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In a few months, I'm supposed to attend a scientific conference in Gainesville, Florida. I'm now having second thoughts about attending.

Throughout the Trayvon Martin case, I've felt that George Zimmerman was morally guilty of murder. But given Florida's ridiculously lax legal standards, I expected him to be convicted of manslaughter rather than murder. I was surprised to read the verdict this morning, although perhaps I shouldn't have been.

For me personally, this verdict has set the bar so low for killing someone in Florida that I'm not sure I feel safe traveling there. There appears to be no legal barrier to someone starting an argument, then ending it with a gun, and I think this is going to be empowering to troublemakers. Do I really want to risk being accosted by anti-science zealots walking from my hotel to a restaurant during the conference?

My wife has already told me this morning that she doesn't want to attend the conference, and that she doesn't really want me to attend either. I wonder what kind of effect this is going to have on Florida tourism. Is an organized boycott of Florida tourism in order?

Poll

Would you feel safe traveling to Florida after this verdict?

26%43 votes
73%119 votes

| 162 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (18+ / 0-)

    "Great is the power of steady misrepresentation; but the history of science shows that fortunately this power does not long endure."--Charles Darwin

    by Hopeful Monster on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 08:31:05 AM PDT

  •  It depends ... (10+ / 0-)

    ... If you're white, it's fine - if you're black, apparently, not so much.

    Gainesville as a rule shouldn't be a problem as long as you stay close to the UF campus.

    Although I live in Florida, I'm pretty disgusted with my state and especially my legislature (but this is not new - it's just gotten worse with each passing year), so I'm not opposed to a boycott. It seems to have worked at least a little in Arizona. But if you and your wife as a couple pass on the conference, I doubt it will have much impact. If the conference itself were to pull out and go to another state, that would make a stronger statement.

    I vote we run Rick Scott out of Florida on a high-speed rail.

    by ObamOcala on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 08:41:06 AM PDT

    •  As it happens, I am white. (7+ / 0-)

      While I have no question that the results of the Trayvon Martin case we a result of race, I think the potential fallout of this trial could have a broader impact, as suggested by coldwynn down thread.

      "Great is the power of steady misrepresentation; but the history of science shows that fortunately this power does not long endure."--Charles Darwin

      by Hopeful Monster on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 08:50:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  you should base your decision (4+ / 0-)

        on Florida's homicide and robbery statistics . . . who the typical victims are, who the typical perps are, and where, and in what circumstances, the crimes occur.  I would look particularly at the area around the hotel and conference center, and see whether there is a pattern of "crime against tourists" in that area.  At very least it will give you an idea of who to watch out for.

        Probably should do the same for where you live, work and shop . . . it is always good to have concrete data about who and what the actual threats are.

        Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

        by Deward Hastings on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 09:02:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I know that statistically... (4+ / 0-)

          ...it's not likely to be significantly less safe than most other cities. But emotionally it feels more dangerous. And if people like me deciding to avoid Florida (whether as part of a boycott or because of overblown fears) causes them to rethink their ridiculous laws, so much the better.

          I'm also concerned that this verdict will result in a change in Florida, by essentially giving people license to seek out conflict.

          "Great is the power of steady misrepresentation; but the history of science shows that fortunately this power does not long endure."--Charles Darwin

          by Hopeful Monster on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 09:12:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I doubt that many tourists (3+ / 0-)

            go to Florida to "seek out conflict", or that many Floridians seek out tourists for that purpose either.

            Robbers do, however, often seek out tourists, who likely are carrying cash, and who, being in an unfamiliar place, are particularly vulnerable.  What impact the Zimmerman verdict might have on that is unclear . . . I'm not expecting a surge in "get whitey" crimes, but that of course might happen.  Will there be more crimes like this one (which happened after the SF Pride parade)?

            http://blog.sfgate.com/...

            At this point I don't believe anyone knows . . . but that does represent the kind of crime that a "tourist" (in any American city) might reasonably fear.

            Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

            by Deward Hastings on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 09:37:08 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Hopeful Monster - I would feel as safe now (5+ / 0-)

        as I have ever felt. I have traveled to Florida many times and there is nothing about the Zimmerman trial that would make me feel any different.

