Joel Northam: Barack Obama is NOT Trayvon Martin

Joel Northam reports for Acronym TV. He states:

“President Obama could have been Trayvon Martin 35 years ago, yet fortunately he was privileged enough to receive an elite education whilst being groomed by established power to become the drone bombing, bank bailing, whistleblower torturing, immigrant deporting, civil liberty shredding, corporate puppet that he is today. Although the Trayvon Martin tragedy still burns deep within our hearts, it is a blessing that he doesn’t have to see politicians use his death to cater to the emotions of the angry masses while they continue their business as usual of worldwide plunder of resources and exploitation of the global working class.”

* * *

There’s some nifty rhetorical patterning going on in Northam’s report:

… drone bombing, bank bailing, whistleblower torturing, immigrant deporting, civil liberty shredding,1 corporate puppet2, 3 that he is today4

1. Parallelism: “…ing, … ing, ….”.

2. Congeries (or “piling up”).

3. Climax. The voice rises to “puppet” and then falls away with “that he is today.”

4. Alliteration: “corporate puppet that he is today.” The aspirates almost spit.

Fun stuff! Always nice to see a proper shredding.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. psychohistorian

    Will shredding the puppets get us the results we want? I hope so.

    The broken record part of me wants to remind folk that those corporations that our president is a puppet for are owned by a collection of plutocrats that depend on inheritance and accumulating ownership of property to continue their control over us.

    When are we going to change the inheritance rules to bring those idiots in the financial stratosphere back down to what is left of our earth with the rest of us?

    1. F. Beard

      Who needs an inheritance when they can use the government-backed counterfeiting cartel, the banks, and a little shrewdness to get filthy rich?

      A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, and the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous. Proverbs 13:22

  2. from Mexico

    The government of the State of Florida has declared open season on black men.

    With the police, the prosecutors, and the judge all 1000% on Zimmerman’s side, as well as the legislature, there was no way Trayvon Martin was going to receive justice.

    President Obama, along with others like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson who are on the Obama plantation, are junkyard dogs. They stir when someone enters the junkyard, bark a few times, and then go back to sleep while the thieves ransack the place.

      1. from Mexico

        You can say that again.

        When leaders start taking names and kicking ass, you know they are serious. Anything short of that and you know they are part of the problem and not part of the solution.

        Back in the 90s, when I was still very much involved in LGBT activism, we had a situation arise in Texas that was similar to the Trayvon Martin case. It involved a young white Marine stationed in San Antonio, Nicolo Giangrasso, who was from a prominent New Jersey family. On New Year’s Day, 1990, he beat and kicked to death a middle-aged school teacher, Charles Resendez, in a San Antonio motel room. Giangrasso, just like Zimmerman, had a history of scrapes with the law back in his native New Jersey.

        And Giangrasso, just like Zimmerman, crafted an exculpatory statement, invoking “self defense” as justification for killing Resendez. He pled what is known as “the homosexual panic defense,” saying that Resendez had sexually molested him, which of course gave him license to defend himself from this vicious assault by bludgeoning Resendez to death.

        This sort of defense works like a charm when you have a criminal justice system packed with homophobic bigots, as was the case in San Antonio. Steve Hilbig, the district attorney, and Judge Terry McDonald, uncritically accepted Giangrasso’s exculpatory statement, with no questions asked. McDonald, at the urging of Hilbig, sentenced Giangrasso to 10 years deferred adjudication, a type of probation. Giangrasso never spent a moment in jail.

        A few days later, LULAC and the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center called a press conference to denounce the verdict. They had their little protest, which got a lot of media coverage, and then thought the problem would go away.

        I can remember thinking: “LULAC and Esperanza are as worthless as the teats on a boar hog.” But for myself, I wouldn’t let it go. I couldn’t let it go. And as I started to do more research (I was doing reporting for the local LGBT rag, the Marquise), what I found was that Esperanza was on the city government’s teat with its art funding program and was entirely too close to LULAC’s leadership, which was tied into the city’s corrupt patronage politics (along with Judge McDonald). There was no way these organizations, bellied up to the public trough, could ever mount any sort of legitimate challenge to the status quo. They would be jeopardizing their own meal ticket.

        So I continued to do my research and, with the help of a whole lot of good people in the LGBT community, we began to organize. With all my research in hand we had the empirical ammunition necessary to make it very clear what Hilbig and McDonald had done. We followed their every footstep and haunted them at every move, so that everyone knew what homophobic bigots they were. We first went after McDonald in the Democratic primary, and we almost knocked him off there, coming up only a couple of hundred votes short. In the general election we drew a really great Republican candidate, so we threw our support behind him. But again we came up short by only a few hundred votes. McDonald wasn’t so lucky the next election cycle, and went down to defeat.

        Unfortunately in Republican circles homophobia doesn’t carry the same stigma as it does in Democratic circles, and we were not able to derail Hilbig’s political career. He was re-elected in 1994, running on the Republican ticket, and in 2006 was elected to the Texas Fourth Court of Appeals. But I do think we were successful in sending a message to those who might engage in the sort of behaviors that McDonald and Hilbig did: If you do these things, there is a political price to pay.

        I have a sneaking hunch that with Zimmerman, just as with Giangrasso, we haven’t heard the last of him. Giangrasso, just like Zimmerman, had a history of scrapes with the law before he killed Charles Resendez. Then shortly after he was released on parole and went back to NJ, he again got in trouble with the law, but of course McDonald refused to use that to revoke his probation. But finally, in Florida of all places, he finally got caught and sent to prison. Here’s his mug shot:

        Just a few years after the Giangrasso trial Donald Aldrich was put on trial for the murder of Nicolas West, who he met in a city park in Tyler, Texas. Aldrich, just like Giangrasso, invoked the homosexual panic defense. But by that time the political climate had changed and the murder of gay men was no longer given carte blanche in Texas. What was once a legitimate self-defense argument in Texas had all of a sudden been redefined as a hate crime. Aldrich was charged with capital murder and executed for his crime. I would like to believe that we played a small part in that change in political climate. I also hope that the political climate in Florida can be changed so that the state of Florida is forced to declare the open hunting season on black men over.

  3. middle seaman

    Northam points are factually correct. Yet, they don’t invalidate the points Obama tried to make, except the emotional and personal identification. Black young men live with a target painted on their back, the drug/jail colossus fitted to keep them down and many states, e.g. Florida, find extra ways to hit black young men.

    Obama didn’t create this system. He didn’t design it and cannot by himself demolish it. This tragedy shouldn’t be used to attack Obama even if the attack is fully justified.

    1. Woody in Florida

      Trayvon was not shot in the back. He was shot because he gave in to his desire to kick the ass of some crazy cracker that was harassing him. His mistake, because the crazy man had a gun and did not wish to be beaten. I refuse to believe George would have allowed a Korean, Mexican, or Canadian beat him either. What we will never know is if Zimmerman would have taken the time to harass any of them if they had been in Trayvon’s place. Regardless, the young man is dead and we all feel bad about that, but how many of us would be able to take a beat down without defending ourselves with every means available to us? What if Trayvon had a gun?

      1. Paul Tioxon

        The clearest sign of the weakness of the prosecution by the Florida prosecutor who had 80 murder convictions to 2 not guilty verdicts, is not to characterize the sequence of events as entrapment in lieu of not actually knowing if fighting words were used to provoke Trayvon into physical conflict. By saying he was being followed by a creepy ass cracker, anyone with teenagers could tell you that the use of the word creep is interchangeable with sex pervert. The sense of violation felt by someone projected from the point of origin outside of him/herself is regularly described as creepy, with all of the perverted and sexual violence connotation. This is the voice of the conversation Trayvon had while talking and walking, not scoping out a victim. Instead, Zimmerman comes upon Martin and Zimmerman’s inconsistent description of the scene of the events wins out as the narrative of the truth.

        Entrapment is much more of an explanation of the events more so than even race, because the entrapment can be seen from behavior as opposed to proving verbal or written racial animosity. With a dead teenager, we don’t know if Zimmerman walk up to him using fighting words to provoke him, racial epithets or even asked for the time. What we do know is that Trayvon felt frightened enough to call Zimmerman creepy on the phone. The sense of danger, no matter how we characterize it, was present in Trayvon’s mind, more so than the sense of fear Zimmerman claims to have, but puts aside over and over in order to pursue an opportunity to get closer to Martin.

        Why would a man put aside fear of a suspect he phoned into the police? If he was afraid of Martin, how does he show it? By being armed? But once armed, is he still afraid? Zimmerman says yes. So, once armed, but still afraid, why go out of your house, into your car, then out of your car, if in fear? Unless there was a point in becoming armed and following Trayvon. Into his trap, a physical confrontation where he knows going into it, that he is armed, and has the law on his side if he takes a few, non life threatening punches as a pretext for the use of deadly force.

        1. psychohistorian

          Nicely laid out.

          I have not focused on the details but your scenario, and the questions it begs, screams out that the equal protection under the law boat has gone over the falls.

          This sets the stage for the coming American “cleansing” by the brainwashed gun nuts….where is there to hide?

        2. from Mexico


          The only people who could buy into Zimmerman’s nonsensical exculaptory statement are racist bigots.

          Granted, we do not know what motivated Zimmerman to pursue Martin and provoke a confrontation with him. We do know, however, what motivated the police, prosecution and judge in the case in the aftermath of the shooting. What became clarion throughout the process is that every one of them was overwhelmingly biased against Trayvon and in favor of Zimmerman. And it is their actions, and not their words, that demonstrate this.

