Another thought experiment. A black businessman, who has appointed himself some sort of "watchman" for the businesses in his neighborhood, calls 911 and says: "There is this guy loitoring on this block. He seems suspicious to me, and he is scaring away customers." 911 responds: "Well, I don't know that he is committing a crime. But we will send a unit around when we can." Black businessman: "Okay. But in the meantime, I think I will go out and ssee what this guy is doing.". 911: "Sir, we don't really need you to do that. We will take care of it. Leave it to the police" Black businessman: "I think I will just go out and see, anyway. I am concerned that he might be up to something.
In my thought experiment, of course, the man loitering around the block is a WHITE homeless perosn--scruffy with a hood and maybe a bag of chiops from a convenience store. Her hapens to be just 19 yearsl old, and to have wasshed out of the United States Army as not being able to cut it. He doesn't like authority. That is mainly why he is homeless. The black businessman finds him a block or so away, and goes up to hehi, after following him for a block or so and watching him aporach several potentiial shoppers in the neighborhood. The black businessman says someting like: "Hey, man, what are you doing here. You don't belong here." All the black buisinessman sees is a rather scruffy figure in a hood. It turns out he has no weapon, but the black businessman does not know that. Suddenly, without warning, the white, homeless man is all over the black businessman, punching, gouging and bloodying this nose. The blakc businessman had made sure he had a gun handy when he left his shop, and he panics. It seems to him that he is being attacked, and even in danger of his life. The black businessman manges to pull his gun and shots the white, homeless person, killing him. He calls 911, or maybe has had them on the line all of the time. The police arrive and take a satement. This is Florida, where a person can stand his gound against attack, ansd use deadly force--even if the killer does not see a weapon (as the black businessman did not). Would the police arrest the black businessman? I don't think so. Sure, they MIGHT, jsut as George Zimmerman MIGHT have been arrested. But they probably should not.
Now was the black businessman "justified", from a MORAL point of view, in pulling a gun against a man what has merely "lashed out" at him wiht NON-LETHAL force (ono-lethal at the ont of the shooting)? Maybe not. You can debate that question. But Florida DID debate that questin, and passed a law deciding the question. Notice that a law requiring a person to RETREAT (or at least try), and allowing lethal force only if retreat thas failed and the person attacked REASONABLY belives he is in danger of his LIFE (and not just a non-lethat beating), fails to take REALITY into account. If lyou are ATTACKED, by someone who appears to be bent on harming you wihtuot any restraint, WHEN do you "reasonably" have a right to FEAR for your own life and use lethal force? It is not that easy a quesiton for "ponty-head" intellectuals discussing the matter over some kind of trndy drink at Harvard. it may be an IMPOSSIBLE questin for the person being ATTACKED (who does not have the luxuruy of an academic consideration of the questiin, as the person is being pummeled, with blood running for his nose). As previous blog articles have stated, death is a heck of a "pnishment" for a "bloody nose". That is why, traditionally, the law has looked soemwhat dimly on people who meet non-lethal force with lethal forcee--expeciallly when there was a chance of "retreat" (running away). In the real world, hoever, things are not so clear cut. The "law" may work BADLY, either way. What you have is a CHOICE as to whether you would rather risk unnecesssary killings from use of excessive, unnecessary, lethal force, or whether you would rather risk "innocent' civilians being killed because theyare supposed to hold off using lethal force (even when attacked), and risk such civilians who make their own choice being convicted of homicide for acting like anormal person in the real workld (rather than like an arm-chari quarterback).
