Trayvon’s Punch

uncle sam hoodieThe best news I heard about the ongoing Trayvon Martin case is, it turns out, before he was shot to death on February 26, 2012, he allegedly punched his assailant George Zimmerman in the nose, and pummeled him on the ground.

Now I don’t believe that for a second, and this likely fable is no doubt part of the scheme to torch the victim’s character (and cover Zimmerman’s ass), but if anybody deserved a punch in the nose, and a good old school ass kicking, it is George Zimmerman – even if it’s just in fiction.

But quite possibly Trayvon did throw a punch, when this latter day Barney Fife seemed to be stalking him. Was he a robber? A predator? At least Barney of Mayberry had a uniform, a badge and was a real deputy sheriff. George Zimmerman didn’t even reach Fife standards… with the added difference there was no genial supervisor, like Sheriff Andy, to make sure George kept his gun unloaded as he neighborhood watched for “f**king coons” roaming about. But this Barney Fife had his gone loaded with real bullets.

Anyway, for me, at least there is the newly minted image that Trayvon went down fighting for his life – “standing his ground,” don’t you know, in the spirit of Jeb Bush’s NRA written law. And by the way it is called the “stand your ground” law, not “follow a guy around and shoot him” law.

Meanwhile, at this writing, Sanford cops evidently continue to leak despicable info about Martin, ever molding this All American kid into one of those very scary gangstas, stoked on reefer, lurking beneath a hoodie, wearing gold teeth and having the nerve to walk on our public streets, freaking out white people. And the Orlando Sentinel seems compelled to dutifully publish these leaks, Drudge-style.

And then there’s one Mr. Joe Oliver, self-styled Zimmerman supporter and friend (in some vague sense), making the media rounds, even suggesting the encounter was a “him or me” situation. “One of them was going to get shot that night.” Oliver also dismissed Zimmerman’s 2005 violent encounter with a cop and subsequent anger management training with “people change!”… claims George said “goons” not “coons” on the 911 tape, citing “My daughter says ‘goons’ is a term of endearment!”… and that he recognizes it was his dear friend wailing for help on tape, not the soon to be dead kid.

By contrast, the only new info on George Zimmerman himself, other than Oliver’s rambling speculations, seems to be his new smiling picture.

What makes it most curious is that all the concrete indicators, such as the 911 tapes, and certain of the ear-witnesses, among them Martin’s girlfriend who was on the cellphone with Martin moments before the shooting point to Zimmerman’s being the stalker and the perpetrator. Perhaps that is true, perhaps Zimmerman was in a fight for his life. But this we know: had he stayed in his car and stopped following Trayvon as ordered, there would be no story. Conversely, there seems to be no concrete indicators of Martin being the aggressor.

But we’ll probably never know key facts, considering the ultra shoddy police work. Hey, I watch Forensic Files and CSI franchise — I know it’s de rigueur for the investigation cops arriving at the crime scene take photos, note bloody noses or bloody shirts, DNA on the victim’s hands (to see if in fact he did punch George), etc. The cops on the scene, responding to another of Zimmerman’s countless 911 calls, took note of none of this — except for Zimmerman’s word. Zimmerman’s account of being punched and pummeled lacks credibility for these reasons, and the fact that it mysteriously has taken weeks of cable news reportage and Limbaugh’s setting who’s on which side of this tragedy for this rather astounding information to “leak”.

And perhaps weirdest of all, no effort was made to reach Trayvon’s next of kin for at least three days. His father even made a call to his cell phone, which of course went unanswered. They also managed to do a drug test on the young man, but not on Barney Fife II. Was George that well connected?

Late breaking news has a detective on the scene calling for Zimmerman to be charged. A witness says her information was ignored. The entire credibility of the Sanford Police Force was immediately in question. Were they hamstrung by the Jeb Bush law or was it the good ole boys at work? After the news broke — and all hell, nearly a month after the shooting — the Police Chief stepped down and a special prosecutor was hired. But the police leaks continue, and so do the protests, and right wingers drawing lines in the sand.

As now portrayed, and the reason for turning Trayvon into the next Tupac, it is indeed a classic case for the “Stand Your Ground” law: Poor Zimmerman is confronted by a black gangsta punk (not an All American black kid as initially, and inconveniently, portrayed), and, fearing for his life, blows him away as if in an NRA wet dream.

So as the story has progressed, like much of just about anything in the news these days, we are no longer merely talking about a tragic incident in an obscure suburb of Orlando. Rather, it has become a significant, all-encompassing tipping point in our national discourse. There are more than just a paranoid shooter, a dead teenager, bereaved parents, angry blacks and frightened whites.

George Zimmerman’s fateful decision to ignore the dispatcher’s admonition to stand down have the Sanford police dispatcher and pursue the “f**king coon” may yet turn out to be one of the most significant moments in this election cycle, and, in turn, in the nation’s history. Hyperbole? Well, maybe for people not paying attention till now.

