Posts Tagged Racism

Zimmerman Juror: “He Got Away With Murder”

A 36-year-old Puerto Rican nursing assistant who did not want to reveal her last name and only went by the name Maddy was the only minority on the six-person jury who opposed the “not guilty” verdict of George Zimmerman.  She admitted she was the juror who originally wanted to convict Zimmerman of second-degree murder, but eventually realized that the evidence supposedly didn’t support a guilty verdict with respect to his claim of self-defense.

I was the juror that was going to give them the hung jury. I fought to the end,” she said. “That’s where I felt confused, where if a person kills someone, then you get charged for it. But as the law was read to me, if you have no proof that he killed him intentionally, you can’t say he’s guilty.”

She continued, “as much as we were trying to find this man guilty…they give you a booklet that basically tells you the truth, and the truth is that there was nothing that we could do about it. I feel the verdict was already told.”

However, as a mother of eight children, Maddy said she wonders if she made the right decision and feels like she owes Martin’s parents an apology.

It’s hard for me to sleep, it’s hard for me to eat because I feel I was forcefully included in Trayvon Martin’s death. And as I carry him on my back, I’m hurting as much Trayvon’s Martin’s mother because there’s no way that any mother should feel that pain,” she said.

Here is what I have to say to “Maddy”:

1) The road to hell, since you are a believer in god’s law and Jesus and all that crap, is paved with good intentions.

2) It seems to me almost like the legal team and all were trying to intimidate the jurors by throwing that “book of truth” as she calls it, at them, confusing them with a bunch of legal jargon and manipulating them into a non guilty verdict. In other words, the defense and all gamed the system and engaged in a lot of manipulation to coerce and shame the jury into a non-guilty verdict citing “the law” and “procedures” to these clearly uneducated dolts.  As she she said,  she knew he was guilty but was basically talked out of it. This illustrates the degree to which our legal system is divorced from justice.

If the legal process was improperly enforced by the court and state due to incompetence or something worse, this does not change the fact that this jury, including god fearing “Maddy” OK’d vigilantism against a young black man.

 3) This trial was never about proving Zimmerman’s guilt, it was about trying to prove why Trayvon Martin deserved to be shot.

4) As the law states, an aggressor cannot use self defense. Zimmerman was the aggressor because he was the  one who left his car, despite dispatch telling him to stay in, and he was the one who stalked the boy who had no idea who Zimmerman was and probably thought he was gonna get mugged or else attacked by Zimmerman.  So Trayvon defended him himself, not the other way around.

5) Apparently Zimmerman standing his ground was ok, but Martin doing the same thing was not and he deserved to die. 

6) A 17-year old teenager who walked around with candy and was unarmed got killed and the jury really believed that it was not the fault of the person who stalked and murdered him and thus at least deserving of a manslaughter verdict. 

7) “Maddy” knew what the right thing to do was, she is admitting that Zimmerman got away with murder, but she still went ahead and found him not guilty.  “Maddy” could have voted any way she wanted. No gun was at her head. That she chose to vote for acquittal, due to coercion and/or intimidation by other juror, is ultimately on her.  She can’t blame anyone else or anything else. She alone stands to blame  with regards to there not having been a hung jury.

8) “You cant get away from god“? That has got to be dumbest and most hypocritical load of shit I have heard anyone say thus far in this case. How fucking convenient.

I love it how religious people try to excuse their own bad behavior and bad, immoral, detrimental decisions by stating that hey, if I was a terrible person and let a murderer get away, it’s ok, god will take care of it.  That she actually had the nerve to come back and state that Zimmerman will be the one facing his maker, like she had nothing to do with the outcome, is the height of hypocrisy.

Way to not take responsibility for your own actions, “Maddy”, and instead bet on god taking care of something you should have taken care of yourself. Guess what, honey bunch, there is no god, and no one will punish Zimmerman. He racially profiled, stalked and murdered a black boy and got away with it because you let him go. It wasn’t your god or Jesus, it was you. But let me tell you one thing, if there was indeed a god, Zimmerman would not be the only one facing him. You would be standing right next to him.

I have absolutely no sympathy for her and hope she has an eternity of rotten nights of no sleep because of it.

