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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 1:46 pm 
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This is starting to make me angry and make me feel alienated from ALL of this year's GOP crop. I appreciated the remarks that Santorum, Gingrich and Romney made yesterday about the tragic murder of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed 17 year old kid who was shot by a neighborhood watchman who weight 110 pounds more than him because he "looked suspicious." But their follow-up comments that I heard from both Gingrich and Santorum this morning, which attacked the President for saying that if he had a son, the son would look like Trayvon - which I think was a personal comment coming from a father and not the least bit divisive - just makes me very angry.

It's like someone whispered in their ears ("nice comments giving your condolences over the murdered child. But you forgot to attack the President!"). And they said "Dolt! You're right ... I'll take care of that tomorrow."

Personally, I don't at all feel that the President was trying to be divisive with this remark nor imply that the killing of any child of any color wouldn't be equally tragic. WHY IS IT THAT THIS YEAR'S CROP OF GOP CANDIDATES FEELS DUTY-BOUND TO CRITICIZE EVERY THING THAT THE PRESIDENT DOES, 24 HOURS A DAY, 7 DAYS A WEEK, WITHOUT CESSATION?

I disagree with the President on many, many issues. I will never vote for him because of his stances on abortion, the sanctity of marriage and his approach to fiscal matters. However, it is driving me crazy and beginning to completely alienate me - even though I am a conservative - that at this most sensitive of times, when people are already upset and mourning, they just can't hold back. Please, please tell them all to just be quiet.


http://slatest.slate.com/posts/2012/03/24/gingrich_obama_trayvon_remark_was_appaling_divisive.html

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President Obama has been widely praised for his comments about the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. “If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon,” Obama said Friday. Newt Gingrich, however, saw the president’s words as “disgraceful” and “appalling.” In Sean Hannity’s radio show, Gingrich blasted the president for mentioning Martin’s race, saying he was purposefully being divisive, reports ABC News.

“What the president said in a sense is disgraceful. It’s not a question of who that young man looked like,” Gingrich said. “Any young American of any ethnic background should be safe period. We should all be horrified no matter what the ethnic background. Is the president suggesting that if it had been a white who had been shot that would be ok because it didn’t look like him?”


I can't find it on the internet, but I did hear what I thought was a similar sounding attack on the "divisive" comment from Senator Santorum. If I'm wrong and it turns out that he didn't say this, I'll apologize. But, my God, these guys really need to learn how to turn it off from time to time. I'm simmering.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 1:53 pm 
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Governor Huckabee would have the sensibility and common sense to just comment on the tragedy and not cause even more hurt and anger by not being able to walk past an opportunity to politicize a simple comment meant for sympathy. No wonder he didn't run this time. Everyone is trying to serve up as much red meat as possible instead of a healthier diet of conservative principles without the side helping of intense personal animus.

The longer time goes on since last May when Huck decided not to run, the greater he looks and the smaller everyone else looks in comparison.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 2:50 pm 
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Agreed that they shouldn't have said anything. If you're running for president, you should be prudent and pick your battles ever carefully. Most of your thoughts should go unexpressed.

I'm not running for president, so here're my thoughts. It's hard for me to see Obama's injection into this as anything other than primarily political. I watched the Cspan conference where he made the remark. It was an announcement of his World Bank appointee. There was one question afterwards, it was about the Martin incident. Felt like Obama knew the question was coming, and I think his people either prompted it or allowed it because Obama needs to turn out black voters in Nov. like he did in 08, and this is where he can say, "I'm one of you," in a powerful way.

Ordinarily Obama doesn't take questions at that kind of announcement. In fact, he's notorious for avoiding questions at those announcements. Anytime he deviates from that pattern, it's likely calculated.

I don't blame the president for chiming in, but I also don't see why it's a national issue being obsessed about 24/7 on Msnbc.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 5:02 pm 
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It's a national issue because a child was murdered in cold blood and the person who shot him still has both his freedom and his gun. Because the police did not bother to take critical information from witnesses or seem to do much investigation until the public pressure mounted, as if they were investigating the case of a stolen newspaper. Because a person in Florida can be arrested for shooting an alligtor but yet a child killer is still free.