Trayvon Martin has punched something bigger than George Zimmerman’s nose. An actual punch, not lawyer spin. It’s not even my spin. It’s real and it’s palpable.

What started out to be a human tragedy just about everybody, including Malkin, Limbaugh, Geraldo, Fox, Friends and even assorted Republican presidential candidates could sympathize with, somebody saw an opening — Frank Luntz, Karl Rove, David Koch — who knows?

And a huge reason for concern. They HAD to get out in front of this, Grover Norquist-style — drown it in the bathtub! Too many people, from Obama on down, were being compassionate and caring and sympathetic about this situation. See, compassion, care and sympathy are all anathemas to the right wing. And Americans coming together, united – around the wrong thing of course (9/11 was OK) – that’s really dangerous. It screws up the whole divide and conquer strategy.

Such stuff causes people to vote Democratic, and do things like rethink gun laws, pervasive racism — everything! It all goes back to the master plan. Must preserve the master plan! And that goes back to a long string of legislation, particularly about gun rights, and self-defense rights.

Everybody on the right rallied to the cause — of defending George Zimmerman.

There’s Fox, Friends and Geraldo to the rescue: it was the hoodie! And “look, the Obama campaign is selling hoodies! Why are they politicizing this, bringing race into this, dividing people?” As they divide people. And, of course, the ever reliable Limbaugh: “(Zimmerman) was being a little overzealous!” And then there’s Andrew Breitbart’s heir apparent, self-hating, anchor baby Michelle Malkin, posting online a more pleasant, happy photo of Mr. Zimmerman, rather than the dour one we are used to. But next to that picture, by contrast and in order to advance the agenda, was supposedly a photo of Trayvon Martin from his Facebook page, with lowered pants and hiked up boxer shorts, gangster-style, giving the finger. Death penalty for him!

Of course, turns out, in true to the Breitbart tradition, it was NOT a real picture of Martin, and, with or without shame, was soon taken down.

But of course all of this is simply a diversion for the real story, the big picture, The Master Plan.

Going back to 2005, about the time George Zimmerman was punching cops and taking anger management courses, the “Stand Your Ground” law was almost wholly written by the American Legislative Exchange Council, (ALEC), a shady group cynically fueled by the Koch Brothers, major corporations and such advocacy groups as the NRA. Fearful there weren’t enough guns and shooting situations available, the NRA got their puppets in the Florida legislature to pass “Stand Your Ground” and Jeb Bush to sign it. Apparently to make sure he signed it properly, there was an NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer standing over the governor’s shoulder as he did so.

Since then, dozens of Floridians have been shot and some killed by individuals citing the “Stand Your Ground” law — i.e., if I feel threatened in public (not just in my house or car), I can take out my trusty piece and “defend” myself. And since then, dozens of other states have eagerly passed the same loophole ridden law. In one case, Democratic Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell vetoed it. But his Republican successor, Tom Corbett, signed it.

Elections have consequences.

Yes elections, those goddamn elections. Also part of the Plan. And that is where the Citizens United ruling comes in, perhaps the most despicable and infamous 5-4 decision since Bobby Thomson’s homer beat the Dodgers. Citizens United of course enables unlimited bucks to be poured into elections by corporations, anonymously. Why? Because the corporations love capitalism but hate actual democracy.

Of course they want to elect Republican puppets to local, state and national office, in order to effect (and write, thanks to ALEC) laws that affect — or more specifically, don’t- – affect them, get rid of the pesky Democratic Party supporting unions, lower taxes for gizillionaires, reduce government regulations that interfere with gizillionaires befouling the air, running crappy coal mines or Gulf drilling rigs, more privatization of services such as mail delivery, cops, prisons. Prisons, where scary punks of color like Trayvon can be warehoused, as a service to states and funded by taxes other people pay.

And so that brings us to the 99%’rs, the “Occupiers”, who are wise to and fed up with the direction we are being taken by the Koch Brothers, Karl Rove, the Supreme Court, the NRA, Exxon and the other usual suspects. This is precisely what “Occupy” was bitching about, with a lot more to bitch about every day, in fact, the many, many things represented by the Trayvon case: ignorant or incompetent or corrupt authority, racism, guns, corporate written laws.

It’s all there, and that is why the right wing is desperate to manage the message.

Like pulling the thread on a cheap Chinese-made suit sold at Kohl’s, the consequences can be enormous. If the Trayvon Martin case makes people think about “Stand Your Ground”, and how idiotic stalker Zimmerman is trying to hide behind it, and how absurd it is to have a wild west atmosphere with guns guns guns everywhere. And how crappy this and other crazy draconian laws are (vaginal probes, union busting, voter suppression, etc). This is a big deal, and could easily get out of hand, what with Al Sharpton and everybody else talking it up. And getting bigger.

The story has to be reframed — stat! Make Trayvon the perp, that’s easy.