          We’re in one a hell of a mess because we’ve come to the point where a person’s words — in this case the police, the judge, the prosecutors and Obama — speak louder than their actions.

          1. from Mexico

            @ Paul

            I’d add that what you’re calling “entrapment” is, in legal jargon, called “initial aggressor.”

            But the most important point to note here, and this goes to the unbelievable bias showed by Judge Nelson in this case, is that she, in her instructions to the jury, did not allow the jury to even consider the scenario which you lay out.

            This is all explained in an article by Alafair Burke:

            Even Florida’s broad self-defense statutory scheme follows traditional self-defense limitations by prohibiting “initial aggressors” from using force provoked by their own conduct. A defendant in Florida cannot claim self-defense if he “initially provokes the use of force” against himself, unless he either withdraws from the conflict and conveys the withdrawal to the other party (the legal equivalent of “saying ‘uncle'”) or uses reasonable escape options to avoid death or great bodily harm (in other words, the initial aggressor has no right to stand his ground; he must retreat).

            The state asked the court to instruct the jury not only about the justification of self-defense, which favored Zimmerman in the ways described above, but also about its initial aggressor limitation. (View the state’s argument here, beginning at 3:00.) According to the state, the jury might have concluded that Zimmerman provoked any physical response from Martin by following him. If a jury could reasonably find an instruction applicable, the instruction should be given.

            The defense objected to the initial aggressor instruction.


            And of course, as was the pattern throughout the trial all the way from jury selection to instructions to the jury, the judge ruled in favor of the defense.

            So, as Burke concludes:

            Why didn’t the jury hear the full story?


            A properly instructed jury should have heard the complete law of self-defense in Florida, not just the portions that helped Zimmerman. Had the jury been instructed about the initial aggressor exception, it might have concluded that Zimmerman’s following of Martin, though itself not criminal, was reasonably apprehended by Martin as a “threat of force.” Put another way, the jury might have concluded that Martin was the one acting in self-defense during the physical confrontation that preceded the gunshot, making Zimmerman the aggressor.

            The tragic facts of this case should absolutely encourage us to talk about race, guns, and violence. But before we condemn the jurors who acquitted George Zimmerman, we should remember that they were asked to do something extraordinary. They were asked to listen to the facts and apply the law to the best of their ability in a case the world was watching.

            And the only law they had came from those jury instructions. Losing the initial aggressor instruction may have been the moment the state lost its case.

            As you may or may not know, there is already a grass-roots effort in Florida demanding the resignation of Angela Corey. But even though it is clear that Corey and her prosecution team did almost everything in their power to lose this case, Judge Debra Nelson is equally as guilty, if not more so.

            Nelson shouldn’t be a dog catcher, much less to be in a position to make decisions over people’s lives.

      2. from Mexico

        @ Woody in Florida

        Yea right. So anytime we get into a tussle with some black kid, that gives us the right to pull out a gun and summarily execute him.

        The best response I’ve come across to this sort of grotesque disproportionality emanating from the shock and awe brigades is this cartoon:

        And I notice you just ignore the glaring double standard of justice handed down by Florida courts, the treatment of Zimmerman vs. Marissa Alexander.

        Of course I already know that no reality and no common sense can penetrate the mind of racist bigots, folks like Judge Debra Nelson or Angela Corey, the lead prosecutor in both the Zimmerman and Alexander cases. And this is true whether they be of the northern liberal, Democratic variety or the southern reactionary, Republican variety.

        1. Woody in Florida

          From Mexico – I am sorry if I came across as racist. I am white, but grew up as a young man in a nearly all black part of Flint, Michigan. All of my friends were obviously black and this was during the 1970’s. Like most of my friends, I feel like Zimmerman was looking for a confrontation, but I just wish people would stop acting like this is a black/white thing. There are plenty of racial things to talk about, but only Zimmerman knows what motivated him. I think he would have done the same with any young person that he thought was out of place, just so he could exert some authority. Things just went horribly wrong, and the law may need to be reworked. However, I don’t want to help push the world into a place where we have to be afraid to address people, or to stand up for what we think is right. Perhaps if Zimmerman was carrying his gun openly, and not concealed, then they could have had a discussion and not a confrontation. So many ifs, but I will not support asking people to remain scared to protect themselves or property, nor will I just assume that this was racially motivated. Zimmerman may be a jerk with a Napoleon complex, and a liar, but I don’t know enough about him to jump to the white/black issue.

          1. from Mexico

            Phew! What a crock!

            If all your friends are black, they must be some really out of the ordinary black people, since a Washington Post poll showed that 81% of blacks “say the shooting of the Florida teenager was unjustified, recoil at the verdict in the trial and want the shooter, George Zimmerman, tried in federal court for violating Martin’s civil rights.”


            “Just 27 percent of whites agree,” the article goes on to point out. So you may “just wish people would stop acting like this is a black/white thing,” but it most definitely is.

            Hispanics aren’t buying the racist bigots’ crap either. “By a two-to-one ratio,” the article continues, “they disapprove of the verdict in the Zimmerman trial.”

            1. Woody in Florida

              Okay for clarity….I said “were” in the 1970’s. I have moved on and gotten older. But my experiences as a young man helped remove the much of the racism that comes from fear and ignorance of the unknown. As an adult it always shocks me when I encounter people that seem to truly believe the racial nonsense that comes out of their mouths. I can’t/won’t support that from anyone, regardless of race. But I don’t care how many people say it was racially motivated, because unless they were in his head then we call it opinion. But believe me, if it could be PROVEN that it was a racial thing, then I will say a prayer for his soul, and give you the money for hangin’ rope. At one time many people believed that the police officer that arrested the black Harvard professor was acting stupidly or racially, including our President. Opinion is not fact, so the polls don’t mean too much to me. Las Vegas would stop giving odds if opinion was fact.

              1. from Mexico

                @ Woody in Florida

                There are two separtate issues here, which you seem to be intent upon conflating:

                1) What was Zimmerman’s motivation

                2) What was the motivation of the police, prosecutors and judge

                As to the first, you state:

                But I don’t care how many people say it was racially motivated, because unless they were in his head then we call it opinion. But believe me, if it could be PROVEN that it was a racial thing, then I will say a prayer for his soul, and give you the money for hangin’ rope.

                Of course it can’t be PROVEN! To believe that it could be, unless Zimmerman were to come out and admit to it, is nonsensical. But people sitting on juries make these judgment calls every day (as to what is in somebody else’s head) in order to assess motive, and these judgments are almost always contrary to what the accused said. That means they are almost always opinion. So your argument makes no sense whatsoever. None.

                As to what the motivation of the police, prosecutors and judge were, it seems to me that they said: “You want a trial? All right, we’ll give you a trial.” And then they set about to do everything in their power to throw it.

                I’ve already spoken of one of the outrageous decisions Judge Nelson made in her instrucitons to the jury. There were others. And as to the police, is it really necessary to rehash everything they did to throw this case?

                Which brings us to the prosecutors. Did you know that it was the prosecution, and not the defense, that placed into evidence Zimmerman’s exculpatory statements that allowed him to plead self-defense? And if the prosecutors had not placed these into evidence, then Zimmerman would have had to take the stand, that is if he wanted to plead self defense? He would have had to face cross examination, which would have given prosecutors an opportunity to impeach Zimmerman’s statement and point out all the contradictions in it. As Seema Iyer put it:

                I’ve been doing this for almost 20 years. I’ve never seen a prosecutor put a statement by the defendant into evidence where a defendant says, “I am not guilty.” There is a subliminal subtext going on where the prosecution supports their evidence.


                As she explains:

                The prosecution—and I actually wrote an article about this. But the prosecution, where they went wrong was here: They should not have introduced the statements by George Zimmerman. There was a video re-enactment, there was the interrogation tape in the police station, and there was the Hannity interview. Now, let me explain this. In most of this country, prosecutors do not enter on their case in chief statements where a defendant says, “I’m not guilty.” Those are exculpatory statements. Any time you get a statement like that, prosecutors say, “Uh-uh, I’m not putting this in,” because this helps their case…

                Defense cannot put in statements by our clients when our clients say they’re not guilty. So, this is how it could have played out. The prosecution should not have put those statements in. The defense could not put those statements in. The prosecution would have then forced George Zimmerman’s hand to testify, if he wanted the self-defense instruction. You don’t get a self-defense instruction unless there’s a foundation in the evidence at trial. So either George Zimmerman wouldn’t have testified and wouldn’t have had a defense, or he would have testified and ultimately would have made at least one or two or 10 inconsistent statements with his three prior interviews, because, Amy, you can’t have four stories in one. And then the prosecution would have had the opportunity to play those statements and confront him with it and impeach him on those inconsistencies.

                So like I said, with the police, the prosecutors and the judge all batting for Zimmerman, was there ever any doubt what the outcome of the trial would be?

                1. Woody in Florida

                  You do realize Trayvon had no injuries besides the gunshot right? That both sides had witnesses to the fact there was a fight? Please don’t make me defend this idiot, but I refuse to color everything that involves blacks as racially motivated, unless you could drag out some evidence like George was a member of the KKK or a Neo-Nazi or anything that would suggest he was racist and not just protecting the neighborhood, even in an extreme manner. But I will agree to disagree, even if you reply, I will drop it. I enjoy reading your comments on things concerning economics and such and have no desire to cause you to lose interest in this site. BTW it does sound like the prosecution really threw the case with regards to the “not guilty” statements but I am not a lawyer.