I think it was pretty political to use thus situation as a pretext for attacking a political rival. As Mitt Romney might say, it was severely classless.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 5:32 pm 
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Where was O or Sharpton, when the thirteen year old white boy,in Kansas, was just doused with gas and set on fire by 2 black kids, just for being white? I didnt see anyone protesting about that child or hear Obama speaking out.
Notice the media was only showing old pics of this boy,from when he was very young and then they scrubed the pics from his facebook showing his true age. They painted him as a little kid that went for candy and got killed by a racist.
They didnt bother (for weeks) to tell of the witness that saw the kid jump on Zimmerman and beat the tar out of him, when he was walking to get back in his truck.It was him,not the kid,yelling for help. He had deep cuts, a broken nose and head wounds. He and his wife mentor 2 AA children and did fundraisers for the local AA church. Alot of his neighbors that he was protecting were blacks. Doesnt sound like a racist to me.
I thought what Newt said about Obama was right on. I think Obama meant to be divisive and I am tired of them using a tragedy to rally votes.
The law should handle this and not the media or the President.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 5:40 pm 
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TheValuesVoter wrote:
It's a national issue because a child was murdered in cold blood and the person who shot him still has both his freedom and his gun. Because the police did not bother to take critical information from witnesses or seem to do much investigation until the public pressure mounted, as if they were investigating the case of a stolen newspaper. Because a person in Florida can be arrested for shooting an alligtor but yet a child killer is still free.

I think it was pretty political to use thus situation as a pretext for attacking a political rival. As Mitt Romney might say, it was severely classless.


Cold blood?
http://www.examiner.com/charleston-cons ... von-martin

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They waste, they wither worse; they as they run
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All is from wreck, here, there, to rescue one—
Work which to see scarce so much as begun
Makes welcome death, does dear forgetfulness.
Or what is else? There is your world within.
There rid the dragons, root out there the sin.
Your will is law in that small commonweal…
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 6:58 pm 
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Yeah, we need to wait for more information before jumping to strong conclusions about this case. A witness claims that Zimmerman acted in self defense. I'm not going to conclude that's the final word because it's too early to know.

I do agree that the candidates should have stayed away from criticizing the President. That being said, I also think the President has a habit of making statements about certain cases almost immediately after they happen and he should also be slow to make statements.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 8:04 pm 
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I agree, Ken. And TVV, I'll grant you the comment you have posted sounds annoyingly similar to the "racist card" attacks so many of us have been slammed with for so long delivered in reverse, however, if we're going to criticize the GOP candidates for using this death as a political opportunity, shouldn't we be consistent and criticize Obama for doing so as well? I mean, "if I had a son, he would look like Trayvon" - I'm sorry, but how much more blatant can his clearly calculated attempt to emotionally manipulate get?


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 8:04 pm 
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This reminds me of the Crowley/Gates situation in Cambridge where Obama ended up having to have his beer summit.

Better to wait until ALL the facts are in before making a public statement that can affect the whole country.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 8:25 pm 
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Miserere wrote:
TheValuesVoter wrote:
It's a national issue because a child was murdered in cold blood and the person who shot him still has both his freedom and his gun. Because the police did not bother to take critical information from witnesses or seem to do much investigation until the public pressure mounted, as if they were investigating the case of a stolen newspaper. Because a person in Florida can be arrested for shooting an alligtor but yet a child killer is still free.

I think it was pretty political to use thus situation as a pretext for attacking a political rival. As Mitt Romney might say, it was severely classless.


Cold blood?
http://www.examiner.com/charleston-cons ... von-martin


Yes. Cold blood.

The article you referenced is an opinion piece that is posted by an individual with a somewhat interesting history of posted articles. I did not hear about the witness who said that Martin had the shooter on the ground. I did see three different witness on television stating emphatically that they had seen the incident in the moments before the shooting and that it was absolutely not, in their minds, a case of self-defense.

I have a difficult time beliving that a 140 pound 17 year-old boy is going to be able to wrestle to the ground and pin to the ground a 28 year old 250 pound man. And I have heard multiple witnesses state that the boy was on the ground with the watchman on top of him.

Now, I'm not actually trying to play judge and jury. I'm just saying that a judge and a jury - or at least a grand jury - should evaluate the evidence.

