Hoodies on Michigan Avenue

From my perspective, things went extremely well this evening, with dozens and dozens of neighbors in hoodies congregating along Michigan Avenue, and what seemed like hundreds of people in cars honking their horns in enthusiastic support. I suspect, judging from the reporters that were on hand, that you’ll read all about it tomorrow in the paper, or hear about it on NPR, but I just wanted to share a few photos and say thank you to everyone who turned out on just about 12 hours notice to help draw attention to the murder of Trayvon Martin in Florida, and the issues that his untimely death brought to light. Hopefully, like me, you found it an incredible thing to be a part of.

update: As people are leaving comments suggesting that our efforts to draw attention to the case are misguided, given that Trayvon may have been the aggressor at some point during the altercation, I thought that it might be useful for me to share the following paragraph, from a post that I’d put up a few days ago.

…I’d also like to say something about the story coming out of Orlando today that Martin was the aggressor, attacking Zimmerman. (The police claim to have a witness that says Martin, at some point during the altercation, was on top of Zimmerman, beating him.) In the minds of some, this changes everything. From my perspective, it doesn’t change a thing. We still have a young man, who, to my knowledge, had not broken any laws, when an overzealous want-to-be cop, armed with a gun, headed after him, against the explicit instructions of a police dispatcher, saying, “These guys always get away.” Granted, we still don’t know everything that transpired, but, judging from what we do know, I’d be hard pressed to assign blame to Martin for attempting to defend himself against the armed man that was stocking him. (Wasn’t Martin likely just defending himself under Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law?) And, whatever the facts were, I think there’s a broader discussion to be had, and I think that’s why this case is resonating so strongly with people. Not only does it touch on race, but it also brings into sharp focus the fact that we now live in a low-tax world where, with fewer cops on the streets, more and more of us are getting guns to protect ourselves, and those of us with the means to do so are moving into gated communities, policed by poorly-trained private security forces. This isn’t just about race — this is about fear, taxes, and the kind of world that we want to live in…

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54 Comments

  1. john
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    Seems a little premature to be calling this a murder, but maybe you just might get your wish with the lynching of the other guy. More details at the following link for those that don’t have murder in their heart, and still have a open mind.
    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/cutline/trayvon-martin-shooting-details-emerge-facebook-twitter-accounts-180103647.html

  2. john
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    I heard Trayvon’s Mother is trying to trademark Trayvons name. Thats a hell of a way to grieve.

  3. Edward
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    She may be trademarking his name in order to keep others from using it. Let’s not be so quick to judge.

    Speaking of being quick to judge, why is it acceptable in your eyes, John, for Zimmerman to have “stood his ground”, killing the unarmed Martin, but not acceptable for Martin to have “stood his ground”, punching Zimmerman, who was following him with a gun?

  4. john
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    Ed I also have a problem with that, as a CPL holder I hardly ever carry anymore just because I don’t ever want to make that decision, having a gun didn’t make me feel safer, to me it meant always making sure I was in safe places cause I never wanted to be in that situation. I’d rather just be carefull of where and when I go places.

  5. Posted March 27, 2012 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    It would have been better if the guy with the dog hadn’t spelled “hoodlums” incorrectly.

  6. Posted March 27, 2012 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    You people whining and crying about the Trayvon Martin thing give me a nice laugh. Oh now everyone cares about violence? The whites are waging a violent war against blacks eh?

    What about all of the violence in Detroit, what about the 9 month old that was killed in a drive by recently in Detroit? What about the two black youths in Missouri who set a white kid on fire with gas and said “you get what you deserve white boy”? Nobody gives a damn about that violence, there’s no rally for those horrible acts. YOu mean to tell me people only care about violence when they all get to wear hoodies together?

    OH but Obama said his nonexistent son would have looked like Trayvon, so that’s why we should care. Yes! Reelect Obama and no black people will die anymore. What a sick joke.

    Oh I also love how they try and portray the mixed race Hispanic guy Zimmerman as a white devil. Double standard much? We get to choose to hate the white part of him because it fits into the whole whitey is killing narrative. Oh but we only pay attention to Obama’s black half because that makes him supercool!

