised bad judgement to get in a confrontation with Zimmerman and sometimes bad judgement ends your life regardless if your in the right or in the wrong.

Why didn't Martin call the Police to tell them someone was following him? He had a cellphone; he chose to escalate the situation.

If he just kept walking he would be alive.

How would the confrontation been different if Zimmerman DIDN'T have a gun? Does Martin beat Zimmerman to death?

In the throes of a fistfight are you to assume the other person doesn't have a knife or gun? Are you going to gamble with your life that they don't and just duke it out?

In all states you have the right to defend your life with deadly force if necessary.

Martin should have walked away, plain and simple.


Anonymous said...

I am not taking sides but just to clarify misconceptions reported in the media, Trayvon was not a child. The pics they post of him was when he was 12. This 17 year old man was over 6 feet tall, bigger than Zimmerman and there is no way that he could tell that this was a 17 year old kid.
You have to look at what logically happened. Highly unlikely that Zimmerman, after reporting it to 911 and knowing the police were coming, that he then proceeded to intentionally get in a fist fight with Trayvon.
What more than likely happened was that Trayvon confronted the 'creepy ass cracker' (that's his words not mine) and started the fight.
When your head is being slammed into a cement sidewalk, that is deadly force.
Zimmerman protected himself.... G

RT said...

This dude was 17. Only one year younger than I was when the U.S. government sent me off to fight in Viet Nam. Get real people. He bit off more than he could chew. You play...you pay.

Anonymous said...

Randy,
I get your point, but I call BS on your story.
A) You made yourself the "hero"
B) Cops don't say "WTH....", they say "Police, freeze, MF'er"
C) If you did say that, you neglected to include that you were handcuffed, before being released.

Your timeline puts your story about mid 80's, but you're relating it like it was much earlier, like say,..Mayberry, PD.

I think your memory has glossed over the finer points, but I don't disagree with your point.

I don't believe guns offer as much protection as self awareness.
Chef

Randy said...

Thank you anonymous for questioning my story. I know how memory often is reshaped---In this story, however, I'm confident I have the essentials accurate----that I behaved stupidly and my anger nearly got me killed---what's heroic about that? A super-sensitive dignity likewise is nothing to be proud of.
When dealing with authority these days---and I've done it twice in the past 3 months---I count on my bearing and respectful coherent speech to put police at ease hopefully avoid a ticket. And I did--both times. I blogged a couple years ago on how to deal with cops.

Anonymous said...

Thank you first Anonymous for reminding readers that Trayvon was not a child as the media constantly portrayed him in word and by showing what surely had to be an older photo. People forget about the fight or flight instinct and since George Zimmerman was down and getting his head pounded into the ground he did what he could to prevent himself from getting his head bashed in. No one of of could put ourselves in his place and say "I would have done _______." The survival instinct takes over.

sail4free said...

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What/where is the evidence that Trayvon attacked Zimmerman? Are we just regurgitating nonsense presented by his attorney in court? As a group, CEOs are the highest percentage of certifiable psychopaths on the planet. Attorneys are #2. I've seen the photos -- pretty minor damage for someone who supposedly was getting their head bashed (repeatedly no less) against the concrete.
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So Zman is only 5'7" . . . how is 4" of height difference relevant? If anything, it likely shows to go ya' that Zman suffers from small man syndrome (more common than you might think) and it's likely that not only his stature is small -- leading to overcompensation in other areas, like trying to CONTROL who gets to walk the streets at night.
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"In all states you have the right to defend your life with deadly force if necessary."
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ONLY if such force is *reasonably* required for self-defense. (And, ultimately, that will be decided by the court -- as in NOT you.) If you START the fight, antagonize the victim, you lose all right to so-called self defense. It's clear in this case that Zman was the aggressor, the pursuer, the antagonist. Had he been minding his own business, had he any measure of self control whatsoever, this wouldn't have happened.
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But this case isn't even about the facts. Who did what when doesn't even matter. What matters is that Zman's Dad was a judge, that his family was able to afford the best attorney money could buy, that his Dad has well-established contacts within the system. Based on that alone, one could accurately predict (months before any trial) what the outcome would be. What it comes down to is which family was willing (or able) to spend whatever it takes to prevail? Look at the verdict and know the answer. Welcome to what passes for "justice" in America = equal justice according to how much money you got. Justice may be blind but she sure has her hand out.
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sail4free
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coupe2u said...