You will notice that I CHANGED the facts of the Martin killing slightly, besides changing the race of the respective participants (reversing the racial situation). Howeve,r I did NOT change the LEGAL situation. There is NO DIFFERENCE between the LEGAL situation facing the black businesman, in my thought experiment, and the legal situation facing George Zimmerman (assuming Zimmerman is telling the truth when he says the teenaged boy/young man attacked him FIRST). As this blog has stated, and as is obvious, the media is simply NOT INTERESTED in the FACTS. I made my example more "sympathetic" to the shooter than the Zimmerman case, but the ESSENTIALS are the same. Under Florida law, did Ziemmerman have a RIGHT to sue lethal froce when ATTACKED by an unknown assailant? I heard a person on CNN (part of the LYNCH MOB trying to lynch George Zimmerman) say: "Even if Trayvon Martin 'lashed out' at Zimmerman, it doesn't matter because Zimerman wa 'following' Martin." Notice that the very SAME thing is part of my "thought experiment". The black businessman is FOLLOWING the white homeless man. Let me be as blunt as I can: CNN (some of the most dishonest people who have ever lived, along with almost every other "jurnalist" out there) MADE THIS "PRINCIPLE" UP. That is because they are trying to LYNCH George Zimmerman. Is it POSSIBLE that it is relevant, under lorida law, whether Zimmerman did something to "provoke" a PHYSICAL assault by Martin? Of course it is possible. It is also possible that it is basically IRRELEVANT whether Zimmerman was "floowing" Martin, unlesss he did much more than that to precipitate a PHSYSICAL confrontation. As a lawyer, I can teell you that it is LIKELY that merely "following" a person (as in my thought experiment) does not prevent you from being able to rely on Florida law in the event of a HYSICAL assault. ALL of the FACTS matter here, but CNN is UNINTERESTED in both the FACTS and in the details of Florida law (as applied to different situations--for exmpale, different situations when a person is "foolowing" another person), No, I don't know all of the FACTS here,OR exactly what Floida law may be, becaues CNN, and the rest of the media, are UNINTERESTED in either finding out or telling me. And NO, I am NOT interested in RESEARCHING (exhaustively) both Florida law and the facts. Fto me, and what should be true for yu. this is only ONE of about 16,000 homicides (wore, since this is oonly a POSSIBLE homicide) in this country in the past year. Contrary toCNN, and those who want to USE this case to assert that the USA is a RACIST country, I see no reason to believe that this casee has NY wider significance than being a single, ossible murder, I thought that about Casey Anthony, Natalie Holloway (sp? I definitely don't care), and Jon Benet Ramsey. I see NO reason to believe this killing was about RACE, and even less than no reason to belive that it has ANY reacial significance beyoind (only possibly) George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin themselves.
Enter the President of the United States. President Richard Nixon once took some flak from the HYPOCRITES of our media for referring to Charles Manson in a way that made clear that Nixon regarded Manson as the killder of a number of people (which Manson was). Chales Manso is a monster. I am willin gto state bluntly: George Zimmerman is NOT a "monster". He may have committed homicide. Or this may have been mainly a tragedy of misunderstanding and human error not amounting to homicide. But George Zimmerman is not Charles Manson. yet, you have the President of the United States out there virtually leading the LYNCH MOB against Zimmerman, sahing that: "Trayvon Martin looks exactly like my son would have looked.". President Obama asserts that local, sate and Fedeal authorities should "cooperate" to "get ot the bottom" of this matter, and make sure "justice" is done. Do ou have any doubt at al that the ONLY way to interpret what President Obama said is that the whole NATION wants to GET Beorge Zimmerman? Poor George. President Obama did not have this reaction when that MUSLIM EXTREMIST killed some 13 people at Ft. Hood. He (President Obama) idd not say THEN: "some of the dead look jsut like I once looked, and I know how all of the loved ones of the dead soliders must feel". President Obama was more worried about a BACKLASH against Muslims!!!! To the extent he did sayiy anything about th evictims, you got NO feeling he realy meant it. It is different here. Because Obama PERCEIVES this to be aobut RACE, he is willing to make the Martin kiling th ePRIMARY concern of the Untied Sates government, as =far as murders out there are concerened. Did Trayvon Martin look any more lie wht Obama's sn may have looked thatn dsome of the vicitms of GANG KILLINGS in Chicago? I doubt it. Why is this ONE potential murder the businesss of the President of the Untited States? I see no reason for it. Poor George Zimmerman. According to the President of the United Sates, the entire United States of America--including all people in it-pare ut to GET one man: George Zimmerman. This, of oucrse, is not true, since it is not true of ME. I would not have been "upset" if Zimmerman had been charged with mmurder, and I am not upset that he wasn't. This is true regardless of whether Zimmerman SJHOULD have been charged with mrder. I am simply NOT gong to buy into a HYOPED "significance" of ONE potentila murder (which should have NO Federal involvement, unlike the FEDERAL crime at Ft. Hood),. Nope. I was NOT that upset that O. J. Simpson got away with murder, although I thought that was the case (without having a efinitive opinon, since I had no interest in observing all of the evidence in that circus of a triial).
Back to my thought experiment. What if a WHITE President of the United States had made the same statements that President Obama made about the kiling of an unarmed white person by a black businessman? No, I cn't imagine it either. The Presdient would be accused of being a RACIST. The President might be lynched by the media for putting that much RPRESSURE on local and Federa authorities to "get" ONE BLACK BUSINESSMAN. And, in that case, I thik the media would be retty much right. Did I just call the President of the United States a "racist"? i think so, but it is hardly new. I have said the same thing in thte past, in the same sense that I have called the members of our media "racists'". Presdient Obama, and our media, DEFINE people in tersms of RACE. To me, that is the very essence of racism. We should be STRIVING toward a situatin whether the black business man (n my thought experiment) and Goerge Zimmerman will be treated the SAME--as individuals and not as members of a particular "race". As I have said, I hink MOST people are willing to get BEYOND race in this country. President Obama and our media are not.
