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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 2:09 am 
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Again, because I consider you all friends, and because situations like this should create opportunities to talk and understand each other more instead of causing us to harden our hearts and retreat into our comfortable little pockets, I'm going to share a personal angle of this with you all.

I grew up in a neighborhood in which I was blessed to have friends from every ethnic background. My two best friends were white. I had many black friends as well. We moved when I was entering junior high and my new neighborhood was also mixed but I had the opportunity to make friends with many Korean and Indian kids as well. One of the greatest things about my life is that I've gotten to build strong relationships with people of every hue, from many countries, and even of different faiths. One of the greatest learning experiences in life is the chance to get to know people who have different backgrounds than ourselves.

As a kid, I never really thought much about the issue of race. My best friends, a number of whom were white, were my brothers. I seldom thought about what race a particular person was and only occasionally was reminded that not everyone thought the same way.

I grew to be a pretty tall kid with a pretty deep voice. And although I was a very shy young man, as I crossed from childhood into manhood, I began to realize that a number of people who did not know me appeared to be afraid of me. Three of the personal attributes about myself that I had no control over - the year that I was born, my ancestry, and my gender - are the things that made me a young black man. These three God-preordained attributes are the thing that made people afraid of me, regardless of how polite I tried to be, regardless of how shy I was, regardless of how much I tried to reassure people that I was not going to hurt them, steal from them, or otherwise cause them harm. For a long time in my life, I felt that I was automatically deemed guilty and that I had to work very hard just to get back to parity and be officially proven to be innocent.

I remember that during my first job out of college, there were a couple of people who appeared to be deathly afraid when they found themselves walking in the same corridor as me. I remember what it was like to walk into a 7-11 to buy a soda at a time when there were no other customers and to uncomfortably watch the eyes of the clerk who looked as though she were absolutely positive that I was going to rob her.

I'm no longer quite so "young" and I've found that people are becoming less afraid of me as I lose hair and gain more of a fatherly look. But I have a young nephew who is regularly pulled over on the side of the road, even if he is not speeding or otherwise violating any traffic rule. He has had a police officer's gun pointed at his temple during a traffic stop. The traffic stops have happened so many times that he has developed a phobia of police. I have many friends in the Law Enforcement community and have recommended to him that he participates in police-citizen liason programs so that he can spend more time with police and, through a limited form of exposure therapy, get rid of his fear of them. He's my baby nephew and is a wonderful young man. He's a very intelligent young man and is an excellent writer. But he's tall and he's bulky. He has braided hair. People are afraid of him.

We all have to teach our kids the rules of life - how to work hard, develop a relationship with the Lord Jesus, how to be good citizens and to have good morals. But many African American families, including mine, feel the need to teach our children and especially our sons an additional set of rules. How to behave if we are pulled over by a police officer. How to avoid being accused of something by virtue of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. How to avoid the automatic assumption that some people have - before they even get to know us - that we're lazy, that we're stupid, that we're violent, that we're not patriotic, that we got hired because we're black. The reality that to a small subset of people, regardless of what we do or how much we accomplish, we're only one mistake from being relegated to the assumptions that are based on the most negative stereotypes of people who look like us.

I have friendships and even family relationships with people of many different ethnic backgrounds. I love people, period. I don't tend to view everything that happens to me in the filter of black and white and I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt and generally don't assume that something could have a racial motive until every other possibility is eliminated. But this situation touches a nerve for many as it touches upon lessons that we've been taught by our fathers for generations. The idea that we "look" guilty - regardless of our behavior or personal attributes. And the idea that a few miscalculations based on the assumption that we're guilty could end up going very badly.

Thanks for letting me share my perspective, my friends.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 7:36 am 
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The case, as I see it, hinges on one aspect: who initiated the physical struggle? It doesn't matter how tall Martin was or how much he weighed, what he wore or what kind of candy he had. Zimmerman had every right to follow Martin and question him. That is not an invitation to assault. Martin had the right to walk away. If Martin was assaulting Zimmerman, and Zimmerman was in fear for his life, then yes, under FL law he had the right to use force to defend himself. It's terrible that it led to loss of life.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 8:53 am 
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Great story. I appreciate you being open about your life experiences. I am a 46 yr old white man with 5 teenagers....4 boys and one precious 15 yr old daughter. I want my kids to not judge people by the color of their skin. My dad was a rascist but all 7 of his kids hate it...how strange. The KKK burned his business down when I was a youngster and almost killed me and my twin sister all because Dad wouldn't pull us out of school during desegragation. Even after this my Dad said all the regular rascist remarks and couldn't distinguish people's color from the person. After years of life beating him down and getting cancer he softened into quite a pleasant old man before passing away. We don't have to be the product of how we were raised ....we can rise above it. God bless you and your family. I probably already have you on my facebook friends list but friend me if not....Rick Kravat.



