Zimmerman Arrested, Now What?

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I’m not a conspiracy theorist.  But I do understand strategy.  As we roll into month two since Trayvon Martin was murdered, week three of media coverage, I am mindful of what Tony Brown, of the now-defunct PBS Tony Brown’s Journal the longest running national public affairs TV series, shared years ago.  He said, according to an FBI study of African Americans/Black Americans, they typically don’t stay engaged with a crisis/injustice/inequity past six weeks.   This is the amount of time they are willing to wait out a given situation before becoming involved or seeing it as a problem.  There are several reactions I’m seeing that I can appreciate; others that make me feel a need for a face/palm, head/desk moment.

The “Stand Your Ground” or Castle doctrine.  These laws crept into several states, twenty-two to be exact, thanks to a power driven group called ALEC. Since Trayvon Martin was murdered, there have been numerous murders and shootings as a direct result of the new mentality being fanned by certain media pundits and misologic politicians alike, who are standing on the street corner of media attention looking for a trick and are willing to do so at the expense of a murdered child.  Controversy sells, even when it’s not the truth and especially when it feeds the deliberate ignorance of those who buy into it.

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” Rumors are created by haters, spread by fools, accepted by idiots.” — Mhar

If anyone on the right has a valid point to make, I would suggest that they discontinue the notion of mixing the message with the strategy of engaging their constituency through racially loaded and fact-free opinions. Doing  so, only to apologize, attempt to justify, tell us that we didn’t hear what we heard (“blah” people? really?) and/or take on the “I’m the victim here” meme that seems to become more prevalent — is disingenuous and suspect. We see who you are.

Conservative online publications are full of hate-filled screeds and misinformation, yelping about the injustice of the notion that Zimmerman should be held accountable for his actions, claiming that black folks should be feared while the media continues to hawk fear of black on black crimes, never mentioning  the fact that white on white crimes and homicides are actually more pervasive .  Meanwhile a couple in North Carolina (a state not yet equipped with the Castle doctrine) were murdered by their white neighbor in front of their children and with no provocation.   In Texas, a woman decided to hit a kid riding in his go cart, with her Jeep, because she decided he didn’t belong in her neighborhood.  Where he lived.  She was not arrested.      While Zimmerman has finally been arrested, we are far from the end of the story.  We’re just getting started.  Many factors will ultimately weigh into any justice and conviction.  A white male (sorry folks but he is of European descent, combined with Latino, as much as many want to disclaim the facts) who claims to have been threatened by a black male he pursued, yet this meme has gotten him this far. Time and the justice system will tell.

I’m not a conspiracy theorist.  But I do understand strategy.  If my goal was to create an atmosphere that would enable my ability to acquire the power needed to control the population in privatized prison systems , the use of those prisoners as forced employees of corporations for little to no wages, , determine who is able to vote and how laws are created  on the local, state and ultimately national level, what would need to happen?

What  is happening: When the stage of mistrust, distrust is implanted in the mindset of a group of people, then laws are  generated that appeal to that mindset,  open season to shoot and kill with a perceived legal justification becomes the end game.  The new age version of racial lynching.  Because the Castle doctrine isn’t intended to benefit minorities or the displaced.  But it’s a great catalyst for increasing racial tensions, more hate crimes and divisions within communities and chaos within our society as a whole.  Yeah, that racism we’re just imagining is a reality; nothing’s changed except the methodology.  AG Eric Holder was right on point when he stated that race needs to be on the national table of discussion. To do so would require maturity, patience and the ability to acknowledge that one might be wrong.  Are we willing to sit at that table as a nation?

Peaceful national demonstrations for justice are great.  Not so great: the “bounty” reward offers or the media’s less than stellar handling of ongoing reporting.  The key to any real, long term success is that we stop reacting and start responding. Response requires strategy and looking at the end game or the results you really want to achieve. Marches spotlight attention on the effects. We must, however, engage in the creation of long-term solutions that address the causes.  Not sexy to look at the whole picture.  Not easy to see how our own actions or inactions have contributed to the problem. Racism is a direct result of both co-mission and omission, actions and inactions, passivity and deliberately misunderstanding our individual and collective roles in regaining and retaining the rights this country was supposed to be founded on.  Those rights belong to ALL of us, not some of us.  It is essential that we unite and engage the local and state governments.

It’s not enough to vote for the President and leave the trench work unattended.  Primaries and midterm elections are where a lot of decisions are made and people are placed in the seats of power.  How are votes counted? One at a time. When you DON’T Vote, you’ve voted by omission. You matter, your vote matters. You are counted on to not show up; in 2010 you didn’t and now we are reaping the results. More violence will occur as long as the Castle Doctrine is law.  You have the power to change that law. Do something.  Now.

5 Replies to “Zimmerman Arrested, Now What?”

  1. No: this is not the castle doctrine. The castle doctrine is that you are privileged to use deadly force to defend yourself without retreating if you are threatened with one of the common-law capital felonies *where you have a proprietary right*: your home, your business, your farm, your car. The Castle Doctrine does not give you the right to do so on the public right-of-way, still less to pursue someone with hostile intent, attack them, and then kill them when they resist you or try to get away from you. That’s the Wild West Doctrine, and it should never be legitimized in any civilized society.

  2. The common-law capital felonies, if memory serves me, were: murder, rape, mayhem (currently subsumed under “aggravated battery” and “great bodily harm”), arson of a dwelling house, kidnapping, robbery, and burglary. All of these either take or gravely threaten human life and limb.

  3. I think the point is that we must get out and get rid of these laws. And I agree with that point. And we must get every single politician that belongs to ALEC out of office

  4. Democracy is not a spectator sport. We cannot sit at computers and blog then walk away, grab a beer or wine and commiserate with our friends on “God, ain’t it awful” and think anything at all will change.

    So they have all the money? Then freaking get out there an WALK PRECINCTS. You CAN change the outcome, one precinct at a time. You can be the voice for your presidential, congressional, city council candidate who is outspent. It takes about 3 hours to walk. You don’t have three hours? You can’t say hi to people? You’d be amazed how receptive people are to a good person at the door.And even if they’re not – so what? You’ll never see them again!

    You will have great stories to tell. Like the time I drew a precinct with a whole building full of women that my guy friends wanted to visit. They all thought they were probably students or flight attendants. Nope. It was a convent. (They all voted for my candidate!)

    We may not be able to outspend them, we may not have TV ads, but we have doorhangers and literature and voices and conviction.

    Make your energies, your passion, your time available, and ALEC and all the Koch brothers’ money in the world cannot match us. Walk with others – labor, peace people, civil rights folks, progressive people of faith, students, retirees – it’s a fantastic way to re-energize democracy.

    Sure – keep up the tweets, the social media, whatever – but get out and WALK. Register voters and help those without ID to get it. PAY for it if you have to. Then go back drive them to the polls election day or mail their absentee ballots for them.

    Hell – it’s what we used to do, and if we’re being outspent – do it again. We won many an election this way. Remember – there are people who won’t get anything BUT lying ads if you don’t show up at the door to present kind and humane alternatives. There are people who want to vote but cannot because of the draconian voter ID laws. But we have alternatives IF we take them.

    Get out your walking shoes and remember – it’s a great way to get exercise and a great way to meet people and a great way to undermine the Koch brothers. Could you freaking ASK for better?

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