I don't subscribe to the idea that the shooting was racially motivated as some have suggested. I don't necessarily believe that the shooter was a racist. I do think that the shooter was somewhat unstable, given his 2005 arrest for assaulting an undercover cop and a subsequent charge of domestic violence. I do think that police should have tested his blood to see whether or not he was on drugs. I think that the investigation should have begun in earnest immediately as there are a lot of investigative components - surveillence video, clothing, etc., that would have provided great investigative value if captured immediately.

I thought yesterday's tone from all the candidates was perfect. They voiced sympathy for the family and all stated that the investigation did not seem to have been handled well to date. But I thought that it was simply cheap to come back to the topic today with a political attack upon the comment "if I had a son, Trayvon would look like him." How that comment could be construed as divisive, I don't quite understand. Many people of all colors have been alarmed by this case and have said variants of "that could have been my son."

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 8:35 pm 
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Quote:
But I thought that it was simply cheap to come back to the topic today with a political attack upon the comment "if I had a son, Trayvon would look like him." How that comment could be construed as divisive, I don't quite understand. Many people of all colors have been alarmed by this case and have said variants of "that could have been my son."
And I don't see why you see the comments as being indistinguishable. scratch

I can see a comment like That could have been my son" made along the lines of "That could have been my son, or your son, or anyone else's son..." But that's not what O said. No, he had to "personalize" it further to the point that it becomes about him - once again, everything points back at O and is somehow a reflection of him. :roll:


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 8:38 pm 
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FL4Huck wrote:
Where was O or Sharpton, when the thirteen year old white boy,in Kansas, was just doused with gas and set on fire by 2 black kids, just for being white? I didnt see anyone protesting about that child or hear Obama speaking out.


I've never heard of this case - what happened? As far as I'm concerned, everybody needs to be concerned about any crime that happens to any victim. And any crime that is committed with racial hatred as a motive - in either direction - needs to be prosecuted as a hate crime.

I don't think of the shooting as necessarily being racially motivated. I do think it was at least severe recklessness. I also think that the investigation was virtually non-existent, based on all the things that were not done (example: subjecting the shooter to testing to see if he was on anything, talking to the several witnesses who have gone on public record to say that they tried to reach out to the police but were not able to give their stories or who were encouraged to revise them).

Quote:
Notice the media was only showing old pics of this boy,from when he was very young and then they scrubed the pics from his facebook showing his true age. They painted him as a little kid that went for candy and got killed by a racist.
They didnt bother (for weeks) to tell of the witness that saw the kid jump on Zimmerman and beat the tar out of him, when he was walking to get back in his truck.It was him,not the kid,yelling for help. He had deep cuts, a broken nose and head wounds. He and his wife mentor 2 AA children and did fundraisers for the local AA church. Alot of his neighbors that he was protecting were blacks. Doesnt sound like a racist to me.


Like I said, I don't know enough to know if the guy is a racist. Actually, I think that whether or not he's a racist is irrelevant. I think that, in general, no matter who you are, when you shoot a person who is completely unarmed and in public, you should be charged with a crime. And I think that when you outweigh the guy by a hundred pounds and the guy is a minor, it really diminishes the argument that it is self-defense - an argument that should in itself be almost completely vanquished by the fact that the other person has no weapon of any sort.


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I thought what Newt said about Obama was right on. I think Obama meant to be divisive and I am tired of them using a tragedy to rally votes.
The law should handle this and not the media or the President.


The law wasn't handling it until the media brought attention to the case, which in turn created the public outrage that was necessary to have the case taken seriously. I didn't get the impression that most people were bothered by what the President said. But I don't like seeing this tragedy being used to make cheap political attacks that don't either resolve the investigation or bring the country together.

One thing that has been good about this tragedy is that, so far, I haven't seen racial division emerging from this. It has seemed that people of all backgrounds are concerned about this. I have lived my entire life with a focus upon racial reconciliation and I care about everybody of every background. We need to come together as a country and stop dividing ourselves into little camps and tribes. I don't like seeing certain groups of knuckleheads - like the Black Panthers - capitalizing on this type of thing. But I also don't like seeing every little thing being used as a trojan horse for a political bashing. Yesterday's comments were great and unifying. Today's were the opposite and diverted attention away from the quest to figure out exactly what happened here.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 8:53 pm 
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QuoVadisAnima wrote:
I agree, Ken. And TVV, I'll grant you the comment you have posted sounds annoyingly similar to the "racist card" attacks so many of us have been slammed with for so long delivered in reverse, however, if we're going to criticize the GOP candidates for using this death as a political opportunity, shouldn't we be consistent and criticize Obama for doing so as well? I mean, "if I had a son, he would look like Trayvon" - I'm sorry, but how much more blatant can his clearly calculated attempt to emotionally manipulate get?