                  1. Yves Smith

                    Yes, and that includes no injuries to his hand, and you’d expect to see lacerations to his hand if he was pounding Zimmerman with an ungloved fist.

              2. Yves Smith


                A tell is you keep repeating that Zimmerman was assaulted by Martin.

                There isn’t any evidence of that. It’s Zimmerman’s claim. There was NO Martin DNA on him, he had no serious wounds, and while the defense argued the shot entry angle was the result of Martin standing over Zimmerman, you can explain the shot angle with other theories that don’t involve Martin standing over Zimmerman. If you read the witness statements reported in the media, they aren’t clear on who was doing what, they were guessing.

                The fact that you appear not to have considered the idea that Zimmerman was likely to have significantly, if not utterly, fabricated his account and looked as to how solid the evidence was backing up his story IS a sign you harbor a lot of racial bias.

                Try taking the Harvard Implicit bias test.


                1. Woody in Florida

                  Okay but it would really hurt to discover I was some kind of closet racist. But I am not trying to ignore other possibilities. I just have not been show convincing evidence either way, possibly because I was trying to ignore the 24/7 coverage, or because there simply wasn’t any. And I do not want to just assume George wasn’t simply looking for trouble from anyone. I think he would have ended up in a conflict with anyone that night except perhaps a toddler or a granny, but how that means he is racist is beyond me. Unless someone could please demonstrate that he is, so we could just be done with him, and make an example of him.

                  1. Yves Smith

                    Apologies. But I don’t see how you don’t get that his view of Martin as a threat was very likely to have been tinged by race. Non-blacks are remarkably unwilling to admit their bias against blacks. I know when a bunch of noisy young black boys get on the subway I get a bit more watchful even though I know intellectually they are no threat to me (I then go pay attention to something else on the subway as an exercise). And I test on the Harvard implicit bias test as being slightly biased in favor of blacks. So if I have that sort of reaction (as in I can manage my biases intellectually, enough for that test, but I still see I have them), from my vantage, you’d need to bend over massively backwards to be able to counter that reaction. It is deeply inculcated in our culture. Yet you depict Zimmerman’s actions as logical and reject the idea that his INTERPRETATION of Martin as a menace of some sort was…his interpretation!

                    I’m just very upset by the number of people who defend Zimmerman when it looks like the prosecution might have thrown the case. The jury instructions were astonishing on the provocation issue and the prosecution filed for everything BUT manslaughter, which was the logical charge.

                2. Woody in Florida

                  Okay I took the test. Good news
                  You have completed the African American – European American IAT.

                  Your Result
                  Your data suggest little to no automatic preference between European American and African American.

                  Anyway I can’t really argue the case without facts. Still I don’t remember REPEATING that Trayvon was assaulting GZ. I suggested it once and another time alluded to the fact he was not shot in the back. Please believe me when I say that I know I was not there that night, I do not know anything about either of the two except the Kool-Aid the media is serving us, and I feel horrible that a young man is dead, for whatever reason. Maybe I just have a hard time seeing the kind of racial hatred one would have to have to kill another human for no better reason. Yes I know it happens but I can’t believe it explains every single incident of killings in our country that involves blacks and whites. What bothers me besides the media creating a feeding frenzy on the race issue is that someone could be killed and the cops think one mans story of the events mean there was no need to do a exhaustive study/trial to determine possible legal action. Those two items are the crimes I see proof of.

            2. wunsacon

              >> The only people who could buy into Zimmerman’s nonsensical exculaptory statement are racist bigots.

              I disagree.

              I did not sit on the jury and have probably read much less about the case than you. But, I’ve seen enough statements that I can at least contemplate that I — had I served on the jury and seen all the evidence — could find Zimmerman not only “not guilty” but an exemplary neighborhood watch leader.

              Put yourself in GZ’s shoes and accept his version of the story (which is the real problem that the SYG law exacerbates). If:

              – your neighborhood were broken into many times over the course of a few months
              – the police show up late sometimes in response to your calls
              – you see someone in the rain, in the dark, walking not on the sidewalk but in the greenway between structures

              Wouldn’t you be suspicious? Or, can you imagine why someone would, without being “racist”?

              Further, if:
              – you try to approach the person, lose sight of him, walk back to your car, and then get jumped and have someone start beating your head into the ground, knowing that people *do* occasionally die from fist fights (and knowing you do possess a gun that might be used against you)

              Would you shoot? Or, can you imagine why someone would, without them being “racist”?

              And even if you served on the jury or else read so much about the case that you know GZ’s story well enough to conclude it’s BS beyond a reasonable doubt, consider the fact that most people did neither. Are you going to call them ignorant or racist? And before you answer, consider whether you’re trying to educate or castigate.

              If you want to change SYG, calling us suckers who (partially or fully) “buy into” GZ’s explanations “racist” sets back the cause.

              1. from Mexico

                wunsacon said:

                Put yourself in GZ’s shoes and accept his version of the story.


                But more importantly, why did the police and the prosecutors uncritically and unquestioningly accept Zimmerman’s exculpatory statement as sure truth, along with all its inconsistencies and contradictions? Why did the prosecutors introduce Zimmerman’s exculpatory statement into evidence at the trial? Isn’t that supposed to be the defense’s job?

                wunsacon said:

                Further, if:
                – you try to approach the person, lose sight of him, walk back to your car, and then get jumped and have someone start beating your head into the ground…

                Again, this comes from Zimmerman’s exculpatory statement, which you repeat here as if it were sure truth. What is your motivation for doing this?

                wunsacon said:

                And even if you served on the jury or else read so much about the case that you know GZ’s story well enough to conclude it’s BS beyond a reasonable doubt, consider the fact that most people did neither. Are you going to call them ignorant or racist?

                So let me get this straight. The only thing one knows is that a grown white man, armed with a gun, shoots and kills an unarmed 17 year-old black kid walking back to his house. The white man said he did it in self defense. And that’s it. That’s all one knows, because that’s the extent to which one has followed the trial. But nevertheless, that’s all one believes one needs to know. Mind shut. Case closed.

                Why would someone with such little knowlege of something believe they can judge it with such certainty?

                1. RepresentativePress

                  “shoots and kills an unarmed 17 year-old black kid walking back to his house.”

                  That is not what the evidence shows. If Martin had been simply “walking back to his house” he would have been there, there is just too much time for him to be where he was. Even after he takes of running after Zimmerman spots him, if he continued running or running then walking, he would have been long gone. There is just too much time, the evidence does not show Zimmerman rounded the corner and confronted MArtin, you can hear Zimmerman continue to talk for several minutes on the phone. The evidence and witness points to the same thing Zimmerman has been saying from the start. This case never should have been selected as a civil rights drama. The police did bring him down to the station and questioned him and gave him a lie detector test which he passed. The police interviewed witnesses and the one who was right there saw Martin on top of Zimmerman an delivering blows. Martin didn’t stop assaulting Zimmerman even after he was screaming and even after that witness yelled for him to stop.

                  1. Yves Smith

                    Please read the press reports. The witnesses were NOT clear on what was happening. They saw a fight but made it clear they were guessing as to which person was taking what action (as in the direct quotes were things like “yeah, I think they guy in red was on the bottom” or “it looked like the lighter skinned one”). The actual quotes are not as definitive as your account. The tape was also unclear as to which individual was being reported upon. Specific claims that Zimmerman made (that Martin got his hands on Zimmerman’s gun) was disproven by DNA evidence:


                    Zimmerman had some cuts on the back of his head, and claimed having his head punched into the ground. I’ve had a concussion. I got mangled up worse from a mere fall and I had a full head of hair. So as nasty as his cuts look, if Martin really were pounding him, he sure didn’t anywhere near as much damage as he could have.

                    So the jury was correct to acquit of murder since there was reasonable doubt re the charges they were asked to rule on (which excluded manslaughter, peculiarly, the charges they were presented required more in the way of intent).

                    1. Lambert Strether Post author

                      More on the DNA from CBS (not in that HuffPo link):

                      Gorgone said he didn’t detect any DNA that wasn’t Martin’s on the cuffs and sleeves of Martin’s hoodie.

                      Responding to questions from defense attorney Don West on cross-examination, Gorgone said it was possible to touch something without leaving DNA evidence.

                      “Sometimes you can touch an item and there won’t be any DNA,” West said. “Sometimes there can also be blood, but it can be wiped off.”

                      “That’s correct,” Gorgone said.

                      On cross-examination, Gorgone told West that he detected an odor when he removed Martin’s hoodie from the plastic bag it had been packaged in, likely because it had been packaged wet.

                      It was raining the evening of the fatal struggle. “It had a very pungent odor,” Gorgone said.

                      Ideally, he said, clothing should be air-dried and packaged in paper bags, not in plastic as Martin’s hoodie had been.

                      West asked whether the plastic packaging could place “biological evidence at risk of degradation.”

                      “That’s correct,” Gorgone said.

                      So (if we believe the reporting) it would certainly be ironic if “careless” police evidence handling destroyed evidence that would have tended to exculpate Zimmerman (if we believe Zimmerman’s narrative). Instead, we have doubt.

