Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Self Defense

The Trayvon Martin case shows little signs of disappearing soon, nor should it until there is an arrest and a fair trial. I suspect this may be coming soon as I rather doubt the new Prosecuting Attorney is going to wait for a Grand Jury, nor should she, in my opinion.

The more I hear about and learn about this case the more I become convinced that it truly is about self defense. But I don’t think it is the self defense of Zimmerman that we should be concerned with, but, rather, the self defense of Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman’s story has smelled bad in my opinion from the very beginning. The latest version has him abandoning his following of Trayvon and returning to his vehicle. At this point, according to him, Trayvon attacked him from behind, broke his nose and knocked him to the ground and began beating his head against the concrete. This account would have us believe than a frightened 17 year-old boy that weighed 140 pounds, and who was obviously concerned by having been followed by a strange man, decided to attack an adult male who outweighed him by apparently more than 100 pounds (Zimmerman is said to weigh 250 pounds) and was at that point retreating. I confess to finding this less than credible. Zimmerman’s claim that he acted in self defense, when he was pursuing Trayvon in spite of being told not to, and was also carrying a loaded automatic handgun (that he was not supposed to be carrying), just doesn’t ring true. Nor does the description of Trayvon being on top of Zimmerman and banging his head against the concrete, especially when witnessed say that Zimmerman was on top and Trayvon was crying for help.

What I find rather incredible is that no one so far, as far as I know, has suggested that Trayvon Martin may well have been the one acting in self defense. This is a scenario that makes much more sense to me than Zimmerman’s claim of self defense. Let’s say you are a 17 year-old boy, armed with tea and skittles, on your way home in the dark. You are being followed for no apparent reason by a large adult male who is not in uniform. And let’s say that for no apparent reason you are attacked by this man who is trying to apprehend you (or something), perhaps he thinks you are one of those “assholes” who always get away. What would you do? I suggest you would probably resist with all your might. You might very well hit him in the nose and beat his head against the concrete (if you could). Some are now claiming that the gashes on Zimmerman’s head are proof he was attacked and acting in self defense. All they prove to me is that Trayvon quite likely fought back viciously against his attacker. What would have been wrong had Zimmerman said, “Young man, what are you doing here walking around at night?” And Trayvon replying, “I’m on my way home.” Something this obvious did not seem to have happened.

Of course I have no proof this is what happened. I also confess that I am so biased against Zimmerman’s claim that I could never in good faith serve on a jury debating his guilt. But if there was a (fair) trial and he was found innocent I would embrace that decision. But try as I might I simply cannot believe that Zimmerman was attacked by Trayvon and so seriously at risk he was forced to draw his handgun and kill him. His account makes no sense to me whatsoever. I think I understand the caution being exercised by the new Prosecuting Attorney, this is no longer merely a case of the killing of this unarmed boy, but, rather, a case against the Sanford Police Department, the then Prosecuting Attorney, and the entire Justice system. Obviously she has to get it right. I suggest that if Trayvon had survived this experience the story we have would be entirely different from the one we are being told now, but, of course, the dead can’t testify or defend themselves. But of course we will never know until there is a trial, and there will never be a trial until there is an arrest, and there will never be an arrest until the Fat Lady sings. The wheels of justice turn slowly, if at all, especially when it involves young Black people. Want to bet how different it would be if Trayvon Martin were White and the killer was Black? It’s the American way!

At the very least the “Stand Your Ground and Kill Blacks at Will, Bill,” has to go. The absurdly irresponsible leadership of the NRA should also go. I mean, really, do we need to carry our handguns to school, to church, into bars, and even to the Republican convention in Tampa? Whatever happened to reason and common sense? Alas, they disappeared some time ago into the mélange of insanity that constitutes the current Republican (Tea) Party and the NRA.

Guns don’t kill people, people (with guns) do.

1 comment:

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