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Trayvon Martin – Proceed with Caution

Florida teen Trayvon Martin’s death (Feb 26/2012) has turned the lowly Hoody/Hoodie into a Political or is it a Racial — Exclamation Point!

Trayvon Martin

 People are donning Hoodies and what…daring vigilantes to shoot them…?

In rallies, marches and online petitions, people are demanding that the 17-year-old’s alleged killer George Zimmerman should be arrested…that the police chief be drummed out-of-town!

Hoodies have become a national symbol of Oppression…?

I URGE CAUTION!

Over and over again we see examples where we rush to judgment, especially in cases including race, WITHOUT waiting for ALL the facts to fall into place. Wait! Maybe there are no MORE facts – but wait!

Yes – 28-year-old Zimmerman could be a racist – maybe! Or a hotheaded vigilante – maybe!

The town of Sanford (median family income 2009: 50K) describes itself as: “one of Central Florida’s oldest incorporated cities, is home to brick lined streets, towering oaks, elegant store-fronts and large, nineteenth-century Victorian homes.”

Yes – police in Sanford could be morons and insensitive racial-profiling jerks – maybe!

Trayvon Martin could be a saint – maybe!

Sanford, FL - Lake Monroe

 BUT WE DON’T KNOW…

Those of us who were not there, who get their news from third-party sources like TV or the internet, who have NOT spoken to either of those involved, who do not KNOW the individuals involved, should NOT rush to try, convict and demand execution at this point.

There are things we know – and things we don’t know. Or do we?

OK, things that make sense – and things that don’t make sense – to non-legal brains like mine!

For instance, Zimmerman’s claims of self-defense under Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law.

People are blaming the law. Just because people abuse the law does not mean it’s a bad law! If someone wants to f-uss with you, just shoot ’em all. Self Defense…YOU ARE STANDING YOUR GROUND. 

Sanford, FL

Unless the law does not care what circumstances lead up to the feeling of being threatened? So I can punch you, but if you pull out a knife than I can shoot you…? YOU follow the person and, I suspect, don’t just follow at a distance, silently, (person stops-you stop) far enough away to observe but not interact…?

  • Cops tell you DON’T follow the person, but you follow anyway…?
  • YOU create an environment of provocation where a likely outcome is either you confront  the person or the person confronts you…?
  • THEN shoot and kill in self-defense…? Because now you’re feeling threatened…? Is that why you were following and baiting the person..? You were afraid? STANDING YOUR GROUND?
  • Seems to me your left your ground a ways back – way over there!

I’m obviously missing something ’cause I don’t get it.

So who was Trayvon Martin? What kind of kid was he? Information now coming out paints Trayvon in a less than stellar light. Police have leaked some information about Trayvon being suspended from school over issues like marijuana possession – traces found in his bag? Does marijuana possession make you a bad person? ‘Cause then some Presidents are going down!

What if Trayvon was the worst thug know to police.  “Just walking along, minding his business in a thug kind of way?” Even then, based on what I’ve heard SO FAR, seems to me Zimmerman would still be wrong.

But…? Yeah – but! Do we know ALL? Maybe. Maybe not!

Might there be more to know? Maybe yes. Maybe no.

Still – Let’s wait. Zimmerman’s friends and counsel are hinting that there is more. Bring it! What if there is more…?

Trayvon Martin's Parents

I can’t see many scenarios that would make Zimmerman look better. The kid was holding a bottle of Iced Tea and a bag of candy, for goodness sake! Not a spiked club!

Did Trayvon grab the gun? If I got into a scuffle with somebody packing a gun, I’d try to grab that gun too!

Last I checked, anyone, including blacks, can walk a public area in America without being considered guilty of a crime UNTIL the person’s actually committed a crime. We can’t shoot and kill people just because WE think the person looks likely to commit a crime.

What if I locked myself out of my home, got a ride to work, then called and asked someone to go to my house and break a window to get my keys?

Should a neighborhood watch vigilante who does not know the person I sent shoot and kill that person?

Trayvon Rally

No! Mr./Ms. Neighborhood vigilante should call the cops, who will come and do their job – meaning they will not assume that my relative, friend, co-worker is a thief who is trying to break in, but will order the person to climb down and explain him/herself. Then they will call me and I’ll explain – and they’ll say sorry, misunderstanding, and I’ll say: You were doing your job.

That’s THEIR job! The cops. Paid and trained by you to handle such cases. That’s why you/we wait…for the cops to arrive.

Why we should wait now, before rushing to judgment. Much as it looks like a cut and dried case, WE DON’T KNOW.

Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton go home!!! Just go home. If it turns out that the version we’re hearing is indeed what happened, THEN come back!

In the meantime, my advice to some kids:

  • No hoodies

    Sanford Police Chief

  • No Skittles
  • No bottled drinks!

Any one of these can be construed as a liability. But apparently when combined, all three constitute enough of a threat that Stand Your Ground Law or NO Stand Your Ground Law, you won’t have a leg to stand on!

Workplace Shootings Double Standards

Here’s a quick quiz for you:

There were 5, 071 workplace fatalities in the U.S. last year. 517 of them were workplace homicides.

I am going to give you a list of Work Place Shooters and I’d like you to tell me what their Religion was:

 March 20, 2000: Fired employee Robert Harris, 28, fatally shoots five people at a Dallas, Texas area car wash.
HIS RELIGION..?

 December 30, 1999: Authorities say housekeeper Silvio Izquierdo-Leyva, 36, fatally shoots five co-workers at Tampa’s Radisson Bay Harbor hotel in Florida.
HIS RELIGION..?