                    2. RepresentativePress

                      I read the reports, I watched HOURS of the trial too. As far as the fight, there is only one eyewitness, John Good, and he has been clear from day one that Martin was on top. I would like a quote and source. You claim “The witnesses were NOT clear on what was happening.” but the one eyewitness has been clear from day one. “. The actual quotes are not as definitive as your account. ” yes, Good is clear, seems you are emotionally invested in the scam pushed by Ryan Julison, Martin was not that little kid in the picture the media has dishonestly broadcast. Ryan Julison is the PR man who pitched this story to the media and he’s responsible for pushing the outdated pic of Martin as a young boy. (yes this story was pitched to the media by a PR guy hired by the Martin’ family’s lawyers)

                      And Zimmerman did not claim “Martin got his hands on Zimmerman’s gun,” see this is the problem, you don’t have your facts right.

                      I could see getting worked up if the situation was a man who had no injuries who shot a guy at a distance but that isn’t what this is. The doctors say the injuries are consistent with an attack from Martin. The evidence shows Trayvon Martin would NOT stop assaulting him even after Zimmerman was screaming & even after the neighbor yelled for him to stop. Zimmerman fired a single shot WHILE ON HIS BACK as he was being beaten & screaming for his life. You need to understand that the evidence shows Martin was slamming his head on the sidewalk. Martin boasted in texts of fights & complained he didn’t make the guy bleed enough.

                      It’s sad that con men have managed to dupe so many people who feel an honest desire to stand up agains racism but that isn’t what this case was about. And a big promoter of this is  Al Sharpton who has a history of pulling the vary same kind of stunt! Tawana Brawley was a hoax. These idiots don’t do there homework before dragging our nation through all this crap. The Martin family’s lawyer is a liar, Martin was NOT a “good kid” the very reason he was in Sanford was because he had gotten into trouble AGAIN and was set to live with his father to straighten him out. Another time his mom kicked him out.

                      The FBI has looked at this for over a year, there is zero evidence Zimmerman was racially motivated. He was simply watching and was ambushed because he assumed Martin continued toward the exit.

                    3. from Mexico

                      @ RepresentativePress

                      I don’t know where you’re used to commenting, but around here just making stuff up won’t earn you many points.

                      For those interested in what John Good actually testified, it is available on Youtube. The testimony which is most germane begins at about minute 18:00


                      Good is far from being clear about what happened, as you falsely claim.. His testimony is loaded with all kinds of qualifiers. But most importantly, Good never testifies that Trayvon was “delivering blows.”

                    4. RepresentativePress

                      @ Mexico I am not “just making stuff up”

                      “Using the term “ground and pound,” John Good, who lived at the housing complex where Mr. Martin was killed, testified that he walked out to his back porch and saw, about 20 to 30 feet away, someone in dark clothes “straddling” someone wearing white or red who was lying on the ground. (Mr. Zimmerman was wearing a red jacket that night.) The person on top, he said, was using “arm motions going down, not just once but multiple times.””

                      “Zimmerman’s attorney, Mark O’Mara asked if Martin was utilizing Mixed Martial Arts tactics and administering a “ground and pound” technique to rain blows down on Zimmerman. “That’s what it looked like,” Good said.

                      Good testified that he exited the scene as soon as he saw Martin repeatedly punching Zimmerman. Good also testified that Zimmerman was the individual screaming for help as he was being punched by Martin.”

                    5. from Mexico


                      Negative. You are just making stuff up, whatever it takes to confirm what it is you want to believe.

                      Here’s what you said:

                      The police interviewed witnesses and the one who was right there saw Martin on top of Zimmerman an delivering blows. Martin didn’t stop assaulting Zimmerman even after he was screaming and even after that witness yelled for him to stop.

                      But Good never said Martin was “delivering blows.”

                      Here, once again, is a link to Good’s testimony:


                      Here is what he testified to the court:

                      GOOD: …when it moved up to the sidewalk and he was more in a straddle position, and arm movements were going downward. But I couldn’t 100% say those were actually stikes or if they were just arm movements going downward.

                      O’MARA: Of course.


                      O’MARA: When was the first time you heard the person on the bottom scream for help?

                      GOOD: When I initially went outside, didn’t see a second person, then I could see a second person, and it sounded like it was coming from the person on the bottom because usually when someone is on top the person on the bottom is the one screaming, or yelling. And that’s when I heard that but I didn’t hear anything after that.


                      O’MARA: Do yiou think it was the person on the bottom screaming for help?

                      GOOD: Rationally thinking I would think so.


                      O’MARA: You’re certainly not telling this jury that you’re certain that Mr. Martin wasn’t striking George Zimmerman in the face?

                      GOOD: Could you repeat that?

                      O’MARA: You’re certainly not telling this jury that you know that Mr.Martin was not striking George Zimmerman in the face?

                      GOOD: I can’t 100% confirm that was happening.

                      O’MARA: And you just don’t want to say that Trayvon Martin was taking George Zimmerman’s head and hitting on the cement because you didn’t actually see that? Correct?

                      GOOD: Yea, I couldn’t see that.

                      O’MARA: And it was because of the darkness and the positioning of the people?

                      GOOD: Yes.

                  2. from Mexico

                    Funny how you fail to mention the timing thing, and a great deal more forensic evidence, blow major broadsides into Zimmerman’s exculpatory statement:

                    • If Zimmerman’s retelling of the event were accurate, the confrontation Zimmerman described with Martin would have occurred much sooner than it actually did;

                    • Zimmerman covered more time and distance after leaving his truck that night than he revealed to police;

                    • based on the times and distances Zimmerman said he covered, Zimmerman would have still been on the phone with Sanford police when he claims he was attacked by Martin;


                    1. Lambert Strether Post author

                      That link, Forensic evidence both supports, casts doubt on Zimmerman claims, is February, updated in April. Do we have anything more current? Ideally, a map of the gated community with the known events and the competing narratives tracked, drawn from the trial testimony? (I’m thinking here of a massive Times multimedia project where some skiers got caught in a landslide in Colorado. One would think this story is worth investing equivalent effort in.)

                    2. RepresentativePress

                      Zimmerman “covered more time …”? The tine is the time. He is on the phone! You are not seriously arguing that he saw and encountered Martin yet calmly talked on the phone with Martin in his presence are you?

                      Zimmerman: If they come in through the gate, tell them to go straight past the club house, and uh, straight past the club house and make a left, and then they go past the mailboxes, that’s my truck…[unintelligible]
                      Dispatcher: What address are you parked in front of?
                      Zimmerman: I don’t know, it’s a cut through so I don’t know the address. Dispatcher: Okay do you live in the area?
                      Zimmerman: Yeah, I…[unintelligible] Dispatcher: What’s your apartment number? Zimmerman: It’s a home it’s 1950, oh crap I don’t want to give it all out, I don’t know where this kid is.
                      Dispatcher: Okay do you want to just meet with them right near the mailboxes then?
                      Zimmerman: Yeah that’s fine.
                      Dispatcher: Alright George, I’ll let them know to meet you around there okay?
                      Zimmerman: Actually could you have them call me and I’ll tell them where I’m at? Dispatcher: Okay, yeah that’s no problem.
                      Zimmerman: Should I give you my number or you got it?
                      Dispatcher: Yeah I got it [redacted by Mother Jones]
                      Zimmerman: Yeah you got it.
                      Dispatcher: Okay no problem, I’ll let them know to call you when you’re in the area.
                      Zimmerman: Thanks.
                      Dispatcher: You’re welcome

                      Mexico, are you seriously arguing that Zimmerman spoke the words above with Martin right there? and the key part is this because it shows who the aggressor was:

                      Had Martin walked directly to his destination, his father’s girlfriend’s townhome, he would have made it there safely before Zimmerman ended his nonemergency call to Sanford police;
                      Martin was in fact leaning over Zimmerman when the fatal shot was fired, just as Zimmerman has maintained.
                      (And even well before that, if Martin was simply walking home, Google maps shows he would have arrived home and been there for 21 minutes before Zimmerman even spotted him standing on a front lawn in the first place! )

                    3. whaddya mean?

                      The Wikipedia account looks pretty even handed.

                      Go look at the eyewitness testimony section.

                      The mother of one eyewitness claims police pressured her son to say the person on the ground was wearing red (meaning he was Zimmerman). Other witnesses (heard but didn’t see the fight) say the police misrepresented their statements.


                      So we have forensic evidence messed up, witnesses interfered with…so how reliable is what we saw in the trial?

                  3. from Mexico

                    And there was a mountain of other evidence besides the above that prosecution didn’t use, as Lisa Bloom describes here. Why do you believe the prosecution pulled its punches?

                    [I]t seemed the prosecution was building its case, at least partly, around Mr. Zimmerman’s obvious racial profiling, which was the run-up for the altercation and shooting that followed. The state fought hard outside the jury’s presence to enter into evidence police calls Mr. Zimmerman had made in the months before the shooting; 100 percent of the calls about suspicious persons involved African-Americans.

                    Though the judge ultimately granted the state’s request and admitted tapes of these calls into evidence, the prosecution did not use the evidence and remained strangely silent on Mr. Zimmerman’s pattern of racial profiling during its two closing arguments.


                    The most discordant note in the entire three-week trial came in the prosecution’s rebuttal closing argument, its last chance to drive its points home with the jury. John Guy, a prosecutor in the case, insisted forcefully that the case was not about race; relying on a strategy reminiscent of John Grisham’s book “A Time to Kill,” Mr. Guy asked the jury to consider a role reversal: would Martin be convicted if he had followed and then shot George Zimmerman? After this obvious, if implicit, reference to race, Mr. Guy finished up by reminding the jury that the case was not about race.