I'm sorry that's the way you hear it.

I haven't actually accused anyone of being racist and I don't think that the dominant part of the shooting investigation should involve race. It's about the fact that a grown man shot an unarmed kid on the street and the fact that the investigation just did not seem to be handled well at all.

If the words "if I had a son, he would look like Trayvon" are very offensive to you, I've got to have a conversation with you about the many things that I've heard politicians that I agree with on the issues say that I think are offensive. I actually don't think he was just talking about skin color. Trayvon Martin had a facial structure that looked somewhat similar to that of the President. Anyway, I don't understand how that could be divisive and would love to be educated on why that makes people feel left out or offended.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 8:58 pm 
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Sadly this kind of divide happens all too regularly. We have again a cause celebre in which what one sees will be heavily influenced by where one stands.

What we are seeing most are peoples basic "default" settings. Do you trust or distrust police and what they tell you? Do you trust or distrust media and what they tell you? What about specific media like FOX or MSNBC? Do you trust or distrust the idea of of a citizen watch group? Does notion of someone riding around with a phone reporting on what they think is suspicious behavior make you uneasy? What about youths in warm weather with hoodies pulled up over their heads? Does that make you suspicious? How about when Sharpton or Gingrich or Rush weigh in? Does what any of them say cause you to rally more toward one set of assumption or another.

The sad fact is that we all profile all the time. We rush to judgement often because past experiences have convinced us that there is nothing more we need to know. We also rush to judgement because sometimes time is not our friend. Survival can depend on a swift assessment of risk. That means going with what you think based on the odds and your own experience rather than some kind of meticulous gathering of the facts. When time is of the essence such a rush is not only understandable it is completely justified.

But Presidents and those who wish to be Presidents should refrain from swift judgments UNLESS time is of the essence. Time is NOT a critical issue in this case. We do not have some sort of cascading 1919 race riot erupting in Sanford Florida. We have a homicide. A life has been taken and the reason for that is worthy of as much concern as any other. We also have a legal presumption of innocence. I hope and pray that justice will be done, but I fear that the truth in this case will be measured far too much in accordance with one's allegiances to groups, institutions, and political philosophies.

The one thing that I do not believe is true is that Americans are in any way OK with the idea that a teen can be killed so long as he is black. I just don't think that's true of us as a people. If he was murdered, especially because of his race, the vast majority of Americans will readily condemn that act. If he died in a tragic collision of false assumptions they will mourn it and many will want to see those assumptions challenged. Whatever the case, no one in the public sphere is indifferent to the taking of life.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 9:09 pm 
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QuoVadisAnima wrote:
I agree, Ken. And TVV, I'll grant you the comment you have posted sounds annoyingly similar to the "racist card" attacks so many of us have been slammed with for so long delivered in reverse, however, if we're going to criticize the GOP candidates for using this death as a political opportunity, shouldn't we be consistent and criticize Obama for doing so as well? I mean, "if I had a son, he would look like Trayvon" - I'm sorry, but how much more blatant can his clearly calculated attempt to emotionally manipulate get?

I'm sorry that's the way you hear it.

I haven't actually accused anyone of being racist and I don't think that the dominant part of the shooting investigation should involve race. It's about the fact that a grown man shot an unarmed kid on the street and the fact that the investigation just did not seem to be handled well at all.
No, what I was trying to say was that the comment from Gingrich sounded reminiscent of the stuff that the left has constantly thrown at anyone who criticizes O - except that he was turning it back on them.

