Moggs Tigerpaw is a lady about whom little is known. She’s a Second Lifer and is contributor to the well-known Vancouver blog of JMB but other than that, I have no idea where she is. Her language is North American continent but I see “UK” in the blog url.
All femme fatales should maintain that air of mystery. Below she writes on the Zimmerman affair, one which I admit I wasn’t really up to speed on before this.
A warm welcome and enjoy:
James suggested I do a guest post. So here it is, a serious, topical, what I call “Hard Hat” one. It has run on way longer than I planned. I hope not too long.
There has been so much said about the death of Trayvon Martin. Fatally shot by George Zimmerman. People have got very heated, sides have gotten drawn up and death threats made against George’s parents. It’s politics now.
Even President Obama has got in on the act and commented that, “if he had a son he would probably look like Trayvon”.
For anyone who does not know, this is what this is all about. I have tried to be as accurate as I can.
It’s February 26, 2012, It is a dark and rainy night in a Florida neighborhood
Trayvon, who had just turned 17, but is at lest 6 ft tall, was walking home. He has some candy and a can of Gatorade iced tea, or similar. At one point he is on his cell phone talking to his girlfriend (the LA Time says). He had on a hooded top and carried no weapons. He is of African American appearance.
He is maybe going through some teenage wildness, maybe getting in with some of the wrong people? and has been in trouble that must worry his parents.. Right now he is on a 10 day suspension from high School for being caught with a plastic bag with traces of marijuana in it.
He has been suspended from school three times in the last year. In October he was caught writing obscene graffiti on a door at his school. One time campus security officers found 12 pieces of jewellery, a watch and a screwdriver they were suspicious of when they searched his backpack, (according to a school police report gotten by the Miami Herald.)
George Zimmerman is a regular church goer, interested in criminal justice and policing and community watch volunteer coordinator who was carrying a licensed firearm that evening. He is a 5’9″ of Hispanic appearance in his late 20s.
That night he was out driving his SUV. When he saw Trayvon in the neighborhood wearing his hooded top. He is suspicious of him maybe hanging around a bit, but maybe standing talking to his GF on his phone. George calls it in to the police.
He will be well aware of statistics that say a disproportionate amount of crime is committed by teenage males and young men. There had been break-ins and a shooting in the neighborhood.
Treyvon notices he is being followed by this Hispanic looking guy in an SUV.
Maybe he is afraid of the possibility of the guy being a gangster or pervert, maybe Treyvon runs by reflex, maybe he would have taken advantage of some criminal opportunity if he saw it and feels guilty.
No one can know now. Whatever, he speeds up running off.
I really don’t think it was all that unreasonable to run, I would have been thinking about knocking on local residents doors at that point for help if I were Treyvon. But probably George had a different narrative going in his head by now and running off looks to him more suspicious. Like Sherlock Holmes said “The game is afoot”.
He follows getting out and on foot and against the dispatcher’s advice, at some point he looses Treyvon (according to associated press). George goes back to his SUV and is confronted by Treyvon there.
I don’t know if George has any real prejudice against African Americans. I don’t know if Treyvon has any against Hispanics. I don’t know of anything to really suggest either of them did… and it is absolutely not a requirement for this scenario playing out to go really badly.
Things do not go well and George says that Treyvon attacked him knocking him to the ground, breaking his nose and banging his head on the ground. There is a whole lot of shouting out for help from either, or both of them. There is nothing I know of to contradict that. George
has a broken nose and injuries on the back of his head. Maybe that fight was even taped by the police system, but it is probably faint and needs enhancement. I don’t think you can believe everything you see on CSI.
It was during this George says he fatally shoots Treyvon at close range saying it was self defense. This is legal in Florida under a “Stand Your Ground” law. That says a person may use force (even deadly force) in self-defense when there is reasonable belief of a threat including public areas, without a duty to retreat.
George is arrested at the scene when the cops get there and questioned at the precinct, after that he is released without charge. There is talk the homicide detective argued at the time for a warrant or charging George but the prosecutor said they didn’t have enough evidence. Either they did or they didn’t if they did they should have then. At least been very thorough checking the facts. No stones unturned.
Some people are trying to say this is some racially motivated killing. George has now been arrested again, and is in custody, charged with second degree murder,. Others are saying that it would not have happened if Treyvon had not been African American. Or it would have been looked at more carefully by the cops.
But you know, I can’t help thinking the arrest and charge now has a lot to do with the publicity and accusations and politics.
Well if you ask me this is more like a horrible mess of wrong conclusions jumped to by both George and Treyvon and things going from bad to worse to awful. It is turning into a perfect storm.
So why did it all fall out the way it did? Is George really some racist killer using the law to let him get away with his crime like some people are all but suggesting?
Well George’s Mother is Peruvian. Peru does have one of the worst reputations of any country in South America for crime, with pick pocketing and robbery well known and this is with things having improved, George might be more sensitive to the possibility of crime and maybe wants to keep his neighborhood safe from that.
By all accounts George is a decent enough guy, raised by good people. That there had been crimes in the area was probably why he was giving his time to the community, and that young men commit more crime than most must have been in his mind just then.
George saw Treyvon walking down a dark rainy street. Personally any tall solid young guy in a hooded top in the dark would scare me a bit. It is an intimidating look that copies how criminals dress. I bet any imaginary son of President Obama would no way be wearing anything like that looking scary in the dark. That’s often how young men want to look tho and it can be what they call a two edged sword.
Maybe if Treyvon had been wearing a letterman’s jacket I would not be writing this post.
Treyvon saw this Hispanic guy who could be anything, but was watching him in the dark, following him in a vehicle, maybe it scared him. Again, I think it would me for sure.
Treyvon, I would guess was, at least, a “typical” male teen inclined to challenge boundaries and authority. Maybe also react to fear with aggressive bravado?. George probably never went far down that “difficult teenage” road, probably was much less like to kick against the traces.
The whole situation is totally ripe with the possibility of misunderstandings and each making and acting on maybe wrong assumptions about the other. Then there is the natural prospects of
the two personalities clashing. Maybe made worse reacting against the others tone if seemed wrong in some way.
I can’t help thinking how many times there can be misunderstandings and someone takes something other than how it is intended just in normal quiet everyday life.
Most all of those chances would have been still there if they had both been Caucasian, or Hispanic or African American, or probably if they were Martian.
The whole thing feels to me like some car wreck at blind an intersection where the viewer is looking out a window on the corner and can see it but not stop it.
I wonder if people who make a big race thing of this maybe are more interested in following their own pre conceived notions than the facts, most all won’t know anyone involved. Maybe they fit the circumstances to their own prejudices and self justifications as part of their own narrative? Even stir things up.
I don’t think they are being too honest with themselves, or are doing anyone any great service. Especially a mainstream media outlet, who ought to have known better, broadcasting a doctored tape of George’s call edited in no honest way to make it sound inflammatory and so much more newsworthy.
I can so see why Treyvon’s parents might still choose to use it to get the whole tragedy looked into more thoroughly. Their son has died. Goodness knows what is going through their heads and hearts. They want to know why, maybe want someone to pay, justified or not. It might even be that they simply won’t accept any explanation that does not get them their pound of someone, anyone’s flesh.
So they get to play the race card to free up the log jam, because they can.
Other people don’t get to do that and have to find other ways of dealing with possible official slip ups and reluctance to admit possible failing when they find themselves playing a bit part in some Kafka novel.
I figure this is not so much hero’s and villains on any side more people reacting to and caught up in a rolling snowball of confused guesses and circumstances. Two people who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Anyone still here? What do you all think?