Justice and Security: Neighborhood Watch Captain Attacks, Kills Unarmed Teenager

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by Tiassa, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Definitely not "punks"

    Having heard it over both the Tiny brand speakers attached to one of my computers and the JVC shelf system attached to the other, I hear "coons", albeit in the equalized version; the raw is unintelligible.

    I go with "coons" because that's what I heard the first time; because "cones" doesn't make any sense; and also because Joe Oliver's latest explanation, "goons", which is, apparently, a term of endearment, is blatantly counterintuitive.

    And is definitely not "punks".


    Goodman, Howard. "On Zimmerman’s 911 Call, What Sounds Like a Racial Slur". Florida Center for Investigative Reporting. March 23, 2012. FCIR.org. March 27, 2012. http://fcir.org/2012/03/23/on-zimmermans-911-call-what-sounds-like-a-racial-slur/
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  3. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

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  5. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    Repeal the law entirely, obviously. If it hasn't already been struck down as unconstitutional, that is.

    And then maybe declare February 26th a state holiday called something like "George Zimmerman is a racist murderer and we're all really sorry that we we are stupid and bigoted enough to ever pass a Stand Your Ground law in the first place."

    He was forced to step down after losing a vote of confidence, and if you think he'll ever serve again I'll give you great odds.

    Good, now follow through on that assertion by refraining from issuing opinions on that and the various other topics that you are clearly "not an expert" on.

    Heck, I'd settle for you keeping quiet about stuff that you're simply "blatantly, grossly uninformed" on, without even coming near the question of "expertise."

    The fact that you haven't seen things that you don't want to see and so have avoiding looking for says nothing about the issue at hand, and everything about your lack of standing to comment on it.

    You don't think that a drug/alcohol test of the shooter - a standard part of any routine homicide investigation - might make a difference?

    Or whether forensics might bear on the credibility of the story given by Zimmerman to police about who did what, when? Things like the basic physical facts of who attacked who, and when and where? Where Zimmerman was positioned relative to Martin when he shot him? Etc.?

    Then you have no business commenting on the matter. You're clearly just looking for a pretense to take the dude's word for it. Just like the cops did.

    What complete horseshit.

    What I'm proving is that you are oblivious to major, salient parts of the background of this case, and so giving credulity where it isn't due.

    Or, actually, the reason for the targetting of your selective credulity is your pro-authoritarian, anti-black bias, and the ignorance is something you maintain to enable that. Problem (for you) is that people here don't share your selective ignorance, and so you just end up squandering all your credibility.

    Generic dismissals of Wikipedia are for people who don't have any substance to their position.

    And, again, I've already informed you that you can find any of these general, basic facts very quickly via a simple google search. They're widely reported, and not in dispute. The fact that you'd rather pursue some meta-critique than get up to speed on basic facts that have been reported for weeks is exactly what I'm counting on - it is toxic to your credibility, and the longer you go on staking your claims on ignorance of basic facts, the better.

    So what?

    You have no reason to believe he is telling the truth either. For all you know, he's a paranoid schizophrenic who wears a tinfoil hat and routinely hallucinates magic elves who steal his underpants. The point, you may recall, was that we have no way to assess the credibility of that statement, and so you're being unduly credulous by staking your whole position on it being correct.

    And the fact that you don't know of the other witnesses that contradict his statement is a criticism of you, not a problem for me.

    Any links, you mean. I've informed you of the contradictory witness statements, and suggested several places where you can find them for yourself. And that is already more than I need to do, given that these are issues of settled, basic fact, widely reported and not in dispute, which anyone with even basic familiarity with the facts of this case already knows. I guarantee you that everyone else here already knows about this stuff - and recognizes your suspicious ignorance of such as a clear sign that you are only getting your info from right-wing propaganda outlets.

    And I've also already clearly explained to you that I'm more interested in watching you embarass yourself by arguing from obvious ignorance, and then spending multiple posts complaining that I'm not doing enough to fix your ignorance for you, than in submitting to your silly demand that I need to "prove" basic, undisputed facts about the issue to you. We are not epistemic peers here. I'm speaking from the common, everyday knowledge that anyone knowledgeable about this issue already has. You're a jerk with a cultivated ignorance of the subject who is spouting right-wing talking points. I am perfectly content with this arrangement - why wouldn't I be? - and have zero intention of legitimating your tactic of avoiding basic facts by pretending that they're controversial issues that require outside proof and evaluation by yourself. You don't get a veto over the facts, and

    And so, being an insufferable boor, you are committed to building up the veracity of that statement (again, "testimony" is something given in a court of law). To the point of pretending that no other statements even exist.