    I wish Trayvon was still alive. Both people were stupid that night, no one had to die. But people are saying they can’t believe Zimmerman is still walking the street. SO we should just lock him up without a trial eh?

    Good Grief.

  7. Knox
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Video of yesterday’s event.

    http://vimeo.com/39242675

  8. Anonymous
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    I don’t get the hostility. These people weren’t flipping over cars and setting fire to news vans. They were standing on on the side of a street, demonstrating empathy toward a fellow human being who was killed in a gated Florida community for looking as though he didn’t belong. Yes, innocent people die every day in Detroit. That doesn’t mean, however, that the death of Trayvon Martin should be swept under the rug. This, as us parents often say, is a teachable moment.

  9. Posted March 27, 2012 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    This isn’t a teachable moment. It’s a bunch of people picking and choosing when to care because our “leaders” tell us to. It’s basically a fad.

    And to say he was killed because he looked like he didn’t belong, that’s a big time oversimplification. Sure Zimmerman should have followed Trayvon, but Trayvon didn’t have to react with violence either.

    The media ignored key facts to help push a national political agenda. Trayvon was no angel but he didn’t deserve to die. What the solution then? We get rid of self defense laws and take away guns?

  10. Posted March 27, 2012 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    *Zimmerman should not have followed Trayvon.

  11. Eel
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    I’m glad you’re getting a “nice laugh” out of this, David.

    Most of us are not.

  12. kjc
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    David Gomez: “Both guys were stupid that night.”

    shaking my head. your commentary is just worthless dude. you’re the only one spewing.

  13. Posted March 27, 2012 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    I’m not laughing because the kid died. Listen to all of the white guilt. Let it go guys. It’s not whitey’s fault the world is messed up.

  14. Posted March 27, 2012 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    It really doesn’t bother anyone that there has been a ton of violence in big cities this year, yet people don’t seem to care until the media tell us to care about on specific incident.

    I think that sucks. I think it shows how uncaring people really are. They don’t care until they can all line up in hoodies. Where were these people when the 9 month was killed the D? Where were they when the numerous groups of blacks targeted whites in Chicago and beat the hell out of them for being white?

    Those events only got a few blurbs. This thing is getting more press and I dont see why we should care more about this incident that any other violent event. They were all sad. I dont laugh at people’s pain.

  15. Thom Elliott
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    “Its not whitey’s fault the world is messed up.” Tell that to indigenous Jamacians…oh wait, they had 100% mortality rate under the Spanish colonial domination because they couldn’t be made into effective slaves, so the colonialists had a blood orgy, then entirely mechanically repopulated the country with African slaves in order to make as much money off of sugarcane as was technologically feasable at the time. They then used this money to have their families live in profoundly entitled boredom in lavish estates in Europe.

  16. Eel
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    David,

    Were you also upset when people around the country publicly mourned the deaths of those who died on 9/11? We, after all, had plenty of dead people around here to rally behind and show our support for.

  17. Eel
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Also, there are two accounts as to what happened that night.

    From Slate.

    It’s entirely at odds with the account of Martin’s girlfriend, who says Martin was talking to her on his cell phone just before his death. The girlfriend says she heard Martin ask a man, “What are you following me for,” and that the man answered, “What are you doing here?” Then she heard Martin pushed to the ground.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/crime/2012/03/sanford_fla_cops_new_leaked_account_of_trayvon_martin_s_killing_.html

  18. Brainless
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    Whoa, slow down everybody. Gomez is a WRITER! We have a fucking WRITER in our midst. So, he’s given much deeper thoughts to these things than you have.

    Because he’s such a brilliant thinker, he’s able to tie his brain into the knots necessary to make logical Zimmerman murdering this kid for no reason whatsoever. Your feeble minds can’t begin to comprehend the varsity-level gymnastics of which this proud gentleman is capable.

    Bow down before our thought master. He is the intellectual Mary Lou Retton of markmaynard.com.