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 10:40 am 
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dadof5 wrote:
Great story. I appreciate you being open about your life experiences. I am a 46 yr old white man with 5 teenagers....4 boys and one precious 15 yr old daughter. I want my kids to not judge people by the color of their skin. My dad was a rascist but all 7 of his kids hate it...how strange. The KKK burned his business down when I was a youngster and almost killed me and my twin sister all because Dad wouldn't pull us out of school during desegragation. Even after this my Dad said all the regular rascist remarks and couldn't distinguish people's color from the person. After years of life beating him down and getting cancer he softened into quite a pleasant old man before passing away. We don't have to be the product of how we were raised ....we can rise above it. God bless you and your family. I probably already have you on my facebook friends list but friend me if not....Rick Kravat.


`God Bless you and your family as well, Rick. I'm not on Facebook (one of the ten or so remaining human beings who aren't on it), but you can always IM me here ... I'll also share my email address. God Bless - Robert.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 1:47 pm 
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I must say that this country and our world in general would be a much better place if the posters in this thread were spokesmen/women for human interaction. I am a white, almost 60 year-old mom of a grown daughter and son that have never had to deal with people being afraid of us just because of our skin color. I never had to talk with my son about The Code and just cannot imagine how difficult it must be for a father or mother to pass on that code to their wonderful, loving sons.

Thanks TVV for your insight into a world I cannot possibly understand just because I was born with a different skin color. God bless.



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 5:56 pm 
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ValuesVoter, I'm still WAITING for your incredible book. Seriously. I am eager to read it and hope you are still working on it. And please copy-and-paste this discussion into it somewhere. Love ya.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 9:09 pm 
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Quote:
I grew to be a pretty tall kid with a pretty deep voice. And although I was a very shy young man, as I crossed from childhood into manhood, I began to realize that a number of people who did not know me appeared to be afraid of me. Three of the personal attributes about myself that I had no control over - the year that I was born, my ancestry, and my gender - are the things that made me a young black man. These three God-preordained attributes are the thing that made people afraid of me, regardless of how polite I tried to be, regardless of how shy I was, regardless of how much I tried to reassure people that I was not going to hurt them, steal from them, or otherwise cause them harm. For a long time in my life, I felt that I was automatically deemed guilty and that I had to work very hard just to get back to parity and be officially proven to be innocent.
Just so you know, dh had to deal with some of the same issues as a Hispanic male. Dd expressed to me sadness (but understanding) that after a recent ICE raid (in which the manager was fired for not using e-verify and the majority of the employees turned out to be here illegally) the Taco Bell down the street from us (where she's applied multiple times) now has an almost all white staff (in a heavily Hispanic neighborhood). She wonders how many times people have looked at her job application and seen her name and age and set her application aside because of stereotypes they might have about young, Hispanic females. Ironically, if she had my maiden name instead of her daddy's name most people wouldn't even know she's Hispanic.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 1:39 am 
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I definitely agree that these posts have been excellent!

TVV, nothing to apologize for! I have always appreciated your posts and our exchanges. You have given many of us a perspective we would not otherwise have had.

I would like to add another perspective to all that has been said so far just to add an additional facet to this. One of the things that has always frustrated me is what seems to be the assumption by black guys that if they are nearby or approaching & you lock your car doors, it's because they're black.

However, women in particular, are counseled on various precautions to take to protect themselves. I have often felt bad if I have to lock my car doors when I see a black male approaching (or any person for that matter) because of how it will likely be perceived. I have always wanted to tell them - it's not because you're black or even because I think you look threatening - it is because I do that when I see ANYONE approaching for an unknown reason (including females who are sometimes used as accomplices).

It is heart-breaking to hear rape victims say that they felt uncomfortable when x, y or z happened, but they ...didn't turn around and go back into the store ...wait for the next elevator ...lock their car door... etc, because they didn't want to be rude or offensive.