    If you were the reasonable person you pretend to be, you'd probably have done your homework on what the various witnesses said before staking out a position on that basis. And, odds are, you might not have necessarily come to exactly the conclusion favored by the right wing talking heads, and on the exact same basis. Instead, we are treated to the risible display of you learning about the existence of contrary witness statements after having advocated a specific position based on selective ignorance of the various witness statements - which selectivity and position, again, exactly matches that on offer at the usual right-wing propaganda outlets. This being a typical, expected behavior of yours.

    Only puzzling thing is why you keep running this same exact game. Everybody here has long-since caught on. What do you get out of it? Some kind of personal satisfaction for having gone out and "fought the good fight" against the liberal hordes, or something?

    The statements given by the various other witnesses, which have been widely reported in various news sites for weeks now, summarized on Wikipedia, etc.

    What do you think you're proving by refusing to do even basic homework here?

    You've done nothing else, and moreover this is a standard practice of yours. Deny it all you want - nobody is going to be fooled. Do you even really believe yourself when you issue these denials?

    No it isn't, and I'll thank you not to accuse me of lieing. I am 100% serious when I describe your obvious pattern of pro-racist advocacy. You're a fool if you don't understand that you have a long-standing, well-earned reputation as such around here.

    Yep, and so would you if you'd made even a token attempt to learn what the various witnesses have said. It's very easy - five minutes on google, or one minute on Wikipedia, ought to do it.

    And, again, there is no "testimony" to be had, exactly because Florida's idiotic law prevents hearings where such could be given.

    And again, my plan is to let you make an ass of yourself by arguing from blatant ignorance of basic facts for as long as you care to continue to do so. Was I somehow unclear when I explained that last time?

    Well, for the third (or fourth?) time, then: I refuse to legitimate the implication that the basic facts of the case are in dispute, or are subject to your scrutiny. My goal is to undermine your credibility, and specifically your pretense of being an objective, informed commenter. The farther out on the limb of selective ignorance and irrational adherence to right-wing propaganda that you go, the better.

    There is no "testimony" and, more to the point, there isn't going to be a trial where such would be sorted out - this being exactly the line of complaint that you are here working to derail, using talking points taken directly from right-wing propaganda outlets.

    Meanwhile, the point was more to illustrate your highly selective credulity in forming the basis of your position. You latched on to one anonymous witness - leaked by the police because he makes them look good - and are totally ignorant of the various other witness statements.

    By all means, though, continue with your tantrum over my refusal to rub the basic facts in your face. The more you insinuate that the basic, widely reported, undisputed facts of the case are some lies on my part, the more clearly you mark yourself as nothing more or less than a shill carrying water for the racist ideologues who so obviously fed you your talking points.


    The basic facts of the case do not require "support." I've explained this all very clearly multiple times now. The fact that you will continue to dispute them is a feature, not a bug, from my perspective. Submitting to your demand that I "prove" the basic facts of the case - and relabelling them as "my position" - is exactly a tactic you are pursuing to pump up your credibility, and which I will not be falling for.

    That's correct. I haven't made any claims which require proving - just obvious, common knowledge stuff well-known to anyone informed about the issue. That you don't know it illustrates that you aren't well-informed, and your pretense that this stuff is controversial or somehow in doubt is just so much rear-guard defensiveness. By all means, keep it coming.

    There's no long o on that recording. The fact that you will find a way to hear things that aren't there is just another thing illustrating how biased and unreliable you are on this issue.

    Are you asserting that there are no other witnesses who gave statements to police, which contradict elements of your favored statement?

    If so, excellent. Because it is exactly the statements they gave that made the cops look so bad, and so prompted the leak of the other, oh-so-convenient witness you have staked your entire position on.

    Fortunately, I have yet to assert anything that requires links or sources. That's an advantage to sticking to uncontroversial, common-knowledge stuff. And since I'm not here carrying water for propagandists, I don't share your incentive to exaggerate my reliability with a bunch of links and whatnot.
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  7. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    I read the material you posted inline. You followed that with a suggestion to follow your link and "read more." I declined, and then you threw a hissy-fit. Do you even have a point, or are you just looking for some distracting irrelevancy to yammer at me about?