    By the way, I’m just kidding. Gomez, you’re an asshole. A complete and total asshole. You laugh at violence and you hate people so much that you think it’s just writing fodder for you rather than an actual human being dying. Please take a long, dark walk in a hoodie through Zimmerman’s neighborhood some time. Pick up some skittles on the way home.

  19. john
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    “Then she heard Martin pushed to the ground.” Really? You can hear that? That statement is nothing short of crazy.

  20. David gomez
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    Eel
    Yeah I was upset after 9/11. I was so upset that i joined the marines for four years after it happened. Were you?

  21. ytown
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    Brainless, why don’t you argue your case instead of attacking Gomez. Typical liberal response, when you have no argument, you attack. Nice one!

    Gomez, thank you for your service!

  22. kjc
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Yes, Gomez, thank you for saying all the dumb shit so ytown doesn’t have to.

  23. ytown
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Hahahahaaaaa

  24. Mr. X
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    From Think Progress.

    Over the last 48 hours, there has been a sustained effort to smear Trayvon Martin, the 17-year old African-American who was shot dead by George Zimmerman a month ago. Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, said, “They killed my son, now they’re trying to kill his reputation.”

    Thus far these attacks have fallen into two categories: false and irrelevant. Much of this leaked information seems intended to play into stereotypes about young African-American males. Here’s what everyone should know:

    1. Prominent conservative websites published fake photos of Martin. Twitchy, a new website run by prominent conservative blogger Michelle Malkin, promoted a photo — purportedly from Martin’s Facebook page — that shows Martin in saggy pants and flipping the bird. The photo, which spread quickly on conservative websites and Twitter, is intended to paint Martin as a thug. As Twitchy later acknowledged, it is not a photo of Trayvon Martin. [Examiner]

    2. The Sanford Police selectively leaked irrelevant, negative information about Martin. The authorities told the Orlando Sentinel this morning that Trayvon was suspended from school for ten days “after being found with an empty marijuana baggie.” There is no evidence that Martin was under the influence of drugs at the time of his death, nor would prior possession of marijuana be a reason for killing him. It’s unclear what the relevance of the leak was, other than to smear Martin. [Orlando Sentinel]

    3. On Fox News, Geraldo said that Martin was dressed “like a wannabe gangster.” Bill O’Reilly agreed with him. The sole evidence is that Martin was wearing a hoodie. Geraldo added that “everyone that ever stuck up a convenience store” was wearing a hoodie. [ThinkProgress; The Blaze]

    4. Without any evidence, prominent right-wing bloggers suggested that Martin was a drug dealer. Right-wing blogger Dan Riehl advances the theory, also advanced in a widely linked peice on a site called Wagist. There does not appear to be any evidence to support this claim whatsoever. [Riehl World View]

    5. Without any evidence, a right-wing columnist alleged that Martin assaulted a bus driver. Unlike Zimmerman, Trayvon has no documented history of violence. This allegation continues to be advanced by a blogger on the Examiner even after the real reason was leaked to the police and confirmed by the family. [Miami Herald; Examiner]

    6. Zimmerman’s friend says Martin was to blame because he was disrespectful to Zimmerman. Zimmerman’s friend Joe Oliver said that Martin would not have been shot to death if Trayvon had just said “I’m staying with my parents.” Of course, Zimmerman was not a police officer, and Trayvon had no duty to tell him who he was or where he was going. [NBC News]

    The final part of the effort to smear Trayvon Martin is to link him and his supporters to irresponsible fringe groups like the New Black Panthers and marginal provocateurs like Louis Farrakhan. Threats by these groups are serious and should be investigated, but they have nothing to do with Martin or his supporters. The leader of the effort to associate Martin with these groups is Matt Drudge. You can see how he is framing the story today here.

    Ultimately, whether Martin was a perfect person is irrelevant to whether Zimmerman’s conduct that night was justified. Clearly, there are two different versions of the events that transpired on February 26, the night Trayvon was killed. There are conflicting statements by witnesses and conflicting evidence as to who was the aggressor. Zimmerman has the right to tell his side of the story. But his opportunity to do this will come in a court of law after he is charged and arrested. In the meantime, Zimmerman’s supporters should stop trying to smear the reputation of a dead, 17-year-old boy.

