Pop Ethics Quiz: Welcoming Rev. Talbert Swan, Late Passenger On The Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman Ethics Train Wreck

George Zimmerman memes


Name everything ethically and logically wrong with this meme.

While you’re making your list, I’ll explain.

It comes courtesy of Talbert Swan–website here, Facebook page here-— who tweeted it to his many followers, lots of whom then dutifully posted it on Facebook. Swan describes himself as a “public figure.”  He is, we learn, an activist, pastor, author, radio talk show host, NAACP president, National Chaplain, Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. Assistant General Secretary of the Church Of God In Christ. He is also, on the evidence of circulating this meme, a divisive race-baiter who is ignorant of the law, ethics and logic.

Swan sent out this graphic offal with all the typical hashtags: #Trayvon…#MikeBrown…#Ferguson, #Blacklivesmatter and the rest. I would normally just ignore it—I see idiotic memes every day—but this one was posted with approval by a Facebook friend of mine who is objectively brilliant and educated, and justly respected by many, including me. His comment ended with “Case closed!”, and immediately dozens of people “liked” it, many of them undoubtedly then spreading the meme further to make others more ignorant and stupid too. This is affirmatively harmful. Since I know my friend is a good person, the ethics breach is that of responsibility, competence, fairness, and citizenship, the latter because I think promoting racial distrust is being a bad American.

Have you tallied up all the things wrong yet? Here’s my list:

1. The premise of the meme is a straw man. George Zimmerman wasn’t acquitted because Trayvon Martin was represented as a thug, or because the jury believed that that Zimmerman isn’t one.

2. A trial is not a “who’s the best person?” contest. It makes no difference whether a victim of an alleged murder is a saint or a monster, or whether his killer was. All that matters is that the victim was a human being unlawfully killed, and that the killer unlawfully killed him.

3. What George Zimmerman has been arrested for post-verdict has absolutely no bearing on his guilt in the Martin case. Obviously, or obviously to people smarter and fairer than Rev. Swan, unrelated after-the-fact conduct does not and cannot prove (or disprove) a previous crime. If the internet had been around, some racist might have made this exact meme about the late Rodney King, who was perpetually in trouble with the law after his infamous beating, with the goal of showing that King’s multiple arrests “proved” that L.A. cops had good reason to beat him mercilessly when he resisted arrest.

Or maybe the racists were smart enough to know, unlike Swan, what a stupid, unfair argument that would be.

4. None of the incidents described resulted in prosecution, convictions or trials. Charges weren’t brought, or they were dropped after they were made. The graphic suggests otherwise, and intentionally so: 20 seconds on Google would reveal that the incidents produced nothing of substance. Was Zimmerman at fault? Who knows? He has a target on his back, he’s justly paranoid, he’s stressed out, and he’s not very bright, none of which means that he murdered Trayvon Martin.

5. Accompanying such a dishonest graphic with hashtags like #blacklivesmatter suggests that Zimmerman was acquitted because Martin, the victim, was black. This is a lie, and nothing else. Zimmerman was acquitted because there wasn’t any convincing evidence that he was guilty of second degree murder, which is what he was charged with, and all the evidence supported his account that he was acting in self-defense. The fact that the jury acquitted him under the principle that the accused must be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, despite members of Congress, the Special Prosecutor, Al Sharpton, various celebrities, the mainstream media and the President of the United States trying their best to have Zimmerman convicted is one of the best and most courageous displays of courage in U.S. jury history, preserving the principles of justice and the rule of law.

6. Even if all of those incidents had resulted in convictions and had occurred before the Martin tragedy, they probably would be have been inadmissible in the trial, since they have no bearing on what happened that rainy night.

7. Meanwhile, the African-American pastor is using the Zimmerman case to show racism, drawing a connection to the Brown shooting, and Eric Garner’s death. They have nothing to do with each other. Zimmerman was not a racist. He wasn’t a cop. His acquittal wasn’t racially motivated  in any way. Mike Brown wasn’t shot because he was black, and there isn’t any evidence that the police officer who shot him was racist. The decision not to indict Officer Wilson was based on a lack of definitive evidence, not race. Eric Garner died due to excessive police force in an arrest that he was resisting for a minor crime. I have a hard time understanding why a charge wasn’t brought, but it has nothing to do with George Zimmerman.