Good post Randy. However, in relaying your own story of your anger and verbally attacking a policeman and not getting shot you neglect to emphasize that you are white and Martin was black. Had a black man treated the policeman as you did there is a good possibility that the black man would have been shot. There is no denying that black males get treated differently than white males - and, unfortunately for legitimate reasons. Black males commit a disproportionate amount of crime.

Andy said...

So you are saying this 17 year old deserved to die because he had an emotional reaction to being stalked ????

Shame on you, my friend, and to all who agree with you. The implications of your argument for our society as a whole are terrifying.

Randy said...

Andy: Help us out---Put yourself in Zimmerman's place as he is being attacked by Trayvon Martin---a vigorus, healthy--very angry black man---beating your head against the concrete---having just smashed your nose---making you fear for your life. WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
DID YOU NOT SEE THE PICTS OF ZIMMERMAN'S INJURIES?
IN SHORT: ARE YOU INSANE?
Had I not stopped myself from attacking the cop---he would have had the right to shoot me.

Sondra said...

The way I look at it is this...would we want our POLICE to react as Zimmerman did? Stalk us because we "look" like trouble? Then shoot us if we "talk back"?The truth is Zimmerman was THE BIG THREAT on the street that night!! HE was the dangerous one, not Trayvon...he was a TEEN out at night being harrassed by a White Dude who had NO business being in his space, he is not a police officer not a security guard, he is just a little man with a big gun...I would have told the guy to get lost and IF I were a man I probably would have thrown a punch too...Z-killer went out WITH a gun because he wanted to hurt someone and he did. Just my take on it. The jury's verdict was a shock to me, and I feel now a precedence has been set that may bring more senseless deaths by gun carriers against NON gun carriers! Zimmerman drew first blood by disobeying the police who told him to WAIT..he didnt...and he was trained in hand to hand combat! They said he was not a good fighter, did you know he shot Trayvon after only 40 seconds of fighting? He is a coward who was too scared to fight so why was he even out on the streets?
Ask any woman, a 17 yo is a CHILD!

Andy said...

Brava, Sondra !!!!!

As you say, a precedent has been set which Randy and the other pro-zimmerman poster's who are so attached to their position fail to see.

Randy said...

Sondra/ Andy: I hear you saying that Trayvon's rage was justifiable---well---more or less. And that seems to be about all you wish to cover. I invite you to ask a deeper question: What is a JUSTIFIABLE response to justifiable rage. I say violence is not---and I have some heavy hitters on my side---like Gandhi and Martin Luther King.
Zimmerman was an overzealous community watch guy---that's about the extent of his wrongdoing. He did not deserve being attacked and he had the right to defend himself.
All of us have been wronged---get used to it! And get smart and effective in the process. If your temper runs away with you---you may get killed. Let's all say it together: IF YOUR TEMPER RUNS AWAY WITH YOU ---YOU MAY GET KILLED. if you resort to violence--you may die by violence.

Marc18 said...

Sail4free

I'm all for differences of opinion and I understand this is an emotionally charged and tragic situation but you keep creating or perpetuating factual inaccuracies.

Examples

'screaming on the 911 call? It sure the heck wasn't Zimmerman" Why is it sure as heck not Zimmerman? Conflicting testimony from witnesses regarding who it was and even his own father didn't think it was Trayvon at first. Impossible to say who it was.

