The US’s second ‘Rodney King moment’

15 July 2013

Was it right for the middle aged part-Hispanic male George Zimmerman to shoot the young black male Trayvon Martin, regardless of whether or not he had just had his head kicked in by him? The ‘not guilty’ verdict has granted the USA another Rodney King moment, although race may not have been a crucial factor in the shooting, merely one factor. The defence, of course, argued successfully that race was not a factor at all; but that notwithstanding I would guess that Zimmerman’s suspicions would have been less pronounced had the person he saw peering through windows in his gated community been an elderly white lady, for example, rather than a young black male. And statistically he would have been right to be less alarmed had this been the case, although even to say this patent fact leaves one open to accusations of racism.

It would seem that Martin was a bit of a baddun, frequently suspended from school, possibly involved in theft, certainly an afficianado of dope – although none of this, of course, requires him to be killed. Zimmerman meanwhile, who claimed (and there is not much reason to disbelieve him) that Martin broke his nose and inflicted upon him various other cuts and lacerations. He also seems to have been one of those rather scary neighbourhood watch people, obsessively vigilant, perpetually inflamed. And he had a gun. I don’t think people like that should have guns. I’m not convinced anyone should have guns. But that’s me all over, whining white liberal.

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  • Frank P

    Bill Whittle adduces the evidence that those conducting the show trial failed to present:

    The black power network on both sides of the Pond is forever poised to exploit any opportunity that arises anywhere to convert it into fuel for the eternal flame. They are not satisfied with having turned the White White House into the Hybrid House. They are only half-way there in their objective. Race is an industry: ’twas ever thus and ever will be.

    This was a street fracas between a wannabe cop and young thug. It was about over-reaction by both parties to the incident. One of them is dead, the other’s life is changed forever. A bonaza for the media, manna from heaven for Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, re-charged miraculously at the flickering end of their candles, Move on FFS. We’re feeding the flames.

  • Kate HA

    BBC news report from USA rallies organised by Civil Rights leader Reverend Al Sharpton: “President Obama says he identifies with the hurt felt by the black community”.

    Earlier BBC news played a recording of Obama’s original response to the case: “If I had a son he’d look like Trayvon Martin”.

    And more … from New York Daily News:

    ‘A somber President Obama swooped into the White House briefing room Friday and delivered a deeply personal reflection on the Trayvon Martin case.
    “Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago,” he said.

    “In the African-American community at least, there’s a lot of pain
    around what happened here. I think it’s important to recognize that the
    African-American community is looking at this issue through a set of
    experiences and a history that doesn’t go away.”

    Not mincing words, the President boldly suggested that Martin’s race
    played a critical role in the murder — and Zimmerman’s subsequent

  • Andy

    I wasn’t in Court and so didn’t hear the evidence. I note most of those who have been quick to spout off about this weren’t in Court either. The problem is the Martin was black and Zimmerman was not. Thus Martin was a little angel and Zimmerman is not. He is therefore guilty.

    You see the pattern quite often. We have seen it here in the Lawrence case. There the self-righteous liberal elite had to drive a coach and four through all our rights (and a 1000 years of legal precedent) to gain a conviction which suited them. Had Stephen Lawrence been white and his attackers black you can bet a shed load of money there would never have been the fuss, and had there been you can bet the convictions would have been overturned by now. That’s race for you.

  • piggly wiggly

    You know, there was a time when people expressed the problem of race in America by describing a prejudice: ‘driving while black’. But the pendulum has swung. It seems, from what we can know outside of the jury discussions and the courtroom, that Zimmerman was guilty of ‘self-defence while not black’. Is this what it has come to?

  • Lungfish

    It does- one of the best interviews on tv – Andrew Neil Vs Ed Davey on The Sunday Politics-really very good, break down the actual facts and press hard. I thought that programme was superb.

  • Piggly Wiggly

    The question is whether you want your country’s military, but not your police force, and your country’s violent criminals, but not citizens in their homes, to have the power of self-defence. Bad people already have access to guns and will break the law to get that access. The question is whether good people should be sitting ducks or not. Firearms, unlike any other weapon, are the great equalizer — the one thing that gives power to a granny in her bedroom over a muscleman with intent to do harm.

  • Hexhamgeezer
  • whs1954

    “I would guess that Zimmerman’s suspicions would have been less
    pronounced had the person he saw peering through windows in his gated
    community been an elderly white lady, for example, rather than a young
    black male.”

    Well, true, but perhaps the more pertinent question would be, what would Zimmerman’s suspicions have been had the persons he saw peering through windows been a young white male rather than a young black male.

    • stephen rothbart

      The person he saw was hooded and when he was asked by the dispatcher what colour the person he saw was, he said he did not know.

      Do pay attention at the back.

      Also his best friend is black, he went to the proms with a black girl, mentored several black guys.

      The only racists involved here are those that try to call it a racist attack, and possibly you.

