idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
And my assertion had nothing to do with Martin's race, it was about yours and your own inability to see beyond it. You don't know what it's like to belong to an oft-brutalized minority group.
Which is an assertion having to do with race. You assume that as a white male, I can't even conceptualize what Trayvon might have been feeling or thinking. And you frankly assume what Trayvon was thinking and feeling based on your own assumptions about racial groups.
I'm looking at the facts and nothing but the facts. You're speculating based on your own racially biased assumptions.
Zimmerman didn't just approach the kid in a car, he stalked him for many minutes. Minutes during which Martin varied his speed, tried to lose him, was eventually found again, etc.
Getting stalked by a car at night is the way most random hate crimes begin. Because the twisted @#%^s who commit those kinds of crimes are doing so to punish their victims for something (that being the affront of being outside the norm)--it's a mild form of terrorism. They want you to panic and feel fear before they actually engage. If you are really lucky (after finding yourself in that situation), they'll satisfy themselves with the knowledge that you are terrified and leave. But more often than not, at some point they are going to get out of the car and try to kick the sh*t out of you.
Whether Zimmerman was bothering to think about how his actions were obviously going to be construed is a different matter. The fact is that Martin (or ANYONE else, regardless of their race) would feel deeply threatened by them. His girlfriend was begging him to run.
If you belong to a social group generally subject to increased rates of random violence, you are naturally more aware of these indicators (with the stalking car not being a subtle one). Anyone would have been scared, but there's a good chance that Martin was aware he should feel scared.
And, quite literally, he should have felt scared. Zimmerman was stalking him. We KNOW this is true. The 911 call and the girlfriend's testimony proves it to be so. His intent was to control and monitor the kid, and that is how he acted.
Ok. Let's play "pretend to be the scared black kid" game for a moment. If he's being stalked for several minutes (and perceives it that way), and in his mind he's thinking "OMG. This is just how hate crimes start", and he's genuinely affraid that there's some crazed KKK guy following him in a car playing "scare the black kid", why for all that is holy, does he carry on a conversation with his girlfriend instead of himself calling 911?
He's got a cell phone, right? If he was really that scared, and really thought this was someone out to "get him" (for any reason, even if not related to race), why not call 911? Why instead talk to his girlfriend about how someone is watching him and following him, and deciding to walk quickly or run? Now, maybe I'm just some white guy who doesn't understand the thought process of black kids, but to me that would be the correct course of action. Now, again, perhaps because I'm white guy who doesn't understand anything, I might interpret the conversation he had with his girlfriend in exactly the way someone who actually was doing something suspicious might if he were worried that he was being watched by a patrol guy, who might be calling the cops on me, and I decide I want to avoid him and try to get away.
His actions are *not* consistent with a law abiding citizen just walking home who sees someone suspicious. Zimmerman's call to the police is absolutely consistent, Martin's isn't. It's consistent with someone who is worried that someone else might be watching what he's doing or even might catch him doing something he's not supposed to do.
To be fair, this is also pure speculation on my part. But you don't know, do you? How do you know that Martin *wasn't* ducking into side yards and other parts of the complex checking out if there was anything he could steal? Do you know that for a fact? Heck. Maybe it's less serious than that. Maybe he took the excuse of walking to the store to smoke some pot and was hiding in the shadows of the complex (and getting out of the rain) to do so? I don't know. But neither do you.
The point is that his actions aren't terribly consistent with someone who was afraid that he might be about to become a victim of a crime. His actions *were* consistent with someone who was afraid he might be caught committing one though. This doesn't prove anything, of course, but if we're going to speculate about what happened, why assume one is true and automatically discount the other? Because his parents say he was a good boy? Parents of gang members who just sprayed bullets on a crowd during a drive by also insist that their son was a good boy. They're hardly objective character witnesses.
Yet you base your entire interpretation of this event and condemnation of Zimmerman and the police on an assumption that there could not have been any justification for Zimmerman's actions and complete justification for Martin's. You assume this because his parents (and their lawyer) insist it's so. You assume this because a bunch of other people, who know no more details about this than you do have also accepted that assumption and loudly proclaim it to be true. I'm sorry, but I don't see it. Now maybe because I'm white I think that you should call the police if you think someone might be planning to commit a crime against you, or maybe it's because I think like a normal law abiding citizen. But in any case, I acknowledge the parts of this story that I don't know
and attempt to make my judgment based only on the things I do.
Like I said, depending on the state, his actions could have earned him a harassment charge.
In no state can his actions be judged as harassment. You're just tossing absurdities out there now. Stop trying to invent rationales for Martin's actions. Look at the facts. Geez! Edited, Mar 23rd 2012 7:07pm by gbaji