Finally, I would like to point out that there are two kinds of evil in the world: people who do evil things and people who see evil being done and do nothing about it. “Maddy” falls into the latter category. See, she had a choice and she chose to let him go. Her confession and remorse after the fact are absolutely meaningless.

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Quote of the Day

My father, not unlike Michael [Steele], taught me that if you end up in a situation with the police or security or whatever, never argue, just capitulate. Because, he said, there’s only three results that could happen from that. One, you go to jail. Two, you go to the hospital. Three, you go to the morgue. And he told me that when I was nine or 10 years old.”

– NBC News executive Val Nicholas (an African American man)

This is something a lot of white people do not understand – and I myself, as a white woman did not truly comprehend this until now –  namely that being a black man in the United States automatically puts you in a different category. That black parents need to take their black sons aside and tell them that they cannot get away with the same things a white kid can get away with. That they need to be mindful of the color of their skin when navigating the world around them, no matter where they are. That it doesn’t matter whether they are honor students, or had an after school job to earn spending money or ran track or lived in a middle class neighborhood or are Ivy League students, because those are not the things people see when they see a black individual. All they see is “thug” or someone about to “get away” with something, as George Zimmerman put.

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You Wanna Know What White Supermacy Is? That White People Can Be Angry But Blacks Cannot

“You can stand your ground if you’re white, and you can use a gun to do it. But if you stand your ground with your fists and you’re black, you’re dead.

In the state of Florida, the season on African-Americans now runs year round. Come one, come all. And bring a handgun. The legislators are fine with this blood on their hands. The governor, too. One man accosted another and when it became a fist fight, one man — and one man only — had a firearm. The rest is racial rationalization and dishonorable commentary.

If I were a person of color in Florida, I would pick up a brick and start walking toward that courthouse in Sanford. Those that do not, those that hold the pain and betrayal inside and somehow manage to resist violence — these citizens are testament to a stoic tolerance that is more than the rest of us deserve. I confess, their patience and patriotism is well beyond my own.

Behold, the lewd, pornographic embrace of two great American pathologies: Race and guns, both of which have conspired not only to take the life of a teenager, but to make that killing entirely permissible. I can’t look an African-American parent in the eye for thinking about what they must tell their sons about what can happen to them on the streets of their country. Tonight, anyone who truly understands what justice is and what it requires of a society is ashamed to call himself an American.”

David Simon

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Now this Just Pisses Me Off: Making References to God After the Zimmerman Verdict

You know, I don’t want to knock a parent who is going through her darkest hour, having lost their son in such a tragic way and in such a preventable way, really, and at the hands of that racist, unevolved swine with a nervous trigger finger, but this tweet here by Trayvon’s mother just pisses me off to no end:

Lord during my darkest hour I lean on you. You are all that I have. At the end of the day, GOD is still in control. Thank you all for your prayers and support. I will love you forever Trayvon!!! In the name of Jesus!!!

How the fuck is god in control? How can you be so blind that after this injustice and sheer atrocity – from having your son killed in cold blood by a fucking racist to seeing his murderer be acquitted and have the very same gun he used to execute your son handed back to him, still make these really stupid claims to and about god and how he is supposedly looking out for you? I mean really?

This is the god people worship? That gives them comfort? A supposedly loving, caring, amazing god who lets a 17 year old be murdered, then have his murderer absolved of the crime so he can walk free and enjoy his life while his child victim is buried six feet deep – mud and worms – with a couple of parents who will be in agony for the rest of their fucking lives knowing that not only was their son killed for the color of his skin but that the person who did it is walking free and pretty? That gives people comfort? That strengthens peoples faith? They do not find anything wrong with this picture?

Jesus my ass.

I am thoroughly appalled and this only proves the point about religion being nothing but an emotional pacifier, a cosmic security blanket, a huge delusion for people who cannot get their head around the idea that some big, wise, loving guy is not sitting up there pulling the strings in mysterious ways.  Next thing you know, she’ll tweet how Trayvon is with god now and that he had a plan for him and that he works in mysterious ways  – since clearly allowing a child to be murdered in cold blood is as mysterious, and loving, as it can get.

This is like that Hasidic Jewish family whose son was kidnapped and chopped into pieces and whose family stated that there was a higher, divine reason for the atrocity”what we know is that through Leiby’s death, God is sending us a huge signal – that we’re doing something terribly wrong. And we’re looking for what it is.” 

