Sunday, July 14, 2013

"old South justice"

Black leaders: Zimmerman verdict is 'old South justice'

Larry Copeland
USA Today
14 July 2013

"A clearly shaken NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous said, "This is a heartbreaking moment. This will confirm for many that the only problem with the New South is it occupies the same time and space as the old South....""

[Read more...]

Note to readers: In the interim between originally linking this article and posting herein, the USA Today article has been updated.

Quotes from the update follow:

"The NAACP website featured an online petition asking the Justice Department to bring federal charges against Zimmerman in the February 2012 fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin.

"The most fundamental of civil rights — the right to life — was violated the night George Zimmerman stalked and then took the life of Trayvon Martin," the petition says. "We ask that the Department of Justice file civil rights charges against Mr. Zimmerman for this egregious violation."

This request that the Department of Justice intervene is most unfortunate.

It already has. Links from this matter are included in a second cache below. The title is culled from a quote from Jesse Jackson referenced by the original post.

Quotes from a wide range of sources
Tweets, photos and videos

Analysis of judge's actions
Analysis of actions of Obama Administration
Justice Dept. opens inquiry (March 2012)
"If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon” (March 2012)

Readers should certainly be allowed to connect the dots between excessive restructuring of this nation from its origins, which protect the rights of states and were specifically crafted to avoid the overweening presence of a federal government that dictates to and supercedes the right of each state to legislate its own affairs, and the current empowering and overreach of said federal government.

This empowering is not new, and, as many will remember, played into the War between the States, another volatile time in our nation's history...

And only the most foolish would wish a return to that war.

The reality that both remains and compels is that, according to the rule of law, a matter must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

Within the constraints of the Florida Stand Your Ground law, Zimmerman is protected in the choice that he made to react to a broken nose and having his head repeatedly bashed into the concrete by a violent teen in a hoodie worn, almost as a uniform, by gangs known to that area—Zimmerman is protected in Florida by that law and thereby protected by that law in shooting his opponent in self defence.

If you have ever been in that situation, preach after you have been rescued from it.

Yes, an awful matter, and not one that is going to calm the racial unrest that seethes (whether white citizens are aware of it or not) in the underbelly of this nation.

While many see vigilantism in Zimmerman's actions that night, others detail that he got out of his vehicle in order to read the street sign, due to being asked his location by the 911 operator, and was jumped by Martin, who was hiding in the bushes.

Whether bushes actually are at that corner is not mine to know. Nor can I know whether or not photographs and text by Martin concerning his desire to own a gun were provided to the jury or, really, whether that desire had anything to do with what happened.

We don't come with road signs. Evidence is not tracked, before a matter escalates into this sort of violence, or marked with Photoshop labels laid out for a jury to see or neon light signs that point to exactly who an individual is or what his background is or what he might have been doing at the exact moments that determined the end that the Zimmerman case had to decide. At the moment that it is being created, evidence is raw and undefined and more often violent than not.

Evidence is neatly tallied and marked later. Hindsight views evidence as though it happened in the neatly marked and labeled folders and slide shows presented to the court.

Life does not happen so. The only 'evidence' the moment allowed was a violent confrontation between a man who happened to be the captain for a neighborhood watch group, and was tracking an unknown individual in an area that had been rife with break-ins, and a black teen who happened to have chosen to hide his face inside a hoodie.

Common sense demands awareness that Zimmerman did not initiate the violence.

Zimmerman had a gun. When you have a gun, you pull out the gun and yell, stop.

And the wise assailant immediately does so, if he values his life. Zimmerman has never, to my awareness, claimed to have been holding his gun in his hand but rather, took out the gun during the confrontation. Crime is most succinctly nipped in the bud when guns are drawn.

This one had already occurred, as the evidence of Zimmerman's swollen and bloodied broken nose and lacerated skull prove.

That the crime had already occurred (and was occurring, as Zimmerman struggled to reach his gun) demands awareness that Zimmerman did not jump Martin. He did not have the option of yelling stop: the crime was already in process, and Zimmerman feared for his life.

Innocence has long flown out the window once a young man has jumped on another individual, and is intent on beating him within an inch of his life. The individual being beaten does not have the assurance that, at a point, his assailant will call an end to the match.

