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Travon Martin, Racial Tensions, and our President 
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Post Re: Travon Martin, Racial Tensions, and our President
Everyone on this thread needs to go see Fruitvale Station. Masterful piece of work. Adds so much to the whole discussion.

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Sun Jul 21, 2013 3:39 pm
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Post Re: Travon Martin, Racial Tensions, and our President
Vexer wrote:
Sean wrote:
Also even if "Stand Your Ground" was not invoked in this instance, that still dosen't mean that there are no problems with the law. There are plenty of other example of people abusing that law to get away with murder, for example a burglar is using the law as justification for the killing the person whose house he broke into, and another guy killed a 15 year old fleeing from him whom he "suspected" to be a burglar.


"Stand your ground" laws basically just codify common-law rights to self-defense that we've always had. Which most certainly don't include shooting someone whose home you're burglaring.


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Post Re: Travon Martin, Racial Tensions, and our President
Zimmerman just announced that he is changing his name to Ben Ghazi. That should keep 'em quiet.

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Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:40 am
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Post Re: Travon Martin, Racial Tensions, and our President
The way I see it, the problem with Obama's speech is not that it went too far, but that it didn't go far enough. Black men are routinely profiled by police. They are routinely the victims of crime, primarily because their neighborhoods in general contain less economic opportunity, which leads to increased criminal activity. They are routinely persecuted by our justice system, which does not now and has not ever applied the same standards to black men as it does to white men. Add to that the media's stereotyping of blacks through minstrelsy, the bling culture, gangsta rap, etc., and you'll see what really killed Trayvon Martin. Yeah, Zimmerman pulled the trigger, but it was the stereotype of the "thug" black man that did him in just as easily. Obama just skimmed over this. He is a black man, and he knows what it's like to be stereotyped. I'm glad that he kinda-sorta spoke up for black men, but he could have taken as step farther, as usual.

We don't live in a post-racial society. Obama's critics might say otherwise, but many of them are very stupid. And the question as to whether the outcome would have been the same had Trayvon Martin "stood his ground" and killed George Zimmerman? Well, you know the answer to that.

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Mon Jul 22, 2013 7:26 pm
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Post Re: Travon Martin, Racial Tensions, and our President
Obama's expansion of the War on Drugs has also contributed to this failed socioeconomic cycle. More African-American males are convicted of drug crimes than their Caucasian counterparts, even though the two demographics are roughly equal in terms of drug use. If anything, his administration has been just as negligent in this regard as his predecessors'.


Mon Jul 22, 2013 8:22 pm
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Post Re: Travon Martin, Racial Tensions, and our President
Absolutely. The expansion of the War on Drugs is one of Obama's greatest failures.

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Mon Jul 22, 2013 8:41 pm
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Post Re: Travon Martin, Racial Tensions, and our President
Add in the drone strikes, expanded surveillance programs, and preservation of the Federal Reserve, and Obama is no different than Bush. He just happens to come with a glossy veneer of reform.


Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:02 pm
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Post Re: Travon Martin, Racial Tensions, and our President
Sean wrote:
Add in the drone strikes, expanded surveillance programs, and preservation of the Federal Reserve, and Obama is no different than Bush. He just happens to come with a glossy veneer of reform.

I agree with some of your criticims though I definitely wouldn't compare him to Bush.


Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:50 pm
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Post Re: Travon Martin, Racial Tensions, and our President
I don't understand how anybody can accept the fact that Obama has continued many of his predecessors' unconstitutional policies, but still be generally supportive of him. Much of it may have to do with the fact that he is a better orator.


Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:51 pm
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Post Re: Travon Martin, Racial Tensions, and our President
No one is pleased that a 17 year old died, but you cannot solely blame Zimmerman on this. I don't think he wanted to kill him; (he only pulled the trigger one time after getting pounced on, he waited for the police, he didn't even know he was dead)...those actions don't sound like he intended to kill him. What if Martin hadn't tried to beat up Zimmerman and just ran, or waited for the police to explain the situation?...I guess we can play the what if game for eternity and not get anywhere though.


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Post Re: Travon Martin, Racial Tensions, and our President
roastbeef_ajus wrote:
No one is pleased that a 17 year old died, but you cannot solely blame Zimmerman on this. I don't think he wanted to kill him; (he only pulled the trigger one time after getting pounced on, he waited for the police, he didn't even know he was dead)...those actions don't sound like he intended to kill him. What if Martin hadn't tried to beat up Zimmerman and just ran, or waited for the police to explain the situation?...I guess we can play the what if game for eternity and not get anywhere though.
What if Martin NEVER laid a hand on Zimmerman?(which I don't believe he did)? Would you still say that it's "not all his fault"?


Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:18 pm
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Post Re: Travon Martin, Racial Tensions, and our President
roastbeef_ajus wrote:
No one is pleased that a 17 year old died, but you cannot solely blame Zimmerman on this. I don't think he wanted to kill him; (he only pulled the trigger one time after getting pounced on, he waited for the police, he didn't even know he was dead)...those actions don't sound like he intended to kill him. What if Martin hadn't tried to beat up Zimmerman and just ran, or waited for the police to explain the situation?...I guess we can play the what if game for eternity and not get anywhere though.

I doubt many people believe Zimmerman actively set out to kill somebody. The issue is that Zimmerman invited an easily avoidable conflict, on the groundless assumption that Martin was up to no good and with the knowledge that if the shit hit the fan, he could always rely on his loaded piece. It doesn't get much dumber than that.

Scenarios: At best, Zimmerman was armed and Martin wasn't. That means a one sided fight in the event that they engaged one another. At worst, Martin would also be armed, meaning a shootout. You can begin to see the true depth of Zimmerman's foolishness here. Somebody died a completely pointless death just because the other person was a god damn moron. I'd wager that's what most people are mad about.

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Tue Jul 23, 2013 12:29 am
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Post Re: Travon Martin, Racial Tensions, and our President
Ken wrote:
One thing I wish people were better about is differentiating between being mad about the circumstances surrounding the shooting and being mad about the acquittal. I've seen a lot of conflation of the two and it's depressing every time.

I actually think the jury made the right decision. Florida's laws are what they are. They sure as hell need a revision to minimize the chances of something like this happening again, but that's absolutely no excuse to subject George Zimmerman to a witch hunt. He was accused of murder, which carries with it a very high requirement of evidence, and the prosecution simply didn't meet that requirement. It would have been injustice to find him guilty on that basis.

But as a member of society and as a moral being, Zimmerman fucked up. Big time. You do not stalk total strangers with a loaded weapon on the dubious basis that somebody has been robbing houses lately in the surrounding area. You are begging the universe to embroil you and that other person in a terrible situation that endangers both your lives.

Some say that it was a case of racial profiling, and really, that's not hard to believe. The color of your skin affects the way people treat you, whether you notice it or not. (The easiest way not to notice it is to be white, because our society unfortunately still views white people as "default" people. Look no further than movies if you need confirmation of this.) We can't know for sure what sparked Zimmerman's suspicion when he saw Martin, but ask black people anywhere if they feel they've ever been racially discriminated against and they will have stories to tell you. That is 100% guaranteed.

As I said, we can't know for sure, but I find myself wondering why so many people are so quick to dismiss the possibility that a black boy walking outside, alone, after dark, in the south might have been racially profiled by the white man who killed him.

Some people say Zimmerman behaved like a cowboy. I say he behaved like a Knight Templar, taking it upon himself to evaluate the moral character of others and to act upon them accordingly. We have no right to treat each other that way. It's not the world we live in. I don't know why Zimmerman or anybody else wants to live in that world. It's a nasty place.

Perhaps we should talk about what can be done in the state of Florida and elsewhere to curtail situations like this one in the future. One thing's for sure, and I think it's insanity to believe otherwise: things are not okay the way they are and something has to change.


Martin profiled Zimmerman as a "creepy ass cracker".

The case has been covered to the hilt here in the UK, with the Guardian in particular trying to milk the race angle as much as possible. The fact is, if Zimmerman was black (more than the 25% he is on his Mother's side), this case wouldn't have even made the news. Black people kill black people all the time. Look at the the figures in places like Chicago, Detroit and LA and its surrounding towns.

It seems to me like Zimmerman got above his station - but on the given facts an acquittal (as you say) is the only possible outcome.

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Tue Jul 23, 2013 5:21 am
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Post Re: Travon Martin, Racial Tensions, and our President
Vexer wrote:
roastbeef_ajus wrote:
No one is pleased that a 17 year old died, but you cannot solely blame Zimmerman on this. I don't think he wanted to kill him; (he only pulled the trigger one time after getting pounced on, he waited for the police, he didn't even know he was dead)...those actions don't sound like he intended to kill him. What if Martin hadn't tried to beat up Zimmerman and just ran, or waited for the police to explain the situation?...I guess we can play the what if game for eternity and not get anywhere though.
What if Martin NEVER laid a hand on Zimmerman?(which I don't believe he did)? Would you still say that it's "not all his fault"?