Yes, I tell you what that terrible mistake is: believing in him in the first place and that your faith is so blind that even the brutal death of your child is not enough to convince you that there is no puppet master sitting up there pulling the strings and that if he were, he is one sadistic son of a bitch who is everything but kind. Really. If you believe god had your child murdered and chopped into pieces to teach you a lesson in “mysterious ways” you are in need of psychological counseling, not god.

The same is true for Trayvon Martin’s mother: she is comforting herself by subscribing to this gross notion about god’s mysterious plan and she trusts that he did what he did for a reason and that both he and Jesus got her back. That is not love, or faith, that is desperation.

I know this delusion is what is keeping her going but it is no less tragic. As Samuel Beckett once said “blind is the only kind of faith there is.”  Indeed.

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On Prejudice, Vigilante Justice and the Frightened Search For A Scapegoat That Has a Fall Out All Of Its Own

Zimmerman Trial Enters Jury Dissertation Phase

1) Consequences: When you equip people with guns and instill fear and paranoia in them and encourage them to go out there and take “justice” into their own hands and “stand their ground“, someone’s gonna get hurt. This shit doesn’t happen in a void. “Stand your ground” laws have very real life and death consequences and one of its unfortunate victims today, among many others, is a 17 year old black boy named Trayvon Martin who is buried six feet deep in dirt and who will never live his life – all because he was black and some racist, unevolved swine in the form of George Zimmerman thought he was guilty of something, being black and all.

2)  This verdict makes a mockery of the justice system and justice itself, because this it not only sets a legal precedent but also tells us that Martin was, rightly, executed for “walking while black”, even though he did no wrong and that it was ok for George Zimmerman to racially profile, stalk and execute an unarmed teenager. 

3) “They always get away.” These were the words George Zimmerman uttered as he followed and later shot Trayvon Martin.

Ask yourself this question: If Zimmerman had seen a white youth walking in the rain that evening, would he have seen him as one of ‘them,’ someone about to get away with something?

Racial bias reverberates in our society like the primordial Big Bang. Some years ago, Rev. Jesse Jackson made the point in a dramatic way when he acknowledged that he feels a sense of relief when the footsteps he hears behind him in the dead of night turn out to belong to white feet. Social scientists who study our hidden biases make the same point in a more sober way with statistics that demonstrate that we are more likely to associate black people with negative words and imagery than we are white people. It’s an association that devalues the humanity of black people — particularly black youth like Trayvon Martin.

George Zimmerman probably saw race the night of February 26, 2012, like too many others would have. Had he not, Trayvon probably would be alive today.

Now I am not saying we should incarcerate people for hidden biases and prejudices. However, the point is that race played a role in this. A lot of people say it is not about race, but about a child dying, and that is not true. It is precisely and only about race.

George Zimmerman was out to get someone, “them”, who always get away with it. And he did. The police told him to stay put and he did not listen, he got out to get “them”. The difference between Jesse Jackson and Zimmerman is that Jackson didn’t murder anyone based on that prejudice. Thinking something and acting on it are two different things and motivation in a court of law only matters with respect to the outcome. If Martin was alive, no one would have dragged Zimmerman in front of a court of law for having prejudiced thoughts. He was dragged there because his prejudice ultimately prompted him to go after Trayvon Martin and murder him.

For the record, prejudices can kill and suspicion can destroy. And the thoughtless, frightened search for a scapegoat has a fall out all of its own. 

Martin was a brown man and that is why he is dead today. If he was white, he would be alive. That is all we need to know and care about, everything else is just semantics. Not to mention that if people had followed the trial, they would know that Martin was the one on trial all along. Even the defense used race as a defense: “he was black”, “he smoked pot”, he did all these black things ipso facto he deserved to die somehow. That’s been the gist of the defense’s argument.

4) George Zimmerman murdered a child in cold blood and he wasn’t even found guilty of manslaughter. That is not justice. Getting out of your car, armed with a gun, to follow a teenager for no reason is reprehensible.

