The Death of Trayvon Martin: Tragedy Turned into a Political Football


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The case of Trayvon Martin is one that makes me cringe.  It does for several reasons, but before I get into that, I want to look at a timeline.

On Febuary 26, 2012, an apparently self appointed neighborhood watch volunteer, George Zimmer, shot and killed 17 year-old Trayvon Martin.  Zimmerman claimed self defense under a “stand your ground”  law in Florida.

What everyone, at that point, should have done was to follow the wise advise of Robert Stacey McCain…

When I had lunch Wednesday with Ali Akbar, he was talking about the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, and I had to confess that I didn’t know enough about the case to have an opinion. My main suggestions were (a) we shouldn’t “try the case in the media” by offering opinions based on incomplete knowledge provided by news accounts that might be misleading; and (b) we should urge people to calm down and let the justice system work.

Obviously, it’s a very bad thing for a kid to get shot while walking home from the store with Skittles, and it’s very difficult to understand why the cops didn’t arrest George Zimmerman, but I remember the way left-wing bloggers rushed to judgment in the 2009 Kentucky census worker case, and wouldn’t want to be a part of that kind of ”trial by blog” reaction.

Given the nature of the story, and the fact that were no apparent witnesses at the time, I chose to follow the story, but not write about it until more evidence was in.  These stories tend to “morph” as more evidence comes to light, and it is far too easy to jump to a completely false conclusion, based on incomplete information.

Of course, at that point, politcal opportunists jumped at the chance to use this young man’s death to smear oppenents and to support their own pet causes.

MSNBC, for example, took the opportunity to blame the Koch brothers, the NRA, and others for the tradgedy…

Then, the same commentator decided that Rush Limbaugh, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, and Mitt Romney were to blame…

So, the same commentator blamed half the planet for the tradgedy. Which leads me to ask, which is it? The Koch’s, Limbaugh, Gingrich, Santorum? Or, for the hell of it, why not blame Sarah Palin?

Of course, the New Black Panthers have put out a $10,000 bounty on Zimmerman, dead or alive.  Spike Lee decided to tweet Zimmerman’s address-twice, so as to jeopardize his safety.   Louise Farrakahn also made some threats…

So, you have anti-gun folks, anti-freedom folks, and racists-all making their cases.  But, taking a look at what we actually know might be a bit more helpful.

First off, there is a possible racial slur in Zimmerman’s police call…

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It’s hard to hear, and ambiguous enough that people that want to hear will say it is, others will deny it. But, it does cast doubt on Zimmerman’s motivations.

Also, it is know that during Zimmerman’s police call, he was told NOT to follow Martin, and let the police handle it.  It is confirmed that Zimmerman did follow, and confronted Martin.    What happened after that is cloudy at best.

Also, an anonymous witness came forward to stated that he witnessed Martin attacking Zimmerman…

Witness: Martin attacked Zimmerman:

Then, Zimmerman’s lawyer came forward…

So, we have a still-cluttered description of the events. What I am most confused about is the crime scene, and the extent of the investigation. Zimmerman’s nose was reportedly bloodied and broken, and he did end up being treated in an ER. Did the police check to see if Zimmerman’s blood was on Martin’s fists or clothes? Did either Martin or Zimmerman have drugs or alcohol in his system?  Why did Zimmerman follow Martin when the dispatcher told him NOT to do so?  The answers to these questions will go a long way towards ending the controversy. But for some, political and racial considerations go far beyond the need for reality.

This is still unfolding, so there will likely be more to add.

  • Funny thing is Zimmerman is half Hispanic and apparently has black family members. What about the white kid set on fire by two blacks and being told he was getting what he deserved for being white?

    • The hypocrisy is pretty extensive!

  • A sad story indeed, and it is disgusting the way the left tries to use these tragedies to push their agenda. You think they would have learned after the Giffords shooting, but I suppose that once they get their spin out there it doesn’t matter if it ends up being true or not because it still gets their opinion out there and they know that over time many people won’t remember it was a based on a false premise.

    • That is very true. The lie is always the headline, the correction is always on the back, and below the fold. And, it is quite intentional.

    • BTW, I’m still having problems commenting at your place.

  • Anything the left can do to portray tragedies like this as racial in nature, they will do, for two reasons.

    First, it fits the narrative they are trying to sell to the American public.

    Second, it’s just the way they roll. I’m not convinced they can act any other way.

    • I think you’re correct on both counts, Larry.

  • This case shouldn’t be tried in the media.

    But the cat is out of the bag now, and the media are omitting anything negative about Martin.

    As Jesse Jackson said, they are turning Martin into a martyr.

    And yesterday Jesse Jackson told anoutrageous lie: the Martin was shot in the back of the head. He was not!

    CBS News carried Jackson’s statement as if it were the gospel truth. 🙁

    • I caught some stories like that too. The sad part is that we haven’t got enough information from the police to make the correct judgement. Though that won’t stop some from making a political point of it.