8. It is offensive, reckless, misleading, and wrong to make memes like this, which twist facts, obliterate comprehension and warp minds. It is equally wrong to publish and circulate them. No complex issue is helped by bumper-sticker slogans, and nothing is ever made better by lies.

9. The meme makes a lot of people angry, ignorant, and stupid. Too many people are angry, ignorant, and stupid in the country already.

10. The devotees of the false Martin-Zimmerman narrative will never give up. They will keep repeating the same falsities, and keep persecuting George Zimmerman to the end of his days, in part because they can’t admit that they chose the wrong case to prove that whites are shooting young blacks with impunity and with the assent of law enforcement, and they don’t have the integrity or the courage to admit it, even now, after the trial.


How did you do?

I bet I missed at least one…



59 thoughts on “Pop Ethics Quiz: Welcoming Rev. Talbert Swan, Late Passenger On The Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman Ethics Train Wreck

  1. any site that has a big bold ‘online giving’ menu button is suspect immediately. All the Rev Talbert proved is that Mr. Zimmerman attracts trouble. (As one of my Texas relatives once told me “you don’t want to be ‘in the vicinity’ of any trouble’.) But Talbert obviously is a conman who will string together anything to get a contribution.

    • Explain, though, why fair, smart people will still accept such crap. Confirmation bias? Smart fair people being taken in by con men really troubles me. And it is not healthy for the black community for men like Talbert to be regarded as influential and honorable. Yes, there lots of white con men (and women, like Hillary) too, but white society isn’t as vulnerable or in need of transformational leadership.

      • Confirmation bias, yes, but bolstered by the attraction to the ability to blame others for one’s problems. There’s no reason to try if you will fail, and no reason to feel bad about failing when you can get mad at someone else. Thus does confabulation seduce and slowly corrupt people until they require confirmation bias in order to sustain their worldview.

        There is a solution, though. Show people a vision of the future they want but dare not hope for, show them the path that will take them there, and walk along it with them. All great leaders must have do these things. If we are to have another Martin Luther King, Jr., these are the skills he must possess, plus community credibility, as Rich (in CT) described in his Comment of the Day featured in the previous post.

  2. The title is “George Zimmerman 6 Mugshots Since 2012” but the first two mugshots were taken before 2012. I think that could be a very basic problem to begin with…

  3. 1) People call Martin a “thug”. The meme here is trying to suggest that Zimmerman is the actual thug who is drawn to violence. One can ask that question regardless of the trial proceedings. So all other “trial” based arguments are non sequitors. The meme is suggesting that of the two people, Zimmerman should be considered to be the Thug.

    5) Disagree. The prosecution did a horrible job. In the 911 call Zimmerman showed malice towards Martin and proved he was the aggressor by saying that Martin ran away and saying he was going after him.

    That it is hard to convict someone is a good thing. Better for 100 guilty people to go free than an innocent person locked up. In my opinion the Zimmerman case is one where a guilty person went free and mostly because of proprietorial fumbling.

    7) The reason the Martin murder made national headlines is because the police in Sanford did nothing to investigate. It took massive national pressure to get any sort of real investigation into what happened that night.

    9) I do not believe any meme makes anyone angry, ignorant or stupid BECAUSE we have a lot of people who are already there.

    10) So Holder absolutely and without question 100% has to be a racist because of civil case dismissals (even though not a single voter came up and alleged intimidation keeping them from the polls). But people who question the handling of the Zimmerman case and believe they have it wrong are wrong to question the government’s handling of the issue? Interesting.

    • 1. Who says Martin was a thug? I watched the whole trial…I didn’t heae that word mentioned. The implication is that Zimmerman was guilty. That was the reason for the meme, that is how those circulating it are reading it.

      2. Dan, you’re over your head. Following someone isn’t killing him, and isn’t proof of “aggression”.

      3. The prosecution had no case, and had no job to do well. The indictment was unethical. Your opinion is uninformed, at odds with the law and evidence, and without any justification at all. All the evidence supported self-defense. The defense’s own witnesses supported the defense’s case.

      4. It was a local case no different from thousands of others. And you and the agitators were wrong–it often takes that long or longer to decide on whether to charge. The facts didn’t support a charge early or late.

      5. Well, it does, because people believe graphics…that’s why they are made. Lazy, easy, mistaken arguments unsupported by fact, law or process. Your position is entirely made up of such misinformation, in fact. As with the 911 call.