    With links:
    http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/03/26/452310/what-everyone-needs-to-know-about-the-smear-campaign-against-trayvon-martin-1995-2012/

  25. Thom Elliott
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    “I was so upset I joined the marines for four years”. You were so angry about terrorism you thought you’d go along with utilizing unbelievably expensive 21st century technology to murder medieval afgani shepard gorrillas who have only WW2/coldwar era weaponry, in a war of choice that was designed by the people behind the initial attacks to have us waste untold billions of dollars chasing shepards into steppe mountains in order to destroy our economy, all because of our open-handed support of a racist apartheid state in the middle of the Arab world. They knew it would work because they knew we could only react with nihilistic rage, which we did. Great, thanks.

  26. Posted March 27, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    I can’t believe that anyone who has listened to the 911 call on which you can hear Trayvon screaming and then shot could have any doubt about what happened. That was clearly the cry of a very frightened kid the instant before his death. I might be hearing that sound in my nightmares for a long time. If people were to examine the actions of my kids when they were age 17, they might find a lot of less than perfect behavior — but does that mean they deserve to die? There are very few perfect 17 year olds out there, but far too many of those who are black will suffer at the hands of our racist society. It makes me sick.

  27. Posted March 27, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    I hated my time in the Marines Thom Elliot. During my service in the USMC I came to realize that the war on terror is BS. Killing for politics is BS. And joining the military in general is a bad idea.

    The military industrial complex is BS too.

    I’m proud of my service but I wish that I could have learned those lessons without giving up four of the best years of my youth.

    And believe me, the military has no respect for where their financing comes from. They dont care that they are pissing your tax dollars away and bankrupting the country.

    So don’t blame it all on me Thom. I’m one guy and I actually saw the light. I think it’s sad how you all attack a person’s character just because they don’t agree with your oversensitive hearts. I thought you guys were better than that. Nope.

  28. kjc
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    “I think it’s sad how you all attack a person’s character just because they don’t agree with your oversensitive hearts. I thought you guys were better than that. Nope.”

    “You people whining and crying about the Trayvon Martin thing give me a nice laugh. Oh now everyone cares about violence? The whites are waging a violent war against blacks eh?”

    yeah you’re right, when you led with that whiners and criers bit, i didn’t realize how reasonable you were, or how much you were presuming solid character on the part of the rest of us. Sometimes you’ve just gotta be the only civil person I guess, David.

  29. Posted March 27, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    Dude.

    Nobody made this much of a stink when the 9 month old kid was killed in Detroit.

    Sure people who lived close to the area might have mourned, but other than that it was a regional issue at best.

    The Trayvon Martin thing gets crazy attention. Why?

    Because politicians say we should care more about this instance because it might have been racially motivated. The key word is might, because all of you who are saying it was a horrible racial crime are emotional. Let it play out first.

    Maybe I didnt have to say “whiners and criers”. But that doesn’t make this situation any less fake and sickening.

    Hey people in Ypsi. Why dont we care more about what happens closer to home with the same intensity that we do this one instance in Florida. That’s all I’m saying. It would have been nice to see this many people come out in force for the baby who was killed when 20-30 rounds were pumped into the house.

  30. Brainless
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    “Nobody made this much of a stink when the 9 month old kid was killed in Detroit.”

    What the fuck are you talking about? TONS of people raised hell about it. This recent murder has been in the news more because we know who the actual murderer is and we’re astonished that anyone in their right mind would defend him. There is some object of our well-earned scorn. In the Detroit case, we’re just sad. How many news cycles of “this is just sad” are EVER broadcast?

    And what exactly is YOUR word count per story? What stink did you make?

  31. Eel
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    David,

    Thank you for your service to the country, but I wasn’t asking, “What did you do after 9/11?” I was asking why you didn’t get bent out of shape when people here in Michigan held candlelight vigils? You suggest that we shouldn’t memorialize Travyon because, in your words, we should be focusing on the people who are being killed nearby. I was asking why you didn’t level the same criticism at people who mourned the 9/11 deaths here in Michigan. The truth is, sometimes, for whatever reason, people die elsewhere and it moves us. It’s complicated. And, believe it or not, it isn’t just because the television news tells us what to feel. The death of this young man tapped into something.

