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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Bizarre in Sanford -- the Trayvon Martin Case

A weird pathological growth has recently been spotted clumping in and around a place called Sanford, Florida. A case there that ordinarily would be tried in a courtroom is instead being tried everywhere else. And I would like to emphasize "everywhere," to the point where to read about it on the Internet is getting to be on the sickening side, not least because of the widespread recurrence of the same two photos of the two principals in this case. A thousand times around is enough.

One of these principals is a youth named Trayvon Martin, a Rainbow (''black") person, or at least he used to be but now, besides being a gigantic cause celebre, he is also mainly a corpse. Trayvon Martin is shown peering out at the little that remains of his world from inside a garb that his death is on its way to making nearly universal -- a singularly unappealing garment called a "hoodie." Formerly hoodies were worn mainly by monks going around in a trance mumbling incoherent prayers, and also witches cooking up all kinds of noxious and odious potions in boiling cauldrons full of unspeakable substances. Nowadays, besides skulking in dark alleys, those hooded things are suitable mainly for protection against the blizzards that so often howl across the prairies of Florida.

The other person whose image appears so often and ad nauseum on the internet is that of a still living adult named George Zimmerman. Heretofore that sir-name was notable chiefly because it was given at birth to a highly famous and meritorious poet and harmonica and guitar player, but a long time ago he saw fit to call himself "Bob Dylan" instead, and I wouldn't be surprised if today he is really, really glad.

This newer Zimmerman appears to be and has been called a Hispanic, though his name in no way sounds Hispanic and instead is usually used by members of a different group whose older contingents like to congregate, it is true, in Florida, though many of the others have righteously sequestered themselves in the Middle East, where unfortunately and unaccountably they have become notorious for their willingness to rob, shoot, bomb, irritate, and otherwise make life unpleasant in any way they can for their neighbors, and for any reason, even the flimsiest, or for none at all. So it could be fitting that, instead of coming from a cellphone like Martin's likeness, Zimmerman's photo appears to be a mug shot, probably taken when he was hauled in after the incident that brought on this trial by outrage.

Maybe you already see where I'm going with this post -- an examination of how nearly every aspect of this case defies reality, logic, common sense, and the way that things ordinarily happen, in many ways.

George Zimmerman's weight is usually given as being 250 pounds. Trayvon Martin's weight is less certain, and the two figures I have seen are 140 and 160 pounds. These statistics and the disparity between them are crucial.

So here is this hulking guy (if you weigh 250 pounds and if a photo is circulated everywhere that shows the distance between your jaws to be so much farther than that between your temples that it can't possibly be helpful, you are hulking) is strolling along at night with a gun in his pocket. You would think that weighing 250 pounds would make a man supremely confident of the outcome of a violent difference of opinion with anybody who is more than 25 pounds lighter without having to use a gun. And this man is minding everybody's business except his own because he has appointed himself to being a member of the local neighborhood night watch, though if they had known that he was out there and on the job, unbidden, the officially appointed members of that watch might have told him that bringing a gun along is strictly verboten. In addition one wonders, in light of what he did with that weapon on one particular night, why the Sanford police didn't haul him in for that infraction alone.

Anyway, with the gun in his pocket and the fact that he was roaming about in no official capacity but instead was only a predator of sorts, he was trying to spot anything that appeared to be the least bit suspicious. And that isn't hard to do in any urban neighborhood, unless its streets are completely devoid of humankind, a situation that is not usually the case in a city at any hour.

Right on cue Zimmerman sees this kid with his face partly hidden in a "hoodie," an inglorious item of apparel that would make even a 3-month old baby look ominous, and what does he do? He ascertains that the person wearing the hoodie is male and of the dread hue, and that is all he needs to see.