      6. Your last comment is incoherent. And I never said “Holder absolutely and without question 100% has to be a racist because of civil case dismissals”–I said he’s biased. I’ve said he is a terrible AG. I have never said he’s a racist. I have never said that the NBP incident proves anything by itself, as the OPM reports said.

        • “A lot of people’ can say he’s an anteater…it has nothing to do with the case. Whether he was a thug or not didn’t affect the verdict or the charge. And you’re spinning too: you really think a meme sent out with Ferguson and Mike Brown hashtags is just making a point about name-calling?

          • Ah, so you are just being highly restrictive. OK. I stipulate that no one called Martin a thug in the actual court case…which the meme did not restrict itself to. So that is a rather irrelevant and strange boundary drawing, but ok. If anything, it seems to be protesting the media portrayal of Martin as a thug, and Zimmerman as the embattled innocent who was just doing his civic duty, but as a meme, it is of a necessity brief. But I would bet good money if you were to ask the maker of the meme which interpretation was closer to what was intended, it would almost certainly be mine.

            And you’re spinning too: you really think a meme sent out with Ferguson and Mike Brown hashtags is just making a point about name-calling?

            They also tweeted it under the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag as well. Those hashtags link the post and bring it to the attention of other people who may be working on similar issues. You know how Twitter works, correct?

            • What “similar issues?” Name-calling? Insulting Zimmerman? Protecting the feelings of a dead guy? The Issue is “false narratives,” and I don’t see why you won’t admit it.

              The media overhwelmingly portrayed Martin as an innocent child carrying candy, who was murdered because he wore a hoodie, and Zimmerman as racist profiler who hunted down the poor kid with murderous intent, both characterizations being fantasy. What media are you talking about? Do you feel honor bound to defend outrageous conduct by sympatico activists?

              • What “similar issues?” Name-calling? Insulting Zimmerman? Protecting the feelings of a dead guy? The Issue is “false narratives,” and I don’t see why you won’t admit it.

                If you really believe the most pressing from all of this is just “false narratives”, and black people and other minorities are just making up wild tales of police brutality, systematic state injustice, and media narratives that tend to portray black and other minority victims of violence as deserving their own fate, then I guess there isn’t much more to discuss. Everyone has their priorities, and yours seemed centered around making sure that each and every incidence of injustice be seen as isolated incidences, rather than understood systematically. Which is a stance, I guess.

                #BlackLivesMatter – If this a genuine question, here is the answer, in their own words: BlackLivesMatter was created in 2012 after Trayvon Martin’s murderer, George Zimmerman, was acquitted for his crime, and dead 17-year old Trayvon was post-humously placed on trial for his own murder. Rooted in the experiences of Black people in this country who actively resist our de-humanization, #BlackLivesMatter is a call to action and a response to the virulent anti-Black racism that permeates our society.Black Lives Matter is a unique contribution that goes beyond extrajudicial killings of Black people by police and vigilantes.

          • The person making this meme did not assert that Martin was called a thug at Zimmerman’s trial. Your assertion that it was is a ridiculously illogical leap that has no basis or merits Jack.

      • 1) Damned near every conservative I speak to pertaining to the Zimmerman shooting of Martin calls Martin a thug. You are trying to constrain the meme to just being a comment about the case when it is not. It is a comment on Zimmerman’s behavior as a whole. So what if Martin had never been called a thug in the trial. Many other people are doing so and this meme is a response to them.

        And if people take a meme I create wrong that is my responsibility?

        2) Zimmerman chased after Martin while armed. That is a simple fact.

        3) We obviously disagree, and I stand firm that all the evidence you needed to convict Zimmerman and even prove that it was Martin who was committing an act of self defense was in the 911 call.

        5) I don’t see how you can read the transcripts of the 911 call and not see clear malice and aggression on the part of Zimmerman and how when he hung up to chase after Martin that Zimmerman became the pursuer. But hey, we are free to be wrong in this country. And while you believe I am the one who is wrong here, I would state that it is you who are wrong.