    Also:

    ABC News reports that the lead investigator in Trayvon Martin shooting wanted a manslaughter charge against the shooter George Zimmerman. The lead investigator, Chris Serino, stated he was unconvinced by Zimmerman’s version of events according to an affidavit he filed the night of Feb. 26. His recommendation for a manslaughter charge was overruled by state attorney Norman Wolfinger, who subsequently removed himself from the case.

    http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/03/27/453123/lead-investigator-wanted-to-arrest-and-charge-zimmerman/

  32. ytown
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    David don’t get suckered in to their argument, their little brains can’t think beyond their white guilt.

  33. Tommy
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    Don’t lose focus people. It is about a law that needs to be changed. You can’t have a functioning society where you can shoot someone, kill them, admit to killing them, and fall behind a law that gives anybody the right to claim self-defense. Zimmerman had no business pursuing this kid. He was specifically instructed to not do so. He did. Shit went down (or maybe not; the facts will need to be sorted out). A kid is dead. The cops didn’t try real hard, but their hands were somewhat tied because of an unjust law.

  34. Tommy
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    and… if what ABC reports (noted above) is accurate, then a bunch more heads need to roll.

  35. John Galt
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    Zimmerman is a God. He is the future of America. I want him and Joe the Plumber to run against Obama!!!

  36. Posted March 27, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    What is my word count per story?

    Brainless. Don’t attack what I do for a living just because you don’t agree with me. Be a man or woman, or whatever you are and stick to attacking my viewpoint.

    I’m proud of being a smalltime writer that no one has ever heard of. It has kept me eating quality meats and that’s all I care about.

    This recent murder is only in the headlines because Granholm and Obama and a bunch of other people who push white guilt are at it again. The timing of this Trayvon thing and the challenge of Obama’s healthcare law doesnt seem to be too coincidental to you? Obama is trying to get reelected and his big accomplishment is being challenged in the supreme court, and the early reports are that it looks like the justices are going to challenge at least bits and pieces of the bill. This will possibly pick his law apart and hurt his reelection. This is a political thing by dems and the party is making it a big deal for the whole racism angle.

    Obama used the race angle to get elected and they’re trying to channel it again. Don’t be so naive people. It’s all a sideshow.

    If everyone cared so much they’d just let the whole thing play out. But then again I have no faith in cops either.

  37. Michigan Radio
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    http://michiganradio.org/post/trayvon-martin-supporters-rally-ypsilanti-photos

  38. so sad
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    what about the murder of Shaima Alawadi… http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/28/us/killing-of-iraqi-woman-leaves-immigrant-community-shaken.html

  39. kjc
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    “I’m proud of being a smalltime writer that no one has ever heard of. It has kept me eating quality meats and that’s all I care about.”

    right on.

    you still piss me off though.

  40. EOS
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    Obama’s campaign has hoodies with “Obama 2012” on sale today.

  41. Thom Elliott
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    I’m sorry, what is this ” pushing white guilt” unalloyed donkey shit? Obama has never made me feel guilty for being white once, he’s the head of the white American hedgemonic machine for chrissakes. I’m pretty sure its a racist allegation to begin with, used as a red herring. I don’t feel guilty for being white or Irish American, being purposefully blind to the horrifying iconic crimes committed by christian whites historically and pretending the dominant power structures in the world didn’t get there by the most grievious injusticies is to be in bad faith, it is to lie to yourself and all of us. The past injustice is just as present if not more-so, and is screaming blue fucking murder to be redressed.