If the words "if I had a son, he would look like Trayvon" are very offensive to you, I've got to have a conversation with you about the many things that I've heard politicians that I agree with on the issues say that I think are offensive. I actually don't think he was just talking about skin color. Trayvon Martin had a facial structure that looked somewhat similar to that of the President. Anyway, I don't understand how that could be divisive and would love to be educated on why that makes people feel left out or offended.
"very offensive"? Not at all. Just politically calculated is all. It reminds me of the garbage that was flying around after Giffords of AZ got shot.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 9:53 pm 
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TheValuesVoter wrote:
If the words "if I had a son, he would look like Trayvon" are very offensive to you, I've got to have a conversation with you about the many things that I've heard politicians that I agree with on the issues say that I think are offensive. I actually don't think he was just talking about skin color. Trayvon Martin had a facial structure that looked somewhat similar to that of the President. Anyway, I don't understand how that could be divisive and would love to be educated on why that makes people feel left out or offended.
I can only speak for myself but I am not offended by the statement by Obama, but I do believe that it suggests that he identifies with the person who was killed when the facts are not all in and it has not been adjudicated in a court of law to help clarify what might have really happened.

I'm not defending Zimmerman by any means but I am simply stating that it's too early for anyone to be making definitive statements about what happened (or implying their take on it is in fact what actually happened).

Anyway, I still agree with TVV on Gingrich and Santorum's follow up remarks and wish they had just kept with their original remarks and left it at that. I also wish the President wouldn't cherry pick the incidents he decides to weigh in, especially so soon after they have happened.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 12:49 am 
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TVV, I am so sorry that this is upsetting you so much. I am sure you are not the only one.

This is not the first, nor will it be the last run for the President where the current President gets criticized relentlessly by the candidates, regardless of the party in power, or his color. Think back to Bush, Clinton, etc.

I have a lot of different feelings about all of this and, as has been said, don't know all of the facts, so it is hard to know what really happened. I agree that not enough was done at the time to determine who was at fault. Although, what I am about to write is a mixed up mess of thoughts (I am not as good of a writer as yourself or many others on this board), I will try to convey the feelings of this white, middle-aged mama of four, since you have asked.

Regardless of whether he was a victim of prejudice or died as the result of bad choices, my heart breaks for the family and friends of this young man.

Because of the color of each involved and the media coverage, this has become a national race issue.

Because of the underlying issue of race in this country, these crimes immediately stir up history and past feelings that are still raw despite decades of attempts to heal. Al Sharpton jumps in and others like him and try to make it their own battle against injustice as they have in the past and it divides our nation once again (not that the healing has ever completely occurred).

Because we have a black President, and his comments may appear to some as divisive because of past comments he has made, the problem is magnified, and of course, the press will use this opportunity to ask the candidates about it, then talk about their comments endlessly, or until something else comes along, to create "news".

Although, as Mis stated, O's comment may have been a set up, and no doubt rehearsed or even written for O, I do think that it was a sincere heartfelt realization that if he had a son, that son could also have faced the prejudice of this (perceived) hateful man or someone like him, and it could very well have happened to him. How could he not? It is a fear that any parent of any minority group must have. It, no doubt, brought to the surface the fear and horror of what his own daughters might face.

In some ways, I think his comment was good, because it reminded those of us who don't face prejudice and racial hate on a regular basis of the pain and fear of those that do. It gave us a window into the feelings of a father of a minority child that many may not have even thought of.

On the other hand, once again, some may see it as O's comment came back around and centered on "me" and how it would affect "me" instead of focusing on the grieving family. I understand where Newt and Rick and others are coming from, as they may have seen it as another attempt by the President to divide our country by class or by race by stepping out from being just an American and President to all, and around the invisible, yet way too often visible wall that divides, and into the ugly racial world of those like Sharpton and Jackson of "us against them".

The "race card" is played way too often in this country and those who attempt to use it so frequently, no doubt, are sick of what they feel is the need to; however, those of us on the other side, who have no racial prejudice in our bones or even those who continually fight off such feelings knowing that God created us all equal, are sick of it being brought out. It somehow cheapens the sorrow that our nation as a whole feels when a tragedy involving any American and in this case any child, regardless of color, occurs. It somehow says, you don't know; you are not one of us; you, because you are white, are part of the problem; therefore, you have no right to come along side of us and mourn or feel the way we feel.

A huge part of me totally understands that need, (and after all, who am I who has never faced real racial prejudice -other than perhaps momentarily while traveling - or walked in their shoes, to even comment on it); yet another part of me says please stop it, because it only further divides.