                    Many disturbing factors were present in the Zimmerman trial: his legal right to drive to the grocery store with a loaded concealed weapon, bullet chambered; Florida’s overly permissive self-defense laws; subpar crime-scene evidence-collection techniques; the oddly arrogant medical examiner who had little interest in answering the questions posed to him by counsel; the prosecutors’ apparent failure to adequately prepare their key witness, Ms. Jeantel; prosecutors’ failure to emphasize how Mr. Zimmerman’s gun, holstered behind him and inside his waistband, could not have been seen and reached for by Mr. Martin in the scenario Mr. Zimmerman described, where he was pinned on his back with Mr. Martin assaulting him; prosecutors’ failure to drive home the fact that Mr. Zimmerman’s claim that Mr. Martin pounded his head on concrete in his final moments did not fit the crime scene, since Mr. Martin’s body was found on the grass a substantial distance from any concrete.

                    The prosecution’s most glaring trial failure was its absence of a theory about what happened on the night of the shooting that would counter the defense’s frightening story about Mr. Martin’s pinning Mr. Zimmerman to the ground, straddling him and banging his head against the concrete and then reaching for Mr. Zimmerman’s gun. The defense seized upon the prosecution’s unusual practice throughout the trial, and especially in closing, of simply raising questions of what might have happened, rather than proving its own case or presenting its own theory about the facts. When both sides seemed to advocate for reasonable doubt, an acquittal was the only possible outcome.

                    It cannot reasonably be disputed that the incident that left Mr. Martin dead began with ugly racial profiling. But the prosecution seemed afraid to say so at any point in the trial. Instead, the state appeared to want to tread lightly on the jurors’ presumed delicate sensibilities on the dicey subject of race and, leaving the race question aside, simply pointed out that Mr. Zimmerman must have made “assumptions.” The state’s refusal to take an aggressive, clear position on Mr. Zimmerman’s racial profiling was, like many of its strategic decisions, a clear fumble.


                  4. Lambert Strether Post author

                    @RepresentativePress “Google maps shows he would have arrived home and been there for 21 minutes”

                    Google maps works in space, not time. Got a link on that?

                    1. representativePress

                      Approximate Walking time from 7-Eleven to Martin’s father’s place Total: 0.9 mi – about 17 mins
                      At approximately 7:09 PM, George Zimmerman called the Sanford police non-emergency number to report what he considered a suspicious person in the Twin Lakes community. Trayvon Martin left the front of the 7-Eleven at 6:29:19 PM which means if Martin had walked at the rate Google estimates, meaning in approximately 18 minutes, then Martin should have reached his father’s place at about 6:48 PM and already been home for about 21 minutes before Zimmerman made the call to report seeing him.

                    2. from Mexico

                      @ representativePress

                      How does the fact that Trayvon is seen leaving the 7-11 at 6:29 and Zimmerman spotted him walking at 7:09 “show who the aggressor was”?

                      What difference does it make if Trayvon didn’t arrive at his home in the 20 minutes or so it would take him to walk directly? Can’t a guy stop outside the C-store or somewhere along the way to talk to friends, or call his girlfriend on the phone to chat for a few minutes?

                    3. representativePress

                      No Mexico,

                      the part where: Had Martin walked directly to his destination, his father’s girlfriend’s townhome, he would have made it there safely before Zimmerman ended his nonemergency call to Sanford police;

                      That is after the initial sighting. It shows that instead of walking to the house, which Martin could have easily have done, he waited around near Zimmerman and waited for him to end his call. then attacked him. There is NO EVIDENCE to dispute what Zimmerman said and there is evidence to support it. that is the bottom line.

                      Even the girl he was talking to thinks Martin threw the first punch! Do you not realize where Martin punched Zimmerman? It was not down by Martin’s father’s house. Martin’s texts shows him complaining he didn’t make his opponent bleed enough. Ryan Julison is the PR man who pitched this story to the media and he’s responsible for pushing the outdated pic of Martin as a young boy. Martin was NOT that young boy, he was a 17-year-old who had tattoos and got into fights and had been kicked out of his mother’s house. Crump the lawyer is a liar, claimed Martin “was a good kid” yet the very reason he was living in Sanford with his father was because he had gotten into trouble AGAIN and was being punished. Martin was getting into trouble, friends warned he was fighting too much, was turning into a hoodlum and that he was going to end up with a bullet in his chest! GOOD PREDICTION

                    4. from Mexico

                      @ representativePress

                      I’m sorry, but you’re just spouting a bunch of incoherent babble that makes no sense whatsoever.

              2. from Mexico

                You know, wunsacon, if you would make an argument that does not assume that Zimmerman’s exculpatory statements are sure truth, I might respond.

                Without that built-in assumption, there’s not much to your arguments.

              3. Woody in Florida

                Just wanted to say thanks for the support wunsacon. I may be naive, and mos def ignorant of the actual facts, (like most everyone) but to imply I am a bigot or racist is uncalled for and hurtful. Seems strange to think that if I am willing to consider the possibility that someone could be motivated by anything besides race make me closed minded and unwilling to listen. Even if over 75% of our country is somewhat racist, it doesn’t mean we need to paint everyone with the same brush. This is why the President ended up having a beer on the White House lawn with the police officer not too many years ago.

                1. Lambert Strether Post author

                  To get preachy and I hope not sanctimonious: I believe none of this should be about personal “support.” (AA says: “Principals not personalities.”) Another way of saying this is that the support should be for the comment, not the commenter. I’ll leave out the name, because of what I just said :-) but I can think of one commenter both here and at Corrente that I’ve had vehement disagreements with on strategy and even what’s ethical, but I still chip in with a +1000 when I think they have it right. (The INTJ’s prayer: Lord keep me open to others’ ideas, WRONG though they may be.) Of course, since ethos is part of rhetoric, and le style c’est l’homme même, and there is also the overall good of the blog to consider, there are edge cases where personalities do enter. And as a former policy debater, I do like to win. Very much. So there are times I fall into the “any stick to beat a dog” tactic. Nevertheless, I think that supporting the comment not the commenter is the basic tack we should take. Even a blind pig finds a truffle every so often.

                  1. Woody in Florida

                    Okay, so maybe “support for me” is the wrong term. But I still feel like he was the only one that seemed to understand and read what I was trying to say, that not “every” single time blacks and whites interact does race have to be a factor, but I guess most people refuse to believe it. And I really can’t comment much on the trial itself or why the police would want to defend someone that called them lazy because law isn’t my field. And the Wiki page you linked us to just made things seem more complicated. So much wrong information, doctored 911 calls by the media, false info leaked by the lawyers, law professors threatened with lawsuits, evidence never entered, etc. Might be the best confab job ever done by the media. I think I will stick to reading the economics work this site provides.

            3. wunsacon

              From Mexico,

              >> The only people who could buy into Zimmerman’s nonsensical exculaptory statement are racist bigots.

              >> a Washington Post poll showed that 81% of blacks “say the shooting of the Florida teenager was unjustified

              So, are the remaining 19% of black people racist against black people? (If not all 19%, what % do you think?)

              1. Yves Smith

                You are SERIOUSLY going to try that one?

                How often do you see over 80% results in polls? Remember a certain %, usually at least 5%, is undecided.

                80% is bloody close to unanimity in polls.

                1. wunsacon

                  >> Remember a certain %, usually at least 5%, is undecided.

                  Did you read my parenthetical? What do you think I was alluding to?

                  >> You are SERIOUSLY going to try that one?

                  Did you read Mexico’s statement? I’m referring to this one: “The only people who could buy into Zimmerman’s nonsensical exculaptory statement are racist bigots.” It’s an absurd statement. And if there are any black people who — regardless of what they think of SYG — think that GZ really could be innocent, then I want to know what Mexico (and now Yves Smith) thinks about their racism against black people.

                  1. Yves Smith

                    I said no such thing. I’m saying your efforts to make a poll of 81% of black people seeing this incident “unjustified” as somehow supporting your position is strained. And you assumed (!!!) that the 19% were all AGAINST the 81% view, as opposed to including undecided.

                    You strawmanned From Mexico and now me. Looks like a pattern.

                    And your defensiveness about the application of the word “racist” to white people is a huge tell. If someone told me I had purple hair, I’d think they had a screw loose but I wouldn’t get angry and I might look in the mirror just in case someone had managed to get a purple blob on me when I wasn’t looking. Your anger says you have way too much invested in your view belief that you and other whites aren’t racists, and will yell down people who raise that issue rather than look at it. Any default assumption about white people towards blacks is that they are racist unless proven otherwise. See this for an example:


                    More discussion here of how that study was done and some related studies:


                    Crime sentencing shows the same pattern: black on white crimes get higher conviction rates than white on black or black on black, and blacks who are convicted on average get tougher punishments than whites.

                    1. wunsacon

                      >> And you assumed (!!!) that the 19% were all AGAINST the 81% view, as opposed to including undecided.

                      No, I did not. And I pointed it out by quoting you and saying “Did you read my parenthetical? What do you think I was alluding to?”

                      I thought your reading comprehension was better than that.

                      Who’s doing the strawman?

                    2. Yves Smith

                      No, you are proving my point perfectly.