        Traveling to the home of the University of Florida should be very safe, particularly in the context of a conference where there will be large groups of people in the area where you will be attending, residing, and dining.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 09:27:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I've been to Florida (5+ / 0-)

        I felt safe.

        But I'm white, so.....

        There will be fallout from this. I don't know how much it will impact the majority, but if I was a racial minority in the area I'd be watching my back at all times.

        P.S. I am not a crackpot.

        by BoiseBlue on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 09:45:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I don't have enough clout... (0+ / 0-)

      ...to get the conference to relocate, although I wish they would. But I feel I have to start somewhere, and I can control what I decide to do.

      "Great is the power of steady misrepresentation; but the history of science shows that fortunately this power does not long endure."--Charles Darwin

      by Hopeful Monster on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 08:54:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If you don't want to go to Florida, fine (4+ / 0-)

        If it's an ethical decision on your part to protest SYG laws, fair enough.

        But if you're staying away because you think you're going to be attacked in Gainesville by roving bands of gun wielding, anti-science zealots, well that's just patently ridiculous.

        Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

        by Pi Li on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 10:19:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Having been personally stalked... (6+ / 0-)

          ...by anti-science zealots in Virginia and Louisiana, I don't think it's completely ridiculous. But I think in the previous instances, they always thought that if they stepped up to violence, they would go to jail. In Florida, that has potentially changed.

          I don't think "roving bands of gun-wielding, anti-science zealots" are likely. But I think one gun-wielding, anti-science zealot is quite possible, and is more likely to occur now than yesterday.

          "Great is the power of steady misrepresentation; but the history of science shows that fortunately this power does not long endure."--Charles Darwin

          by Hopeful Monster on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 10:54:31 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Sand your ground laws are dangerous for all. (7+ / 0-)

      While the risks are higher for some people, I think that the Stand Your Ground Law actually puts everyone at risk - and I believe that making that point is extremely important to the fight to strike these crazy laws down.

      Vigilante gun play is dangerous for society as a whole.

    •  Unfortunately, these conferences are set years... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hopeful Monster, FG

      in advance.  For our jobs, my wife and I both attend conferences.  She was just at one in Chicago last week, and already knows where the next two will be held:  2014 conference will be in Puerto Rico, and the 2015 conference is in Vienna, Austria.  

      It's impossible to change it on short notice (anything less than a year).  People have already bought tickets and reserved hotels.  Caterers have already been contracted.  The venue has already been paid.  

    •  I am white and I would be afraid to travel to FL. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hopeful Monster

      And AZ. While being white is some "protection" I would not be able to keep my mouth shut about the awful outcome of the trial. In those two states (at least those 2) speaking out against the racists would be dangerous. I know because I only moved back to IL from AZ three years ago.

  •  Please do not go to FL -- no one should go (11+ / 0-)

    Keep yourself & your money out of that racist Neo-Confederate state.  

  •  You should absolutely stay home (4+ / 0-)
    Do I really want to risk being accosted by anti-science zealots walking from my hotel to a restaurant during the conference?
    No, you don't want to risk it...this is a VERY real possibility. Florida is infamous for its armed ant-science zealots. Especially Gainesville...there's a very large university there where there are LOTS of science types.

    You're MUCH safer travelling to New York or Los Angeles.

    Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

    by Pi Li on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 08:42:46 AM PDT

  •  Florida Just Provided an Algorithm for Legal (12+ / 0-)

    Killing. It should cause anyone to pause.

  •  I have been to Florida twice recently, I will not (4+ / 0-)

    go again until I understand this whole issue alot more than I do now.  

  •  Florida can kiss my grits (5+ / 0-)

    I will be boycotting them for the foreseeable future.  No trips, no orange juice, no nothing.  

    The citizens of Florida, with a heavy assist from the NRA, have turned their state into a gun-worshipping nightmare that should be shunned.  