        Sure, Zimmerman was found not guilty. People who did it are found not guilty for many reasons. And that is a good part of our system because going the other way would be horrific. But they got it wrong and Zimmerman got away with killing an unarmed black youth who was walking between a convenience store and the house of his parent. Martin had every right to be there. Zimmerman had no right to confront him. Martin had every right to defend himself from Zimmerman. Martin did get the upper hand. One should not be able to start a fight, lose the upper hand, and then shot the person.

        6) Incoherent? Seriously? You may disagree with it but you understood it enough to comment on it. But when you say “Holder dropped the whole case, because it’s acceptable for armed black thugs to threaten white voters, just not the other way around.” what do you expect me to think your opinion of Holder is?

        • 6. That he’s biased, which he is, and has an agenda, and protecting whites from voter intimidation isn’t on it.
          5. Your statement isn’t the law. The evidence suggested that Martin confronted Zimmerman for following him, that the men fought, that Martin was beating Zimmerman and may have tried to get his gun. What occurred prior to the fight is irrelevant to the self-defense argument. That’s the law. Zimmerman was not obligated to let Martin kill or seriously harm him, even if Zimmerman was at fault for sparking the altercation. This isn’t open to debate. I know the bitter-enders refuse to accept it, but Zimmerman
          was not guilty under the law. Just because someone kills someone who happens to be black doesn’t make them racist or a murderer. Sorry. I know that goes against the convenient fantasy, but it’s true.
          4. Malice is a term of art, and no malice was shown. He thought the guy was up to no good. That’s not proof of malice. He was looking to play amateur cop. He’s an asshole. That’s dangerous, but not illegal.
          3. “We obviously disagree, and I stand firm that all the evidence you needed to convict Zimmerman and even prove that it was Martin who was committing an act of self defense was in the 911 call.” We don’t disagree, you are just 100% wrong on the facts and the law. If you say the sky is pink, that’s not a disagreement.
          2. The meme uses irrelevant dropped charges dishonestly to make a case that the jury correctly rejected. Yes, if people are misled, there is accountability.
          1. Irrelevant to the post. You send a tweet to thousands of race-baiting delusional ignoramuses who think what happened to Martin was murder, and say that it is rebuttal to the people who will never see it, and couldn’t care less what this guy says? Tell me another.

          • Martin was not required by the law to just allow the “creepy old dude” stalk him. He had every right in Florida to stand his ground and had no requirement to cede the advantage to Zimmerman at any point in the fight, especially when he saw Zimmerman had a gun.

            Zimmerman was absolutely racist when he saw “black kid” and automatically thought “criminal”. Again, listen to his words in the 911 transcript.

            Plenty of lawyers disagree with your assessment of the law in this case.

            • 1. No, plenty of lawyers do not. It is generally agreed that the prosecution itself was unethical.
              2. Stand your ground was not argued in the case, and has nothing to do with Martin. He cannot attack someone for being creepy of following him.
              3. Dan, you’re just making stuff up. Martin was on top, and banging Zimmerman’s head against the ground, and may have gone for the gun. This has nothing to do with “ceding advantage” if you’re beating someone, it’s self-defense if he feels his life is threatened and shoots you.
              4. You cannot prove racism based on the transcript. he did not initially designate the kid as black—when asked, he said “he looks black.” That doesn’t prove he was profiled. He said someone who didn’t belong in a gates community was casing homes. That’s reasonable. Martin was, in fact, lost. Tragic. But not racist.

              This is, however, a great example of the bad reasoning, bad law and slanted, confirmation-biased reading of the facts that allows the myths about the incident to continue. Thanks for that.

              • Did I stay stand your ground was argued in this case? No. I know it was not. That doesn’t mean that Trayvon Martin did not have that right to stand his ground. He can attack someone who he reasonably feels poses a threat to him. Unfortunately we never got to hear Martin’s version of events. You know, because Zimmerman killed him.

                You cannot claim the high ground you claim to have if you are going to misrepresent the argument of the other person.

                I am also not making stuff up. Martin got the advantage in the altercation that Zimmerman started by chasing after him. That is a fact. Zimmerman could have just taken the advice* of the police dispatcher and allowed the cops to handle it. He did not. He chose to chase Martin WHO HE SAID WAS RUNNING AWAY.

                And he CLEARLY was being racist. He saw a guy who looked black and automatically assumed him a criminal. HOW IS THAT NOT RACIST JACK? Now i just believe all your attempts at insulting me on this is just deflection.