Nonsense!

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Tue Jul 23, 2013 5:22 am
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Post Re: Travon Martin, Racial Tensions, and our President
Sexual Chocolate wrote:
The way I see it, the problem with Obama's speech is not that it went too far, but that it didn't go far enough. Black men are routinely profiled by police. They are routinely the victims of crime, primarily because their neighborhoods in general contain less economic opportunity, which leads to increased criminal activity. They are routinely persecuted by our justice system, which does not now and has not ever applied the same standards to black men as it does to white men. Add to that the media's stereotyping of blacks through minstrelsy, the bling culture, gangsta rap, etc., and you'll see what really killed Trayvon Martin. Yeah, Zimmerman pulled the trigger, but it was the stereotype of the "thug" black man that did him in just as easily. Obama just skimmed over this. He is a black man, and he knows what it's like to be stereotyped. I'm glad that he kinda-sorta spoke up for black men, but he could have taken as step farther, as usual.

We don't live in a post-racial society. Obama's critics might say otherwise, but many of them are very stupid. And the question as to whether the outcome would have been the same had Trayvon Martin "stood his ground" and killed George Zimmerman? Well, you know the answer to that.


The problems black people suffer from are born of a destruction, nihilstic culture that a significant % of black people exist in. One of violence, misogyny and anti-intellectualism. Detroit is 47% illiterate accoring to figures in the Huffington Post. In an Information-intensive workplace, no-one is going to have any "economic opportunities" if they can't read.

Hell, the 19 year old black witness in the Zimmerman trial couldn't read. And certain black communities stereotype themselves through gang violence and gangsta rap. It isn't all the fault of Whitey McChalkwhite you know!

It's OK you making excuses, but if you were dumped into a ghetto, you'd be fleeced and dead in minutes.

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Tue Jul 23, 2013 5:29 am
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Post Re: Travon Martin, Racial Tensions, and our President
NotHughGrant wrote:
Martin profiled Zimmerman as a "creepy ass cracker".
I await the day when black-on-white racial profiling becomes enough of an issue for this to matter.

NotHughGrant wrote:
The case has been covered to the hilt here in the UK, with the Guardian in particular trying to milk the race angle as much as possible. The fact is, if Zimmerman was black (more than the 25% he is on his Mother's side), this case wouldn't have even made the news. Black people kill black people all the time. Look at the the figures in places like Chicago, Detroit and LA and its surrounding towns.
The inciting issue wasn't necessarily just the white-on-black nature of the incident, but that Zimmerman appeared to have been let off easy, that he wasn't getting the same treatment he would have gotten if the races had been reversed. After a certain point, whether that's true or not became academic, because it was already a national case, already getting pageviews, ratings, magazine sales... hell, my dad (a gun enthusiast) was telling me the other day that the kind of gun Zimmerman was carrying has gone up in sales because of the high profile of the case.

One thing I distinctly remember from the week or so that the story first broke was listening to the BBC (it plays on NPR at night, which is when I often work). The news anchor said Martin had been shot after purchasing "sweets". Sweets sounds like something your grandmother buys you when you're a small child, but it might just be a regular colloquialism on your side of the pond for all I know.

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Tue Jul 23, 2013 5:35 am
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Post Re: Travon Martin, Racial Tensions, and our President
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The inciting issue wasn't necessarily just the white-on-black nature of the incident, but that Zimmerman appeared to have been let off easy, that he wasn't getting the same treatment he would have gotten if the races had been reversed.


I have sympthy for this. But whether we like ourselves for it or not, we think in aggregate risks. Like insurance companies do. Even Jesse Jackson once commented that he feels more comfortable walking past a white person at night than a black person.

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One thing I distinctly remember from the week or so that the story first broke was listening to the BBC (it plays on NPR at night, which is when I often work). The news anchor said Martin had been shot after purchasing "sweets". Sweets sounds like something your grandmother buys you when you're a small child, but it might just be a regular colloquialism on your side of the pond for all I know.


The Guardian peddled this aggresively. He bought Skittles - and next to his name they shown a picture of him taken when he was a 12 year old boy, and not a big, strong and athletic 17 year old young man.