    It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

    by Radiowalla on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 08:49:23 AM PDT

  •  Not just not go, but (10+ / 0-)

    ask the Conference to relocate. They won't of course, too late, but it registers your complaint. Simply not going reads as apathy, explaining why you are not going makes it an overt act.
    And don't worry that you are politicizing an otherwise non-political event. As you demonstrate, scientists are people, human rights matter, justice matters. The reaction to this travesty, to be an effective boycott, should cut across all lines.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 08:52:53 AM PDT

  •  I'll tell you a true story (14+ / 0-)

    My wife and I decided to vacation in Key West. We flew to Miami, rented a car and drove down. We had a convertible with the top down, and having just passed Key Largo, were on a pretty rural stretch of the highway. There was traffic so we were only moving at 30mph or so.

    Up ahead I saw a black man walking along the highway on our side, and a pickup truck coming towards us in the other lane. It just so happened that when the man and truck were across from each other, we were right between them.

    Very clearly I saw and heard the white driver of the truck slow down, lean out his window and yell "Hey!  Nigger!"

    I saw the black man get visibly startled and turn towards the truck before we passed. I watched in the rear view for signs of a confrontation, but thankfully the fucking redneck kept driving.

    But now?  That redneck can drive around picking fights and if he gets any reaction he doesn't like, he can simply say he feared for his life and open fire. Next time I could be caught in a crossfire.

    No, I have no interest in going back to Florida as long as Stand Your Ground is law.

  •  I live in S. Fla and from my perspective, (8+ / 0-)

    while all these concerns about getting killed here are overblown, I am hoping this idea of a tourist boycott takes off. Tourists bring in money and all that, but they also are a royal pain. Miami Beach is bumper to bumper at night, and the restaurants are packed all winter long (tourist season). The lines at Universal and Disneyworld are ridiculous, and every flight in and out of Miami is packed. If only 10% of tourists would stay home the quality of life for actual Floridians would be so much better. So everyone stay in your own perfectly safe and completely non-racist states (heh), that's fine.

    •  Same here. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BlueDragon, Hopeful Monster

      Stay away.  The police and legal system are out of control for everyone.  

      •  The Stand Your Ground defense wasn't (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BroadwayBaby1, Hopeful Monster

        even used here. This is not a Florida problem, it is a national problem. Racism, the gun fetish, and lax gun laws cover 95% of the country. People are kidding themselves if they think this couldn't happen where they live.

        •  I agree 100% (3+ / 0-)

          I can only speak to what I see in my little part of Florida.  Things are out of control.  

          A new sheriff was elected last November.  Since that time, I've seen the number of police harassment stories and questionable arrests rise significantly.  Coincidecence?  NO.

          My guess is the cops are being told to up their arrest quotas.  The best way to do that is harass/arrest the "low hanging fruit" of single women, middle aged couples, senior citizens, and so on.  The fact is, if a cop arrests a 6'5" male, he may get hurt.  They may resist.  

          You can scare the hell out of the other group into submitting.  

          Do I have any statistical proof of this?  No, only anecdotal evidence.  But this is a small area and people talk.  

          ~~~There's something happening here~~~

  •  Cold comfort, but it's a doomed state (5+ / 0-)

    the rising sea level will devastate it.

    Obama: self-described Republican; backed up by right-wing policies

    by The Dead Man on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 09:02:39 AM PDT

  •  I go to conferences too (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hopeful Monster, Sychotic1

    Unless you are high in the society, you have no voice in the selection of locations, and for many conventions, there are only a few places to go. But you can complain about the accomodations, complain about the treatment, and indicate that future attendance will be subject to location.

  •  florida is now off my list (7+ / 0-)

    of vacation spots.   new mexico will be receiving my travel dollars.

  •  Here's an email address (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hopeful Monster, apimomfan2

    of the Fl Tourism office.

    Send them a note. Tell them you won't be coming.

    partner@VISITFLORIDA.org

    It's not the main address, but it will get through.

  •  Two separate issues (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hopeful Monster, VClib, Pi Li, FG

    Political Protest/Boycott

    I live in Florida and am not likely to be moving in the near future.  I do think the state needs some feedback in its pocketbook about this ridiculous and tragic law.  So I'm all for changes in venue, etc.

