Incredible: The Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman Ethics Train Wreck Is Still Rolling!


I didn’t think I’d get a post up this morning—I am rushing to get ready to travel to NYC to speak about municipal lawyer ethics—but I made the mistake of turning on CNN.

Boy, the media will never give up a fake narrative, will it? There was CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, whom I have now down-graded to “Untrustworthy Hack,” enlightening us regarding the Detroit trial of Theodore Wafer, 55, a white man who is charged with  killing an unarmed 19-year-old Detroit African- American woman on his front porch by shooting through the door of his home. Says Toobin: “His defense is even weaker than Zimmerman’s, because…”

With that one dishonest, despicable. misleading and inflammatory word—-even— CNN’s legal analyst continued the myth that Zimmerman was wrongly acquitted of the charges against him. Toobin is lying, and knows he is lying (because you have to know you are lying for it to be a lie), because every half-educated lawyer who watched the trial knows that the prosecution didn’t prove its case, and couldn’t. Wafer’s defense can’t be even weaker than Zimmerman’s, because Zimmerman’s defense to the charge of murder was not weak in any way. All the evidence prevented supported Zimmerman’s defense, which was the doctrine of self-defense against a reasonable threat of bodily harm. (That Zimmerman caused the situation that led to the shooting did not undermine the strength of  that defense.) By suggesting that defense was weak, Toobin continues the manufactured, racially-divisive narrative that Zimmerman “stalked” Martin, that the killing was racially motivated, and that the jury was racially biased to a acquit him-every element of which is false based on the actual facts of the case. Naturally, the CNN hosts didn’t have the wit, knowledge or guts to stop Toobin.

Or fire him

39 thoughts on “Incredible: The Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman Ethics Train Wreck Is Still Rolling!

  1. I remember reading the Wafer stories when they broke and thinking, “here we go again”. A 17 year old African American female (because saying black girl just isn’t PC anymore) has a few drinks, smokes marijuana, and gets in an automobile accident at 3AM, then shows up on Wafer’s front porch, bloody and hysterical. I don’t know that shooting her in the face was the right answer, but I think there’s a solid base of argument that he could have felt threatened.

    But this one… a 17 looks so much more helpless and victim-y than Trayvon’s tattooed visage, and Wafer is much more old, white, and manly than Zimmerman was. That’s gotta be a slam dunk for racism, right? Facts be damned! Choo Choo!

    • That’s gotta be a slam dunk for racism, right?

      I don’t know that it’s a good thing that race may have played into Renisha McBride’s death, but it seems like you’re operating under the assumption that racism only occurs when a persons affirmatively decides, “I am shooting you because you are black!”

      …as opposed to, say, a person being XX% more likely to shoot a person who is black, without necessarily thinking about it in those terms. Most of us probably never met Renisha McBride, and most of us will probably never meet Theodore Wafer. But the story is a compelling media narrative because black teenagers are far more likely to die of violence than white teenagers.

      • You are now officially the poster child for the idiocy I was talking about. We live in a society that is charged with finding divisions to exploit, and where before we actually had to be racist to be called racist, now we just need to be white and doing something negative towards a person who just might happen to be black. I get the theory behind institutionalized racism, and while it describes real phenomenon, I think using it as a starting point for discussion is a bad idea.

        I think I’ve just wrapped my head around why I hate the idea so much; it’s part of the Liberal tendency to make victims. “Overt” racism has been on the decline for decades (so has “inherent”, for that matter, but facts be damned!), so the liberal mindset is presented with the problem of fewer victims. What’s the solution? Move the goalposts! Find ‘new’ and exciting ways of being a victim, while not actually changing a damn thing! Heck, by definition, even the racists are victims in this mindset, because it’s not THEIR fault they’re racists. Meanwhile, the backlash to being labelled a victim is that the identified group will start to act like one. It’s people like you, sir, that is stirring the hornets nest of race relations in America.

        Black teenagers are more likely to die because black teenagers tend to be poor, and black teenagers tend to be poor because their mothers tend to have them without fathers. This is socioeconomics 101.

          • As facetious as I know that was supposed to be, yeah. I’m tired of being assumed I’m racists just because I’m white, I’m tired of being assumed to be homophobic and misogynist because I’m a man (And the former in that sentence is ironic in orders of magnitude). And while a small part of me says: “Well that’s what discrimination feels like” another part of me can’t help but notice that being white and male are two of the tolerable forms of discrimination, if I were fat and smoked, I would be a perfect whipping boy.

            I guess the question is, why aren’t you?

            • Well, let’s see. In my first comment, I made or insinuated the following claims:

              1) I don’t think it’s a good thing that race may have played into Renisha McBride’s death.
              2) Racism is not limited to people deciding “I’m going to shoot you because you are black!”
              3) Racism may also occur when a person is XX% more likely to shoot a black person, even if they aren’t consciously thinking about it
              4) The story is a compelling media narrative
              5) Black teenagers are more likely to die of violence than white teenagers.

              Based on what I wrote, you responded:
              “You are now officially the poster child for the idiocy I was talking about.”