                      You are assuming 19% REJECTED the opinion of the 81%: “19% are racist”.

                      Some of those 19% would have said they were undecided.

                      By choosing 19%, you allowed no possibility of undecided views (say the person had only seen one story and wanted to read more before making up his mind).

                    3. wunsacon

                      Oh, please. Like charges of “racism” aren’t a big deal. It ends careers. (Often fairly.)

                      I write a lot of comments on this board. Apparently now my comments on this subject are “a huge tell” and that I “believe “[me] and other whites aren’t racists”.

                      Do you know how you sound?

                    4. wunsacon

                      >> By choosing 19%, you allowed no possibility of undecided views (say the person had only seen one story and wanted to read more before making up his mind).

                      Holy smokes! Tell me, Yves, what do you think I was alluding to in my parenthetical? Do you take your readers for dolts?

                    5. Yves Smith

                      You are the one who entered into a discussion about racism and now you are getting upset that you’ve made your arguments subject to scrutiny and they don’t hold up too well when examined?

                      And it was you that portrayed Zimmerman’s conduct as reasonable when a. the police told him not to go any further and b. Paul Tioxon pointed out if he was really afraid WHEN ARMED he ought to have stayed home (as in Zimmerman’s story does not hold up well).

                2. wunsacon

                  >> You are SERIOUSLY going to try that one?

                  I quoted Mexico’s assertion and you chose to mock me. Accordingly, I tentatively infer that you, Yves Smith, *agree* with Mexico’s assertion that “The only people who could buy into Zimmerman’s nonsensical exculaptory statement are racist bigots.”. Is that correct?

                  1. Yves Smith

                    Another straw man. I took issue with an argument that YOU advanced. That has nothing to do with anything other than that specific issue.

                    I suggest you read Barry Ritholtz’s comment policy, which I hold as web standard and generally adhere to, although I am more lenient than he is. You are treading on very thin ice.


                    1. wunsacon

                      You know, Yves. I’m really disappointed with you on this.

                      You and Mexico are misreading my and Woody’s comments. And, when I point it out, you still do. Just not right.

                      You’re smarter than that. So, I don’t know what to chalk it up to.

                      Good day.

                    2. Malmo

                      Actually, Yves, I know you are much, much better regarding economics. The Zimmerman matter must be a blind spot with you.

                    3. RalphR


                      Yves may have gone after wunsacon a bit hard, but he is straw manning her. Disagreeing with him does not = agreeing 100% with from Mexico.

              2. run75441


                Do you have an idea how many cases end up being plea bargained? How many cases actually go to trial? How many cases end up in acquittal?

                Start off with a numeric being greater than 90% in Florida. Secondly the numeric for cases going to trial in Florida is one of 40. The number of cases ending up in an acquital exceeds is 1 in 200.

                With all due respect Wunsacon, if you Mr. avergae citizen go to trial with Mr. Average Joe Attorney after being offered a plea bargain and rejecting it, you are going to prison. The likelihood of you winning and being acquitted is almost non-existant. In order to win, you need the Baileys, the Kardasians, the Chemerinskys of the world at your side to even get their attention. It is doubtful you could raise the tens of thousands of dollars to go much beyond the state courts if you lost muchless just the initial trial. I find it perplexing that GZ won and I wonder if he was offered a plea baragin as this is the norm.

                Why would someone plea baragain? If you make the state work, the sentencing will be far more severe. Well, I could always appeal. Yes you can always appeal; but, it will take several years to get out of the state and into the federal system. If you do not exhaust all of your remedies in the state courts, the feds will push you back into state courts.

                The feds are no faster and I can vouch for it taking 3 years to get a decision from one district federal judge, another year and a half for COA, and at least one year for SCOTUS. 10 years will more than likely pass before you hit SCOTUS. SCOTUS accepts 80 cases a year. The days of Clarence Gideon penning a letter in pencil to SCOTUS complaining of a lack of legal representation are long gone. Alito, Roberts, Thomas, etc. don’t want to see you in their court as they have too many moneyed interests to take care. They will pass on your plea and you will stay in prison.

                GZ going to trial and being acquitted is just shy of a miracle taking place. Something took lace in Florida. Either it was extreme stupidity on the part of the prosecution or who knows??? I doubt the jury heard all the evidence as the courtsare notorious for blocking things from being heard. Again, you can always object and raise it in a higher court.

                Wunsacon, its seems odd for GZ to win.

                1. run75441


                  Some light reading. “Sentencing Shift Gives New Leverage to Prosecutors”

                  GAINESVILLE, Fla. — After decades of new laws to toughen sentencing for criminals, prosecutors have gained greater leverage to extract guilty pleas from defendants and reduce the number of cases that go to trial, often by using the threat of more serious charges with mandatory sentences or other harsher penalties. continued

              3. Lambert Strether Post author

                The 19% strikes me as a debater’s point, and this topic is more important than that.

                Heck, what’s the standard? Stalin-like 99% popular approval?

                1. from Mexico

                  81% is the percentage of blacks who believe the Feds ought to get involved. The percentage of blacks who disagreed with the verdict was actually higher:

                  Some 86 percent of blacks disagree with the verdict — almost all of them disapproving “strongly.”

          1. from Mexico

            When someone did as you did and gives a link saying this article proves my point, without making an actual argumen, I am always skeptical.

            And sure enough, the article you cite includes no factual information that helps bolster your argument. In fact, it has information that mortally wounds your argument:

            The 32-year-old mother of three from Jacksonville fired what she says was a warning shot at a wall during an argument with her husband, Rico Gray, in 2010. Gray was not wounded.

            Alexander had a protective order against her husband at the time because he had beaten her in the past. She had no criminal record.

            And she got 20 years for that? Give me a break.

            1. wunsacon

              From Mexico,

              What did Woody say? He said: ” if you read it all the way to the end, you will see why I don’t understand how this proves your point.”

              Well, did you read the whole thing? You *really* don’t see anything in that article that undermines the proposition (namely: “the case of Marissa Alexander proves that SYG is applied in a discriminatory fashion”)?

              Here’s some help:
              Prosecutors say Alexander may not have feared for her life at the time. Rather than fleeing, she went to the garage to get her gun.

              “I understand all the attention ‘stand your ground’ laws are getting, but this is a particularly lousy example to choose,” Mantei said, noting that the jury found Alexander guilty after less than 15 minutes of deliberation.


              1. wunsacon

                >> Prosecutors say Alexander may not have feared for her life at the time. Rather than fleeing, she went to the garage to get her gun.

                Ironically, the screwy thing here is that we should apparently all carry our pistols at all times, even in the home, and shoot right away at the first moment we feel threatened, because:
                – If we don’t shoot first and our spouses are packing, they might shoot us first.
                – If you have to leave the room to go get your gun, you can’t come back and use it.

                Just remember home gamers: “An armed household is a polite household. That goes for you, too, little Jimmy!”

              2. from Mexico

                @ wunsacon

                Well yes, I did read the article to the end. And for the life of me, I can’t see one scintilla of evidence that bolsters Woody in Florida’s argument.

                Do you even know what a protective order is, and why they are issued?

                Do you believe that when attorneys make arguments, like the one made by the prosecutors that you cite as if it were sure truth, that these are always true?

                Are you not aware that attorneys are advocates and not truth-tellers, and to craft and make polemics is part of their job?

                1. wunsacon

                  >> Why?

                  Because maybe it happened that way?

                  >> So let me get this straight. … closed.

                  You very much misread my comment.

                  >> Why would someone with such little knowlege of something believe they can judge it with such certainty?

                  Indeed! Did you serve on the jury?

                  Good luck labeling everybody who says “I don’t know but it’s possible GZ was innocent” as a racist bigot.

  4. rob

    It’s always good when someone makes note of the absurdity, that is political leaders who enable the status quo in everything they do; forever making speeches ,claiming they don’t.You figure Obama is dick cheney’s cousin. He could never have been travon martin.
    For the most part, I agree with all of the filler of this piece. The reality that race plays a large part in the profiling and administration, in the law and order business.
    I do disagree that this is a good case to be jumping on the bandwagon of.
    What does it show?
    I can’t say I know any details for sure. Ever since this thing happened, it has been a media circus. Things are stated as facts, that aren’t. Everyone has come out with a “story”. So, not being one of those people who were privy to actual testimony; I can’t see why this case was such a big deal. Racially speaking and all that. After all, Zimmerman isn’t white. So, the normal black white thing doesn’t really apply. Unless the cops were white, and their initial decision to let Zimmerman go, is called into question.
    In my mind, this should be a question of why didn’t the police arrest him initially. Why didn’t they do a proper job in the first place. I guess the obvious answer is that because only a black kid died, no foul…we can work this out.
    To me this is the kind of racism that ought to be protested against. Like the other woman in the piece who was given time for defending herself.I’m sure there must be thousands of cases who would show racial abuse and profiling by the legal system.It is happening all the time. These are examples of the whimsical execution of our legal protections under any laws. It is the stop and frisk policy in new York city. Or even new York police being used to spy on law abiding muslim citizens, UNTIL they do, do something wrong. The reality of “driving while black”.
    There are so many things people ought to be protesting. Especially if you are black. You ought to be protesting the corporate corrections industrial complexes, who see likely candidates to fill cells, and make money…when they see blacks,hispanics,white kids with long hair and tattoos,etc. They ought to be protesting the drug war.
    From what I heard(and that is not making a claim as to veracity),travon wasn’t all that innocent.It sounds like both parties should have done something different,but travon got the worst outcome.It sounds like the bravado of both individuals were called into play.They both acted in ways that “brought this to a head”.And rather than de-escalating,it blew up… and a fight happened, a gun was pulled.. and kid dead, The shooter lives…
    Now why this isn’t a grade of homicide,I don’t know.People whi kill someone in a barfight would be charged with some degree of manslaughter.
    I also have a big question as to where is the money, in groups like ALEC, having pushed these “stand your ground laws”,thru legislatures around the country in the past decade or so.Was this some sort of pre-emptive response to the winds of gun manufacturers being sued for crimes committed with their firearms,that were swirling ten years ago or something?