    When did I call the Miami Herald a shitrag? You posted a link to the Daily Mail, a shitrag, and I refused to read it on those grounds.

    Quit being such a whiny drama queen.
  8. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    I happen to be an expert on speech processing who has "golden ears" and professional-quality sound equipment sitting on my desk. Discerning fine details of speech recordings, especially in noisy environments, is a major part of my job.

    He said "fucking coons."
  9. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

    Why should I take your word for it?

    If you have such great equipment then post a decent YouTube like I linked to.

    You know ones that strongly suggests that it wasn't coons.
  10. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

    Already commented on that.
    The original pre 2005 law would have had the same result.
    This isn't actually about "stand your ground".

    Vote of confidence doesn't mean you have to step down.
    And you have yet to post a link to a report in the news that backs up your claim that he was fired.

    Nah, I'm just as much an expert as you are.

    Same to ya.

    Sure thing Mr No links.

    Not likely.
    Florida does NOT have an "imperfect Self Defense" statute as some states do.
    Assuming he wasn't drunk (and there's no reason to believe he was) even if he had had a beer or two would have no impact on his claim of self-defense.

    And what is your evidence that basic forensics weren't picked up?
    Indeed the KEY piece of evidence of where the gun was in relation to Martin when it was fired is the wound on Martin and his clothes, which will show angle of entry and approx distance from the gun when it went off.

    I have just as much business commenting on the matter as you do.
    At least I get my head out of Wiki every now and again.
    And no, I'm not looking for a pretense to take his word for it, I've been quoting the testimony that the papers released. You don't want me to do that because the one who saw the altercation tends to corroborate Zimmerman's story.

    They had Zimmerman at the police for hours, they record those sessions.
    If he was high or drunk that would be obvious and no one has said what forensic value his shirt would be.

    Oh, so now if I don't know some little detail about the case or about previous cases I can't comment on them?
    That' your new standard, be an expert or STFU?

    Well then you should heed your own advice.

    More unsubstantiated BS.

    Not if they provide links, like I have, to the information I'm basing my posts on, which I have done.
    And for which you have yet to do.

    The problem with Wiki is on a story like this too many biased people like you get on it and start making it say what they want.

    And yet the rules of this forum are YOU make the claim, YOU provide the data to back it up.

    Which you won't (or can't) do.

    Nope, he has been interviewed by journalists, who WOULD as part of their job check to see if those applied.
    They have not made that claim.
    You don't like his testimony because it corroborates Zimmermans.

    Of course I stake my whole position on it.
    I'm not just taking Zimmerman's word for it, and that's why I've said over and over and over, that my analysis is based on his testimony holding up, because as long as it does it is highly unlikely the State can get over the burden of proof that "beyond a reasonable doubt" it wasn't self defense.

    And yet even thought your whole case rests on the fact that a witness contradicts that crucial testimony and yet STILL you can't provide a link to this witnesses statement.

    Why not Quad?

    Funny how that works.
    That one bit of testimony is what appears to be keeping him out of jail.
    If that testimony was seriously challenged then the State could argue at a prelim to a Fl judge (or Grand Jury) that they could impeach that corroborating witness and thus proceed to arrest him.

    No Quad, I'm not going on a wild goose chase on your say so.
    Your claim, your responsibility to provide the links.

    Hmmm, I don't believe any info was from RW propaganda outlets, but then you haven't posted any support for your claims.
    Why not try that for a change?

    Translation, "I've got nothing so I'll just attack the person"


    Well then quit doing it.

    And yet you can't actually point to any such advocacy.

    I do believe I've read them all and none contradict the key corroborating witness.

    So far, no one claims to have seen how the fight started and no one claims to have seen Zimmerman shoot Martin, but that doesn't help the State in meeting their burden of "beyond a reasonable doubt"

    Not in this case it doesn't.
    The presumption of fear only applies to defense within your "Castle". That wasn't the case.

    You must mistake me for someone who actually cares what you think?
    The one who comes up with no support for your claims is you, not me.

    Really, that's it?

    Then how do you account for the DA telling the police that there isn't sufficient evidence to arrest him?