                *At this point in the conversation I feel the need to mention that Zimmerman was not required to follow the dispatcher. Not because it wasn’t clear by my wording of it as “advice” and not a “command” but because you clearly are making assumptions about my knowledge of this case that are untrue and are using your biased point of view to taint your assumptions about the arguments I have made and confuse them with the arguments that others have made.

                    • Dude, you’ve had 2 years to at least try to be analytic and rational on this situation. You’ve failed to demonstrate any capability of learning or thought on it. You (and your ilk, just so you know it isn’t just you) are clouded by confirmation bias amongst a multitude of other biases.

                      There is literally NO rational argument that can lead to your conclusions, and it has been demonstrated ad nauseum the flaws in your arguments FOR 2 YEARS.

                      It’s hard not to make some pretty negative diagnoses on your thought processes after that kind of time span and giving you and your ilk incredible benefit of the doubt and generosity.

                    • I’m recusing from the rest of this particular discussion. Sorry for any new readers who may only see Dan’s extremely flawed point of view. Good luck convincing him, Jack. But I can’t continue to discuss with people this backwards in thinking.

                    You can defend yourself if attacked.

                    Now, as promised, Dan, I’m scrubbing your comment. I told you that you have no more to say on this thread, because your immunity to being educated on fact and law has crossed into trolling territory.

                    Find another topic.

              • DUDE: You are not the arbiter of all that is correct or truthful, You have said some pretty damned stupid things during my time posting here. You are a Conservative. That is clear. You are highly biased. That is clear. You allow that bias to give you an unwavering point of view. That is clear.

                I do use facts, logic, and reason to reach my conclusions. If you cannot read the 911 transcript and conclude that Zimmerman 1) assumed Martin was black and 2) assumed Martin was a criminal then you are an idiot who needs to go back and learn to read.

                If you cannot read the 911 transcript and see that it was CLEAR that Martin initially tried to get away from Zimmerman BY ZIMMERMAN’S own words then you are an idiot who needs to go back and learn to read.

                If you cannot read the 911 transcript and see that Zimmerman was advised to not pursue then you are clearly an idiot who needs to go back and learn to read.

                • You are certifiably Stupid. Yep. Stupid.

                  To demonstrate for the umpteenth time in 2 years, which is a Sisyphean task, considering your inability to comprehend. Against my better judgment time to spread some more pearls…

                  “Martin was not required by the law to just allow the “creepy old dude” stalk him.”

                  He is however required by law to assault and batter someone, he is, required by community values NOT to skulk in the shadows and conduct himself suspiciously in conditions in which reasonable people are indoors.

                  “He had every right in Florida to stand his ground and had no requirement to cede the advantage to Zimmerman at any point in the fight, especially when he saw Zimmerman had a gun.”

                  He started the fight, dimwit. All evidence will show that Martin “GOT AWAY” from Zimmerman (from Martin’s point of view) BUT DOUBLED BACK. Martin STARTED the confrontation.

                  “Zimmerman was absolutely racist when he saw “black kid” and automatically thought “criminal”. Again, listen to his words in the 911 transcript.”

                  Moron, seeing someone and recognizing they are “Black”, “white”, “purple” or WHATEVER isn’t racist. You colossal buffoon, the previous MONTHS in that community had A PLETHORA of break ins, ALL OF WHICH were perpetrated by someone who fit the description of MARTIN. That is perfect reason to wonder just what Martin was out doing skulking in the shadows.

                  “Plenty of lawyers disagree with your assessment of the law in this case.”

                  Appeal to authority. To be expected.

                  I don’t expect you to see reason on this, not after demonstrating a incredible depth of ignorance. But hopefully new readers won’t fall prey to the same irrationality that you have.

                    • It is not assault and battery if the acts of violence are in self defense. Zimmerman also has the requirement to not assault someone.

                    • Can you please cite the evidence that he assaulted Martin before Martin attacked him? Because like you said, it is not self defense or battery if you are under attack, and while we agree that it was creepy of him (funny how words permeate the situation… creepy)… ahem… it was creepy of him to follow Martin, I have never seen anything that suggests anything other than that martin threw the first blow.

                      Guy walks down the street…. No laws broken.
                      Guy follows guy…. No laws broken.
                      Guy confronts guy…. No laws broken.
                      Guy hits guy… This is where the law was first broken.

