There's no denying this is impressive.
I think the outpouring of passion and feeling and outrage that has driven people into the streets to Demonstrate and Protest Loudly in objection to the Supramacist System that Lynched Trayvon Martin Twice - Once on the Streets of Sanford, and again in the Courtrooms of Sanford - have to eventually move to the next phase.
Have you thought about what that phase is?
Once you put down the picket sign, what do you do when you get home again? This is what people need to start thinking about and thinking about soon. Things need to change, serious, big, difficult things.
We need a plan. We need a strategy and a specific set of worthwhile achievable goals.
My initial thoughts over the flip.
1) Stand Your Ground Laws Need to be Repealed.
As has been recently document by researchers going through the FBI Uniform Crime Reports, States with Stand Your Ground Laws in place tend to acquit White Defendants in the Murder of Black Victims by 345%. Three Hundred & Forty Five Percent.
The result was drawn from a study using FBI data conducted by John Roman, a senior analyst at Urban Institute’s Justice Policy Center.These are the States that currently have Stand Your Ground Laws in place.
Roman analysed the pool of 43,500 homicides by race in states with Stand Your Ground laws and those without them.
He found that whites who kill blacks in non-Stand Your Ground states are 250 percent more likely to be found justified in killing a black person than a white person who kills another white person.
But in Stand Your Ground states, that number jumps to 354 percent.
Showing people the above chart, data and figures will help.
The First Priority, The NUMBER ONE THING is to start moving the Poll Numbers, and then the Votes - Our Way on this issue.
Smashing windows & Fighting with police doesn't help with that.
2) Build and Enhance an Anti-Violence Coalition for Gun Safety
People who feel the death of Trayvon Deeply need to find common cause with others who have suffered from the scourge of gun violence. The children who died tragically at Sandy Hook and their parents are not in competition with us, they are our brothers and sisters.
Do not let the false issue of Black on Black Crime (which has been racialized away from what it truly is Gang Violence with Guns deter our focus.
The Father's and Mother's and Brothers and Sisters who have lost their loved ones due to guns in Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago and New Orleans should be able to lock arms with those who lost them in Newtown, Aurora, Virginia Tech and Columbine.
They are our Family.
The infrastructure that needs to be built to roll back Stand Your Ground, can and should be a coalition that can help reboot and jump start the stalled Gun Safety Legislation.
And if we can't get these things moving we this Congress - We Simply Change The Congress in 2014.
No, not easy - but nothing really worth having should be.
3) Take Back The House, Fix the Senate
Whether it's providence or not, the issue Trayvon has become not only racially polarized but also ideologically polarized. You can hardly find a Republican or a Conservative who sees things from our perspective. Remember when Newt Gingrich went after the President for merely commenting on the issue?
He said that when Obama said "Trayvon looks like what my own son would" he was Dividing The Nation by showing empathy for a slain gunshot victim.
The Repubs are not on our Side, therefore we must take aim at them and use issues like this to smash them into electoral powder.
They're the ones who supported and promoted these gun laws, They Need to Get Gone!.
Doing that is going to require fighting back against onerous Voting Rights Restrictions which are coming down the pike due to the Repeal of Section Four of the Voting Rights Act. I've said before that the SCOTUS VRA decision Could be the Worst Thing Ever for Conservatives...
But the way they are now behaving and things they're saying openly in the wake of the Trayvon decision is a whole new level of ass-douchery.
Ted Nugent: "Blacks are to Blame for their own Oppression"
Like Nugent and the Jury, they've eagerly swallowed the defense's Thugification of Trayvon Hook, Line and Sinker and thus a kid who was described by the Teachers as an "A/B Student with an aptitude for Math and the desire to be an Engineer", who was "Kind and Gentle" according to his friends has been turned into a "‘gangsta wanabe, Skittles hoodie boy".