    Personal Safety - This is where I am taking exception to this diary and some of the comments here.  How about a little reality (i.e. data)?  If you look at murder rates (here for example) you will see that Florida falls about 1/3 of the way down the list.  So Florida has a murder rate higher than average but not all that much higher than average.

    Furthermore if you look at the list linked above you will see that states in the deep south are over-represented at the top of the list (i.e. have high per capita murder rates).  I don't have the link available but I did once read a study that concluded that the reason for the high rate of murder in the south was that people were much more likely to be murdered by someone they knew in that region than elsewhere in the country.  Florida, which is really only partly southern, actually has a lower murder rate than most neighboring states.  Like most places, Florida's violent crime rate has declined in recent years.

    I think the chances of getting murdered while spending a few days at a meeting in Gainesville is small enough to be disregarded.  In short, I'm all for people boycotting to apply political pressure.  But, at least at the moment, I don't think Florida is in quite the same category as Somalia in terms of personal safety.

    "To see both sides of a quarrel, is to judge without hate or alarm" - Richard Thompson

    by matching mole on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 09:10:00 AM PDT

    •  I'm aware that statistically... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      myboo, Sychotic1, apimomfan2

      ...the odds of something happening to me in Gainesville are not significantly greater than elsewhere, and significantly lower than many places (although those odds could change, given the possible outcome of this law). I don't see Florida as a shooting gallery.

      But emotionally, it doesn't FEEL that way. It's hard to move past that.

      "Great is the power of steady misrepresentation; but the history of science shows that fortunately this power does not long endure."--Charles Darwin

      by Hopeful Monster on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 09:18:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  But if I am shot in Florida, the murderer will (3+ / 0-)

      likely walk and maybe even get his/her gun back.  That sounds like little deterrent to crime and personally I would want my murderer PUNISHED.

      So, no, it does not give me a warm fuzzy.

      Besindes SYG has not been the law there long, so lets see what the result is in decriminalizing murder.

      "I watch Fox News for my comedy, and Comedy Central for my news." - Facebook Group

      by Sychotic1 on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 10:55:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I am reminded of the words of Tecumseh. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hopeful Monster, VClib

    "Live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart."

  •  I Live In Florida And I Don't Feel Safe (7+ / 0-)

    My sister and niece lives in Mississippi and they passed a bill where you can carry a gun anywhere.  My niece works at a health clinic as a Nurse Practitioner and she says that she is scared, and that if any patient ask for pain killers she will not argue with them.  She is thinking about carrying a gun herself in the clinic if patients bring in guns.

    "Don't Let Them Catch You With Your Eyes Closed"

    by rssrai on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 09:19:35 AM PDT

  •  Given the alligators, (5+ / 0-)

    oversized cockroaches, muggy weather and the inability to find edible food in Orlando, the armpit of the universe, no.

    Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

    by anastasia p on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 09:23:01 AM PDT

  •  I read someplace this morning (5+ / 0-)

    that Zimmerman has or will be given his gun back. Now, if that doesn't give you pause, nothing will.

  •  Just my opinion and I'm pretty angry right now... (0+ / 0-)

    But we'll all be better off when the state is under water in 50 years. What a dysfunctional hell hole.

    Just another day in Oceania.

    by drshatterhand on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 09:38:56 AM PDT

  •  I am white, (4+ / 0-)

    But when fully dressed I wear a kippa (skullcap) which marks me as Jewish. There have been plenty of times I felt blessed that, while I felt unsafe as member of a religious minority in parts of the American South, I could just put on a baseball cap, or even just uncover my head and ruffle my hair, in order to blend in. It struck me even then as unfair that people with darker skin would be condemned for something they couldn't so easily hide.

    "But there's one thing that gives every Marine the willies, and anyone saying otherwise is a liar. Drop pods. That shit is terrifying, son."

    by Shaviv on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 09:40:23 AM PDT

  •  As a Floridian (3+ / 0-)

    My advice is to stay as far away from the police as you can get.  Doesn't matter if you're black or white.  They are nothing but trouble.  Yes, of course, it's worse if you're black.  But don't kid yourself thinking you're safe if you're white.  

    I could cite 2 cases of a police officer deliberately targeting 2 people so he could arrest one of them for trespassing.  The other was arrested for "resisting arrest without violence".  