                      And who hit who first is absolutely material. And the law isn’t about what you think happened…. Especially you… Because you wear your bias on your sleeve… But what you can prove. In the absence of evidence that Zimmerman attacked Martin, you cannot convict. We just don’t know. And our system is designed that when that kind of doubt exists, it’s better a guilty man goes free than an innocent man is punished.

                  • Had Zimmerman just stayed by his car, as the nice dispatcher suggested he do, we would know if Martin was coming back specifically to attack him or not.

                    But Zimmerman chased after Martin after reporting to the dispatcher that Martin fled.

                    Zimmerman was the person chasing after Martin, yet according to all you Zimmerman apologists Martin was supposed to keep running and didn’t have the right to be in the PUBLIC PLACE that he was in. He didn’t have the right to no longer run and instead chose to stand where he is.

                    “Moron, seeing someone and recognizing they are “Black”, “white”, “purple” or WHATEVER isn’t racist.”

                    That wasn’t the entirety of my argument that made up why Zimmerman was clearly racist. I am SO SHOCKED that your vastly superior mind missed it. Perhaps that is because you give your mind far too much credit.

                    And no, it is NOT reasonable to see a black person and say “he is a criminal”. It is racist.

                    I don’t imagine you are capable of seeing reason on much of anything. Even when I agreed with you on a subject you found some way to argue with me. You are nothing but an internet troll, one that for some reason Jack tolerates. Maybe it is like you are his pet.

                    • I’ve withdrawn. If you want my rebuttal it’s in any of the half dozen discussions on this topic from the past two years.

                      (In case you are curious, you were just as wrong then as I was right then. As now)

                    • Dan, I don’t know what the hell you are talking about. He wasn’t chasing him. He was following him. Martin’s own witness said that Martin thought Z was gay and was considering attacking HIM. It wasn’t a pubic park, it was a residential community—I’ve lived in them. When someone who doesn’t live there wanders around, it’s suspicious. You were making the mistake of concluding that the assessment that Martin was black and the assesmment that he was up to no good were connected. They weren’t. I was very clear that “And no, it is NOT reasonable to see a black person and say “he is a criminal”. It is racist.” is a mistaken assessement of what happened. If I see black man breaking into a window and say 1) that guy is black, and 2) he’s breaking into that house, I am not saying that he is breaking into the house BECAUSE he is black. Get it? Apparently not, or you don’t want to.

                      You’re making no sense, not reading, being obnoxious and making a fool of yourself. Time out. You don’t get another comment on this topic until you calm down. Sorry.

                • Dan, Dan, Dan…Z concluded he was black, and in fact, he was black. Nothing wrong with that. He concluded the guy was involved in a criminal activity based on his conduct. There is ZERO evidence that he decided that based on the3 conclusion that he was black. There is Zero evidence that Zimmerman has a racist bone in his body. You are making the Post hoc ergo propter hoc ratioanal fallacy.

                  You are now the poster guy for confirmation bias.

                  Also: DUDE is banned here, along with LOL. Just a reminder.

                  • I was just responding to texagg and his “dude”. I will keep it in mind for further posts.

                    On to the topic, he concluded he was black and then concluded that he was a criminal ONLY on the fact that he was WALKING AROUND WHILE BLACK. That is racist.

                    • This feels a bit unfair, since you won’t be able to responde, but no, that was not why. http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/bloggers/3045560/posts http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/326700-full-transcript-zimmerman.html Going solely by the 911 transcript, while it was raining Martin was just “walking around, looking about..staring…at houses”. It’s pretty thin, but it’s just reason to apply higher scrutiny than to someone who was just walking down the sidewalk for instance. The free republic article adds an after the fact description of him cutting through private property and looking in windows. There is no evidence that he was lying, and it seems unlikely given the fairly strong evidence that Zimmerman wasn’t anti-black (black grandparent, had agitated for civil rights, had dated a black girl, etc.)

                      Zimmerman didn’t note his race until after Martin starting moving towards him.

                      Since you lack any actual evidence that he was suspicious because of his race rather than his demeanor but keep repeating it as if it’s established fact, I’m calling this an instance of the “lesser paranoia validation” on the race baiting list.