    Seems like that key testimony being contradicted would be all they would need.

    Now if only someone would post a link to that testimony so we could see this contradiction.

    If only.

    Of course what we do know is:

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505266_162-57405671/trayvon-martin-killing-investigation-starts-over/ <== is CBS ok Quad?

    Really hilarious.
    No tantrum, basic Forum etiquette.
    You claim to have undisputed facts that show what I've posted is wrong, but even though OTHERS might be interested in these facts you claim to have, you won't post them because .......????

    The only rational conclusion is that if you had them you would have posted them.

    Guess I'll have to report you to the Mods, see if they can get you to actually support your claims.
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2012
  11. Bells Staff Member

    And you expect us to take yours that it was "punks"?

    One of the most telling things about your stance in this discussion is that you, like Zimmerman, have yet to provide any proof that a black kid walking home in the dark with his hood up in the rain (heaven forbid one dares to cover one's head when it rains) was doing something suspicious. Was it the speed he was walking that was suspicious? That he was black? Was it the hoodie?

    You have simply taken Zimmerman's words that Martin needed to be followed because he was a black kid walking down the street at night. There was absolutely no reason for Zimmerman to even get out of his car and follow Martin. Absolutely none.

    It seems that Bill Lee, the police chief who recently stepped aside because of his handling of this case, may have had his own agenda. He knew Zimmerman and had heard previous complaints made by neighbours to the police, because of Zimmerman's aggressive manner in which he 'patrolled the streets'.. In fact, Bill Lee once sat in a meeting where several of Zimmerman's neighbours expressed concern and filed complaints with the police about Zimmerman's behaviour:

    A volunteer community watch captain who shot an unarmed Florida teenager to death last month had been the subject of complaints by neighbors in his gated community for aggressive tactics, a homeowner said.


    Zimmerman, who patrolled the Retreat at Twin Lakes development in his own car, had been called aggressive in earlier complaints to the local police and the homeowner's association, according to a homeowner who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

    At an emergency homeowner’s association meeting on March 1, “one man was escorted out because he openly expressed his frustration because he had previously contacted the Sanford Police Department about Zimmerman approaching him and even coming to his home,” the resident wrote in an email to HuffPost. “It was also made known that there had been several complaints about George Zimmerman and his tactics" in his neighborhood watch captain role.

    The meeting was attended by Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee, the detective assigned to the investigation and an unnamed member of the city council, according to the homeowner’s association newsletter.

    Here is where this gets very interesting:

    Despite public claims that there wasn't enough probable cause to make a criminal case in the Trayvon Martin killing, early in the investigation the Sanford Police Department requested an arrest warrant from the Seminole County State Attorney's Office, the special prosecutor in the case told the Miami Herald on Tuesday.

    A Sanford police incident report shows the case was categorized as "homicide/negligent manslaughter."

    The State Attorney's Office held off pending further review, the Herald reported.


    The Seminole County State Attorney's Office was consulted the night of Martin's killing, but no prosecutor ever visited the scene. As the controversy intensified, Gov. Rick Scott replaced Seminole State Attorney Norm Wolfinger with Corey, the state attorney for Duval, Nassau and Clay counties, based in Jacksonville.

    The development is in stark contrast to the statements repeatedly made by Bill Lee, the Sanford police chief who has since stepped aside and was lambasted for his handling of the case. Lee publicly insisted that there was no probable cause to arrest Zimmerman, leading many critics to say he came across more like a defense attorney for Zimmerman.

    "Zimmerman provided a statement claiming he acted in self-defense which at the time was supported by physical evidence and testimony," Lee wrote in a memo posted on the city's website. "By Florida Statute, law enforcement was PROHIBITED from making an arrest based of the facts and circumstances they had at the time."

    He cited the statute number for Florida's "stand your ground" law, which provides immunity to people who kill someone in self-defense.

    Lee was criticized for his explanations, because many people thought he was bending over backward to protect the shooter based on the results of a shoddy investigation.

    So Lee defends Zimmerman, even though investigators were requesting that a warrant be issued for Zimmerman.
  12. Pandaemoni Valued Senior Member

    It is: irrelevant. It would be like me asking you if your position would be different (and outrage lessened) if Zimmerman (half-hispanic) had shot a white guy.