    One wasn't even on the premises where the cop claimed they were trespassing.  The other went to defend the woman and was walking towards her when she was being arrested.  Across the street from where the cop claims he arrested her.  

    But, there's a twist:  How was that cop to know arresting the "low hanging fruit" was a paralegal for a local attorney?  This will get interesting.  

    I just found out about a 3rd case.  A middle aged couple was driving home from dinner.  The cop stops them and claims the driver (the husband) was "weaving in and out".  The husband doesn't drink, but he had to go through a full sobriety field test.  Turns out, the couple were the parents of the woman falsely arrested for trespassing.  The daughter's boss, the lawyer, is going to subpoena the police tapes.  

    The cops here are going for the low hanging fruit when it comes to arrests.  

    So, if you're a lawyer looking to make a few bucks AND help protect local citizenry from the cops, C'MON DOWN!   Business is going to be good with all the lawsuits screaming to be filed.  

  •  hell no (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hopeful Monster, Sychotic1

    mental aversion alone might just cause the demise of this old white woman

    "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

    by Sybil Liberty on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 09:44:01 AM PDT

  •  I'm a straight middle aged white guy (4+ / 0-)

    So, no. I wouldn't feel afraid to travel to Florida.

    That having been said, my wife and I were in Florida for a few days, a couple of years ago. Now, she had lived down there for awhile and warned me we'd probably run into some ignorant assholes. She told me to just let it go because odds were they'd be carrying. Being a New Yorker, I have a very hard time keeping my mouth shut over, basically anything, but especially ignorant racist shit.

    In the two nights we went out to bars, we had a bartender spewing racist anti-Obama "socialist" nonsense, a cab driver talking about shooting "towelheads", and a seemingly-nice guy sitting on the barstool next to me, who I talked baseball with until he told a story about "some people...well, not really people but n-words".

    I was at least able to walk away from the bartender and cabbie without tipping. But it still eats at me I was too afraid to call out that racist bar patron. So, in short, I wouldn't be afraid to travel to Florida. But I'd be afraid to speak up when its called for.

  •  If you are going (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BlueDragon, Hopeful Monster

    To play in Florida
    Be sure not to wear
    Hoodies while you're there.

    If you are going
    To play in Florida
    You're gonna meet some
    Crazy assed people there

    Beware if you come
    To play in Florida
    Stand your ground
    will be a shooting there.

  •  I'm personally boycotting Florida... (5+ / 0-)

    ....I am a specialty contractor, I work with a product that preserves painted metal from sun-damage and salt-air attack, primarily in the self storage industry.

    I've told two different people that generate leads and contracts for me that I really don't want to work in Florida, let the guys in Atlanta go down there, cause I don't wanna.

    I've had this attitude for a long time, mostly based upon some really annoying experiences in Florida, topped off by recent antics of the criminal justice system...

    I worked a job in Palm City in Feb '08, and finished just in time to participate in the "Spring Break Mountain Bike Festival" in Santos, FL, south of Ocala.

    I enjoyed riding on the Cross-Florida Greenway, and, since I didn't have another job and needed to do some marketing, I decided to linger in the area after the festival, doing my mail and internet marketing from my motor home.

    I had permission to park in a businesses parking lot, but I left it very early every morning to avoid inconveniencing the other customers, and I would go to one of the Greenway trailheads about 7 am every morning, to make breakfast, go for a short ride, then spend a couple of hours writing sales letters, stuffing envelopes with sales propaganda etc, in order to get another job.

    Before long the Marion County Sheriff's Department decided that they needed to keep an eye on the Hippie inna Motorhome who was illegally camped on the Greenway, and began harassing me on a pretty regular basis, banging on the door while I'm working, demanding to know what I'm doing, do I know that camping on the Greenway is illegal, what do you mean you're here to ride your bike, where's yer bike? (It's inside here, see?)

    It got to the point where the bastards were hassling me EVERY FUCKING DAY.  One day I had one of the assholes berate me over a bag of garbage sitting outside my door, a bag of garbage I'd just picked up AT THE TRAILHEAD, like I did every morning at each of the trailheads, as the county wasn't providing a dumpster or garbage can at the site, and the townie kids would apparently party it up at the trailheads late at night and leave all their beer cans and McDonald's wrappers and other trash all over the place.  The deputy threatened to cite me for littering.