And, as always, as an added bonus — there’s political hay to be made! Obama mourns black kids not white ones (well except for Christina Taylor Green, the 9-year-old killed during the Gabbie Giffords spree).

bob illesAnd so it has gone. Will it work? Not if people in the 99% start to finally pay attention. With this case, they just might. If folks see the bigger picture of what this incident represents, then, the teenager in Sanford with so much potential will not have died in vain.

Trayvon Martin may have punched us all in the nose. Hopefully, if not before, it will get our attention now.

Robert Illes

Republished with permission from Valley Dems United, Margie Murray, Editor

Comments

  1. Yayas says

    I would say Trayvon not having a gun is a good reason to arrest Zimmerman. Why is Zimmerman still not arrested? I wasn’t there, I don’t know what happened but I do know as a parent that if my son’s killer was not in jail I would never buy your argument, Peter, that my son had anything to do with his own death and I think there is no distortion. A wrong needs to be righted-arrest and jail Zimmerman. That’s how the system is supposed to work. None of the things that you recounted Martin did equal  him being murdered. Wearing a hoodie, speaking disrespectfully about women, using drugs–none of these things justify a murder.

  2. Peter says

    So you’re saying that if I see a young man in my neighborhood who appears to be casing houses and I follow him, then I’m a stalker? Is Trayvon Martin automatically innocent, in your opinion, because he’s black? His parents gave out a picture of him that makes him look like a little 13 year old. Why did they do that? To stir up white guilt in people like you who would never believe that Martin may have had a part in this terrible tragedy?
     
    You weren’t there, you don’t know what happened. How do you know that Martin didn’t do exactly what Zimmerman claimed, which was come back and attack him? Maybe he was p!ssed off that Zimmerman had the nerve to think he was casing the neighborhood, maybe he had a chip on his shoulder about a white guy assuming he was up to no good and decided to be confrontative and belligerent. If that happened, and if Martin went for Zimmerman’s gun, then the shooting was self defense, even if Zimmerman originally thought he was a criminal because of his skin color. But you don’t know that was the case either. We’re not getting the full story, and what we do hear is distorted beyond belief.
     
    NBC news conveniently edited the 911 recording Zimmerman made and removed the question the 911 staff asked about Martin’s race. They actually deleted the question, then published the rest of the 911 recording as if Zimmerman said Martin was black without being asked directly! Predictably, people like this author jumped up and down declaring it’s obvious that Zimmerman is just a big old racist. Turns out Zimmerman just answered a direct question about the alleged criminal’s race. As usual, people tend to focus on pieces of information that reinforce their previously held beliefs.
     
    I’m not saying Zimmerman was in the right. I don’t know what really happened, I wasn’t there. I know that if I was being followed by someone, I’d go straight home, not come back to confront him. Maybe it’s all just a case of Gangbanger Wannabe meets Cop Wannabe, with a predictable outcome. It’s not like Martin has a hole in his back, shot down while trying to escape. In fact, this author acts like it’s OK to beat someone up if you don’t like them monitoring your actions and behavior. Well, it’s not. And encouraging people to assume racism and physically assault someone who may have justifiable concerns about a stranger in their neighborhood is irresponsible on the part of this author.
     
    I think that this whole disastrous incident has been distorted beyond belief. I’ve talked to people who were almost disappointed to hear that Zimmerman is Hispanic. They had this whole incident pigeonholed and are not pleased that it may be more complicated than a racist white on black murder. Heck, Latino organizations are disavowing Zimmerman and commentators are screaming racism until they find out that Zimmerman is Hispanic, then backtracking announcing that it doesn’t matter what race he is. (Read: The facts don’t fit neatly into their black & white misconceptions.)
     

    Sanford cops evidently continue to leak despicable info about Martin, ever molding this All American kid into one of those very scary gangstas, stoked on reefer, lurking beneath a hoodie, wearing gold teeth and having the nerve to walk on our public streets, freaking out white people.

     
    Get real. All American kid? Trayvon Martin’s tweets used the “n” word, denigrated women, and referred to himself as a thug. He was also kicked out of school for misbehavior and drugs.
     
    Freaking out white people? Step out of your white guilt long enough to realize that you don’t know what happened and all you’re doing here is making up stuff that implies we’re all a bunch of racists. Martin was six feet tall, he was wearing a hoodie and he may have been casing houses. He’d reportedly been caught in the past with burglary tools. Maybe Zimmerman’s gut instinct was right. If not, if Zimmerman really was a racist predator, then how about we let the police do their job.
     
    People have been mislead by the family, the news and bloggers like this author on this unfortunate incident. It’s doubtful that people will change their opinions now, even if they’re told the truth. The real facts just don’t fit into their preconceived opinions. Martin’s mother trademarked his name so she can control and make money from products sold, race pimps like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson have jumped in to the fray to stir up hate like they always do and criminals like the new Black Panthers are trying to widen the racial divide. After all, there’s a bunch of money to be made off this tragedy, right?

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