Stand Your Ground About To Stand Trial

Trayvon Martin was an ordinary, average 17 year old kid. Well, mainly average and ordinary. He was also black in a south Florida town, which some people think is a crime until itself. I would assume as most ordinary and average 17 year olds go, Trayvon never gave any thoughts to starting a movement to reverse insane NRA-written gun laws, or to strike back against the bigotry and discrimination hurled against most black people in the U.S. throughout every waking hour of their days. And in fact, Trayvon on his own didn’t start those twin movements. George Zimmerman did–by choosing to pump a 9mm slug into Trayvon’s chest under very shadowy and suspect circumstances. Trayvon Martin’s parents didn’t realize at the beginning that they were at the genesis of two national movements; they were just trying to get justice for their son. There was such pushback from the white power structures among the police and Florida state government that they soon found that the only way to get justice was to grow these two movements in the name of their son.

George Zimmerman was charged today with second degree murder and taken into police custody. He will stand trial. At a press conference, one of the Martin family attorneys, Benjamin Crump, said something I have been saying for weeks and I will paraphrase: the Stand Your Ground law will be on trial along with Zimmerman. This is the third national movement that Zimmerman created that night.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has found something he hates worse than Occupy Wall Street: Stand Your Ground. And this time, Bloomberg is standing on the right side of the law. He is calling for the repeal of these types of laws from every state which has put them in place. Van Jones and Color Of Change have mounted all-out campaigns against ALEC and its member companies who are responsible for funding the politicians who voted and signed these laws into place. Thanks to COC, companies like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, the Bill and Melissa Gates Foundation, and Kraft Foods have dropped out of ALEC, with more corporations to follow. The back has been broken on ALEC, and perhaps the NRA as well.

These Stand Your Ground laws have spread to 32 states like a foreign weed. Under this law, justifiable homicides in Florida from 12 a year to an average of 36. This means that either a lot of killings got a bum rap before this enlightened law, written by the National Rifle Association and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), or else this law is now being used as a license to murder, with the police and the courts unable or unwilling to do anything about it.

What Stand Your Ground allows is for someone to setup an entrapment situation where they lure someone into their home—or even the street—where they can then blow them away and successfully claim self defense. The Martin family is extremely lucky that Zimmerman had such delusions of law enforcement grandeur and was so stupid that he botched it up for himself, and now everyone else trying to disguise their murderous deed within the law.

George Zimmerman did not “stand his ground” according to Special Prosecutor Angela Corey. In the words of Dennis Baxley, the Republican state representative who carried the SYG bill through the Florida House, Zimmerman chose to “pursue and confront”.

There is an old adage: “the truth shall set you free”. George Zimmerman and his surrogates have now learned the opposite lesson: perpetuating a lie will land you in jail facing a second degree murder charge.

Win or lose the Zimmerman trial, the genie is out of the bottle now. After almost 150 years, black folks feel they’re more than entitled to full citizenship in this country with all the legal and social and professional rights it bestows. And people in general feel that they no longer want to be subject to laws that essentially make them living targets so that the NRA can get more guns and bullets sold which stuffing its special interest campaign coffers so full of cash that they have to shoot the lock off to get the damned treasure chest open.

So to all you white racists who hide your Confederate flag tramp stamps above your ass, or anyone who fancies themselves the thing standing between civilization and black anarchy, it’s time to face reality: this is 2012 and a black man is the President of the United States. Blacks are people, too, my friend. Not sure I can say the same about you.

The Republicans Are Protecting George Zimmerman

It doesn’t make sense that George Zimmerman has gotten so much protection from the Sanford Police, the Florida State Attorney, and the Republican mass media. They’re all fighting his arrest and eventual trial. Why would this be?

Zimmerman is just a loose cannon with a homemade police officer badge but with a very real 9mm semiautomatic handgun. He thought he saw a black male in a hoodie sneaking around the condo complex in the dark and immediately profiled him as acting weird and up to something.

Zimmerman got out of his SUV and pursued Trayvon Martin even though the real cop on the other end of the phone told him “We don’t need you to do that” and Zimmerman answered “Okay”.

