Stand Your Ground – As Long As You’re White

Most of us were not surprised by the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial. But millions of us were nonetheless disappointed and ashamed for the world to see that in this great country, in the 21st century, it’s still possible for a white man to shoot and kill an unarmed black teenager who did nothing wrong — and walk.

On the night of Feb. 26, 2012, George Zimmerman shot and killed 17-year old Trayvon Martin. Yet on the night of July 13, 2013, George Zimmerman learned he would pay no price for it. No second-degree murder conviction. Not even manslaughter. He got his freedom back. He got his life back. He’s getting his gun back. Trayvon Martin was not so lucky.

So what should we do when faced with such an unjust outcome? Being such a polite crowd, here’s what’s been drilled into us: two things. First, we’re all supposed to shrug our shoulders, and say: “Oh well, I may disagree with it, but I still accept the jury’s verdict.” Then we’re supposed to nod our heads and agree: “Of course, race had nothing to do with it.” To both of which I say: Nonsense! There’s no way to accept that outcome as valid. And race had everything to do with both the crime and the verdict.

Zimmerman may not have been guilty of second-degree murder, but he was clearly guilty of manslaughter. Remember, he’s no model citizen. In July 2005, this wanna-be cop was arrested for attacking a cop. One month later, his former fiancée filed a complaint against him for domestic violence and got a restraining order. As a member of the neighborhood watch, he was not supposed to carry a gun, but he did. The night of Feb. 26, he was told to stay in his car, but he didn’t. He chased Martin down and confronted him, leading to a fight — which, apparently, Zimmerman ended up losing. But that doesn’t necessitate or justify murder.

And why did Zimmerman pursue Martin? Not just because he was young. Not just because he was wearing a hoodie. But because he was young, wearing a hoodie — and he was black. According to police records, before confronting Martin, he’d made at least 46 calls to 911, reporting “suspicious” black males. Two days after the shooting, his cousin told police officers: “I know George. And I know that he does not like black people.” And we’re supposed to believe this wasn’t a case of racial profiling?

If he were a white teen, Trayvon Martin would still be alive today. And if roles were reversed, if Trayvon Martin, black man, had claimed to have shot and killed George Zimmerman, white man, in self-defense, Martin would already be on death row.

In 2012, John Roman of the Urban Institute’s Justice Policy Center reported on “Frontline” that in “Stand Your Ground” states, white people who kill black people are 354 percent more likely to be found justified in their killings than white people who kill white people. And it’s not a lot better in non-“Stand Your Ground” states, where that number goes down to 250 percent. The deck of justice is clearly stacked against black males. As it was stacked against Trayvon Martin that night.

And if you don’t think racism played a role in the jury’s deliberations, here’s what jury member B37 told CNN’s Anderson Cooper about what Trayvon Martin did to justify Zimmerman’s reporting him and confronting him: “… him being late at night, dark at night, raining, and anybody would think anybody walking down the road, stopping and turning and looking, if that’s exactly what happened, is suspicious.” Translation: black teen walking in the rain at night? Guilty!

It’s true, as many have said, that some good could come out of this tragedy if we used the occasion to reform or repeal “Stand Your Ground” laws now on the books in 31 states. But chances for that are slim.

After Newtown, we were supposed to have a national conversation about gun safety. But nobody’s talking about guns anymore. After Edward Snowden, President Obama proposed a national conversation about privacy. Nobody’s talking about privacy anymore, either. And now, after the Zimmerman trial, we’re supposed to have a national conversation about race? Sorry. We don’t have time. We’re too busy talking about the cover of Rolling Stone. Or the royal baby.

11 Responses to Stand Your Ground – As Long As You’re White

  1. kwms says:

    Once again Bill is distorting facts. To site one comment that George Zimmerman’s cousin made that he’s a racist and ignorning the 30 people that the FBI intertviewed to determine that he’s in fact NOT a racist is ridiculous and just plain bad journalism.

  2. Hammer says:

    More lies from the simple mind of Bill Press. What trial did you watch Bill? Oh never mind, I keep forgetting the left just makes things up and then presents them as fact. Then when you question their lies they label you as a racist and a hater. It’s a simple game from the simple minds of the left.

  3. brewster says:

    Bill, your racism is showing, AGAIN!.

    Bill, it seems no one makes any claim to a hint of racism in this case except you and your liberal buddies. First it was the media that started calling Zimmerman a racist and this a hate crime (WRONG!). Then it was the racist democrats BigAl Sharpton and J. Jackson. Then it was Obama and Holder. All screaming racism when there was none. Hint Bill, Zimmerman was Hispanic. There is no category for “White Hispanic” except for that dreamed up by CNN and you racists. Why do we never call Obama a “White African American”? After all he is a tad more white than Zimmerman.