Yet I'm tired of politicians and others who have donned hoodies in solidarity with Martin and who essentially suggest that I am a racist for recognizing the reality of urban crime in America. The hoodie blinds them as much as it did Zimmerman.So basically - you Black People Stop Being Criminals and we'll stop - stopping, frisking, detaining, assaulting and murdering you - whether you're a criminal or NOT.
The problems of the black underclass are hardly new. They are surely the product of slavery, the subsequent Jim Crow era and the tenacious persistence of racism. They will be solved someday -- but not probably with any existing programs. For want of a better word, the problem is cultural and it will be solved when the culture, somehow, is changed.
In the meantime, the least we can do is talk honestly about the problem. It does no one any good to merely cite the number of stops and frisks made on black males and not cite the murder statistics as well. Citing the former and not the latter is an Orwellian exercise in political correctness. It not only censors half of the story but suggests that racism is the sole reason for the policy. This mindlessness, like racism itself, is repugnant.
I'm sorry pal, NO DEAL. You don't get to decide what's appropriate for me. you don't get to pick MY culture for me, either.
This supremacist view is the same one that created "Stand Your Ground" and helped drive this Juries decision to so easily consider Trayvon as the threat that needed to be eliminated, but not that fact George who profiled and followed a kid halfway home for no good reason was also a threat.
In the long term, changing our political leadership and some of the worst of our laws still isn't enough.
4) We Need To Shift the Terms of Debate, Arm Yourself with Truth
When you come at people with the "This was all Racial" you play into their ready-to-go "You're just Playing the Race Card" defense. That gets everyone nowhere except into a duel of accusation vs counter accusation. Race was A Factor in this case, but not the only factor- nor does it need to be the only factor for the final results to still be biased and bigoted.
Listen to Juror B37 as she describes what she thought of Rachel Jeantel and the case.
We identified with George, felt he was a "good guy". He only made a few "bad choices"That infuriating and condescending attitude is the fetid kernal that White Privilege and Supremacy is built upon. She's different, so she's Less Than. You have to believe yourself Superior to make such a statement, and the GOP expresses this view constantly, and incessantly.
We never even discussed the Racial Issue.
I feel sorry for [Rachel Jeantel] she must have felt inferior to the rest of us. She didn't want to be there.
America is The Greatest Nation In the History of Nations. Ever!
Really? Ever? Greater than Ancient Rome? Ancient Egypt? Ancient Greece? Some people need to get some perspective.
It's helpful to understand that mindset. The one that says it doesn't matter that George's actual injuries weren't life threatening, all he needed was to be in fear of his life in order to justify the use of lethal force -- yet at the same time - that fear for his life and safety isn't afforded to Trayvon after he's been followed for blocks by a strange man and RUNS AWAY.
They argue "Following Isn't Illegal". Yeah, sure, but people - particularly KIDS - have a right not to be Presumed a Criminal without Probable Cause. It's supposed to be Innocent until Proven Guilty, not Assumed Thug until Made Dead and no longer a "Threat'.
It's a Fourth Amendment Issue. It's a lack of Probable Cause and Due Process, it's illegal Surveillance, Search and Seizure. How can we jump up and down over the Government Surveilling our Phone Calls & Emails because of the simmering fear of Terrorism- even though most of us AREN'T TERRORISTS - and not have a problem when they (or their wannabes) unfairly and unreasonably Scrutinize Our Clothes, Hair and Bodies leading to our assault and sometimes death - even when MOST OF US AREN'T CRIMINALS?
"Following is not a crime"? Uh, sure, but why exactly are you following in the first place again? Who gave you the right to take away our right to move freely?
Which is the greater invasion of privacy and freedom? Profiling and surveiling your phone calls or profiling and surveiling YOU.
People - even kids - have a right to dress the way they want as a basic matter of self-expression. It's a matter of privacy. It's the First Amendment. How can you exercise your 1st Amendment if you can't even freely and choose what fabrics touch and cover your body?