According to Wendy Dorival of the Sanford Police Department, the protocols under which  neighborhood watch groups operate specifically instruct volunteers not to follow  suspicious persons since that’s the job of trained law enforcement personnel. On the night Trayvon Martin was killed, the police even advised him that it was not necessary to get out of his car to pursue the suspect, yet Zimmerman ignored them and still pursued and stalked a black teenager.

This shows premeditation and racially informed pursuit which ultimately lead to Trayvon’s death. Zimmerman had a choice,  which is to not get out of the car to get “them“, but he chose to grab his gun and get out to pursue a kid for the sole reason that the child was black and thus clearly suspicious in Zimmerman’s eyes.  Had Zimmerman stayed in the car and waited, Trayvon Martin would be alive.

5) The trashing of Trayvon Martin’s character who had just been walking home and minding his own business is disgraceful and repugnant. He died not knowing who Zimmerman was and why he targeted him and jumped out of his truck in the dark of night to follow him. How was he supposed to know Zimmerman was neighborhood watch, as far as Martin was concerned Zimmerman was just criminal trying to mug and/or hurt him. 

6) The fact that people had to march and protest and bring immense media attention to the issue just to get him charged and subsequently prosecuted  is, by itself, evidence enough to the extent to which race played a role. As Michael Moore putHad a gun-toting Trayvon Martin stalked an unarmed George Zimmerman, and then shot him to death… DO I EVEN NEED TO COMPLETE THIS SENTENCE?

7) The sad truth is that if Zimmerman had shot a deer without a hunting license he would have received more punishment.

8) Unarmed  teenagers have a right to public space – without  owning armed  citizens any explanation as to their equal right to the sidewalk

9) Racism harms people, even if it is casually muttered by chubby cheeked chefs in the from of Paula Deen. When you casually make racist remarks, you have to remember that such casual statements contribute to the kind of “othering”  and dehumanizing mindset under which George Zimmerman acted. A mindset that prompted him to follow a child, a black child, at night, presume he was guilty of something because he was black and trying to “get away with it” and then subsequently shoot him.  This is why Paula Deen’s remarks and sweet-toothed racism are so dire: they add to culture of hate, paranoia and prejudice with deadly consequences for those who have to endure them, such as Trayvon Martin and his family.

10) To paraphrase Jermaine Paul, how much of a better world would it have been if George Zimmerman had offered Trayvon Martin a ride home to get him out of the rain that night, instead of acting on his suspicions, fear, paranoia and prejudices and shoot him to death. 

11) This was a sad day for justice but a great onr for the gun lobby.  A great day to be a murderer in Florida. A great day for white supremacy.  A great day for vigilante justice.

The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions and fall outs. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices.  To be found only in the minds of men. For the record, prejudices can kill and suspicion can destroy. And the thoughtless, frightened search for a scapegoat has a fall out all of its own. For the children, and the children yet unborn.”

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An Observation About Paula Deen

The tears of a racist who feels sorry for herself and for being called out on her racism

The tears of a racist who feels sorry for herself and for being called out on her racism

I have been following the Paul Deen controversy and subsequent fall out that started after a discrimination suit was filed by her employees who alleged that they were subject to “violent, sexist, and racist behavior” during five years working for Deen’s various businesses.

During a videotaped deposition as part of that discrimination suit, she discussed her desire to have a “very southern style wedding” for her brother modeled after a restaurant where the “whole entire wait staff was middle-aged black men” clad in white jackets and black bow ties. Deen also admitted to having used the N word and discussed the ways the word could be “not said in a mean way.”

As a result of her practiced racism, a bunch of sponsors, including the Food Network, Smithfield Foods and now even the experts in racism itself, Wal mart, have dropped her ass.

Last week she was on The Today Show spewing all sorts of unapologetic, high grade racist garbage Southern style, including how she would not have fired herself for using racial slurs and engaging in employment discrimination (naturally),  and how “every one of God’s creatures was created equal. I believe that everyone should be treated equal, that’s the way I was raised and that’s the way I live my life” blah blah blah yawn, liar, bullshit.

There was a lot of crying and sobbing, undoubtedly because she is losing all these easy millions from lost business opportunities and not because she feels any kind of regret for her behavior as is abundantly clear by her cringe worthy interview with Matt Lauer. 

