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Friday, May 18, 2012

"Drugs in his system"

I haven't commented much on the Trayvon Martin case because a story of this kind usually is not of much interest to me. My immediate reaction was that we should let a court determine the facts; thus, I felt outraged that the cops initially let Zimmerman walk away.

After the legal process began, I felt (and feel) that this business should not devolve into yet another one of those ludicrous exercises in Barnum-and-Bailey-ing that our debauched society seems to adore. Alas, that's what we got. The initial parade of left-wing clowns has now been overtaken by a parade of right-wing clowns. Taken together, these buffoons have proven something that a lot of kids already sensed: Clowns are scary.

Perhaps the most clownish clown to bound out of the miniature car is the fellow who wrote this headline: "Martin Had Drugs in System." One might expect that kind of inflammatory nonsense from Fox and other agit-prop sites -- but from Slate...?

In fact, the kid had a small amount of THC in his system. The headline creates the impression that Martin had hopped himself up on meth or crack.

Again: I don't know what happened that night; a court must decide. To me, and I am speaking very provisionally here, this is one of those situations where everything comes down to the question of who initiated violence. If a witness says that Trayvon Martin struck first, then Zimmerman's case becomes much stronger. If a witness says that Zimmerman pushed, struck or threatened, then his case becomes much weaker. If no witness can definitively resolve the issue, then Zimmerman must be given the benefit of the doubt.

That said, it is scurrilous for the right to make a hero of Zimmerman. The man had been warned by the cops to stay out of the situation, yet he ignored that directive.

The right would have us believe that Zimmerman is some sort of hero. They've made Trayvon Martin into yet another of their many rage objects. One entrepreneur even sells Trayvon Martin gun targets; the product quickly sold out.

There have also been prominent right-wingers who have claimed that the victims of Anders Brevik deserved their fate simply because they belonged to the "wrong" Norwegian political party.

I'm getting a definite Weimar vibe here. Maybe the way I'm feeling now is the way decent men felt when the beer hall bullies applauded the killers of Walter Rathenau.

What would Fox News watchers be saying about Sharon Tate if her murder had occurred yesterday instead of 44 years ago? Perhaps they would come up with some reason to blame the victims, who were hippie-friendly, free-loving, drug-taking Hollywood types. Perhaps a few on the right would even be so bold as to rationalize the actions of the killers. There isn't that much difference between the apocalyptic fantasies of the militia maniacs and Charlie's dream of a Helter Skelter race war.
I'll tell you right now, I've had people pace me in cars, had people get out of cars to pursue me with no cause other than "wrong place wrong time".

It's terrifying and violent to be subjected to such treatment. So even if Martin struck Zimmerman first, it cannot be ignored that it was in reaction to the violence already done do him.
The "facts" about what happened in this case are being delivered to you by the same print and broadcast media that assured us that Saddam had WMD's ready to attack the East coast and that Al Gore was a serial liar.

I believe it was a deliberate attempt by some to incite a riot because nothing sell soap flakes like violence or laser guided bombs destroying buildings in the Middle East.
I wouldn't go that far. But I do see signs that some in the media hope to ramp up racial tensions -- in an election year involving a black president.
1) I agree with you about the "Weimar" tone of the media right now. These days, its not uncommon for me to find myself oddly emotional about events in the news and just plain angry about the way these events are then framed by the media.

2) I wish people would just let the courts try this one. The specific case is not as interesting as the absurd "stand your ground law", which legitimises lethal force as a response to common assault. There are plenty more unarmed black kids being shot, usually by the police. Perhaps people could focus on the general more and the specific less.

3) Im not sure how the "stand your ground" law is meant to work, but does it really pivot around who threw the first punch? Really?

4) My understanding is that pot makes you paranoid. I also understand that pot use is negatively correlated with violent crime. Pot-heads are not out there committing muggings and bank robberies. And since Pot stays in your system for about 30 days (6 months in hair) then the pot that was discovered may well not have been injested on the day in question. Either way round, the lesson I have learned is that it is now extremely dangerous to get the "munchies" in a gated community if you are a black teen.

Here is the website with the 911 transcript:

"911 dispatcher:
Are you following him? [2:24]
Yeah. [2:25]
911 dispatcher:
We don’t need you to do that. [2:26]
OK. [2:28] "

you mean Manson and Co didn't also practice free love and drugs?

as for staying in his car, the only reports I have read quoted the cops or dispatcher as saying you don't have to follow him. not exactly telling him not to. But I could have missed a more direct command.
Rush To Judgment, Part 9 million.
I'm not sure who leaked it... but if true he wouldn't be the is Zimmerman who is the proverbial "coked up" gent, courtesy his local MD. If he truly is on Aripiprazole (Abilify) to treat his "ADHD" and a benzodiazepine to treat the anxiety caused by Abilify then he is on both an upper and a downer. . .well stoked to think irrationally...the light of justice should shine upon his doctor as well.

And let's get this straight, here and now. He is not a member of "Neighborhood Watch;" he is a self appointed "captain" of a non-affiliated, self-styled neighborhood watch of which he was the only member.

Did he even live in the neighborhood?
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