"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Fisking the President's Speech on George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin, Part 3

I think the African-American community is also not naive in understanding that statistically somebody like Trayvon Martin was probably statistically more likely to be shot by a peer than he was by somebody else.

This is OK, I suppose, but still a bit euphemistic and hedged.   "Probably statistically more likely to be shot by a peer"?   How about instead of this kind of academic PC bureaucrat speech the President would say something direct like "everyone knows that the vast majority of young black men who get murdered are murdered by other young black men."   And that's not "probably statistically more likely," it's overwhelmingly demonstrated as the truth by Obama's own government's data.

So — so folks understand the challenges that exist for African-American boys, but they get frustrated, I think, if they feel that there’s no context for it or — and that context is being denied. And — and that all contributes, I think, to a sense that if a white male teen was involved in the same kind of scenario, that, from top to bottom, both the outcome and the aftermath might have been different.

So much to fisk here.   "The challenges that exist for African-American boys"?   Calculus is a challenge.   Learning how to write decent English prose is increasingly a challenge for many young Americans.   Playing sports at a high level is challenging, as is learning how to play a musical instrument.   Learning a marketable skill can be a challenge.   Surviving boot camp is challenging.   But the "challenge" Obama is saying is almost unendurable in the Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin case was the challenge of not dressing and behaving like a thug and not attacking and beating up a law-abiding citizen who has the temerity to notice that you are dressed like and behaving like a thug.   Is Obama really saying that Trayvon Martin's "challenges" -- not drinking "lean," not getting suspended from school, not attacking strangers for looking at them the wrong way -- that those "challenges" are someone else's fault and not evidence of Martin's own sociopathic upbringing?

And was George Zimmerman really supposed to not defend himself against a vicious beating by Martin because of the "context" of Martin's status as an African-American?   Doesn't that deny him a fundamental right -- the right to self-defense -- simply based on the race of his attacker?

Finally, if a white male teen were involved in the same scenario the outcome supposedly would have been different.   Really?   If Zimmerman had been attacked by a white boy in a hoodie and had his nose broken and his head mashed into the concrete and was being pummeled "MMA-style" (as one eyewitness testified) what is the realistic argument that he wouldn't have reacted in the same way to save his own life?  

Now, the question for me at least, and I think, for a lot of folks is, where do we take this? How do we learn some lessons from this and move in a positive direction? You know, I think it’s understandable that there have been demonstrations and vigils and protests, and some of that stuff is just going to have to work its way through as long as it remains nonviolent. If I see any violence, then I will remind folks that that dishonors what happened to Trayvon Martin and his family.

A very odd phraseology here.   "I will remind folks that that dishonors what happened to Trayvon Martin."   The implication is that we are obligated to "honor" Trayvon Martin.   Why?   What did he do that is so honorable?   What did his parents do that is so "honorable"?   Martin attacked someone and died violently when his victim defended himself.   Martin's parents "raised" him to be the person who did that.   I don't see a lot that I'd want to "honor."   Does that sound harsh?   So be it.

And, while we're on the subject of violence, how about the hundreds or thousands of death threats against Zimmerman and his family, Mr. President?    Anything to say there? 

Stay tuned for Part 4.

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