Trayvon Martin, as instigator of a crime, cannot be regarded as an innocent child.

It is an awful matter that Martin was killed but again, preach about the incident after you have been jumped on a dark night by an individual hiding his face behind a hoodie in a crime-ridden area with real gang presence and then tell me you have no right of self-defense.

This crime has a history that leads up to its unfortunate moment and if civi rights workers wish to legislate the right of self-defense, perhaps they should address why crime is such an issue in the black community.

Remove the source that compels neighborhood watch groups.

Eliminate gangs and thieves.

These problems are not abating, but rather, escalating.

I have posted elsewhere about an incident from my own life (a tame matter, relatively speaking) wherein every black woman on a moving Marta train fled to the next bus (leaping through two cars over a moving track) to avoid a fight between black teens because they might have had a gun.

Even the black community understands the violence inherent in black teens.

Profiling is an ugly word, when superimposed upon a history of crime wherein the criminals are primarily black. As I have mentioned elsewhere, when patterns exist, all elements that link those patterns are key. And the trick of that enemy who is set on destruction of all that is holy is rather fond of smokescreening: deal with the causative agent, and quit trying to reassign blame.

Back seat jurists, however, who have information that may or may not have been given to the jury, and yet themselves may or may not have all the evidence, can't make decisions on behalf of the case.

Our hearts go out to any parent who lives in a culture of teen violence. As noted in more than one other post, teens (especially male) are unpredictable. Their native male energy has not yet been tamed by reason and maturity.

However, the case has become a cause célèbre for racial injustice. In my examination through the many years of oppressed vs. oppressors, when the oppressed gain, they become the oppressors. It is not justice, at that point, but revenge.

As long as that remains the human condition, we will have woe.

The choice of Mr. Obama to weigh in with a support he should have known better than to wield in such an environment (the infamous, 'if I had a son, he would look like Trayvon') merely adds weight to an unfortunate idea floating around that Mr. Obama might not have the best interests of this country at heart.

For those who do not know the Georgia case to which the above link refers, it is posted here and photographs of the four gang members can be viewed here.

An Atlanta Journal-Constitution article states that the Georgia case was not racially-motivated, but rather, that the victim, a white man, had provoked the incident by 'flashing' his membership in a rival gang himself. I am not privy to much knowledge about the make-up of gangs, but a cursory research yields allows [16 July 2013, Ed.] this as possibility.

Without having access to the security camera which would prove the provocation, the public must await trial. However, where the seventeen year old Martin is frequently reported as a child, the four suspects in the Joshua Chellew murder, while listed by various media as teens, are all adults, at 18 and 19 years of age.

Needless to say, any overview of criminal activity by black teens (whether mob or gang violence) dictates a removal of the very volatile 'child' from the conversation.

As noted in other posts, living in a city that has a primarily 50/50 demographic balance between white and black citizens, I hear and have heard and experienced much, in addition to private research on leadership in the black community, as well as continued research as a matter of course in 'the black side' of racial tensions in America.

How the Trayvon Martin case will escalate out into a seething unrest remains to be seen. We must hope that calmer spirits prevail at all levels of society and leadership. "Old South justice," for those who do not know their history (from the view of the oppressed and with much factual history to support it), was the KKK.

Jesse Jackson alludes to that history wherein black folk were lynched by a vigilante 'posse.'

Delving into the history of 'justice' in this nation does not reveal a pretty picture. I viewed an exhibit at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site several years ago that confirmed that seething undercurrent that our nation is seeing 'rise up' now, and which the unfortunate matter of the Zimmerman verdict (again, necessitated by the rule of law: those who prosecuted this case did not have the proof of beyond a reasonable doubt, which is the foundation of law) stirs.

You don't forget a history like the one portrayed by Without Sanctuary, and the necessity to witness that history through the eyes of those oppressed and in need of equal presence in the law of the land remains. [2nd link added 16 July 2013. Ed.]

Yes, a black teen, heading into a community to visit his father, died at the hand of an Hispanic man.

Murder, however, is a legal decision, where death is not.

But in the realm of the heart, family, and community wherein legal decisions end up roosting, legal decisions will incite every bit as much as confirm and/or reveal law.