  • Augustus

    The Zimmerman/Martin case has a lot to do with a constitutionally guaranteed right to defend oneself against severe bodily harm, in spite of all those race baiters and poverty pimps who line their pockets under the auspices of helping others. It has to do with fair trials, and being judged by a jury of your peers. And it is a clear example of the fallacy of racial divide when people in the press feel compelled to portray George Zimmerman as a ‘white’ Hispanic, because in any other instance Zimmerman would be considered a minority just as Trayvon Martin was.

  • Wilhelm

    Contrast and compare, European white culture and black culture.


    Dizzee Rascal

    Need I say more ?

  • Wilhelm

    Trayvon Martin best friend Rachael Jeantel said that Martin called Zimmerman a ” Creepy White Cracker.”

    I’m not going to say Rachael Jeantell is a complete and utter moron because that would be unkind , but check out the youtube clip.

  • Wilhelm

    Even his name ” Trayvon ” is deeply irritating, check out his actual Tweets from his Twitter account, most enlightening. He isn’t Little Bo Peep as the Liberal media would like us to believe, no, he’s a gangster rapper.

  • Wilhelm
  • Forest Fan

    “Rodney King moment”? That all depends if you end up with a riot.

  • JohnPReid

    Several applauds to you Rod.

  • darwins beard

    I wouldnt call it a Rodney King moment as such, King who failed to pull over while driving and smoking crack cocaine and leading the police on a wild goose chase and was beaten in front of a camera, and the police got off Scott free, certainly a case for an outcry, Zimmerman on the other hand confronted a person he did not recognise in the gated community he was doing security for, was attacked and defended himself. it was the New Black Panther Party who put a price on Zimmermans head when the case was being investigated ( and if you want double standards and racial injustice, none of them have been arrested for this) who made it a race issue and people are falling for this bulls**t because when a white guy defends himself from a black criminal in Florida, it must be a race Issue.

    • OldSlaughter

      They absolutely should have got off scott free. The initial trial judgement was spot on. More race BS.

  • StephanieJCW

    Why does smoking dope make you a “baddun”? And if we mention Martin’s bad past, surely we should be raising Zimmerman’s…

    Interestingly enough, had Martin lived he could also have claimed self-defence. Protecting himself against the strange man following him…

    Also what is this ‘possibly involved in theft’? Because he’s black?

    Or do you have something more behind this claim?

    • darwins beard

      Trayvon had been suspended for bringing a burglary kit and womans jewellery he couldn’t account for to school,so really Zimmerman was quite right to confront him when he noticed someone who was not a resident in that gated community looking through the windows of an elderly woman, and finally self defence only works if you are being attacked not asked “what are you doing” by an armed security guard so no Trayvon was not “defending” himself from a “strange man”. Trayvon couldn’t of been that bright either bringing a bag of sweets to a gunfight.

    • FrankS

      Well that’s just one of the effects. Another one is it makes you stupid without realising it.

  • Austin Barry

    Let’s not forget the white rage that followed O.J.’s acquittal when jeering conservatives tore apart cities and towns in Wyoming, Vermont and Utah.

    I guess that wasn’t helped by President Clinton observing that “If I had a son he would look like Ron Goldman”.

    So, let’s not be judgmental.

  • Kevin Cooper

    He was a thug, he attacked a man with a gun (ie he was stupid) he threatened the man’s life and he was killed. Works for me.

    • StephanieJCW

      He attached a strange man following him in an act of self defence.

      • fantasy_island

        An outstanding act of self defence in that case.

    • darwins beard

      he deserves a Darwin award for bringing sweets to a gun fight

  • gkchesterton

    Now, if someone wants to read an account of the Zimmerman case pre-written nearly three decades in advance, here you go:

    “Every assistant D.A. in the Bronx, from the youngest Italian just out of St. John’s Law School to the oldest Irish bureau chief, who would be somebody like Bernie Fitzgibbon, who was forty-two, shared Captain Ahab’s mania for the Great White Defendant. For a start, it was not pleasant to go through life telling yourself, “What I do for a living is, I pack blacks and Latins off to jail.”

    Now, Zimmerman wasn´t exactly “great” or “white” strictly speaking, but he was good enough. And that´s what matters in the eternal hunt for the Great White Defendant.

    • Tron

      I thought of The Bonfire of the Vanities as well. It’s all in there including Al Sharpton.

  • kidmugsy

    How can he be “part-Hispanic”? He is, presumably, part white, part Indigenous American and part black. He was prosecuted on racial grounds, being whiter than his victim. Still, the evidence was overwhelming – it wasn’t murder. The lesson is, I suppose, if you are going to attack a chubby chap in poor condition, knock him to the ground and squat on him and bang his head on the pavement, don’t pick on one carrying a gun.

  • John Steadman

    Yes, Rod – a Rodney King moment. As well as an OJ Simpson moment.

  • Penfold

    It’s quite amazing that the jury acquitted Zimmerman.
    But, they had a fair trial, evidence presented and a jury decided that it was a righteous shoot, this in a country where carrying guns is legal and guards and home-owners can shoot ne’er-do-wells.
    Perhaps our crime rates for burglary would be reduced if home owners had the right to own a gun and use it within their residence against “uninvited guests”.