    Minorities have MORE to fear from a lack of equally and justly applied laws, or laws being ignored when the public finds them inconvenient. That certain minorities want the ex post facto application of a new law in this case sets a bad precedent (not to mention that ex post facto enforcement of the law is expressly unconstitutional).

    Many people are arguing for the existing law to be ignored (because many feel it's bad public policy)...but what law do you apply in its place other that the law of the mob? I've heard no proposal other than "something fair" and "he's obviously guilty". There is no fair way to set aside the law and put in place new ones, and certainly any selection that presupposes guilt would be grossly unfair.

    Plus, what if he is tried and acquitted? I don't think you'k the man's hand and walk away happy. One thing you've made clear is that you want him found guilty, so the implication that you rather do want the public outrage to control the verdict in this case.

    If you wanted the current law applied to this case, and the law to be changed to prevent this in the future, that seems fair-minded, but that's not the vibe I'm getting.

    The vibe I get is that the lynch mob. That's not problematic for minorities in this case (oh wait, Zimmerman IS a minority), but lynch mobs are not the friends of minorities usually.
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2012
  13. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

    Do you even read the posts in the thread Bells?

    I posted a link to someone who did sound analysis that showed it was a closer match to Punks than Coons but the point is it's not clear what it is, so to say it MUST be COONS is simply wrong.

    Not true Bells, this is what I said:

    This is from my first post:
    No I haven't (see above), but I don't think it's a legal issue since just following him is not a crime, nor is asking what he is doing there.

    Yes, that's well known, but none of those complaints resulted in any police action, so it doesn't appear that he was breaking the law.

    You blame this on Lee, but it is really the DA who does the indictement, not the Chief.

    It has been the DA's office all along who has said there is no enough evidence to charge him with anything.

    And that has to do with the Florida law, which I've quoted earlier:

    It is indeed, in Florida, a high bar.
  14. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

  15. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member


    Do you have a source for this claim?

    And they sure as hell weren't on the TWO occasions--in TWO different cities--in which they beat the shit out of me for the "crime" of having a seizure!

    But they are pretty good at lying.
  16. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    You should direct that question to the US Supremes under the leadership of Roberts. The Roberts court has had no problem setting aside existing laws and precedents and replacing them with partisan politics.
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2012
  17. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

    Umm if the law is struck down by a constitutional challenge then it's not retrospective arest
  18. Pandaemoni Valued Senior Member

    Not quite, if a law proves to be unconstitutional and is struck down, you still cannot arrest someone for an "offense" in this case. In the 1960's the South Carolina supreme court issued a ruling changing their interpretation of the state trespassing laws, and applied the new interpretation to civil rights activists, so they could be thrown in prison for activities that were not in violation of the law as understood at the time they committed the purported trespassing. The U.S. Supreme Court overturned that, saying that the retroactive application of the change in law violates the Ex Post Facto Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

    A ruling by a court doesn't alter or void a criminal law ab initio as applied against prior conduct, it simply modifies or invalidates it as of the date of the ruling. More lenient standards get applied to those already convicted or on trial for a violation of that law, but harsher penalties can't be applied based on prior conduct. The reason is that the U.S. Constitution does not allow for the ex post facto laws (or court rulings) to impose criminal punishments or to impose harsher punishments.

    The ex post facto limitation does not apply to civil suits though, so if the laws were struck down, the family could proceed with a wrongful death action against Zimmerman.

    That said, the notion that the courts will strike down stand your ground laws is a somewhat remote possibility. MOST U.S. states have some similar carveout to the Florida law at issue. Remember that the standard is "you have to retreat unless you reasonably fear for life or limb"...so what's the alternative to that? You have to retreat even if you reasonably fear getting killed while doing so? That would mean that you could not attack a criminal with a gun to your head who said, "I am going to kill you now"; instead, you'd have to retreat.

    There are a few possibilities here. If what people want is a law that says you cannot follow a person, then shoot them in cold blood and pretend they attacked you...that is the law in all 50 states including Florida. If what people want is a law that says you cannot in any way have had anything to do with instigating the fight, that is not the law in any state.

    If you take Zimmerman at his word, he followed Martin, the stopped and was returning to his car when Martin attacked him from behind. At that point, he was scared for his safety, so he shot Martin. If that were a true account, he'd be acquitted in every state as long as his fear of death or grave bodily harm was reasonable.