In my thought experiment, would there have been a national story, and grief-stricken parents asking for "justice". It is certainly possible. But there would NOT have been national demonstrations demanding that a man be CONVICTED of murder. Make no mistake here. That is what these demonstrations are really demanding: not just a CHARGE, but a CONVICTION. The idea here is to LYNCH George Zimmerma--albeit in the 'legal" way that Dr. Sheppard was lyunched in the case that led to "The Fugitve". If there were similar types of "demands" in the case of my black businessman, this woulld probably be the media "storyline". It wuld certainly be a mjor part of it. It would be claimed that "white' peole were out to "get" the balkc businessman because he had shot a "white person" (a black person citing a white person). There would be NO Federal "investigation" oopened into a possible "hate crime" (with no evidence in Zimmerman's case, other than a white man shooting a black yoindg man). I fully understand that black people have a grievance in this country dating back to slavery. But DEFINING people based on their rce is RACIST. No black person today was a slave (at least in this country). It is lke Msulims overreacting to "insults" against their fiath or a particular Muslim--even Muslims thousands of miles away from whetere the "insult" soupposedly took place. Should balck people really regard the SINGLE KILLING of a black teenager in Floirda as some sort of RACE ISSUE by which the "balck race" has beeen insulted? I don't think so. I htink this is an UNHELATHY thing. I see NO reason to believe that this is part of any systematic effort against balck peole. Even th epolice reaction, if you think it was not as strong as if a white perons had bee killed, is jsut the reaciton of ONE police department--not part of a concentrated effort to excuse the killing of black peole in Floida. You an see why some black peole would have more concern about this aspect (police having confidence of blakc people). But that is EXACTLY what is being UNDERMINED by this OVEREATION to a single potential nomicide without an obvius racial aspect: The media, and racial politicians, are TELLING black people that they face a RACIST country, and a RaCIST police. That is a HARMFUL thing.
What if BOTH Martin and Zimmerman had been white (or black)? There might still have been "controversy", but it would have been the RIGHt kind of controversy (the kind we SHULD have in the Martin/Zimmerman case). The controversy would be about the FACTS, and about wether the law should be so "lenient' on the use of dadly force. Parents might still be "demanding" justice, but the Prfesdient would not be weiging in. The media might still be trying to lynch someone, but it would not be because of RACE. It would be, at least nominally, based on the actual facts. You and I, o f course, know that the media is NEVER INTERESTEED in the actual facts, but there wuould nto be these "demonstrations" pushed by the media, and this attempt to label the whole USA as some knd of evil country that is still racist. I have no problem with looking into the conduct of the plice. have a huge problem with tuning it into a LYNCHING, and with doing so entirely on the basis of RACE (in a situatin where race does not seem to have played much of a role). If you have "blakc activists" being killed in the South, and the killers never convicted, that DOES have an effect on balkc people generally. That is how it was in the 1960s. It is NOT haow it is now. To treat the Martin killing as the saeme thing is to do a HARMFUL thing. It si MOST harmful fo balck peple. As stated, I have NO concern about Zimmerman being "chargd" with murder. IF the decisoin is made in a race-neutral manner, based entirely on the facts, that is fne with me. We seem to have made that IMPOSSIBLE, however. The whole idea here is to make it INEVITABLE that Ximmeraan will be charged with a homicide, AND with a Federal crime resuting ina homicide. That is right. I think Zimmermna is facing TWO trials--each before what is intended to be a Kangaroo Court--before he can ever get out from underr here. To me, that meanst that the Federal Government may decide, at any time, that i wants to GET YOU,. if that happens, you are in big trouble. In fact, the MEDIA may decide, at any time, to GET YOU,. That is also an evil and dangerous thing.
Again, the point here is that the hpothetical black businessman and George Zimmerman should be treated EXACTlY THE SAME. Even if there is a "controversy" about whether a crime should be charged, it should be RACE NEUTRAL. Police are not above scrutiny. But we SHOULD be BEYOND RACE. If the Samford police were --consciously or unconsciously--afffected byt he race of Zimmerman and Matrtin, that is a BAD thing. But, it is obivus to me that the reactin of President Obama, our media, and peole hwo think like them has been based MORE on RACE than is even possible for ethe Samford police. That is REALLY BAD.
The goal here should be to get BEYOND RACE. That is not the goal of President Obama here. It is not the tgoal of our media. Taht is a truly sad, and a turly bad, thing.
P.S. No proofreading or spell checking (bad eyesight--see previous article).