    • therealguyfaux

      Even more amazing when you consider, the whole thing was a stitch-up, with the judge bending over backwards to keep the prosecution from being blown out of the water at every turn. If Zimmo had not been acquitted, any fair appeals court would have declared a new trial practically immediately, based on how slanted the case was allowed to be presented. One almost has the conspiracy-theory sense that it was all done this way so that there could be no accusations made whatever that the prosecution had intentionally flubbed the case– “Hey, we gave it all we had, and we even had the judge on our side, and the slob still walked– it’s all on the jury, not us!”

  • William Reid Boyd

    Zimmerman looks like a pedo to me, but then I’m not a woman (83% white).

    • Noa

      So only ‘wimmin’ are capable of identifying ‘pedos’ by their looks?

      Why have these ‘Cronemistress Generals’ not revealed their secrets of divination to you?

      What’s your view of what a ‘pedo’ looks like? White-obviously. Sallow skin? Hooked nose? Definitely!

      • William Reid Boyd

        It was the funny staring eyes that really did it for me. Jimmy Savile was just the same and I’ve noticed the same thing with all those Muslim ones in the news, but of course you shouldn’t judge people by their sexuality, let alone their religion.

        • Noa

          Just their looks then? So that’s ok. An approach which at least has the virtue of consistency, if somewhat light in logic.

          • William Reid Boyd

            Well, I have to accept present company so much more sophisticated than I, so perhaps I should try to ante the logic a bit.

            This was a trial that was quite likely to be decided on the basis of bias or prejudice. Juror B37, the one who cancelled her book deal and who spoke out about the jury’s deliberations, said as much in her selection (significant incidentally that she displayed the same kind of zeal for jury service as Zimmermann did for neighbourhood vigilance) more or less said as much when she remarked juries never get the whole picture.

            Indeed not. In the case of the OJ Simpson trial the jury evidently thought overwhelming DNA evidence wasn’t the full picture, whereas at the other end of the forensic eveidence scale in the Stephen Larence murder retrial a tiny speck of blood that might have been contamination was held by the jury to be the full picture. I don’t know whether Rod wrote about the OJ trial, but I recall he did blog his disquiet about the Lawrence retrial.

            If I had gone into the jury room at Zimmerman’s trial it would have been with the conviction that he was guillty of manslaughter. And I wouldn’t have changed my opinion.

  • PeteCW

    Regarding ‘possibly involved in theft’ – either you have the evidence that he was involved or you don’t. If you do, say it. If you don’t, you’re just slurring a dead kid for your own purposes.

    I know you’re not supposed to be a real journalist but do try a little harder.

    • gkchesterton

      There is evidence certainly, but there is the possibility that he was given the goods in question “by a friend”. You be the judge:

      “Trayvon’s backpack contained 12 pieces of jewelry, in addition
      to a watch and a large flathead screwdriver, according to the report,
      which described silver wedding bands and earrings with diamonds.

      Trayvon was asked if the jewelry belonged to his family or a girlfriend.

      “Martin replied it’s not mine. A friend gave it to me,” he responded, according to the report. Trayvon declined to name the friend.

      Trayvon was not disciplined because of the discovery, but was instead suspended for graffiti, according to the report. School police impounded the jewelry and sent photos of the items to detectives at Miami-Dade police for further investigation.”

      • rodliddle

        Now you’re slurring a dead kid for your own purposes, GK, by presenting the evidence. You will never win with halfwits like CW.

  • Fencesitter

    Steady on, Rod, they haven’t had the riots yet.

  • Austin Barry

    “It would seem that Martin was a bit of a baddun, frequently suspended from school, possibly involved in theft, certainly an afficianado of dope – although none of this, of course, requires him to be killed. ”

    Nor to be hoisted on the cross of white liberal guilt.

  • chan chan

    This is a ‘win’ for obama and his fellow multi-millionaire race-hustlers, sharpton and johnson. Throw in a politicised Department of Justice, and watch the grievance mongering identity politics flow…it has hereby been ‘proven’ that the system is ‘raaaacist’.

    • therealguyfaux

      Any attempt to bring Federal “deprivation of civil rights” charges against Zimmo will be the conclusive proof of this fact. For starters, there is no “State actor defendant” (like the policemen in the King beating case) and there is no Federally-cognizable “right” Trayvon Martin was being deprived of, let alone that George Zimmerman was doing (or even capable, legally and practically speaking, of doing) the depriving thereof. No one has a “right” not to be asked a question like “What are you doing?” And Zimmerman certainly didn’t deprive Martin of his right to answer “None of your business.”

  • thisisGilb

    Err, Zimmerman’s 29, Rod. Not even in today’s ‘U R SO OLD’ culture can that be considered ‘middle aged’.

  • sir_graphus

    One of those ones where you wish politicians had kept out of it and justice taken its course unimpeded.

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