I want to say to them, please do not place back on that invisible wall the bricks that have been torn down over the years by making every issue where people of color are involved, a "racial" issue. We know we cannot feel the pain or fear that is felt, we know that we have not had to experience what those who are minorities have had to, we know that those who came before us allowed hate and prejudice to treat others as not equal (and some of our generation sadly still do); but don't turn us away when we try to understand. And please do not keep making it an issue when it is not.

Please do not think that the majority of Americans of any race do not feel the pain of this child's parents and loved ones. And if indeed, this death is found to be a result of prejudice vs. self-defense, then allow all of us, not just those in the black community, to mourn and feel the pain of such a sad and unfair loss.

And try to understand that it may not just be politics that drives someone in the national spotlight to say to someone who they feel is doing so, put the brick down and stop adding to the divide.



Post by IowaforHuckabee has received Likes: 4 maryrae, mxnwilson, Polly A, TheValuesVoter
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 1:03 am 
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A good article that gives us another glimpse into that window that I spoke of above.

http://www.mediacomtoday.com/news/read.php?rip_id=%3CD9TMT4N80%40news.ap.org%3E&ps=1018&page=1

Quote:
Trayvon Martin, my son, and the Black Male Code
By JESSE WASHINGTON AP National Writer The Associated Press
Saturday, March 24, 2012 12:51 PM EDT

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — I thought my son would be much older before I had to tell him about the Black Male Code. He's only 12, still sleeping with stuffed animals, still afraid of the dark. But after the Trayvon Martin tragedy, I needed to explain to my child that soon people might be afraid of him.

We were in the car on the way to school when a story about Martin came on the radio. "The guy who killed him should get arrested. The dead guy was unarmed!" my son said after hearing that neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman had claimed self-defense in the shooting in Sanford, Fla.

We listened to the rest of the story, describing how Zimmerman had spotted Martin, who was 17, walking home from the store on a rainy night, the hood of his sweatshirt pulled over his head. When it was over, I turned off the radio and told my son about the rules he needs to follow to avoid becoming another Trayvon Martin — a black male who Zimmerman assumed was "suspicious" and "up to no good."

As I explained it, the Code goes like this:

Always pay close attention to your surroundings, son, especially if you are in an affluent neighborhood where black folks are few. Understand that even though you are not a criminal, some people might assume you are, especially if you are wearing certain clothes.

Never argue with police, but protect your dignity and take pride in humility. When confronted by someone with a badge or a gun, do not flee, fight, or put your hands anywhere other than up.

Please don't assume, son, that all white people view you as a threat. America is better than that. Suspicion and bitterness can imprison you. But as a black male, you must go above and beyond to show strangers what type of person you really are.

I was far from alone in laying out these instructions. Across the country this week, parents were talking to their children, especially their black sons, about the Code. It's a talk the black community has passed down for generations, an evolving oral tradition from the days when an errant remark could easily cost black people their job, their freedom, or sometimes their life.


There are two more pages to this article that I recommend reading. This was on page 3.

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I am 6-4 and more than 200 pounds, son. You probably will be too. Depending on how we dress, act and speak, people might make negative assumptions about us. That doesn't mean they must be racist; it means they must be human.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 1:16 am 
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Thank you, TVV, for feeling comfortable enough on this board to tell us how you feel in these situations and for continuing to teach us. We are blessed to share this community with you.



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 1:30 am 
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IowaforHuckabee wrote:
TVV, I am so sorry that this is upsetting you so much. I am sure you are not the only one.


Thanks very much, Iowa, for your thoughtful response. Although I started this thread blaring away with my feelings on this issue, I guess I really wanted to talk about the issue. I really appreciate you trying to understand.


Quote:
This is not the first, nor will it be the last run for the President where the current President gets criticized relentlessly by the candidates, regardless of the party in power, or his color. Think back to Bush, Clinton, etc.


You are right. And honestly, I was very protective of President Bush in that I hated the way that the left treated him. I did not like the intense personal hatred that many had toward President Clinton. I think I really don't like it when I think people are almost obsessed with a personal dislike of a leader to the point where it almost blinds them. I didn't like it when I saw that against any of these guys.

Quote:
I have a lot of different feelings about all of this and, as has been said, don't know all of the facts, so it is hard to know what really happened. I agree that not enough was done at the time to determine who was at fault. Although, what I am about to write is a mixed up mess of thoughts (I am not as good of a writer as yourself or many others on this board), I will try to convey the feelings of this white, middle-aged mama of four, since you have asked.