"no eye witnesses as to what Martin supposedly did to Zimmerman; only Zimmerman's account" Completely untrue. There was an independent eyewitness, HE WAS CALLED AS A PROSECUTION WITNESS and he essentially corroborated Zimmerman's version. In addition to that eyewitness there was also the physical evidence. The medical examiner determined that Trayvon's body had no injuries other than the gunshot wound and abrasions on his hands consistent with punching someone, which further corroborates Zimmerman's story.

"This is ON the Florida state legislature for passing 'Stand Your Ground'" I abhor the Stand Your Ground law. The only problem is that it is completely inapplicable to this case. It is one of the few things that both the defense and prosecutors agreed upon. This was a straight self defense theory. It had absolutely nothing to do with Stand Your Ground. Do you want to do away with the right to self defense. Anybody can attack you and you have no right to defend yourself?

" As a group, CEOs are the highest percentage of certifiable psychopaths on the planet. Attorneys are #2." Where do you get this from? Please point me to a scientific study that supports such a statement. If it's just an opinion then fine but please preface it with something like "I think" or "I believe" so that people don't get the impression that you just make things up.

"But this case isn't even about the facts" Missed this one at first. Sorry. I thought justice required that people get tried based upon the law and facts.

Since you aren't concerned with what the facts might really show then nothing anyone says to you about anything will ever convince you.

Randy said...

Marc18: Well said---clear and convincing---thank you.

sail4free said...

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MARC: "As a group, CEOs are the highest percentage of certifiable psychopaths on the planet. Attorneys are #2." Where do you get this from? Please point me to a scientific study that supports such a statement."
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If you weren't already convinced that my statement was false, you could have done a search for 'CEOs psychopaths' and read to your heart's content. The connection between CEOs and psychopaths is so strong, it actually auto-fills the 2nd part of the search terms for you. In the time it took you to question my source for this outrageous statement, you could have done a little research and found any number of sources. Here's one of the more salient ones but I doubt it will meet your criteria for a "scientific study." Once you read the character traits of a psychopath, I think you'll agree they make perfect CEOs . . . and attorneys.
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"Lawyers are the second most 'psychopathic' profession in the world after CEOs, according to Kevin Dutton's book 'The Wisdom of Psychopaths.'"

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/how-do-you-know-if-youre-a-psychopath-2013-2?op=1#ixzz2ZZ09EYUM
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Before we put this incident to bed, we might remind ourselves of what Frank Rich wrote in New York Magazine:
"The fault is with a system that didn't even investigate the death of an unarmed black teenager or make an arrest until weeks after the fact - and then only after national public and media outcry."
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sail4free
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Sondra said...

Only in a militaristic society should one be afraid to DISAGREE, I am not ready for a society where I can NOT yell n scream at someone and even throw a punch and expect to LIVE To talk about it later. Violence is one thing KILLING Is another. I dont like the idea that everyone is armed and think its OKAY to KILL someone take away their life to protect themselves from a punch? OKAY then every abused woman should pull out a gun and blow him away, every kid who doesnt want to have his parents tell him what to do should be justified in blowing them away...where do we draw the line?? Anyways I'm all talked out about this topic, there is a petition going around I have signed it, to have the justice dept. review this case and hope the will see that Killing someone because YOU are afraid of them is not justified.
Im afraid of the IRS, the redneck who lives next door, the man who carves walking stix in the park...should I kill these people OR Deal with MY Fear?

Anonymous said...

Sondra

When you get brutally raped, robbed and beaten by a 14 year old, just remember your words !!


Ask any woman, a 17 yo is a CHILD!

So he should go free :-)) is what your saying.

Karyn Lee said...

I liked this post. Regardless of the differences and similarities of the Martin/Zim case, I liked this post. Too often we don't stop and check what we are doing, or attempt to see ourselves from the other person's eyes. Good on the police officer for not firing on your for being disrespectful, and good for you to stop your actions knowing that they could have an instant reaction.
We never know what's going on in the mind of the other person.

Perhaps it's a good lesson for all of us.