                    • I don’t know what it is, but while I like Dan, the tactic of just insisting x is Not-X eventually isn’t going to be tolerated here. I hate to do it, and had it been a newcomer doing it, he wouldn’t have been tolerated this long. Dan, like so many others, is invested in the narrative that Zimmerman was a racist who stalked and shot an innocent kid. He was, the evidence shows, rather a foolish jerk who set up a deadly confrontation with his suspicion and recklessness, ran into a kid with a chip on his shoulder, got in a fight he was losing, got scared and shot his gun. There just isn’t evidence that shows anything else, and that’s not murder. And if the colors had been reversed, we would never know about this at all.

  4. Yes, the Reverend Talbert Swan is shamelessly and unethically trying to cash in on the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case. To some, facts are not really all that important. However, the thing that troubles me most is not so much that he is doing this but that the Reverend Swan and too many others out there recognize that there are plenty of willing and eager “customers” out there ready to “buy” the false narrative that they are selling.

    Basically, as I see it, this is a narrative that there is a massive conspiracy by legions of white racists who are doing bad things to the black community and that “Selma is now” …
    ( http://thinkprogress.org/culture/2015/02/22/3625698/john-legend-meant-said-selma-now/ )
    … not 1965, and that the claims of progress in racial equality over the past half century is cruel hoax on the black community. This is a disturbingly dangerous false narrative that risks undoing the real progress that has been made by alienating young people… both black and white and every other color in between… into becoming cynically distrustful and disrespectful of their own country and communities. No matter how false this narrative is, if it is repeated enough times it becomes the default “conventional wisdom” or “accepted truth.”

    Yes, of course, there remains racial prejudice and injustice in the American culture. But there has been tremendous progress in the past 50 years. I have seen it in my own lifetime in unfiltered “real time.” But most of our young people only know what they learn at home or in school, read in books, or consume through mass media and social media. I would hate to see the progress we have experienced go down the drain due to the unethical propagation of this false narrative.

    • Can we just link to the discussions last year and the year before, in which Dan and his ilk were thoroughly debunked or do we have to do this dance again?
      Have you ever seen a cat continue to play with a mouse long after it is dead?
      Does he do it because it’s fun and he was bored?
      Or because he likes to keep his hunting skills sharp?
      Maybe he’s showing off his lethal prowess to the other cats?
      Perhaps he just does it because he CAN.
      heh heh

  5. “Dan, like so many others, is invested in the narrative that Zimmerman was a racist who stalked and shot an innocent kid. He was, the evidence shows, rather a foolish jerk who set up a deadly confrontation with his suspicion and recklessness, ran into a kid with a chip on his shoulder, got in a fight he was losing, got scared and shot his gun. There just isn’t evidence that shows anything else, and that’s not murder. And if the colors had been reversed, we would never know about this at all.”

    Jack, although none of us have a time machine, I actually agree that your narrative probably is accurate … up until the last sentence. The point that Liberal Dan, Deery, and others are trying to express is that we DON’T see this scenario playing out with other races. Do you really think I would have been stopped if I were cutting through a neighborhood? If anything, busybody Zimmerman would have stopped and asked me if I needed help or was lost. How do I know this? This kind of stuff happens to me every damn day because I am a white female. I don’t get speeding tickets, parking attendants always park my car for me (even in self-park garages). I don’t ask for this stuff — it just happens — even if I protest. Today, I asked a hotel concierge for directions and he walked me two blocks to my destination! I asked him to just point me in the right direction, but “he wouldn’t hear of it” and walked me the whole way. I was mortified. It’s ridiculous. And it’s equally ridiculous that you “and your ilk” (as this phrase has been bandied about) refuses to acknowledge that this is a problem.

    Yes, probably Zimmerman didn’t break the law, and because of the evidence presented, he deserved to be acquitted — at least based on the charges brought. But that doesn’t mean that we put on blinders and pretend that this scenario happened out of dumb luck. White girls cutting through neighborhoods don’t get shot Jack. And white boys probably are going to get the benefit of the doubt. A Latino kid probably would get a pass if he was carrying landscaping tools. (And no, I didn’t write that in jest.) But a black male teen in a hoodie? The presumption is that he is up to no good. If you can’t acknowledge that, then I’ll go into time out with Liberal Dan, because it is pretty hard to be alive today and not see this happening.