You're a great writer ... and you are right in that no one completely knows what happened except for the two individuals, one of whom is now deceased. I think this is why many feel it is so urgent that a full and competent legal process determines exactly what happened and leaves no piece of evidence untouched.

Quote:
Regardless of whether he was a victim of prejudice or died as the result of bad choices, my heart breaks for the family and friends of this young man.


Amen. My heart breaks for the survivors for every crime victim, but especially for children, who have their whole lives in front of them, who are taken away by violent crime. I don't personally know enough to think that he was killed "because he was black." I haven't even been focused on the race angle of the shooting itself. My focus is that he was unarmed and that he was not doing anything wrong. He was in a place where he had a right to be, was minding his business and ran into a strange man who was not a police officer, was not wearing a uniform and who was following him. I can imagine that if I were in his position and saw a strange dude following me, I might think that he was a child predator or something. Why is this guy following me around and driving behind me in his car??

Quote:
Because of the color of each involved and the media coverage, this has become a national race issue.


We really need to use this as an opportunity to come together instead of an excuse to divide ourselves again. And I don't think that this needs to be an issue of division. It probably doesn't help when divisive people take center stage and cause further division just by their very presence. But we all need to be invested in ensuring that any situation in which an American is killed for no reason does not happen. The demographics should not matter. We need to get to the point where we care about the life of every American, whether they are from our ethnic group or not, and care that the Justice and Law Enforcement processes treat every person's life with equal importance. I think that many Americans do feel this way.

Quote:
Because of the underlying issue of race in this country, these crimes immediately stir up history and past feelings that are still raw despite decades of attempts to heal. Al Sharpton jumps in and others like him and try to make it their own battle against injustice as they have in the past and it divides our nation once again (not that the healing has ever completely occurred).


This is what I was alluding to, in part, when I mentioned that when divisive people get involved, more hostity often arises.

I've said a couple of times that I don't view race as the primary driver necessarily in the shooting itself. I will be honest, however in saying that I have a very hard time imagining that the law enforcement response would have seemed so disinterested in getting to the bottom of the situation if Trayvon Martin had been a white kid. I may be wrong but I just couldn't imagine the situation occurring where, in this scenario, the police would not bother finding out the child's identity, would take the shooter's word that it was a case of self-defense, would fail to determine whether or not the shooter was on a controlled substance at the time of the shooting, would refuse to release the 911 calls and would insist that there was no evidence to dispute the shooter's testimony even as multiple witnesses tried to contact police to offer their contradictory testimony. I consider you all friends and I'm being honest and transparent with you when I say this, so please take this in that spirit. But I just can't imagine the case having been handled so cavalierly for as long as it was handled that way in the other scenario.

Quote:
I want to say to them, please do not place back on that invisible wall the bricks that have been torn down over the years by making every issue where people of color are involved, a "racial" issue. We know we cannot feel the pain or fear that is felt, we know that we have not had to experience what those who are minorities have had to, we know that those who came before us allowed hate and prejudice to treat others as not equal (and some of our generation sadly still do); but don't turn us away when we try to understand. And please do not keep making it an issue when it is not.


And I say "amen" to what you are saying and will say it also. I don't believe in viewing the world as "us" versus "them." We're an American family. We stand together or fall together. We tend to sometimes retreat back to our historical boundaries. But we can't stay there. And this shouldn't be an issue where we take sides of being with "us" or against "them." I think that this is something that everyone can relate to in one way or another. I also think that everyone has an ability to understand what it's like, to one degree or another, to be prejudged.

Quote:
Please do not think that the majority of Americans of any race do not feel the pain of this child's parents and loved ones. And if indeed, this death is found to be a result of prejudice vs. self-defense, then allow all of us, not just those in the black community, to mourn and feel the pain of such a sad and unfair loss.

And try to understand that it may not just be politics that drives someone in the national spotlight to say to someone who they feel is doing so, put the brick down and stop adding to the divide.


I don't think that most Americans don't feel the pain or sympathize. I would just like to see no one use this situation for political gain or as a means of attacking each other. It just seems to cheapen the pain caused by this tragic loss of this young man.

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