Like I say, I have sympathy for one aspect of the left's argument on this - that if the races were reversed, so may the decision. But that decision would have been wrong if this was the case.

Zimmerman may be an asshole, but it was impossible to convict for murder on the facts. And moaning about racism hides the real problems black communties have - violence, crime, drugs, non-existent education, nihilistic gang cultures, and the fact that the economy has already rendered them obsolete.

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Tue Jul 23, 2013 5:42 am
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Post Re: Travon Martin, Racial Tensions, and our President
NotHughGrant wrote:
I have sympthy for this. But whether we like ourselves for it or not, we think in aggregate risks. Like insurance companies do. Even Jesse Jackson once commented that he feels more comfortable walking past a white person at night than a black person.
Much of how we interpret this risk is an unholy mixture of socialization and the way our understanding of the world is mediated by incredibly powerful corporations. To the extent that Jackson's remark can be considered rational, it's rational on the basis of poor/incomplete data.

NotHughGrant wrote:
The Guardian peddled this aggresively. He bought Skittles - and next to his name they shown a picture of him taken when he was a 12 year old boy, and not a big, strong and athletic 17 year old young man.
That's pretty much the media situation here. Though you tend to hear more about the latter whenever the news organizations want to spice up the controversy.

NotHughGrant wrote:
Like I say, I have sympathy for one aspect of the left's argument on this - that if the races were reversed, so may the decision. But that decision would have been wrong if this was the case.

Zimmerman may be an asshole, but it was impossible to convict for murder on the facts.
This is basically my stance on the verdict. Based on the charges he was up against and the way our system is supposed to work, justice was served. People shouldn't be upset that he was found innocent. They should be upset that other people up on similar charges with a similar body of evidence have been found guilty.

NotHughGrant wrote:
And moaning about racism hides the real problems black communties have - violence, crime, drugs, non-existent education, nihilistic gang cultures, and the fact that the economy has already rendered them obsolete.

It's easy for black people to blame white people for the problems faced by the black community... and the thing is, they're right. On a historical scale, chattel slavery was yesterday and Jim Crow was this morning. Louis CK pointed something out that I think makes the point very effectively: if you see a black man with white hair, he still remembers a time when he couldn't drink from the same drinking fountain as white people.

You can't mercilessly fuck over an entire race of people for hundreds of years--take away their homes, their families, their identities, keep them illiterate, treat them like property, force them to work, beat them, dehumanize them, arrest them and frequently kill them for walking alone without their papers or just because you don't like the look of them--and expect everything to be hunky-dory as soon as our leaders sign a piece of paper that says we're not going to do that stuff anymore.

That sort of lifestyle may be over, but a lot of social brainwashing has to occur, for both black people and white people, in order for slavery to not seem as utterly horrible and barbaric as it really was. And that warped socialization trickles down through the generations, for both sides.

For example, my grandparents--the people who raised the people who raised me--came of age right when school desegregation was just getting started. A very small buffer exists between my upbringing and upbringings that occurred in an era when "separate but equal" was a normal fact of everyday life that everybody accepted without question.

It baffles me when certain commentators complain that black people won't get their act together. There's usually a whiff of condescension there, as though black people are putting this unfair burden on the rest of the world. It's pretty ass-backwards.

But--and that's a very big but--I am partial to Bill Cosby's argument. What it boils down to is that yes, white people may be responsible for the position black people are in, but black people have to hoist themselves out of it. It's not about what's fair. It's about realistically appraising the situation and the expectable outcomes. Nobody's going to deliver a post-racial world on a platter.

The sad thing is, a lot of people misconstrue Cosby and either blame him for blaming black people or feel validated for placing the blame on black people themselves. Cosby is obviously not talking about blame.

I feel kind of dumb for even talking about this, though, because a white person with an opinion about black issues is usually either a borderline racist conservative or a hifalutin' pseudo-intellectual liberal. But this is a forum and it's here for talking about stuff, so...

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Tue Jul 23, 2013 7:02 am
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Post Re: Travon Martin, Racial Tensions, and our President
NotHughGrant wrote:
The problems black people suffer from are born of a destruction, nihilstic culture that a significant % of black people exist in. One of violence, misogyny and anti-intellectualism. Detroit is 47% illiterate accoring to figures in the Huffington Post. In an Information-intensive workplace, no-one is going to have any "economic opportunities" if they can't read.