I think it is rather instinctive when one is in the presence of someone larger than oneself, esp when it is significant, to feel a sense of vulnerability as we innately recognize that this person could do harm to us if they wanted to, and we aren't going to be comfortable until we know them well enough to be reasonably certain they wouldn't.

And it is so hard to tell who you can trust! We had a teenage girl knock on our door around 8pm one night at a time of year when it was already dark. She said she was with a crew that was going around selling magazine subscriptions and they seemed to have left without her. She wanted to come in & use our phone to call them. My DH would not let her in. I was dismayed when I found out - thinking that if it had been our daughter, I would have wanted people to help her.

Found out later that these magazine people were "casing houses". The girl would go in to see what was worth stealing & where it was in the house & then report it to the guys who were doing the breaking & entering. My DH's instincts to protect us were right while my desire to "do the right thing" would have gotten us burglarized. :(



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 10:42 am 
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QuoVadisAnima wrote:
I definitely agree that these posts have been excellent!

TVV, nothing to apologize for! I have always appreciated your posts and our exchanges. You have given many of us a perspective we would not otherwise have had.

I would like to add another perspective to all that has been said so far just to add an additional facet to this. One of the things that has always frustrated me is what seems to be the assumption by black guys that if they are nearby or approaching & you lock your car doors, it's because they're black.


This used to bother me when this would happen to me. But I have a different perspective now. I have a wife, a mother and sisters. My philosophy is that, as far as women and children are concerned, it's never a bad idea to follow your intuition. If someone makes you uncomfortable, they make you uncomfortable. Obey your instincts. If you offend someone when you first meet them, you can always apologize and make amends later. But only if you're alive.

There are men in this country, of all races, who are motivated to do harm to women and children especially. You don't know who they are and you can't tell who is safe and who is unsafe by looking at them. The best rule of thumb is don't trust anyone. Don't jog alone. Be very careful when answering your door. If you think someone is following you, don't drive home. If someone creeps you out, don't bother being polite. Your obligation to protect the feelings of others is not greater than your obligation to protect yourself from harm.

The only caveat that I'd put in here is that I don't think that it's wise to think, based on appearances, that some people are safe and that other people, who look differently, aren't. Criminals know how social profiling works and some of the more dangerous of them know how to work against it. One of the most notorious and evil serial killers in American history, Ted Bundy, was able to kill so many women because he looked safe. He was well dressed, well spoken, handsome and intelligent. And to make himself look even more harmless to potential victims, he often wore a cast or crutches to make it appear as though he was relatively helpless. Many people who harm children similarly are very good at appearing to be harmless and friendly. The best rule of all for women is to not trust anyone, period, that you don't know and to not be too trusting of anyone too quickly. You can always be more friendly when you have more evidence that the person that you are dealing with is okay. It doesn't mean that you have to be paranoid. But just don't be too trusting of anyone.

It may bother me a little bit when I see women locking their doors if I'm near. But on the other hand, it makes me glad to see them exercise precation. My only hope is that they do it universally and not just to people of a certain demographic profile - which I think is the same thing that you were saying. Not so much for the sake of my feelings but for the sake of their own well-being.

Quote:
And it is so hard to tell who you can trust! We had a teenage girl knock on our door around 8pm one night at a time of year when it was already dark. She said she was with a crew that was going around selling magazine subscriptions and they seemed to have left without her. She wanted to come in & use our phone to call them. My DH would not let her in. I was dismayed when I found out - thinking that if it had been our daughter, I would have wanted people to help her.

Found out later that these magazine people were "casing houses". The girl would go in to see what was worth stealing & where it was in the house & then report it to the guys who were doing the breaking & entering. My DH's instincts to protect us were right while my desire to "do the right thing" would have gotten us burglarized. :(



I've actually been victimized by the magazine subscription racket also. They didn't case my house ... they just took my $50 bucks.

Best rule of all, again, is to not be too trusting of anyone, period. We have two million people in prison in this country and many millions more who either have been in prison or should be in prison. They come in all ages, races and in both genders. And some of them look pretty harmess or even inviting. We have to avoid the mistake of paying too much attention to the outer appearance of people and to be more discerning of their character and intentions.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:50 am 
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An african-american friend of Zimmerman was interviewed on Fox News this morning:
http://video.foxnews.com/v/153044935500 ... t_id=87485

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 12:45 pm 
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Another witness came forward to indicate that from what she observed, it did not appear to be a case of self-defense (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/46853931#46853931).