              I think what I wrote was pretty logical and reasonable, and I think your response was off-target. But I wouldn’t say that I’m mad at you, because I figure you’re just one of those people who kind of rants in Internet comments without quite paying attention to exactly what the other person is saying.

              If you disagree with that assessment, I invite you to consider this: you’re wrong.

              • Okay, Phil. Here’s the real deal. A drunk and high teenager shows up on my doorstep at 3:00 in the AM. pounding on my door and demanding admittance. I am 85 years old, have a solid oak door and have no idea what the skin color of this person is, but at 85, I am scared shitless. So, without knowing what the intruder’s race is, I shoot through the door. This makes me a racist how? Ah, no, I get it. I’m a white male so I should be clairvoyant enough to tell that the person yelling and pounding on my door is black. Really? Seriously? Have you lost your mind? Or is this racism simply because she is black?

                • Racist? No. Murderer? Of course…it’s manslaughter. This happened to my family–scared us to death. At 5 AM a huge, mentally compromised woman began banging on our door and making roaring noises. Called 911 before we even checked who was doing the banging. The police came and took her into custody.

                  Shooting through the door is crazy and criminal, no matter how old he is.

                  • And, Jack, I actually agree with that. It would NOT, however, at that advanced age, stop me from shooting through the door. Just because, if for no other reason, if that person gets through that door, I CAN’T outfight him/her. I am DEAD. And I know it.

                    • So you call the police, get away from the door, and set yourself up to be able to shoot any one coming at you. Someone that likely to panic shouldn’t have a gun. Sounds like Pistorius…

                    • Positive identification friend/foe. As long as the unknown hasn’t breached your home, you are still safe. When in doubt, don’t open the door, just call the police WHILE taking necessary steps to improve your position inside. The onus is on the stranger/wayfarer/injured person/criminal to identify themselves or begone; all the while you are shuttling your family to a safer room and taking up a position away from the likely point of entry with a clear field of fire towards it (preferably with a vantage point looking outside to attempt to identify the individual).

                      I always keep our porch lights on, front and back all night long:
                      1) Signals someone is home
                      2) Destroys night vision of those outside, but not mine
                      3) Obviously aids in identifying outsiders.
                      4) A porch light turned off, and suddenly flipped on for someone outside signals to the outsider that the house occupant is just on the other side of the door – something I don’t wish to communicate.

                • This makes me a racist how?

                  Did I call you a racist? Did I call Wafer a racist? I made statements–several very reasonable statements about race. You seem to be “reading between the lines” without actually engaging anything that I’ve written.

                  If you’re trying to create an hypothetical situation that is analogous to Wafer’s, you haven’t quite succeeded. Wafer is 54, and the prosecutor alleges that he opened his door and fired through a screen door.

                  It is still possible that he had no idea what the race of his visitor was. I suspect that will come up in court.

                  • Yeah, but when you make those comments together, in this context, it appears that you think that the overriding statement is that that the guy was racist, it just wasn’t overt racism, because his racism is subliminal.

                    In fact, even though black teens ARE more likely to be killed than white teens, despite there being more than twice as many white teens in America, violence statistics OVERWHELMIGLY show that those killings generally happen within their own racial groups. In fact, in murders that cross racial lines, white people are more likely to be killed by a black person, than the other way around.

                    So what’s my point? The vast majority of violence isn’t racial. It just isn’t. So the assumption that THIS violence is racist based on absolutely nothing but the color of Wafer and McBride’s skin, is racist.

                    If you were actually trying to say nothing other than those points, closely related to each other and the story, but in fact completely independent from both, I’d like to say I’m sorry, but I’m not. It’s like someone saying that someone didn’t mean to ball up their fist, swing and hit someone in the face, it doesn’t make the other guy’s face less hit.

                    • First, Humble, I was unaware of several points that Phil made. Foremost is that the door itself may have been open and he fired through the screen door. If that is the case, then he was aware of who (whom?)he was shooting, knew she was a black teenager and chose to shoot her anyway. I’m not sure this “proves” he was racist, but at the very least, it shows a propensity for shooting strangers who happen to piss you off at 3:00 in the morning. Also, I don’t know where I got the idea he was 85 (possibly from a concurrent case here in which a female burglar was shot by a male, possibly 85. To me, it makes some difference how old he was. 54 is not as prone to unfortunate snap decisions as 69 (my age) and certainly not as prone as 85. So, my apologies to Phil. However, I still do not believe that there is any such thing as “inadvertent” racism.

                    • “Inadvertent” racism just means bias, and it is the most common and destructive kind. Such racists believe they are color blind…it’s just that a black teen at 3 AM seems terrifying and life-threatening, and a white teen doesn’t.

                    • dragin,
                      I knew both Wafer’s age and that he shot through a screen door, and it didn’t change my opinion. He has very probably committed manslaughter, but that does not mean he’s a racist. I haven’t, and I won’t argue otherwise. What gets me is the assumption of racist until proven… well. No. Just racist. He’s white. She’s not. Raaaaaace.

                      Is it possible that Wafer is a racist? He very well could be. Has there been any reporting of any facts that would lead someone to reason that out? Not a word.

