Sunday, March 25, 2012

Trayvon Martin and the End of Excuses

Trayvon Martin. (photo: Family, Trayvon Martin)
By Charles P. Pierce, Esquire Magazine
24 March 12

e have become a nation in which children have become expendable. Trayvon Martin is just the most recent example.

We executed children in this country until long after the rest of the world - except Iran - thought that was a good idea. Almost six million children live in poverty in this country. Almost six million of them are without health insurance of any kind, and that's reckoned to be an improvement. None of this is accidental. These children are expendable because the people we elect make policy decisions of which we approve - or, at least, of which we do not disapprove. The Republicans in Congress - behind the "leadership" of zombie-eyed granny-starver Paul Ryan - would like to zero out the SCHIP children's health-care program. If they do that, it will not be done by accident. The Florida legislature, behind the leadership of the National Rifle Association, passed the "stand your ground" law, despite the fact that even police and prosecutors were warning that it amounted to a hunting license for anyone who had both a gun, and the ability to concoct a good story. Trayvon Martin is not dead by accident.

But, already, even in the face of widespread outrage, the notion is continuing to circulate through the country, like topical anesthetic working on an open wound, that what happened to Trayvon Martin was, if not entirely accidental, then merely a combination of unfortunate circumstances culminating in an entirely regrettable event. (That's not even to mention the wilder precincts of mouth-breathing public commentary. If you ever needed proof that whatever consulting genius came up with the idea of having a Comments section follow every newspaper story deserves to die a slow and painful death by honey and fire ants, this story is pretty much what you're looking for.) Conservatives caution the president not to "inject race" into the incident any further, because, as we know, we can't tell how much of a factor "race" was, because George Zimmerman was half-Hispanic and because of the backward masking on the Sergeant Pepper album. (I am not kidding.) Geraldo Rivera, looking for relevance in all the wrong places, blames hoodies:

But I am urging the parents of black and Latino youngsters particularly to not let their children go out wearing hoodies. I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin's death as George Zimmerman was.... Every time you see someone sticking up a 7-11, the kid is wearing a hoodie.... When you see a black or Latino youngster, particularly on the street, you walk to the other side of the street. You try to avoid that confrontation.

(And every time I see someone convicted of ripping off pension funds, he's wearing a $500 suit. Don't wear $500 suits!)   READ MORE

The legality of Zimmermans position on self defense,  obviously rests upon his being part of the "neighborhood watch" and not a "vigilante"  which would have been illegal!  

Okay,  but the 911 operator,  who speaks for the city/police/emergency services ordered him to stand down!  Had Zimmerman followed that order,  he could not have been involved with Trayvor Martin at all.
But that was not the case!  Zimmerman disobeyed his orders and that made him a vigilante unlawful,  which gave Martin the right to defend himself against the now criminal vigilante Zimmerman. 

A robber cannot break into your home or hold you up on the street and shoot you,  then claim self defense because you had tried to shoot him.   Normally,  merely following and accosting someone isn't a crime.  But,  under the circumstances where Zimmerman was acting as a "neighborhood watcher" and told not to do so by the authorities,  his actions then,  became the unlawful acts of an illegal vigilante.  He accosted Martin under the color of an authority he did not have.  To be a "neighborhood watcher",  he needed and had the permission of the police department to do certain things under certain circumstances.  When he disobeyed his instructions,  he ceased to be the legal extension of the police,  that the organization was set up to be.  He instead became a lone vigilante unlawful,  acting on his own.  Thus,  the police should have arrested him on the spot for what he did,  regardless of any and all claims,  since he had disobeyed his orders and lawfully given instructions. 

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