    The quirk in Florida law is a very strongly worded statute that prevents the police from holding you on those facts pending an investigation, and the police were too quick to take him at his word. (Sort of...in fact the Constitution says that you cannot arrest someone without probable cause, which is also what the law says, but it has been interpreted as meaning that you cannot arrest unless you have probable cause to believe that the defense of justification is invalid, and the police took a harsh view (from the victim's family's perspective) on what amounts to probable cause...in that the 911 tape did not establish it by their standards.)

    As it stands I am not sure I see "beyond a reasonable doubt" standards being met in *either* direction based on the information I've learned about the case, at least not if the jury is unbiased, but we will see what the new investigation turns up.
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2012
  19. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

    Umm wouldn't that depend? If the court made something which wasn't illegal illegal then sure, if all they did was make it so this murder could actually face the court which isn't making something new illegal then it should mean he has to face the court.
  20. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

    It's not the clearest video and it is supposedly after he had been treated by paramedics, but I agree it certainly doesn't appear that he had been severely beaten and his nose doesn't look broken to me (which his lawyer said, but has not been confirmed by any medical report), and the other point is if he is 5'9" tall then he doesn't look like he's 250 lbs either.

    But I've always maintained that my position (that the Florida law of self defense is in Zimmeran's favor) is only valid as long as the testimony that he was on his back on the ground crying out for help with Martin on top pounding on him, holds up.


    But note, this is the existing Florida Law we've been discussing:

    The does not have a duty to retreat clause is the "Stand Your Ground" clause, and is not applicable to Zimmerman's claim since if he was on the ground being pinned by Martin that wasn't an option.

    But being pinned to the ground and being beaten by someone does appear to meet the Florida statute requirements:

    The key part to that clause of the Florida Law is you don't have to wait for the person to inflict great bodily harm to defend yourself with deadly force.

    I'm not making this shit up. It's not only the Florida law, but the case law in Florida behind this law that leads me to my conclusion. In researching this I've read some pretty unbelievable Florida cases where the person was charged with killing someone and yet fully acquitted based on this law.

    Which is why my most recent comment states the exact same position:

    Last edited: Mar 29, 2012
  21. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    A Note for Bells

    A Note for Bells:

    A notion that has been reasserting itself in my mind, over and over again, as this story has developed, is that we might be witnessing a rarely-discussed cultural issue among Americans. We might call it the Great American Wish.

    For example, Michael Moore wrote a chapter in one of his books called "Horatio Alger Must Die!" His whole point was about the damage of the mythical American dream; people vote against their own interests because they might, possibly, just somehow, become rich and, well, they would want that extra three percent off the taxes they pay on their millions or billions or whatever ludicrous sum they dream.

    Likewise, Americans have a deep sensitivity to the myths of heroism. Nobody ever wants to be a criminal for "doing the right thing", so the tendency of many is to protect the killer in a "self-defense" question like this one.

    Take the question of what was said, for instance. Our neighbor isn't the only one willing to suggest something ludicrous instead of the word "coons". Quite literally, Joe Oliver argued on MSNBC that Zimmerman uttered a term of endearment in that moment.

    And that's sort of the thing. "Cones"? Okay, fine. Now, what, exactly, does that even mean?

    "Goons"? Okay, at least this one is phonetically arguable. But then Oliver had to push it by explaining that "goons" is a term of endearment. Okay, fine. Now, how, exactly, does that even make sense?

    It's kind of like Billy Crystal ("To blave") in The Princess Bride, except this time it's not funny.

    There are definitely elements of racism apparent in both the shooting and people's defense of the shooter, but for many Americans, race won't enter into it compared to the idea of being able to shoot someone for looking at you wrong.

    Yes, there are those who will defend the shooter for racist reasons. But there are also those who will defend George Zimmerman in order to protect their Horatio Hero dream. The problem for those folks arises if they tread into what seems obviously dangerous territory.

    Adoucette's early analyses in the thread are worthy considerations, for instance. If we attend the proscription, "If what I read this morning is correct", we have a reasonable place to start understanding his analysis of the situation. The latest development is that what he referred to, Zimmerman's injuries, is not correct; that will have some effect on his analysis in the long run.