    1. psychohistorian

      The Stand Your Ground law is legal in the same way that the financial folk are legally raping the public.

      Legalizing being a bully.

      Somehow this strikes me as a patriarchy sort of expression rather than a survival of the fittest sort of framing. The agro behavior exhibited and supported by the brainwashing tool of TV has created this mindset for the plutocracy. I hope it turns to bite them on the ass instead of the masses they want to cull.

      1. from Mexico

        Here’s TPTB’s song and dance, which has become all too routine:

        1) Spend untold amounts of money and political capital to get the laws written to your liking

        2) Spend untold amounts of money and political capital to stack the judiciary

        3) Spend untold amounts of money and political capital to pack law enforcement and regulatory agencies with your henchmen

        4) Then when things come out to your liking, say “It’s the law.”

    2. nobody

      “I can’t see why this case was such a big deal. Racially speaking and all that. After all, Zimmerman isn’t white. So, the normal black white thing doesn’t really apply.”

      But “the normal black white thing” does apply, because that’s how the story was framed:

      The family of a 17-year-old African-American boy shot to death last month in his gated Florida community by a white Neighborhood Watch captain wants to see the captain arrested, the family’s lawyer said on Wednesday.


      Since Trayvon, a high school junior who wanted to be a pilot, was black and Zimmerman is white, Crump said race is “the 600 pound elephant in the room.”

      “Why is this kid suspicious in the first place? I think a stereotype must have been placed on the kid,” Crump said.

      Subsequently, we were presented with a doctored recording of Zimmerman’s call to the police in which he supposedly said: “This guy looks like he’s up to no good. He looks black.”

      People were sold a story about a paranoid, racist neighborhood watch captain out patrolling his affluent, white, gated community with a gun. A guy who decided a kid walking home was suspicious for no other reason than that he was black and wearing a hoodie. A guy who directly disobeyed a Law Enforcement order not to follow, and instead hunted the kid down and then shot him in cold blood as he screamed and begged for his life.

      The media reporting on this story has been very poor throughout, and remains so. For example, a couple of days ago, in the links list here, there was a link to a story entitled “Zimmerman trial Juror B29 says ‘Zimmerman got away with murder’.”

      If you actually pay attention to what she said, though, you learn that (1) she stands by her decision to vote “not guilty” given her understanding of the law and the evidence, (2) that she doesn’t think the case should have gone to trial in the first place, and (3) as Will Saletan explains, it’s not even true that she said that ‘Zimmerman got away with murder’:

      Nightline shows ABC interviewer Robin Roberts asking Maddy: “Some people have said, ‘George Zimmerman got away with murder. How do you respond to those people who say that?’ ” Maddy appears to reply promptly and confidently: “George Zimmerman got away with murder. But you can’t get away from God.” But that’s not quite how the exchange happened.In the unedited video, Roberts’ question is longer, with words that have been trimmed from the Nightline version, and Maddy pauses twice, for several seconds, as she struggles to answer it. “… George Zimmerman … That’s—George Zimmerman got away with murder. But you can’t get away from God.”

      You have to watch her, not just read her words, to pick up her meaning. As she struggles to answer, she looks as though she’s trying to reconcile the sentiment that’s been quoted to her—that Zimmerman “got away with murder”—with her own perspective. So she repeats the quote and adds words of her own, to convey what she thinks: that there’s a justice higher than the law, which Zimmerman will have to face. She thinks he’s morally culpable, not legally guilty.

  5. from Mexico

    Phew! What a crock!

    If all your friends are black, they must be some really out of the ordinary black people, since a Washington Post poll showed that 81% of blacks “say the shooting of the Florida teenager was unjustified, recoil at the verdict in the trial and want the shooter, George Zimmerman, tried in federal court for violating Martin’s civil rights.”

    “Just 27 percent of whites agree,” the article goes on to point out. So you may “just wish people would stop acting like this is a black/white thing,” but it most definitely is.

    Hispanics aren’t buying the racist bigots’ crap either. “By a two-to-one ratio,” the article continues, “they disapprove of the verdict in the Zimmerman trial.”

    1. Kaiser Fremantle

      Mexico what a novel idea. Do away with juries and poll for guilt or innocence.

      1. from Mexico

        @ Kaiser Fremantle

        Is that what passes for argument over at Red State these days?

        I don’t think your straw manning will earn you many arguments here.

        1. skippy

          @from Mexico… Here let me help

          “it was a ideological contract snuff job”

          Zimmerman was the Hit Man aka when he left the house with a gun, he showed intent, seeking.

          Everything that occurred after that fact was shaped – framed by… HIS PROVOCATIVE ACTIONS with forethought~~~

          Guns don’t protect people… its initial design parameters is to – KILL – people. The very act of carrying a killing weapon on ones body completely adjusts their cognitive positioning, sense of self, measure against others, identity….

          skippy…. had Zimmerman been carrying Yves shooting stick… no one would be dead (murdered) and the hole thing could have been arbitrated down the road. The fact that this guy is celebrated in some circles is indicative of the prevailing sickness a small group hold over the greater commmons.

          1. from Mexico

            The gun thing may help explain why Angela Corey had the prosecution team to pull its punches and throw the case. Her comments here make that pretty clear:

            ANGELA COREY: This case has never been about race, nor has it ever been about the right to bear arms, not in the sense of proving this as a criminal case. But Trayvon Martin was profiled. There is no doubt that he was profiled to be a criminal. And if race was one of the aspects in George Zimmerman’s mind, then we believe that we put out the proof necessary to show that Zimmerman did profile Trayvon Martin. But the right to bear arms is a right in which we all believe. I especially believe in that right. What we want is responsible use. When someone feels they have to use a gun to take a life, they have to be responsible in their use. And we believe that this case, all along, was about boundaries and that George Zimmerman exceeded those boundaries.


            That Corey went out of her way to lose this case is beyond doubt. Guns, Gays and God used to be how we described what motivated a Southern reactionary like Corey. It looks like they’ve moved on, and now it’s Guns, Blacks and God.

            The good thing is, as one can glean from Phillip Agnew’s comments, that it appears young black people in Florida clearly have her number, even if the pathetic, insipid Jesse Jackson is clueless.

            1. skippy

              That’s my take, its more about “Gun Toting” than any thing else. It could be argued the race bit is just camouflaged misdirection, although it had its stereotypical part.

              skippy… maybe when people understand we are species and not a collection of races* (*Rolfmmao “races” – comp thingo) life might not be so hard.

              PS. your ethical tenacity is commendable IMO.

            2. Lambert Strether Post author

              Well, if Corey genuinely believes that the case is about making sure guns are “toted” responsibly, then (1) how does that show that “she of her way to lose this case” and (2) doen’t that show that at least for one person the case is nothing to do with race? Taking her words at face value, she’s saying the case is about the boundaries of proper gun use.

              Personally, I don’t believe either of those things, but doesn’t your logic lead to that point?

                  1. skippy

                    Yeah saw that…

                    Couple of things.

                    Decades of neocon legal opinion devolution which at some point in the future… will culminate in reversion to tongue burning, indicate guilty or innocent (shaman in tent to adjudicate [pay to play thingy]).

                    Florida is a neolibreal paradise [thanks Jeb et al], hence its housing related problems (courts doing a bang up job there too).

                    skippy… guns kill… just looking at one will modify – adjust ones thinking… at a primordial level… win or lose paradigm. No in – between.


  6. Jill

    This is amazing. Northam has caught everything here. I haven’t seen anything with this level of nuance. More importantly, I have seen little that reaches this level of real emotion. It is striking in the rawness of feeling conveyed, so utterly different than the fake emotion we are normally exposed to.

    Thank you for posting this.

  7. Conscience of a Conservative

    The media handling of Trayvon Martin/George Zimmermam left much to be desired. We heard the invention of a new term(White Hispanic) which if applied to our President would have been shot down as racist and inapropriate. Add to that we had a prosecution who did not argue this as a race crime, a jury who we know felt likeise while at the same time the media and some politicians went on the airwaves for weeks saying the exact opposite. The Zimmerman trial was over-politicized and despite what Obama said about the need to respect the verdict the media and politicians have been doing nothing but condemning the verdict.

  8. beene

    This had nothing to do with the case. It had everything to do with the stand your ground law and the recent loss of adding restrictions on guns.

    Ask yourself if any of the political scum that were our taking about race voted to restrict government spying.

    Wasn’t one of the quote of one of the founder of our nation something like……..if this nation losses liberty it will under the guise of protecting us from foreign aggression.

    A note I did vote for change twice and received not change but enhancement of Bush II.