                      Do you believe that’s in play here? And if so, based off of what? If racial bias is so pervasive that it effects everyone, well, I guess we’re all racists then…. But at that point, is that a useful distinction? And haven’t we moved the goalposts?

                    • I have no basis to believe racial bias was at play here, no…exactly as in the case of Zimmerman. Racial bias is NOT so pervasive that it effects “everyone”…but those it does affect have an obligation to recognize and deal with it. They do not have an obligation to be stupid, naive, reckless or politically correct. Is a white, middle aged, business man as safe walking down the street in Harlem as he would be in Beverley Hills? No. Is he a bigot for behaving accordingly?

                      The presumption that every time a white citizen harms a black citizen it is a “hate crime” is itself bigotry. The facts of the case are enough for me to say, without much doubt, that Wafer’s an irresponsible hysteric and very likely an asshole. That’s all I can conclude, without more evidence. Just like Zimmerman.

      • Your last sentence is absolutely correct. However, you neglected to mention that the vast majority of those killings are black-on-black, which is not surprising.

      • It worked, because you have to prove murder beyond a reasonable doubt, and the evidence wasn’t there. You may THINK he was a murderer, but there is almost no evidence to justify that conclusion.

  2. The media has a problem with people defending themselves from criminals. They want people to be victims. They oppose punishment of criminals.

    • In the end they also see criminals as victims and if we’d all just see the problems compelling people to become criminals and if we’d all just understand, then we’d all just get along.

      You know man, in your best tripped out Beatles’ accent: “if we’d all just stop fighting, there’d be no more fighting.”

  3. Sadly, Tex is right. The prosecutor’s remarks about what is required for a self-defense plea in Detroit are laughable. It sounds like, in actual fact, in Detroit you have to be beaten bloody and have your assailant now approaching you with a baseball bat before you can shoot him/her. Or is that only if the assailant is black? Otherwise, if the assailant is black, it’s obviously a hate-driven murder. Nuts to that. If you scare me, I’m very likely going to shoot you, but then, I live in Texas where we are a little more rational about such things.

    • Not just rational, but principled. I have seen people who really have taken opposition to one of the most ancient rights, self defense, while paying lip service to it.

      I can actually understand absolutist pacifists who, fully acknowledging that they forfeit EVERYTHING, when they take the stance of “even when being attacked, it is wrong to inflict harm back.” I can understand that but only if they don’t expect me to feel the same.

      But people who waver between that position and the self defense is ok position baffle me.

    • jvb- I cannot find where in the article you linked there’s any corroboration of the claim that Toobin called Jeantelle an “eye witness.” That would be pretty extraordinary, since she was on the phone and did not see the alleged crime. Did you mis-type that sentence?

      • I don’t think anyone actually floated the idea of Jeantelle being an eye witness, and I think you’re being purposefully obtuse. The point wasn’t whether she was an eye witness or not, the point was whether she was credible. You talked about inherent racism earlier, Jeantelle had no problem displaying overt racism, and lied on the stand. Hack, if she thought she could get away with it, and if she thought it’d get Zimmerman convicted, I don’t doubt she’d have called herself an eye witness.

        • “I don’t think anyone actually floated the idea of Jeantelle being an eye witness[…]”

          What is your problem, dude? Did you read the comment to which I was responding, which included the phrase “eye witness?” Did you read my gracious and ethical response, in which I did not assume malice or ignorance on the part of johnburger, but simply asked for clarification?

          Were you writing something earlier about who assume the victim role even when it isn’t warranted?

          • Perhaps I wasn’t clear then. Of course jvb wrote that. I assumed you could read and I assumed that you would understand that I meant that (to the best of my knowledge) there wasn’t anyone reporting that Jeantelle being an eye witness. You know what they say about assumptions, right? Fair beans.

      • Phil:

        My comment was not that Jeantelle was an eye witness – clearly she was on the phone but she testified that Zimmerman started the fight and had to retract that comment when defense counsel stated ‘you don’t know that, do you?”

        My point was that Toobin twisted himself into a pretzel to find some shred of credibility in her testimony and demeanor. Toobin dismissed her lack of respect, combative attitude because she was young (19 years old), uneducated (as if that is an excuse for her conduct), and intimidated by the attention (granted but shame on the prosecution for not preparing her for the spotlight).

        As for the issue of institutionalized racism, Toobin demonstrates his contempt for poor blacks by validating her language. That is the racism of low expectations: “She couldn’t help herself. She’s a poor black Haitian immigrant.”


        • Here is the problem, John. There is a segment of society that, in order to expiate past sins and be more humane, is willing to assume that there is another segment of society that needs to have the behavioral bar lowered such that they can get what they want with little or no effort, because they are too stupid or lazy or deprived or whatever to make it on their own. This is called Affirmative Action, and because of it, these poor unfortunates do not have to do well on the SAT’s to get into college, LSAT’s to get into Law School or on qualifying tests to become a COP, FOR GOD’S SAKE. Because of that, we have college graduates who cannot read, lawyers who are nearly inarticulate and have only a passing acquaintance with well-spoken English and people with guns and badges on the street with little or no idea what a cop’s actual duties are. This is true racism, and is lowering the average for everyone.

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