Everyone on the Left and the Right is expounding on why Stand Your Ground does or does not apply in this case. But Zimmerman’s own attorney, Craig Sonner, has stated Stand Your Ground doesn’t apply in this case, as has State Rep. Dennis Baxley, who introduced the bill into the Florida House, and former Florida governor, Jeb Bush, who signed it into law. Rick Scott, current Florida governor, took State Attorney Norm Wolfinger, who personally told Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee to turn Zimmerman loose, off the case. Again I ask: why would this be?

The answer is clear: the Florida Republicans enacted Stand Your Ground into law. Zimmerman claims he shot Trayvon Martin in self defense, which is what Stand Your Ground is all about. If the law doesn’t exist, maybe Zimmerman thinks twice before pulling out his gun. So it is being argued at the highest levels of the Republican Party that they have a serious exposure problem to this if  with this first high profile Stand Your Ground case, Zimmerman is arrested and goes to court. It won’t just be Zimmerman who’s put on trial but the Republican written, passed, and signed into law legislation. And this…is an election year.  And Jeb Bush, who signed the bill into law, is a potential Republican presidential candidate in 2016. If Zimmerman is tried and convicted, Bush would be the “Republican Governor Who Killed Trayvon Martin”. Not exactly a campaign slogan he’d want to see on bumper stickers.

So, that’s why the Republicans along with their media surrogates have circled the wagons on this one. I think it’s possible the “temporarily stepped aside” Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee may have seen the political implications of a male black kid being killed in cold blood by a half Peruvian cop wannabe claiming protection under the law and communicated this concern to Wolfinger. I don’t know both men’s political affiliation but I could reasonably guess it’s Republican. But this would be why Wolfinger got so personally involved THAT NIGHT to the point of meeting with Lee to override the lead homicide detective’s recommendation to arrest Zimmerman on a manslaughter charge.

18 states have passed Stand Your Ground laws, some of these signed into law by Democratic governors who were cravenly pandering to conservative voters, or perhaps had received healthy campaign contributions from the NRA and ALEC-affiliated groups, or just didn’t have the guts to stand up to both. 31 states have passed the so-called “Castle doctrine” into law, which is what Stand Your Ground is derived from.

So, since both the NRA and ALEC funnel so much money—primarily to the Republican Party who introduced and passed the overwhelming majority of these bills, they could also be accused of being accessories to the killing of Trayvon Martin. Once again, not a good thing in an election year, especially with ALEC now bleeding corporate members and the loss of their dues.

This is why Fox, Limbaugh, and all the Republican surrogates are attempting to frame this case as a “liberal” and an “attempt at dividing the races” thing because those words their fans can understand. Most people who turn on right wing shows don’t know how to think logically and see the big picture: that’s exactly why they watch and listen to those shows—it’s done for them so they don’t have to.

George Zimmerman himself is small potatoes and no one on the Right gives a whit about him. It’s the Stand Your Ground law he symbolizes which is the Right Wing lightening rod. If this (literally) fatally flawed law goes down, then everyone who was responsible for getting it enacted—which are primarily Republicans up for re-election or will be in a couple of years—goes down with it. And believe me, there are quite a few Democrats who deserve to go down in flames with them.

The Return Of Candidate Barack Obama?

President Obama just gave a speech at the AP Luncheon that was 99% magnificent and should have been given one year ago.

I say 99% magnificent because during the 1% when he was talking about the people who caused the financial disaster, he neglected to mention that many people who helped cause that financial disaster were given jobs in the Obama Administration—Treasury Secretary for example, and running the Federal Reserve.

But he did attack point after point why Paul Ryan’s budget plan—which Mitt Romney supports—would be the ruination of this country while making the top 1% even more very, very rich.

He did bring up that his own proposed budget—now lying dormant in the Republican-controlled Congress–was based on his Simpson-Bowles committee’s budget plan, but wisely stated he hadn’t agreed with all the Simpson-Bowles budget proposals. Whew, that was a close one!

But the President has always made great speeches but very often failed to follow it up with action, even if the action was merely speaking out against the Republicans the way he did today.

Let’s hope that with this speech, President Obama has decided to go back to his roots and goals that propelled him into popularity and the White House. And let’s hope his far overdue salvos on Republican policies and budget plans will be followed up with action to prevent them from ever seeing the light of day. No more compromises, Mr. President. No more reaching across the aisle only to have your hand slapped away. This is political warfare and the fate of the entire country and the world is at stake.