  9. darms

    Did you see Travon’s death photo which was all over the internet a few days ago? What troubles me is that he was still holding the bag containing (I guess) his ice tea & candy. How on earth was he able to punch Zimmerman & bash his head against the sidewalk while still holding his bag? Seems to me he’d need both hands to do that, instead the photo showed hime still holding on to it after he was dead…

    1. Yves Smith

      As I’ve said above, there has been just about no scrutiny in the media of the evidence supporting Zimmerman’s claim that Martin was hitting him.

      1. No Martin DNA on Zimmerman

      2. No serious injuries sustained by Zimmerman (I got nastier cuts on the back of my head from a fall on concrete than he got)

      3. Bullet entry path can be explained a lot of ways.

      I’m also appalled, as From Mexico elaborates, at the shitty job the media has done in presenting the juror instructions. You don’t get to claim self defense if you are the initial aggressor. If you did, every idiot who grabbed a woman’s ass in a bar and got hit by her boyfriend could kill the boyfriend and say it was justified. You’d have just made murder that resulted from male status fights legal.

      1. Conscience of a Conservative

        Zimmerman was the defendent. It was up to the prosecution to prove the case. The media’s job is not to try cases… just to profit from covering them.

  10. nobody

    “…like Zimmerman, had a history of scrapes with the law…”

    Here is one account of Zimmerman’s “history of scrapes with the law”:

    “[Redacted] said Zimmerman’s nickname was ‘tugboat’ because he was a ‘picker-upper guy’ who also ‘pulled people out of jams’. When asked if he ever saw Zimmerman in any fights, [Redacted] recounted only one incident that occurred in 2005 and described it as follows: [Redacted] Zimmerman and other friends were confronted by officers…in the area of the University of Central Florida (UCF) library during an underage drinking sting. [Redacted] explained that an undercover (UC} officer grabbed one of his friends and escorted him outside the library. According to [Redacted] he, Zimmerman and their friends did not know the person who grabbed their friend was a (UC) officer and followed their friend outside. After seeing their friend held up against a wall, [Redacted] explained that Zimmerman walked toward his friend and the UC officer (still not realizing the person was in fact an officer) and placed his hand on the officer asking what was happening. Zimmerman was then put onto the ground by several other UC officers. One (UC) officer told [Redacted] ‘Back the fuck up or you’re gonna get fucking tazed’. [Redacted] said the (UC) officers looked like college students and were not marked in any way other than an older agent who appeared a short time later with a badge outside of his shirt, (rather than inside). The UC officers later informed [Redacted] that they were agents who were trying to ‘bust’ underage drinking. [Redacted] knew of no other incidents and called Zimmerman a ‘fun loving guy’.”

  11. Bummed

    Score one for The Powers That Be. If the goal is to divide and conquer, they achieved it here today at NC.

    And the MSM should get a bonus from them. Job well done.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      FWIW, The Retreat at Twin Lakes wasn’t well-to-do; there were IIRC 6 units for sale at the time of the shooting, 5 of them “bank-owned” (i.e., foreclosed on). Not exculpatory, but I picture a community under stresses not of its own making.

  12. representativePress

    @ Mexico

    Good is been extremely literal meaning he saw what looked like arm movements delivering blows but from his angle he didn’t see the contact of fists to the face just because of the angle he was at. Good said it looked like Martin was raining blows down on Zimmerman. Are you seriously arguing that those arm movements of a ground and pound position were not making contact with Zimmerman’s face?! Good is trying to be exact just to say what angle he was at but you have to be kidding me if you think it makes any sense to argue that MArtin was just moving his arms in punching movements yet making sure not to actually connect the punches to Zimmerman! I quoted where Good agreed that it “looked like” Martin was raining blows. You are taking this to an absurd level. We have a color photo of Zommerman’s face (BTW prosecutors tried using a B&W photo to down play the injuries when they sought the charge of 2nd degree murder)

    Martin was not the little kid in the pic supplied by a PR man, he was a 17 year-old with tattoos who texted complaining his opponent who he fought “aint breed nuff 4 me.” His friends said he was fighting too much. Martin was getting into trouble, friends warned he was turning into a hoodlum and that he was going to end up with a bullet in his chest!

    1. from Mexico

      “arm movements delivering blows”

      “contact of fists to the face”

      “raining blows down on Zimmerman”

      “making contact with Zimmerman’s face”

      “punching movements”

      These are all highly graphic and suggestive expressions that you are making up out of thin air, because Good never said any of these things. These are things you said, not Good. And you repeat them over and over. They demonstrate how unbelievably biased you are, and the extremes you will go to invent whatever it is you need to confirm your predetermined notions.

      What is your motivation for doing this?

      The movements that Good describes could just as easily have been Trayvon holding Zimmerman’s forearms and Zimmerman struggling, pushing up against them, or Trayvon holding his hands out flat and recoiling as Zimmerman strikes them.

  13. Malmo

    Anyone open minded enough to escape the largely fact barren echo chamber here on this thread should read this from Romany Malco. The poster up above, nobody, pretty much echoed the same thing:

    The ill informed comments on this thread, especially regarding the machinations leading up to the eventual show trial, and the evidence presented therein (which clearly favored Zimmerman–I watched and listened to the whole trial with my own two eyes and ears. It wasn’t distilled by MSM pundits such as Nancy Grace) ring of Macbeth: Full of sound and fury signifying nothing. Very disappointing, to say the least.

    1. whaddya mean?

      You say you’ve seen the trial. But so did the guy above who quoted Good and from Mexico went to the video and provided quotes that indicate he significantly misrepresented what Good said. From Mexico gets awfully testy but he does provide backup.

      This discussion has gotten too specific for you to say you saw the whole thing and know better. You need to deliver some goods yourself.

  14. from Mexico

    Here’s the crux of my argument, articulated way better than I could ever do it:

    About the case itself, TM was 5-11 and 158 lbs while GZ, at the time, was 5-7 and 204. So TN was taller than GZ but significantly lighter than him. Also GZ was training in MMA and was 28 years old at the time. This absurd notion that he was a creampuff being beaten by a “gansta thug” is idiocy.

    More importantly and stunningly he ignores everything before and after that part of the killing. Namely, that GZ followed TM, who ran or “skipped” (heh) away from him, first by car then on foot before GZ, in his own words, confronted him and that TM’s first reaction to GZ was to ask him a simple and reasonable question – “why are you following me”? Yeah, that was a real gangsta, gangsta, move y’all! Also, afterwards that GZ continually lied about almost everything about the event (punched in the face 25-30 times!!!, “you’re going to die tonight”, “you got me” and on and on and on) should have alerted a supposedly astute observer like Kunstler to what actually happened.

    That anybody would believe a minor who was minding his own business, talking on the phone to a girlfriend on the way home from doing a minor errand who ran away from an armed adult stranger who persued him by car and then on foot suddenly turned into “Black Dynamite”, all while still on the phone with the girlfriend!, and beat the armed adult almost to death is ridiculous. That’s not even including the armed adult’s documented history of violence, bad behavior like, for example, assualting a cop, DV, hurting a woman while a bouncer, racially bullying a coworker, molesting his cousin, and amazingly, while in jail awaiting trial!!!!!, conducting a scheme to perpetrate a fraud on the court and the tax payers of the state of Fla.

    That Kunstler ignored all that, or is ignorant of it, is telling.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author


      The initial police report from the night of the shooting lists Martin’s height as 6’0″ (1.83 m) and weight as 160 lb (73 kg).[12][13] Zimmerman estimated Martin’s height at 5’11” to 6’2″ on the night of the shooting.[14] The morning after the shooting, an autopsy found that Martin’s body was 5’11” (1.80 m) long and weighed 158 lb (72 kg).[15][16] Other values for Martin’s height of 6’2″ (1.88 m) and 6’3″ (1.91 m), and weight of no more than 150 lb (68 kg), were reported as being given by Martin’s family.[13][17]

      “Zimmerman’s weight was shown as 185 pounds (84 kg) on his Seminole County Sheriff’s Office Inmate Booking Information on April 11, 2012, the date of his arrest.”

      204 – 158 = 46 (in the comment). 185 – 158 = 27 (Wikipedia). Quite a change in the weight differential.

      Nothing to do with the height differential, the Kunstler article, or the MMA training, or whatever. Just to say that the reporting on this case has been awful, and a lot of the factoids floating around aren’t facts. (Since I think any left movement with a hope of success has to have some sort of non-truthy baseline, if only because we do not and will never have the humongously expensive bullshit apparatus of the political class, this is important to me.)

  15. mk3872

    “Fortunate that he was privileged enough that he received an elite education”.

    For real?

    Obama grew up without his father, raised poor by his mother and made it up to Harvard as a black student.

    Yes, to be black & poor is quite a privilege.

    Spare us all your Obama Derangement Syndrome, dirt bags.

  16. pk

    the thing I appreciate about someone like Keith Koffler is that he’s at least honest about his racial discomfort with issues Obama raised in that speech – and doesn’t try to sublimate his racism with an uber-radical façade.

    no surprise that Obama is beholden to corporate interests, like every other president in recent US history – but most people in this country – including people deep in the left – don’t know how to talk about the issues he raised in a mature way (the right is in complete denial, and the left just pretends all the racism is being caused by their ideological opponents … and just like the right, they can always find a few black friends to go along with their deluded race analysis). pretending that what Obama said is just milk-toast liberal pandering is a neat trick (yes it may be in part) – but its not the whole story

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