    The straw that broke the camel's back for me was the day I parked in front of the Marion County Public Library in order to use the internet connection at the library to check email and send out some messages, I was busily going through my list of notes I needed to send and gathering my notes, then "bang bang bang" on the door, it's the fucking Marion County Sheriff's Department AGAIN, this time there's FOUR of them, one is a Lieutenant, and she's got her pistol unlatched and has her hand on the weapon as I open the door and ask them what they want.

    They wanted to see my license, registration, insurance card etc, and the reason is because the sticker on my license plate read "2005."  Mind you, these idiots are from the same Department that hassled me almost daily for two weeks, including checking my registration, and they had plenty of reassurance that yes, the fucking motor home is properly registered and insured, like the ten other times you checked, and they'd been told about ten times that the State of New Jersey stopped issuing annual license plate stickers in 2005.

    By this time I'd been in Marion County for about two and a half weeks, I'd spent nearly $2,000 in various businesses in the county for food, gas, camping fees, propane, etc, and I just decided I'd had enough, and a lady in North Carolina was telling me she and her husband were interested, could I come up and look at their property, so I bugged out, after wiping the dust of Marion County from my feet.

    Fuck those people, they'll never get another dime or another bit of work outta me. Ever.

    "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

    by leftykook on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 10:00:29 AM PDT

  •  Florida and North Korea. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hopeful Monster, Sychotic1

    My two No Go places in the world. I am officially Boycotting Florida, Florida Products (including Orange Juice) and Florida people until they get the Stand Your Ground laws AND the Stand Your Ground mentality OUT of the civic arena..

    This may take a while, but I would rather go to Juarez, Mexico than any place in Florida. At least in Juarez, murder is still illegal.

    Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

    by OregonOak on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 10:20:16 AM PDT

  •  I doubt I would feel unsafe (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hopeful Monster, Sychotic1

    but at this point, I'm too disgusted to consider ever going to Florida again.

    Yes, I'm just an old white woman, with so-called white privileges, so someone like Zimmerman certainly wouldn't follow me through that neighborhood anyway.

    I lived in Florida twice, as a child in the early 60s and as an adult in the mid 80s, and visited there many times when my in-laws lived in the Keys.

    I couldn't wait to get out of there after our 18 months in the 80s. It's a terrible lace to raise a child. I hated living there.

    My daughter moved down there in April so she could be with her boyfriend. She's going through major culture shock so not sure how long she'll last. We've talked about visiting her and also taking a side trip to the Everglades, but at this point, I'm no longer interested in entering that state ever again.

  •  i have relatives in florida and have (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hopeful Monster, Greyhound

    been there far, far too much.

    i wound up outside the courthouse where the 2000 recount was happening while attending a conference in the area.

    there was a spontaneous demonstration as a result of the people I was with confronting the reactionaries stationed outside the courthouse.

    it got very dangerous for a while and it was clear the police weren't going to help us.

    i went straight up to a cop who said we had started it.

    four middle aged women had started a near riot.  yup.

       

  •  I go on two vacations a year (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hopeful Monster

    usually one domestic and one foreign.  I am a scuba diver and a cruise ship fan.  I have managed to avoid Florida since the Stand Your Ground law went into place.  I do not feel safe in Florida...and this coming from someone who feels okay in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Central America.

    How far we have fallen.

    "I watch Fox News for my comedy, and Comedy Central for my news." - Facebook Group

    by Sychotic1 on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 10:45:20 AM PDT

  •  Gainesville is not the same Florida as Sanford. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hopeful Monster

    I went to high school in Florida.  I had a friend who was brought up think that black people were inferior.  One year I came home from college and she said something to the effect that "You know, I met some black people and they are just like us!"  I was so proud of her for that; she couldn't pick her parents.