    According to the case, it was Martin who chased down Zimmerman and started pounding him. Of course you think Zimmerman has no right to defend himself and if your wife was being raped, she would have no right to try and defend herself either.

    Blacks in Florida have as a percentage taken advantage of SYG more than Whites Bill. I suppose you really just want Blacks to go back to being victims right? Do you know the rates of Black on White, White on Black, and Black on Black violence Bill? Obviously not.

    Martin was not an “innocent child”. If he did not die that night, he would probably die soon thereafter. His quest for something to drink and some candy was probably not so innocent Bill. It seems Martin liked to mix the two with cough syrup and make ‘lean’, basically home made hallucinogens.

    My guess was this entire event would have and should have been dealt with locally as it has been 100’s of times before. This time,Obama saw an opportunity to incite some racial hatred and get the Black voters to the polls. He failed, just like he failed with ‘Fast and Furious’, just like he failed with calling Crowley a racist in the Gates/Crowley affair in Cambridge. Creating strife solely for the purposes of being elected make Obama no better that you Bill. Both of you have a deep seated racist core.
    Stand Your Ground is a basic human right to live.

  4. jeffg says:

    “Do you know the rates of Black on White, White on Black, and Black on Black violence Bill?”

    FBI UCR data found at fbi.gov shows that a black person is twice as likely to kill a white person as opposed to be killed by one.
    White killed by black Black killed by white
    2011 448 193
    2010 447 218

    If you’re going to bring up Zimmermans past then to be fair you should have brought Martins past also:
    “In October 2011, after a video surveillance camera caught Martin writing graffiti on a door, MDSPD Office Darryl Dunn searched Martin’s backpack, looking for the marker he had used. Officer Dunn found 12 pieces of women’s jewelry and a man’s watch, along with a flathead screwdriver the officer described as a “burglary tool.” The jewelry and watch, which Martin claimed he had gotten from a friend he refused to name, matched a description of items stolen during the October 2011 burglary of a house on 204th Terrace, about a half-mile from the school.”

    “Trayvon Martin was not from Sanford, the town north of Orlando where he was shot in 2012 and where a jury acquitted Zimmerman of murder charges Saturday. Martin was from Miami Gardens, more than 200 miles away, and had come to Sanford to stay with his father’s girlfriend Brandy Green at her home in the townhouse community where Zimmerman was in charge of the neighborhood watch. Trayvon was staying with Green after he had been suspended for the second time in six months from Krop High School in Miami-Dade County”…Suspended for possession of marijuana.

    Does any of this justify what happened? NO. But at least be honest in the conversation and quit trying to turn this into something it’s not.

  5. Scott says:

    It is getting so unbelievably easy to point out Bill’s lies.

    “…a fight which Zimmerman ended up losing…”

    George Zimmerman sustained a fractured nose and lacerations on the back of his head. Take that evidence and add in the eyewitness accounts, and you clearly see that Zimmerman was in danger of getting his skull smashed and/or his brain stem snapped. Self-defense. End of trial.

  6. Scott says:

    As far as who was racially profiling whom, that happened when Trayvon called Zimmerman ” a creepy-ass cracker”.

    Hey Jeff and Brewster and Hammer, you will love this. Bill Press sent out the following tweet right after the verdict: “If a black man shot and killed a white man, the outcome would have been different.

    Ummm…well…except that Bill made a big typo in this tweet. That typo involves the word “shot”. I’ll let you fill in the blank.

    Dang, I laughed all night long after I read that.

  7. kwms says:

    Allen West, former Representative from Florida and a great American who is also Afro-American, said “I don’t recall being followed in malls or shopping centers. I don’t recall car doors clicking locked when I walked across the street, And I definitely have not had women clutching their handbags and purses when I got on the elevator,” he said. “I believe it comes back to being a respectful young man and maybe that’s something that was missing out of President Obama and Trayvon Martin’s life.”

  8. emile says:

    I wouldve locked mmy doors if I wouldve seen Allen West walking toward me, but not because he’s black but because hes CRAZY.

  9. Jeffg says:

    I wouldve locked mmy doors if I wouldve seen Barrack onama walking toward me, but not because he’s black but because hes CRAZY.

  10. Hammer says:

    You really are a dumb ass chimp.

  11. kwms says:

    Really, how relevant is what happened to the president 30 years ago? That was an entire generation ago, the young people that voted for him weren’t even alive then. Things have changed a lot since then and they’ll change even more in the next 30 years. Instead maybe Obama should focus on how he’s going to get jobs for black Americans, whose unemployment rate is shameful.

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