  42. Posted March 27, 2012 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    The Second Killing of Trayvon Martin

    The cowardly police in Sanford, Florida, who sanctioned the murder of an unarmed black teenager by a racist vigilante named George Zimmerman, have now assassinated Trayvon Martin a second time, by leaking scurrilous and irrelevant “news” about him. This age-old dirty-trick of cops—compounded by a blitzkrieg of propaganda from Zimmerman’s lawyer, The Orlando Sentinel, and one apparently unhinged black “friend”–has been, so far, fairly successful in muddying the narrative on the public airwaves. So let’s take a moment to sift through the cops’ slurs and innuendoes and see where, if anyplace, they take us.

    About the salient facts there is no dispute. Zimmerman, a cop wanna-be who was also probably a small-time informant, a pathetic, chubby, Chaz-Bono-lookalike who’d twice been arrested for hitting a woman; Zimmerman, son of a judge, safe from reprisals; George Zimmerman, who calls black kids “coons” and “assholes,” who was strictly warned not to pursue Trayvon Martin, refused this direct order over the phone and instead grabbed his 9-millimeter gun and waddled off to blow a hole in the chest of a kid who had committed no wrong.

    From the start, I was edgy about certain elements of the outrage. Too much emphasis on the presumed childishness and vulnerability of Trayvon Martin, about the Skittles and ski-vacations and his undeniable cuteness. My own son is only six months younger than Trayvon, and he is of mixed racial background, with a tawny complexion; he always wears a hoodie with the hood up, along with other clothes some would perceive as “ghetto”; he is 6’1” and very well-muscled; and he loves Skittles. He is also, by objective account, adorable and kind-hearted. But if some oafish vigilante were to challenge his right to walk down the street, he might well become angry, and he might defend himself with a punch.

    Thus today’s biggest, police-leaked “reveleation”: that, gee, perhaps Trayvon Martin was not Mahatma Ghandi with a sweet-tooth. According to the cops—parroting Zimmerman’s own account, since of course they did absolutely no forensic work of their own (CSI Sanford would be the worst and shortest program on TV)—Martin punched Zimmerman in the face, breaking his nose…thus, of course, provoking his own murder.

    Let’s take this face-punching story at face value, though few of the details ring true (Zimmerman refused medical attention at the scene, which will confuse anyone who’s ever suffered a broken nose). Though it is not noble or Christian of me to admit it, I hope Trayvon got a few good shots in. The big irony here is the much-cited “Stand Your Ground Law,” quoted as a defense for Zimmerman’s actions; but if the phrase and the concept have any meaning at all, they would, rather, go to justify Trayvon Martin’s punches!

    So let’s assume a scenario where George Zimmerman, with the “fucking coon” still fresh out of his mouth, stomps off to play tough-guy with the “asshole” in the hoodie, and winds up getting punked in a fight he picked but can’t finish. Any man who lived through public high school knows George Zimmerman, and may well have had occasion to kick his ass. But, until fairly recently, the George Zimmermans of the world did not carry nine-millimeter guns.

    And so hateful, dopey, clumsy George Zimmerman pulled his trump card, his one and only answer to a world that scares and overwhelms him, and shot a hole in Trayvon Martin’s chest.

    The other piece of the cop/Zimmerman leak-strategy today was to drop the supposedly Perry Mason revelation that…this supposedly “good” kid, Trayvon Martin…had been suspended from high school…for possessing an empty bag that had once held marijuana!

    Yeah…so, America, how do you like your Trayvon Martin now? He may have smoked weed!

    The assumption being, in Sanford, Florida, that possession of an empty bag that once held marijuana is reasonable grounds for murder.

    Let us not impose a false and un-necessary innocence on Trayvon Martin in order to pump up our outrage. Let’s allow Trayvon Martin to be a real young man—my son, your son–with anger as well as innocence, perhaps even with marijuana as well as Skittles.

    George Zimmerman did not murder some idealized vision of Innocent Black Childhood, or any other idealized vision. No, worse—much worse. He murdered a real 17-year-old. And now, with the help of the local newspaper and a shyster lawyer, the cops are killing that 17-year-old a second time.

  43. Edward
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    To acknowledge that there is racism in America is to suffer from “white guilt”. I love the way racists think.

  44. Dan
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    @David Gomez

    trolling is pathetic. If you honestly are going to come here and try to equate drive bies and other senseless murders, and you dont see the difference, then I feel bad for anyone that actually reads your “writing.”