    Were I a juror, I could not convict. I might have all manner of criticism for Zimmerman's action and the police department's handling of the incident, but as a statutory matter, I could not convict. Despite what I see, the fact is that I cannot prove beyond any reasonable doubt that the obvious suggestions are actually true.

    That, of course, is part of why people are so furious about the shooting. The whole idea of shooting someone for looking at you wrong is one of the main concerns about specifically belligerent self-defense laws. It's not like we couldn't see something like this coming. I guess, in the end, some people think that, in consideration of all the real crimes that might have been prevented by this law—that would not have been prevented under a normal self-defense consideration—the sacrifice of Trayvon Martin is worth it. I mean, come on, nobody was really going to say, back when this law was passed, that this wasn't going to happen, right? So, yeah. People knew when this law was passed that there would be sacrificial lambs.

    And it's worth it, to them. Some might suggest that it is practical to make this trade, but we'll see how they feel when the victims' advocates are reminding, "All he did was offer to buy her a drink," or, "Why do black people get to say 'nigger'?" (What? Many argue that a woman is culpable in her own rape if she accepts the drink. And, hey, people have been brutally murdered for being "niggers", so watch who you say the word around—they might just stand their ground and shoot you in self-defense.)

    And perhaps that juxtaposition results in certain neurotic tensions; I cannot say for certain. It's kind of like when a conservative explained, "Race is absolutely not the motivation for opposition to Obama, but it is used by some as a tool in the fight against him."

    The same sort of idea applies. In the end, the question of whether one's willingness to use a racist argument is a sign of accidental and circumstantial insensitivity—i.e., the Horatio Hero myth obscures all other considerations—or willful racism remains open from case to case.

    It's hard for me to figure Arthur's "cones" suggestion, because, as I noted, it just doesn't seem to make sense. That it pertains to an issue of potential racism in Zimmerman's actions doesn't necessarily mean our neighbor is specifically racist, but, rather, suggests that he is looking at the situation with different priorities than, say, yours or mine. And the weight of considerations, determined by those priorities, somehow obscures the apparent absurdity of the suggestion.

    Perhaps people don't realize what they're hearing. I've witnessed the behavior many times. My own father is a particularly pointed example. For whatever reasons—we've always figured it was stress or, as I've expressed so many things lately, neurotic conflict—he will frequently mutter and whisper to himself. And he does it even in the middle of a conversation. These are the really telling ones, because if you combine what he says in the dialogue with whatever he mumbles, mutters, or whispers in the unconscious—i.e., involuntary—monologue, you can get a good read on what he's actually thinking about the issue. It's not senility; he's in his late sixties, and has done this as long as anyone has known him. It's not a learning disability; I often forget that he has a master's degree, since he never uses it, and hasn't taught in the classroom for over thirty years. He's not stupid. But he is tightly bound in his psyche, much as many Boomers are.

    In other words, I'm not certain George Zimmerman even knew he said anything. Although I suppose, in that context, it becomes possible that he said something apparently irrelevant to the entire situation, like "cones", but I am quite certain of what I hear in the playback.

    I guess the bottom line is that it won't always be willful racism if people's defense of Zimmerman seems problematic. In some cases, it will simply be that a person's priorities have obscured what is otherwise kind of obvious.
  22. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

    Exactly. I don't understand why so many people are making an issue of the "stand your ground" law. According to Zimmerman, he was pinned to the ground being beaten. Retreat was pretty much impossible at that point.
  23. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

    Have you never seen one of these?

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    If you stumble over one of these in the dark, then "f***ing cones" muttered under your breath seems reasonable to me. (earlier I thought he was driving, but apparently he was out of his car when he said this).

    Of course maybe they were just underfoot and make walking silently in the dark tricky?

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    I've said that I heard CONES, because I do.

    From the internet it's clear others do as well.

    But (and I've looked) it would appear that many people seem to hear PUNKS, and that's something I clearly don't hear, but my much younger daughter sorta does (she says she doesn't hear Punks but she says she sometimes hears a leading P sound that I do not).

    Others say they hear COONS or GOONS

    CNN said their editors and sound people couldn't come to an agreement on what was said either, so it would appear that we simply don't know.

    Well apparently it is used as a sort of a "term of endearment" among some (gansta wannabes?), as in "I was in no danger, my goons had my back", but that use does not fit with the way Zimmerman was using it.
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2012

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