To keep everything above board, and to crank in what he regards as being his collaborators, he calls the police and reports seeing somebody suspicious, and they tell him that they're coming to take over but meanwhile he should stop stalking the prey, because that is their fun and games. But so as not to let this chance to show his stuff slip by, Zimmerman follows Trayvon Martin anyway, and one minute after that call (according to the police), the youth in the "hoodie" is lying dead, from being shot in the chest at close range.

That single minute between Zimmerman's call and the young Martin's departure from this life is central to this case, as is the puzzling way that this case is being resolutely kept out of the regular courtrooms by the Sanford police, in their refusal, now five weeks old, to arrest the shooter, who was plainly Mr. Zimmerman, or even to appear to be exerting any pressure on him to determine what happened. Instead they seem to have decided that it was merely a case of a "nigger" kid (the kind of language habitually used by the kind of guys who gravitate to hard-nosed and violent, gun-toting occupations like police work) getting what he was due just by merely existing, in a clear case of self-defense, and -- privately, with a snicker, "more credit to Mr. What's-His-Name? Zimmerman."


Except for two calls on those ubiquitous and curious little objects whose use has been denied to me by certain circumstances, thus throwing me far behind today's technological curve, though I'm sitting here facing a row of five functioning desktop computers put together by me and loaded with SATA hard drives and controlled by KVM switches and what-not. I'm referring to those tiny objects of a type formerly made for the ear and the mouth but now made for the hand, and assembled by foot-tall midgets who live in the Swiss Alps and that are causing Americans everywhere to evolve into a race characterized by heads permanently bent over at 45-degree angles and with over-developed thumbs but keen eyesight, and that in the U.S. at least is rapidly becoming the main mode of communication, rivaling even the human voice.

As mentioned, one cellphone call had already been made to the police by Zimmerman. The other call was placed moments later by the now sadly deceased young Mr. Martin, but it was not to the police at this moment of his most urgent need, which had suddenly developed because, as a result of having been born and having donned that "hoodie" 17 years later for his little saunter that night to a convenience store for snacks, he had stumbled into a fracas with what must have finally seemed to him to be a crazed 250-pound monster, and furthermore a monster with a gun. But Martin had phoned his girl friend instead, for help or what? Because what was suddenly happening didn't seem to be real and instead was some kind of joke? And so that's what you do, especially with cell phones. You hit the button for your girl friend first thing.

What happened there? On top of all the dumb thinking that had already taken place, which I suppose happens all the time in a clime like Florida, did he think she would immediately come running to his aid? And so, after pleading for his life, the Martin child was shot dead a moment later by an older and much larger man physically, who had equipped himself to do just such a thing and had come out into the night for no other reason (he couldn't have been watching over the sleeping populace, because there are people instead who are intentionally hired, supposedly trained, equipped, and paid to do that job; they"re called "police"), and at that instant Trayvon Martin was transformed from being an ordinary youth of no particular distinction, for all the awards that are usually heaped on the chests of the newly dead, into being a national symbol touching on all the worst conflicts that are now affecting the national psyche, especially with regard to condoning not one but a series of obvious crimes, including murder, because they are seen to have been committed in the interest of a majority that once rode high but now sees its former unchallenged power and privileges over all others shrinking every year, to the point where they are now threatened with soon not being the majority anymore, unless it turns out that they have never been a people anyway but just a way of thinking.

In the witnesses that have taken it upon themselves to be called to testify in the trial that is being held in the national consciousness, it's been amazing to see the efforts to cast Martin as the villain in the piece, though he carried only some iced tea, a bag of something apparently edible called "skittles (a term formerly confined to impromptu chess games played for fun)," and of course his cellphone. No one is allowed to go anywhere these days, even just to the next room, without a cellphone in hand.

Meanwhile these defenders of the shooter try to give the impression that the armed G. Zimmerman was just a well-meaning, alarmed, and conscientious citizen, armed with a gun and doing his duty and protecting the neighborhood, and they claim that Martin, armed with his skittles (whatever they are), his tea, and his cellphone, attacked Zimmerman instead. Having obviously first carefully set on the ground his tea, his bag of skittles, and the cellphone -- mandatory in preparation for any duel of this kind -- while Zimmerman pulled out his . . .what?, the youth then knocked the older, larger, and armed Zimmerman to the ground. One Florida newspaper even went so far as to declare that Martin managed to do this with a single punch.