    The very obvious difference here is that no one comes forward in a drive by shooting and says “yeah, that was me, I killed that girl” and then is not even charged with the murder. The very obvious difference is that this isnt about race or even about violence, it’s about gun laws that allow someone to kill another person just because they think theyre up to no good.

    sure there are many that are trying to turn this into a race war, e.g., Black Panthers, Jesse Jackson, Sean Hannity, etc. Those people are racists. Race is not why normal level headed people are upset.

  45. Dan
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    ^i meant to include “David Gomez” in between Jesse Jackson and Sean Hannity.

  46. wetdolphinmissile
    Posted March 28, 2012 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    It is not donkey shit to learn about and try to understand what “white privilege” is. I would not call it guilt; it is more like reaching an understanding of what once was accepted as norm, really suppressed other’s rights. Some of us could not see the forest for the trees. When one is immersed only in their own culture it hard to get past this. Walk a mile in another’s shoes.

  47. Posted March 28, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    There are so many things about this entire case that are upsetting. I think the most recent thing to upset me is how we can’t even talk about it without finger pointing and ad hominem attacks. Just because you might be questioning how things went down does not make you a racist. Saying that people should be upset about other murders does not make you a racist or a bad person. I’m seeing (here and elsewhere) sane, rational people go nuts when someone doesn’t march lockstep with them and say that yes, Zimmerman should be strung up by his thumbs because he’s a crazy ass racist. I thought we were open minded?

    I also don’t get why the media is struggling to make Trayvonne a saint. Who cares? He didn’t deserve to get gunned down, whether he was a model student or a dope dealer. It’s like when a woman gets raped and everyone has to make sure she was a virgin or else hung her bloody sheet out of her hotel suite on the night of her wedding. Again, who cares? She didn’t deserve to be raped.

    I also don’t understand why Zimmerman had a CPL. I have one too and had to take classes and jump through many hoops to get one (as I should have). This dude has a record, but still has a CPL?! Seriously? Who dropped the ball on that one?

    I’m not “siding” with anyone on this thread, but I do see what David Gomez (I think it was) was getting at when he asked why other murders aren’t taken this seriously. (I’m sorry, I don’t understand why people jumped all over him for that, btw). Here is why I feel this way: 5 years ago, during my first year at DPS, I worked in the summer program. We had some awesome kids, including some recent graduates. All kids were low vision or blind. One kid, named Brandon, had graduated and was talking about going to Wayne County Community College. He wasn’t a saint, but didn’t get in trouble, wasn’t anybody’s “baby daddy”, lived with his father and stepmom…but it really wouldn’t matter if he had fathered 12 kids and snorted crack–he was a nice kid who had graduated in a district that only graduates about 1/3 of its kids.

    Anyway, he got his first paycheck from his summer program job and went to the store by his house. From what we know, he bought some pop and was walking down the street, holding money very close to his face. He was low vision, and so it makes sense that he was trying to hard to figure out the denominations of the bills. The story goes that an older man approached him and tried to grab the money. It’s likely that the man realized that Brandon couldn’t see too well and found an obvious victim. Brandon being Brandon, he fought back and the man shot and killed him in the street.

    The shooter (it was a black man) was never found. Brandon’s dad, another teacher and I all appeared on the news to ask for help. Witnesses couldn’t identify the man and he was never caught.

    I understand the problem in the Martin case…a person in “authority” shooting an unarmed kid. I get that, I really do. But let’s just say that I wouldn’t have minded a national day of outrage where we all walked around squinting at our money, in memory of one nice kid.