I think that in general, it's very hard for me to understand how it is possible for a grown man who is armed can feel that his life is being threatened by a completely unarmed teenager who he outweighs by 110 pounds. I have seen several eyewitnesses to parts of the exchange between Martin and Zimmerman indicate on television that they did not perceive it to be an issue of self defense. I have only heard rumors from a few folks here that there was one witness who said that Martin attacked Zimmerman.

For my part, I weigh 220 pounds. If an unarmed kid who was even 140 (Martin's weight) pounds came and "attacked" me - unless he's a ninja or has been hanging out with Chuck Norris - the biggest danger I'd face would be the possibility of choking while laughing about it. I severely doubt that he'd be able to wrestle me to the ground. If he did, I doubt he'd be able to keep me on the ground. I just don't understand how the kid could have provided a serious threat. Was he stuffing Skittles down his wind pipe so that he couldn't breathe? Was he trying to drown him with the iced tea?

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 12:57 pm 
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Not to mention that Zimmerman admitted to chasing this kid while he was on the phone with 911 and he was being advised not to chase the kid by the 911 operator. If Trayvon did fight back against a guy with a gun, who was chasing him, would you blame him?

This whole thing makes me so upset for this boy and his family. I cannot stomach the people who are coming out of the wood work trying to defend zimmerman right now!

The only thing that I can think of is, What if that were one of my boys gunned down by that man? So sad.

TheValuesVoter wrote:
Another witness came forward to indicate that from what she observed, it did not appear to be a case of self-defense (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/46853931#46853931).

I think that in general, it's very hard for me to understand how it is possible for a grown man who is armed can feel that his life is being threatened by a completely unarmed teenager who he outweighs by 110 pounds. I have seen several eyewitnesses to parts of the exchange between Martin and Zimmerman indicate on television that they did not perceive it to be an issue of self defense. I have only heard rumors from a few folks here that there was one witness who said that Martin attacked Zimmerman.

For my part, I weigh 220 pounds. If an unarmed kid who was even 140 (Martin's weight) pounds came and "attacked" me - unless he's a ninja or has been hanging out with Chuck Norris - the biggest danger I'd face would be the possibility of choking while laughing about it. I severely doubt that he'd be able to wrestle me to the ground. If he did, I doubt he'd be able to keep me on the ground. I just don't understand how the kid could have provided a threat. Was he stuffing Skittles down his wind pipe so that he couldn't breathe?

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 1:23 pm 
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TheValuesVoter wrote:
I grew to be a pretty tall kid with a pretty deep voice. And although I was a very shy young man, as I crossed from childhood into manhood, I began to realize that a number of people who did not know me appeared to be afraid of me. Three of the personal attributes about myself that I had no control over - the year that I was born, my ancestry, and my gender - are the things that made me a young black man. These three God-preordained attributes are the thing that made people afraid of me, regardless of how polite I tried to be, regardless of how shy I was, regardless of how much I tried to reassure people that I was not going to hurt them, steal from them, or otherwise cause them harm. For a long time in my life, I felt that I was automatically deemed guilty and that I had to work very hard just to get back to parity and be officially proven to be innocent.

I remember that during my first job out of college, there were a couple of people who appeared to be deathly afraid when they found themselves walking in the same corridor as me. I remember what it was like to walk into a 7-11 to buy a soda at a time when there were no other customers and to uncomfortably watch the eyes of the clerk who looked as though she were absolutely positive that I was going to rob her.

I'm no longer quite so "young" and I've found that people are becoming less afraid of me as I lose hair and gain more of a fatherly look. But I have a young nephew who is regularly pulled over on the side of the road, even if he is not speeding or otherwise violating any traffic rule. He has had a police officer's gun pointed at his temple during a traffic stop. The traffic stops have happened so many times that he has developed a phobia of police. I have many friends in the Law Enforcement community and have recommended to him that he participates in police-citizen liason programs so that he can spend more time with police and, through a limited form of exposure therapy, get rid of his fear of them. He's my baby nephew and is a wonderful young man. He's a very intelligent young man and is an excellent writer. But he's tall and he's bulky. He has braided hair. People are afraid of him.