Say what? A 150-pound (I am going with the middle figure, just to be on the safe side) lightweight (or is that welterweight or what?) knocked a burly 250-pounder to the ground, and with just one blow, instead of employing the wisdom that even a creature thought to be as lowly as a cat would have used and so instantly saying, "'Bye, sucker!" instead, and hitting the road with all deliberate speed. Who are we talking about here? Superman as a boy?

Until about 20 years ago, I was nearly 30 pounds lighter and only weighed about 135, and I was just a fraction short of Martin's 6 feet in height (though his height has been increased to 6-2 in at least one report), and I think I can speculate with some confidence that at a gated community such as the place where this encounter took place, the streets are never quite that dark, and a weight disadvantage of 100 pounds or more is easy enough to notice and to be taken very very seriously, as no one in his right mind wants a broken jaw or most likely worse.

Zimmerman's excusers also go on to say that as a result of Martin's mighty knockdown punch, Zimmerman suffered bleeding and abrasions that called for medical attention. But that assertion was easily shot down by today's omnipresent Internet videos that show Zimmerman minutes later in the custody of the police with no discernible wounds on his face except his too often seen features themselves.

Then as if to further justify Martin's being shot to death, the "Kill a Darkie" crowd has been working feverishly to dig up anything "suspicious" they can find in Martin's life to justify stalking and killing him but can only come up with various items of no significance.

An early episode of "House" that I just now saw bears on this matter. In the usual difficult and formulaic search for finding what's poisoning a patient, the lead character strongly asserts that teenage boys definitely should not be regarded as being toxins, though this is a statement that I believe would be instantly and strongly disputed by a large number of people, especially the parents of teenage girls, and there is never any telling what you might find at the bottoms of any of their school knapsacks, though certainly not the plans of the U.S. and Israel to bomb Iran or even the CIA's lists of drone targets in Pakistan, Afghanistan, or Brooklyn. Let's be serious here.

But still day after day goes by, and rallies asking that Zimmerman be arrested are held in many places, yet he remains a free man unmolested by the attentions of the U.S. legal system, despite his having shot to death somebody's child, when it is common knowledge what would have happened if Martin had been the shooter instead, of a child of European descent. Judging by many past events, in Florida and its sibling states, it is not much of an exaggeration to say that by this time the trial in a courtroom would probably have been already held and the date of his execution set.

Having once been a potential Trayvon Martin myself, in equally trying times for those born into that fraternity, it is chilling to realize that, as in the many days gone by, there are still a lot of Americans who think that the fact that, if he is of a certain ancestry, the killing of a boy or young man is not worthy of notice of any kind, much less the opprobrium that is rightfully going on in the Sanford case now, though it is still being unheeded by any authorities that might still exist there. It is also no surprise to see how low a profile authorities in many places are able to assume in cases of this kind.

In a 1955 short story penned by a Swedish writer named Stig Dagerman, titled "To Kill a Child," can be found this ringing statement:

. . .So pitiless is life to him who has killed a child that afterwards everything is too late.

That may be so in Sweden, but not necessarily in the U.S., where children of all ages are killed all the time, in the name of many things, especially unnecessary wars that are conducted under the covers about as much or more than they are above.


Blogger LeftLeaningLady said...

I love the quote. I am dumbfounded by this case and by supposedly intelligent people who keep telling me I didn't have all of the facts. You know what? That's what they told me in the run up to the Iraqi war too. They were wrong then and they are wrong now.

I do not believe in vigilante justice, but I do believe that Zimmerman needs to spend the rest of his life in JAIL!

7:39 PM  

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