Those who support profiling argue that it wasn't "Racial", but what they really mean is that is wasn't EXCLUSIVELY "Racial". George wouldn't have followed Trayvon if he was white because - in his mind - it was the Black Kids that were a danger to the neighborhood, not White kids. So logic dictates he wouldn't follow a White kid, now would he? (BTW Law enforcement commonly makes this mistake with Stop & Frisk policies focusing on Black people when studies show they would find more drugs and weapons among Whites if they were bothering to look!) So yes, Trayvon was black, but he was also young, and also wearing a hoodie in the rain and walking slow (because he was on the PHONE and distracted by the conversation). All of which is "Criminal"?
No, it isn't.
They say if he'd only "acted right" he wouldn't have been a "suspect" to George - but in the process they miss the point.
Wearing a HOODIE Isn't Illegal or Probable Cause.
Walking slowly isn't Illegal or Probable Cause.
Looking AROUND isn't Illegal or Probable Cause.
Being YOUNG isn't Illegal or Probable Cause.
Trayvon was NOT in the process of committing a crime. None. That wasn't even suggested. He was having a conversation about the NBA All-Star Game, while casually walking home. It wasn't until after George's actions; Made Him Run Away and Hide, that anyone can "claim" he did anything questionable. This started out as George being the aggressor and that's doesn't magically stop in Trayvon's mind, simply because George claims it stopped in his.
When we say George treated him in a bigoted way it's not just about Trayvon being Black, it's also about him being young and moving, talking, walking in a way that George decided to PERCEIVE as threatening when there was no real evidence of that. Even if you take race completely out of it George's actions were STILL WRONG because he had no legitimate probable cause based on someone's clothing.
Mistreating and Misjudging someone because of their WARDROBE is just as wrong as doing it because of their Skin-tone. It's the same thing, just a bogus excuse.
This is where we fundamentally disagree with the Zimmerman fans.
They honestly feel, seriously, that profiling is just fine. (I got two tweets saying that just this morning) They don't get it, there not even close to grasp it's vapor trials. From their perspective it's an once-in-a-while occasional thing you can simply grin and bear then move on - from our perspective it's a constant, nagging threat that could take our freedom, livelihood, lives, or the lives of our children in an instant - like living in a perpetual state of guarded terror in dangerous hostile enemy territory. Makes you a little jumpy sometimes.
And don't let them give you that, "but people can't change their skin-tone" stuff, tell it to Coppertone and Michael Jackson. People can change and chose their Religion and that is protected so stop right now with that noise. If our freedom of choice isn't protected - we don't have real freedom do we? We protect that which we value, and what is more valuable than the ability to control your own body and appearance free from harassment and retaliation because of your choices?
We can't claim this country is free if we don't truly have even that most simple and basic freedom in a public space. Why should we be asked to Give Up This FREEDOM because of other people's misconceptions and failure to pay full attention>?
The core of prejudice and profiling is to PRE-Judge someone before you have the facts. People do that all the time, but it doesn't make it right. People frequently don't wait for all the facts to come in before they start to "construct a hunch" about who a person is while associating them with others they are already familiar with, or they think they know.
Why did the defense bring in a witness to testify that her house had been burgled by some black kids (although NOT Trayvon and they both knew that) as an reason why George should've been following Trayvon? How did that guys sins transfer to a completely different person?
The problem is when they give that misguided hunch more credence than the actual person in front of them, It's something people also do all the time, think they know something that they really don't. They assume, fill in the blanks with a story that fits their assumption, then not only ignore facts that contradict them - They Actively Fight and Deny Those Contradictions even Exist.
This process is called Confirmation Bias. It doesn't require "Hate" to function. It doesn't require malice.
Confirmation bias is a phenomenon wherein decision makers have been shown to actively seek out and assign more weight to evidence that confirms their hypothesis, and ignore or underweigh evidence that could disconfirm their hypothesis.What Confirmation Bias requires, is LAZINESS. It requires an Arrogance that you already know all you need to know, one that makes you impervious to contrary facts.
As such, it can be thought of as a form of selection bias in collecting evidence.