Her defenders have charged to her rescue thinking everyone is overreacting for going after her for something she said 30 years ago and that poor thing was being held at gun point by a black person after all, and she didn’t say it to him, she said the N word to her husband later, plus she is from the South and this is how she grew up etc etc. All the interesting, colorful and pathetic excuses for racism you have ever heard were employed in Deen’s case trying to apologize and rationalize her behavior – as if racism wasn’t harmful and hurting people, even if such racism is expressed and practiced by pouncy-cheeked, rosy, pastry chefs from the good old South. Here is the thing:

1) If racist slurs come to your mind when you’re angry or pissed off at someone who happens to be a member of a racial or ethnic minority, then that is a fucking problem! And that problem is that somehow you seem to think  – and thus have rationalized in your head  – that using racial slurs is ok as long as those slurs are not said aloud and/or directed at someone to whom they apply. When you rationalize in your head that using racist slurs, especially in private, is ok then you have basically just granted yourself that permission – which makes it a conscious choice on your end. When you have the choice to do one thing, you also have the choice to not do it. I may get pissed at a driver who happens to be black for cutting me off on the freeway, but then I flip him off and call him an asshole, not the N word.

2) Racism harms people. And as we have seen in Deen’s case, her racism was not just confined to her personal, private realm or between her and her husband. The casual racism she practices and which everyone thins is no big deal because she allegedly hasn’t said it to people directly, has obviously translated into discriminatory practices at her businesses. Therefore, this is not just a matter of some old lady having said the wrong thing 30 years ago. This is about a good, old lady having engaged in cold, hard workplace discrimination as a direct result of her racist attitudes and mindsets as well as choices.

3) When you are in the habit of regularly using racial slurs and dream of throwing plantation style weddings with an all black staff whom you pay with beer and, to make matters worse, you go on national TV and keep saying this is who you are and that you won’t change and that you would definitely not have fired yourself for using racial slurs and engaging in employment discrimination, then your behavior harms people on a scale that goes beyond just your immediate circle. That is not ok and we should not condone it or give her a pass because she is old or from the South and set in her ways. I mean, she is not that old. It’s not like slavery ended just 30 years ago.

Racism is a choice, not a compulsion. There is no need to direct ones anger at someone’s individual behavior into an expression of hatred for their race.

This is not about free speech or someone having said something wrong and being punished for it or throwing the first stone if you are the one without sin blah blah blegh. This is about practiced racism by a privileged woman who has been discriminating against her black employees and who thinks it is ok to do so, including romanticizing plantations, because she is from the South and this is just who she is.

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Take a Stand For a Right to Vote

voting-rights

As people may have heard when waking up on this abysmally sad morning (I cannot help but feel like the same morning I felt on 9/11 when the towers came down and the devastation and surrealism of it all dawned on me all throughout the coming day and weeks), the Supreme Court overturned Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, a key provision of this landmark civil rights law that has protected voters – and really, our democracy – since 1965, and as recently as the 2012 election.

This is a huge disappointment and undermines the very injustices that too many eligible voters still battle. Sure we’ve come a long way since the days of Jim Crow and literacy tests, but racial discrimination in our voting process is still alive and well.

Ie. November 2012 – when voter ID laws, shortened early voting hours, restrictions on community-based registration drives, residency requirements, and long lines at the polls kept millions of minority, low-income, and student voters from casting a ballot.

The Court is now sending the Voting Rights Act back to Congress…

It’s on Congress to restore the protections that today’s voters need. But it’s on us to make sure they act, and act quickly, to restore the protections of the Voting Rights Act.

Stand with us. Help us send a strong and loud message to Congress to restore these protections for voters. Our democracy depends on it.

With this ruling on the Voting Rights Act (what the Justice Department has coined “the most effective civil rights statute enacted by Congress”), and discriminatory election practices being advanced in state legislatures across the country, the fight for voting rights and voting equality could not be more important. And we need your support!

The right to vote is too important – it’s the pillar of our democracy – and if we are no longer a democratic country, then we no longer are. Then we will just degenerate into just another one of those fascist countires because, make no mistake, without equality before the law, there is no democracy and without democracy there is no freedom. Democracy is our lifeline.

So please click on the link above and sign the petition by Rock the Vote, write to your Congressmen, assemble on the streets, write to the President – do whatever you can and need to do in order to change this shameful and truly frightening legislation.

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