  48. Posted March 28, 2012 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    A self-proclaimed “friend” of George Zimmerman’s, a guy by the name of Joe Oliver, has been making the rounds on television, talking about how the man he knew could never do such a thing. He even went so far as to suggest that Zimmerman said “fuckin’ goons,” instead of “fuckin’ coons,” on his 911 call, explaining that word “goon,” in some circles, was a term of endearment, as though Zimmerman were expressing fondness for this young black man that he was stocking through his gated community with a gun. For the most part, in spite of spouting this nonsense, people have been giving Oliver a pass. Last nigh, though, he went on Lawrence O’Donnel’s MSNBC show and got torn apart. I’m still trying to process it all. Either Oliver, who happens to be African American, is being paid by Zimmerman’s father, who happens to be a former judge, by the way, or he’s taking advantage of the situation to restart his television career. (Oliver was, at one point, a reporter for CNN.) The most interesting thing about the exchange happened when Oliver said that, in his opinion, it was Zimmerman who could be heard screaming for help on the 911 tape. New York Times columnist Charles Blow, who was on the set with O’Donnell, responded to this by sharing the fact that he’d talked with Trayvon’s mother, who said that she was absolutely certain that the voice was that of her son. Blow was relentless in his hammering of Oliver, asking if he’d ever heard Zimmerman scream, and how it is that he, a casual acquaintance of Zimmerman’s, would know his screaming voice better than a mother would know that of her son. O’Donnell and Blow, in my opinion, both came across as showboating opportunists, but it was refreshing to see someone in the press asking hard questions for a change… Check it out.

  49. Posted March 28, 2012 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think that the awful case of the blind kid in Detroit and Trayvon Martin are in the least bit comparable. Not saying that one is worse than the other, but the implications are very, very different.

  50. Posted March 28, 2012 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    That’s a terrible story, Patti. My heart goes out to the kid’s family.

  51. Posted March 28, 2012 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    Pete, I said as much in my post. But there is still an awful implication in my kid’s story…a random dude saw something he wanted, from someone who looked like an awesome victim and so he tried to take it and then killed someone for it. Sure, he wasn’t in a position of authority and was the same race, but he still shot and killed an unarmed kid.

    Thanks Mark…it was not a good summer that year. I got the call when I was in Morgan & York and I still remember pacing around in the parking lot, on my cell phone.

  52. dragon
    Posted March 29, 2012 at 12:05 am | Permalink

    TP
    I love your inner city, Lou Gossett Jr tales, , but…

    and snorted crack

    You are doing it wrong.

  53. Orlando Sanford
    Posted March 29, 2012 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    Zimmerman clean and well coming out of squad car.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/28/trayvon-martin-police-video_n_1386764.html

  54. Meta
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

    There’s another march coming up in a few days.

    Tuesday, April 10
    6:00pm
    1443 Washtenaw Avenue Ann Arbor, MI 48109

    This march around campus will be in protest to the injustice done to Trayvon Martin and his family, and the way it was handled by Law Enforcement as well as by the Judicial system.

    We have chosen the date of April 10th because this is the day in which Trayvon’s Shooter, George Zimmerman, faces the Grand Jury to determine if he will be indicted. The time of 7:17 PM to BEGIN the march was chosen because this is the time in which police found Martin’s body in Sanford, Florida.

    The march will begin at the Trotter Multicultural Center, where we will then march down South University Avenue, followed by State Street and North University Avenue, and ending in the Diag. At the Diag, we will hold a candle light vigil for Trayvon and the millions of individuals who suffered and continue to suffer due to social injustices, where those who feel led to share their thoughts on the issue are free to do so.

    Attire:
    Preferably, if everyone in attendance could wear a hooded sweatshirt, that would be ideal.

    Details:
    https://www.facebook.com/events/371073599594182/

    Agenda:
    6:oo PM @ Trotter: Creating signs (Ex: “I AM TRAYVON”)
    7:00 PM @ Trotter: Prep for march/unify body
    7:17 PM @ Trotter: Depart
    ~8:00 PM @ DIAG: Candle-light Vigil and testimonies

    WE ASK THAT YOU TELL AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE!! also, please share this petition link to have as many states as possible repeal their disastrous “Stand Your Ground” laws. http://www.thepetitionsite.com/617/135/545/stand-your-ground-law-should-be-repealed/

    And sign the petition to see George Zimmerman arrested!
    http://www.change.org/petitions/prosecute-the-killer-of-our-son-17-year-old-trayvon-martin

    Hope to see some of you there :)

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