The TRUTH requires looking at all the facts, the entire set of events, not just the ones that are convenient to your previous point of view. Since the Jury decided to discount everything that happened before George and Trayvon met at the "T", I think it's fair to say they acted with Confirmation Bias.
The numbers we see in that first chart I posted didn't happen because White people have Hate in their hearts for Blacks. It's not that simple, it's not that myopic. People act as arm-chair amateur statisticians in their head even when they don't really know the true numbers all that well.
Even people who think of themselves as otherwise non-racial, do this. Frequently.
As I researched and posted earlier this week, the actual FBI racial breakdown of murders aren't what people think they are.
Straight from the 2011 FBI Uniform Crime Stats - No chaser.Is the crime rate among Black Kids higher than average? Yes, it certainly is. (Although we have to recognize that rate is inflated when Black Kids are Prosecuted as much as 8 Times more frequently for the Same Crimes as Whites, particularly minor drug crimes) Yet even among young male black kids, the Bureau of Justice Statistics says that their lifetime chances of going to jail at some point is about 32%, which means that the lifetime chance of Not Ever Going to Jail is 68%
Note: there are more White on White Murders (2,630) than Black on Black (2,447) - although it should be noted this isn't all murders, simply those where both race of victim and offender have been identified as either black or white - with 1 victim and 1 offender each, yet this is only FBI Crime chart with this kind of racial breakdown so it has to do.
Victim Total White Offender Black Offender White 3,172 2,630 448 Black 2,695 193 2,447 Totals 5,867 2823 2,895
If black people are killing (under the limitations of this chart) about 2895 people, do you really think it's should be a point of pride that White Offenders are at 2823?
Here's a Percent Breakdown.
White Victim - White Offender 82% - Black Offender 14%
Black Victim - White Offender - 7 % Black Offender 91%
I have to say if 91% is bad, then 82% IMO should still kinda bad too, but really all this reveals is that most murders happen among people who know each other or at least are far more likely to come in common contact with each other.
But then of course, that should all be common sense.
These numbers show that a White Person is 5.8 Times more likely to be killed by another White person than a Black Person, whereas for Blacks it's about 12.6 Times. So I wonder, where exactly is the justification that White People should be deathly afraid of Black people? Both, by the numbers, should be more afraid of their own, than each other.
But they don't look at it that way, they treat the levels of white people as The Norm - as then standard everyone else is supposed to meat even though those numbers are skewed by selective enforcement - they treat it like a Quota that Everyone Else is Expected to Meet or else be denigrated as being deficient or as Juror B37 said "Inferior".
The lifetime chances of a person going to prison are higher for men (9%) than for women (1%) and higher for blacks (16%) and Hispanics (9%) than for whites (2%). At current levels of incarceration newborn black males in this country have a greater than a 1 in 4 chance of going to prison during their lifetimes, while Hispanic males have a 1 in 6 chance, and white males have a 1 in 23 chance of serving time.In my book, in anyone's book, 3 out of 4 is a Majority.
This is a contrary fact that they can't comprehend - because their mind is already filled with the idea that young, hoodie wearing, black, shiftless, lazy, kids - are more likely to be Criminals because their numbers are higher than Whites - even when those same numbers say that about 70 Percent of them Aren't Criminals.
In what world is it fair that 70% be asked to pay for the sins of the 30%?
Particularly when the main victims of those in that 30% - are those in the 70%? Should that 30% be lower? Sure, and no one knows that better than the other 70% of us, but it's not like those guys listen to what we have to say. They're not listening to Jesse Jackson, or Al Sharpton, they're listening to T-Pain. You wanna argue with T-Pain? Good luck with that.
This is how even Eric Holder can tell a story about being stopped and accosted by police as he was running to catch a movie in Georgetown (because, "Why you Running Boy, steal something?") even though He was a Federal Prosecutor at the time.
How exactly was he behaving like a "Thug"? Racism? Maybe, maybe not. Confirmation Bias? Fuck YES!