    Come talk to my black friends who are raising sons. They are educating them from a very young age to dress white, talk white, and do whatever police officers ask, no matter how absurd. Funny, my parents never had that talk with me — or my brother (who was genuinely a thug in his teen years).

    • 1. How did gender work into this?

      2. My statement was that if a black Zimmerman was suspicious of a white Martin and the white Martin got shot after initiating physical contact, this would not have been a national story, the President would not be saying that the victim looked like him, Holder wouldn’t be paying attention and Al Sharpton wouldn’t give a damn. True or not? Because that’s what I wrote and meant when I wrote it.

      Are whites, in general more nervous about black strangers than white strangers? Yes. And I once walked through Roxbury in the Boston area, and felt like every eye was on me, because its 90% black. But in any event, I think there is no way of knowing that this guy, Zimmerman wouldn’t have reacted the same way with a young white kid in a hoodie) my son wears hoodies.) First, you can’t use the generality to prove what occurred in an individual case. Second, I think the facts show that Zimmerman was looking for trouble. A white kid acting as Martin was might well have attracted attention from THIS jerk, though maybe not the typical guy. Correct?

      • 1. It’s a bias factor, utterly irrelevant here. What some liberal-minded people can’t get over is that women aren’t always the victim of bias, sometimes they’re the baseline. God forbid a society where people were nice to each other.

        2. Statistically, violence happens within one’s own ethnic group, but there are racial discrepancies. Black American victims of violence have a 93% likelihood that their assailant is also a Black American. However, there is a statistically different 84% Chance that a White American victim of violence will have a White assailant. This means that, statistically, per capita, a white person is more likely to be attacked by a person who isn’t white than a black person is to be attacked by a person that isn’t black.

    • “Do you really think I would have been stopped if I were cutting through a neighborhood?

      I don’t know the customs associated with recusing oneself from the discussion, but if it meant only the discussion that got heated with Dan, then I’m going to interject here. (If, however, it should be taken as ANY discussion on this post, then I’ll stop posting after this)

      1. If there had been a string of breaks-in, the perpetrator of them forming a profile that you nearly match, let’s say this neighborhood suffered from a series of burglaries at the hands of a white woman of similar physical appearance as you, then someone saw you skulking about in the shadows, peering into people’s windows, at night, in weather that most reasonable people are indoors or at least not trying to act suspiciously, yes, I’d imagine someone would eye you with considerable concern.

      2. Martin wasn’t stopped. Martin doubled back *AFTER GETTING OUT OF SIGHT WITH ENOUGH TIME TO REACH HIS HOME* and confronted Zimmerman.

      “White girls cutting through neighborhoods don’t get shot Jack.”

      Black guys don’t get shot doing that either…

      They do tend to get shot if they commit assault and battery on someone carrying a firearm, however…

      “…dress white, talk white…”

      What does that even mean?

    • I am curious about the statement by Acting Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta that: “Our decision not to pursue federal charges does not condone the shooting that resulted in the death of Trayvon Martin and is based solely on the high legal standard applicable to these cases.” It seems almost like an unnecessary statement of the obvious, like, yes of course; this is a tragedy; mistakes were made; bad judgment happened; and somebody died needlessly. Of course, we all would hope that such tragedies “do not occur in the future” as the JD press release stated… ever! this is a most wonderful thought.

      However, what exactly is it that the Justice Department does “not condone” ? Is it possible that General Gupta is suggesting that the Justice Department does not buy into the basic idea of shooting soeone in self defense if believed necessary to protect ones self, or perhaps she questions the basic idea of being legally allowed to carry a concealed handgun by permit for self defense? Or is she questioning the wisdom of the Neighborhood Watch program which might encourage citizens to… God forbid… watch too closely the goings on in their neighborhoods? What exactly is it that the Justice Department does “not condone” in this particular case?

      Not to say that the claim of “self defense” is always justified… because it most assuredly is not. Nor am I defending in any way Zimmerman for the events that unfolded with very unfortunate results. But I am wondering about the chill this incredibly long and ultimately fruitless federal investigation might put on the fundamental right of self defense to protect ones self or others who might find themselves in the position of facing a real threat. Are citizens going to possibly face federal prosecution in the future for becoming “too involved” in the security of their own neighborhoods, or for protecting themselves or their neighbors if the unlawful aggressor and righteous defender in a specific incident happen to be of the “wrong” ethnicity or race?

      Just asking…

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