 November 2, 1999: Copier repairman Byran Uyesugi, 40, fatally shoots seven people at the Xerox Corporation in Honolulu, Hawaii.
HIS RELIGION…?

 August 5, 1999: Truck driver Alan E. Miller, 35, fatally shoots two co-workers at Pelham, Alabama. office, then kills former co-worker.
HIS RELIGION…?

 July 29, 1999: Former day trader Mark Barton, 44, kills nine people at two Atlanta brokerage offices and later commits suicide.
HIS RELIGION…?

 March 6, 1998: Former Connecticut Lottery accountant Matthew Beck, 35, fatally shoots four lottery executives, then himself.
HIS RELIGION…?

 December. 18, 1997: Fired employee Arturo R. Torres, 43, kills four former co-workers at maintenance yard in Orange, California and is shot to death by police.
HIS RELIGION…?

 September 15, 1997: Fired assembly line worker Arthur H. Wise, 43, allegedly opens fire at Aiken, South Carolina parts plant, killing four.
HIS RELIGION…?

 April 24, 1996: Firefighter Kenneth Tornes kills four superiors at a Jackson, Mississippi firehouse.
HIS RELIGION…?

 April 3, 1995: Former employee James Simpson, 28, fatally shoots five people at refinery inspection station in Corpus Christi, Texas, then kills himself.
HIS RELIGION…?

 July 19, 1995: City electrician Willie Woods fatally shoots four supervisors at the C. Erwin Piper Technical Center in Los Angeles, California.
HIS RELIGION…?

 February 2001: William D. Baker, 66, killed four people and himself at a Navistar International engine plant in Chicago area suburb, Melrose Park.
HIS RELIGION…?

 July 2003: New York City councilman Othniel Askew, 81, opened fire at City hall in killing one person – a fellow councilman and political rival.
HIS RELIGION…?

 August 2003: Salvador Tapia, 36, opened fire at a Chicago, Illinois auto supply warehouse where he used to work, killing six of its nine employees, including two of the company’s principals.
HIS RELIGION…?

 September 2009: Researcher Annie Le’s body is found strangled, stuffed in the wall of a research center at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. Her fellow Lab technician, Raymond Clark, 24, is arrested for her murder.
HIS RELIGION…?

 November, 2009: Jason Rodriguez, 40, a former employee of the engineering firm killed one person dead and injured five.
HIS RELIGION…?

We don’t know, do we! WE SHALL ASSUME THEY WERE ALL ATHEISTS!

November, 2009: Major Nidal Malik Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, opens fire at Fort Hood, Texas killing 13 and injuring about 30.
His RELIGION: Muslim.

We know that! It’s been repeated over and over and over. Why…?

Because he is a Muslim and that fits into our stereotype of Muslims as violent and terrorists? What else could make him snap except for his religion?

I’m not saying his religion is NOT a factor. I’m just saying until we know it’s a factor…we should leave it out.

We continuously try to distance ourselves from people in our stereotype who do unsocial things.

Nobody in the suburbs wants to be associated with the group of kids who spray Nazi symbols on a Synagogue…

I, as a black person, definitely do not want to be associated with gang bangers…

Yet we label ALL Muslims terrorists because a minority of Muslims subscribe to a terrorist ideology. Were Muslims behind the bombings in the UK/Northern Ireland conflict? Nope – just Protestants and Catholics fighting.

Is Pope Sylvester II a terrorist? At the end of the tenth century he “entreated the church universal to succor the church of Jerusalem, and to redeem a sepulcher which the prophet Isaiah had said should be a glorious one, and which the sons of the destroyer Satan were making inglorious.

The Turks were apparently pillaging the Holy Land…and this could not be allowed. So we got the Crusades, and of course these soldiers of religion went over to the Middle East and planted flowers…

The Muslims did not enslave thousands of blacks in the New World and try to Christianize the natives with whips and bondage! The people who were throwing shackled slaves overboard in the Atlantic to lighten their ships were NOT Muslims either!

Muslims did not rule South Africa under apartheid…

I believe all these atrocities were perpetrated by Christians…with a Bible in one hand!

Yet when these Bible loving souls open fire and kill people, we don’t say they are Baptists or Catholics, DO WE?

Fanatics occur in every religion…and Christianity has had and still has its fair share!

One British newspaper reports Hasan once gave a lecture to other doctors in which he said non-believers should be beheaded and have boiling oil poured down their throats. According to the paper Hasan also told colleagues at America’s top military hospital that non-Muslims were infidels condemned to hell who should be set on fire.

Thanks Britain. The Inca, the Maya, Native people in Australia, China and wherever you ventured during your “Conquests” think you were as bad, if not worse. I don’t think anyone will argue that you did not “terrorize” them…us. My Caribbean island was enslaved by you, too.

By the way, according to government figures, workplace killings are trending downwards. But apparently the current weak economy has boosted stress levels in many workplaces. Add to this the normal or abnormal levels of combat stress among the military, and we get incidents like the Fort Hood shooting.

It might be easier to blame Islam than taking a retrospective look at a military super-macho culture where admitting to stress is considered weak; a military that does not have enough avenues to deal with and recognize combat stress; an army that is overstretched/over-deployed…where commanders do not listen to soldiers who say they don’t want to return to combat situations, but will deploy you regardless.

(People try to kill themselves to get out of deployments or the military – but the military deploys them anyway. How many red, green, yellow, purple flags do you need?)

Easier to simply blame Islam (which may or may not be blameless)!

I suppose those soldiers who come home and kill their spouses/lovers were all Muslims, too?

I know nothing about ISLAM except what I too see/hear in the media. It is not a religion I want to follow. But it’s not the only one I don’t want to follow!

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