And so he's supposed to blame the actual "thugs" for this treatment or the Cops who apparently Can't tell the Difference between him and them? Maybe both, I think - but then where does that leave you, unable to trust the people you need for protection? When the "thugs" show up who do you call? If you "Stand Your Ground" against them, will the cops come after you for acting in self defense? (Which again according to the data means - if you're black - you're going to Prison.)
When you present this issue to people, they get caught up in - "I agree with the Verdict but I don't dislike Black people and George mentored black kids so he couldn't have an racial BIAS against them"
Oh sure, just add a hoodie in the rain and he could. He Did.
And he's not alone.
5) Remember What this is Really All About
We have to understand and make it bone-dry crystal clear that these Demonstrations and Actions can not simply be about Trayvon Martin and this one case. This can't only be about Retribution, or about Vengeance or a Tantrum over not getting things the way we want them. Debating whether his killing was Justified or not misses the larger point that the exact same process and excuses that are used to rationalize his death, are routinely used to police, judges, courts and juries to rationalize and explain away the deaths of Hundreds of Black and Brown Children without significant consequence.
Largely White Juries identify with White Defendants and Victims, but not with Black Defendants or Black Victims who are Different, Deficient, Inferior than they see themselves - hence we see Black men prosecuted at 4 times the Rate of Whites for the same offense. George and his actions are sympathetic to them, Trayvon isn't.
100 Years ago Black Men and Women were Lynched, not simply because they were "Hated", those lynches were considered Carrying Out Justice. Balancing the Scales of Righteousness against a Inherently Inferior, Deficient and Criminal Black population. (it's not Ironic that people like Nugent continue to regurgitate this same thinking)
They would bring their kids to the Lynching and make a party of it. But this isn't about them, we can't do anything to bring those people back. We can only make changes to protect innocent people in the future.
- This is about the next set of Scottsboro Boys, improperly accused and prosecuted - several times - for a crime of Rape, they didn't commit.
- This is about the next Emmit Till, who didn't "behave they way he should, didn't Stay in his place and paid the ultimate price for it.
- This is about the next person like Leonard Deadwyler who was shot down in the streets by police when trying to drive his pregnant wife to the hospital.
- The Next Ron Settles who Signal Hill Police pretended had somehow choked himself to death with his own arms when they faked his suicide to cover up his murder.
- The Next set of Freedom Riders who clearly brought down what they received on themselves by being "Uppity".
- The Next Geronimo Pratt, an innocent man sentenced to a quarter century in prison due to exculpatory evidence being withheld by the FBI and the lies of a Sheriff informant.
- The Next Eula Love, shot down in the streets by police over a utility bill dispute.
- The Next Jonny Gammage, asphyxiated to death by police who thought he was driving too nice a car in too nice a neighborhood.
- The Next Amadour Diallo, who police said was armed when they shot him down in the street, but he wasn't.
- The Next Patrick Dorismond who police said was armed, when they shot him down in the street, but he wasn't.
- The Next Sean Bell who police thought was "going for a gun" when the shot him down in the street, but he wasn't.
- The Next Oscar Grant, who was shot in the back while handcuffed when police said they were trying to Taser Him - (but still why the FUCK do you need to taser a handcuffed man face down on the ground?)
- And the Next Kendrick McDade who was shot down by Police in the streets of Pasadena a year ago, because someone called 9-11 and said they were robbed at gunpoint, but they weren't - and Kendrick wasn't armed, and he didn't do it anyway.
It can't only be JusticeForTrayvon -- it has to become Justice Because Of Trayvon, as well as because of all those who preceded him and all those who sadly, will definitely follow him.
Before you go to your next rally - Get Your Ass Registered To VOTE
Share this QR when you're out in the streets and make sure EVERYONE YOU MEET Gets Registered to Vote.
Don't Just Makes Some Noise, Make a Gorram Difference.
I'm done. The Floor is Open.
4:32 PM PT: They want to take this country Back? Well, we're gonna have to just keep Moving it Forward, even if we have to run over them in the process.