Hell, the 19 year old black witness in the Zimmerman trial couldn't read. And certain black communities stereotype themselves through gang violence and gangsta rap. It isn't all the fault of Whitey McChalkwhite you know!

It's OK you making excuses, but if you were dumped into a ghetto, you'd be fleeced and dead in minutes.


I grew up in a ghetto. I'm still here.

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Tue Jul 23, 2013 7:32 am
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Post Re: Travon Martin, Racial Tensions, and our President
Quote:
Much of how we interpret this risk is an unholy mixture of socialization and the way our understanding of the world is mediated by incredibly powerful corporations. To the extent that Jackson's remark can be considered rational, it's rational on the basis of poor/incomplete data.


It's not poor, or even incomplete, data. It's very real data, reflecting a very real social problem.

Quote:
They should be upset that other people up on similar charges with a similar body of evidence have been found guilty.


And this is the part I have sympathy for.

Quote:
It's easy for black people to blame white people for the problems faced by the black community... and the thing is, they're right. On a historical scale, chattel slavery was yesterday and Jim Crow was this morning. Louis CK pointed something out that I think makes the point very effectively: if you see a black man with white hair, he still remembers a time when he couldn't drink from the same drinking fountain as white people.


I can find a Jew who has a close relative killed in a Concentration Camp in Poland. Or an Irishman whose granddad was in the Anglo-Irish war. My cousin's parents were booted out of Zimbabwe during Mugabe's "land reforms". Some cultures cope better with the shit that has happened than others. That isn't to excuse the orginal act of oppression; but it is to lament the reaction of some cultures.

Quote:
You can't mercilessly fuck over an entire race of people for hundreds of years--take away their homes, their families, their identities, keep them illiterate, treat them like property, force them to work, beat them, dehumanize them, arrest them and frequently kill them for walking alone without their papers or just because you don't like the look of them--and expect everything to be hunky-dory as soon as our leaders sign a piece of paper that says we're not going to do that stuff anymore.
That sort of lifestyle may be over, but a lot of social brainwashing has to occur, for both black people and white people, in order for slavery to not seem as utterly horrible and barbaric as it really was. And that warped socialization trickles down through the generations, for both sides.


Because discourse and "education" are loaded with victim-stoking. If a black kid from the Detroit ghettos can list all crimes against his people (forgetting the "his people" he's already shot and beaten), but can't perform long-division, then something is seriously wrong with society. With this kind of grief-bait loaded balance - when all crimes against ones race can be recited, but you haven't learned a single skill that makes you either a) valuable to the economy; or b) a productive (ie non-violent) member of society, then that is a serious problem I have little sympathy for.

Quote:
For example, my grandparents--the people who raised the people who raised me--came of age right when school desegregation was just getting started. A very small buffer exists between my upbringing and upbringings that occurred in an era when "separate but equal" was a normal fact of everyday life that everybody accepted without question.


Visit Belfast and Glasgow for similar themes today.

Quote:
It baffles me when certain commentators complain that black people won't get their act together. There's usually a whiff of condescension there, as though black people are putting this unfair burden on the rest of the world. It's pretty ass-backwards.


Actuallty it's not. Detroit - 47% illiterate. How many riots demand the works of Shakespeare, Johnson, or volumes of text on Computer Science. None!

Quote:
But--and that's a very big but--I am partial to Bill Cosby's argument. What it boils down to is that yes, white people may be responsible for the position black people are in, but black people have to hoist themselves out of it. It's not about what's fair. It's about realistically appraising the situation and the expectable outcomes. Nobody's going to deliver a post-racial world on a platter.


Crosby is half-right. Only I'm not responsible for shootings that occur in Chicago, or LA, or Harlem. Neither are you. Today's black people aren't responsible for the blacks who sold their fellow blacks into slavery. The high-acheiving Afro-carrabean Blacks aren't responsible for the considerably lower performing multi-generation American Blacks. Black-British emigrants to Silicon Valley aren't responsible for gang rapes in Miami. As Thomas Sewell pointed out years ago, Black communities that didn't grow up with the unique victim-stoking culture of American Blacks went on to do far better, and far quicker.

I know makes me sound like a bastard; and I'm no racist (although I am a culture-ist), but hell, it's the elephant in the room. Liberal-progressive whites use certain black communities as a moral (and financial) crutch. This is the most serious race-crime I can see.

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