    ...Son, those Elephants always look out for themselves. If you happen to get a crumb or two from their policies, it's a complete coincidence. -Malharden's Dad

    by slowbutsure on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 11:10:16 AM PDT

  •  If you want to boycott the state, it's your right. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hopeful Monster

    But you don't need to feel unsafe about going to Gainesville. No one is going to attack you.

  •  Boycotting Florida (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hopeful Monster

    Done.

  •  Overreacting much? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hopeful Monster

    This case does NOT establish that anyone can kill anyone with impunity in Florida. Reading it that way is a huge overreaction.

    What it says -- ALL it says -- is that where the facts of who started the fight, who was punching whom, who screamed for help, and all that are highly contested, this particular jury felt there was at least a reasonable doubt about whether the survivor was criminally guilty as charged.

    Gainesville is a college town. I've been there for a weekend event, and found it as nice as many other college towns. (It also has a lot of liberals in it, who are probably not especially pleased with the verdict or with SYG.) My general rule of thumb (as a white woman) is that I prefer not to be out after 10 pm, prefer not to be in places where lots of people are drunk, and prefer not to walk alone especially after dark in neighborhoods I don't know. (It's not about race, it's mostly about gender/risk of rape, and to a lesser extent theft -- sorry guys.) Those are pretty much the same rules I'd follow in any city anywhere in the world.

    •  I've been to Gainesville... (0+ / 0-)

      ...as well as to other parts of Florida on numerous occasions, both for work and vacation, with a generally positive experience. And having lived almost my entire life in red states, I know that this verdict doesn't reflect on all Floridians.

      But see no way in which the outcome of this trial can be seen as even vaguely a positive for Florida. Consider the options:

      1) Zimmerman should have been convicted but was acquitted anyway, in which case Florida has a terrible race problem.

      2) Zimmerman was actually innocent under Florida law, in which case Florida has passed a law that essentially allows indiscriminate murder.

      Note, I think that 2) can be correct, and Florida can still have terrible race problems.

      I refuse to consider a third option, that Zimmerman was both legally and morally justified in killing Martin (although I know that's what his attorney essentially argued).

      "Great is the power of steady misrepresentation; but the history of science shows that fortunately this power does not long endure."--Charles Darwin

      by Hopeful Monster on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 12:18:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Traveling to Florida in August (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hopeful Monster, BlackSheep1

    for family vacation. I will let you know how it goes when I return. Actually, I don't foresee any problems, but then again I am coming from Texas and other Diary comments think we are all a bunch of small town hicks. Not true. I do adhere to Rule 9 though.

  •  assuming that's a Gibbs rule (0+ / 0-)

    be careful. You might frighten little Georgie if he thinks you're armed.

    LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

    by BlackSheep1 on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 03:36:36 PM PDT

  •  A few months? Do you have any influence over it? (0+ / 0-)

    It's not too late to book into many other convention venues and FL should feel some pain as a result of this travesty.

    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

    by Greyhound on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 04:07:17 PM PDT

  •  As a "migrated" Floridian (0+ / 0-)

    I would appreciate a tourism boycott, maybe it will knock some sense into the  crazies who voted for  governor Skeletor.

    As to safety ... I go out of my way to avoid traffic confrontations.  Waaaaay to many people have weapons in their cars.

    However, I do need to point out that a large percenage of people are from somewhere else.  So if you denigrate Floridians, you're really talking about New Yorkers, Pennsylvanians, Ohioans, Canadians, etc.

  •  I wouldn't feel less safe than traveling to (0+ / 0-)

    many other places. But I'm a white guy.

    Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

    by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 05:19:22 PM PDT

  •  Yes, since I'm a 67-year-old white geezer, (0+ / 0-)

    I'd feel safe enough traveling in Florida; however, there is no way in hell I'd set foot there now.  Certainly glad I was never tempted to buy a winter pied-a-terre down there!  I have UK friends who love FL -- been going there for years -- but I'm telling them to steer clear of the place.  They agree and they're telling all of their UK and Continental friends to stay away, too.  People everywhere are disgusted by this travesty of "justice."  The so-called "Sunshine State" is going to pay for this in more ways than one, I think.  

    -7.13 / -6.97 "The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion." -- Edmund Burke

    by GulfExpat on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 11:01:46 AM PDT

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