TVV, this makes me so sad!!!! I am so thankful to have you here, to hear your perspective and benefit from what we are learning from you.

I am thankful that one of our frequent prayer requests at church is for "unity in our diversity" at church. Especially for those who are believers in Christ, there is no reason for disunity no matter how diverse we are.

I, also, am eagerly awaiting the release of your book(s)! Thank you for sharing your heart with us.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 2:13 pm 
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higgybaby4huck wrote:
Not to mention that Zimmerman admitted to chasing this kid while he was on the phone with 911 and he was being advised not to chase the kid by the 911 operator. If Trayvon did fight back against a guy with a gun, who was chasing him, would you blame him?

This whole thing makes me so upset for this boy and his family. I cannot stomach the people who are coming out of the wood work trying to defend zimmerman right now!
I certainly hope you don't think I am defending Zimmerman. Things definitely point towards Zimmerman being the aggressor and it may well prove to be the case but there are still gaps in what we know.

Did he continue to follow Martin after the 911 operator told him not to? Did Trayvon know Zimmerman had a gun? Did Zimmerman think Martin had a weapon? Why didn't Trayvon tell his girlfriend to call 911 or do it himself? (maybe he or she did, I don't know) What else don't we know?

I'm not taking a side until I know enough to be convinced one way or the other.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 2:26 pm 
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TheValuesVoter wrote:
I have seen several eyewitnesses to parts of the exchange between Martin and Zimmerman indicate on television that they did not perceive it to be an issue of self defense. I have only heard rumors from a few folks here that there was one witness who said that Martin attacked Zimmerman.
Sorry I had thought I had posted this article and video here already but checked and see that I hadn't yet:

http://www.myfoxtampabay.com/dpp/news/s ... n-03232012


TheValuesVoter wrote:
For my part, I weigh 220 pounds. If an unarmed kid who was even 140 (Martin's weight) pounds came and "attacked" me - unless he's a ninja or has been hanging out with Chuck Norris - the biggest danger I'd face would be the possibility of choking while laughing about it. I severely doubt that he'd be able to wrestle me to the ground. If he did, I doubt he'd be able to keep me on the ground. I just don't understand how the kid could have provided a serious threat. Was he stuffing Skittles down his wind pipe so that he couldn't breathe? Was he trying to drown him with the iced tea?
According to the witness Zimmerman had blood on his face and head.

I'm still not claiming Zimmerman was in the right; just presenting other things to consider.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 4:45 pm 
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Just a few more alleged facts to consider:
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/03/26/tr ... to-ground/

In particular:
Quote:
George Zimmerman told police Martin decked him with a single punch, then repeatedly slammed his head into the sidewalk.


Quote:
The Sentinel said Monday that authorities had provided the paper with Zimmerman's account of events, in which he said he called police after spotting Martin, then lost sight of him and was returning to his SUV when the teen allegedly approached him from the left rear and they exchanged words.


I don't know if this is true and even if so that it justifies pulling a gun.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 4:52 pm 
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Quote:
Zimmerman was on the ground being punched when he shot Trayvon Martin

Kyle Rogers
Charleston Conservative Examiner

Last weekend in the city of Chicago alone, gangbangers slaughtered ten people and wounded another forty. The youngest fatality is only six years old. The youngest person wounded is only one-year-old. Many of the victim were pedestrians sprayed with bullets in drive by shootings. The national news has said nothing about this.
So why does one shooting in Florida warrant weeks of national news? Why has there been thousands of articles a day, for the last four days, about one single shooting?

Almost all of the news items about George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin contains a combination of false statements, opinions presented as facts, transparent distortions, and a complete absence of some of the most relevant details. Almost all news items are written soley from the point of view of the grieving family. The media also fills their articles with outdated baby-faced pictures of Trayvon. Very few include that he was a towering 6'2” football player. Is the media really reporting the news, or is this classic agitation/propaganda to advance a political agenda.

Literally thousands of articles contain at least one false statement in the first couple of lines. They usually read "George ZImmerman, a white man," or "shoot by a white man." Zimmerman is described by family as a multiracial Hispanic. His appearance is clearly that of a Latino/Mestizo individual. However, the media wants him to be white because that better fits the political narrative they are trying to artificially create. Many news articles have also claimed the neighborhood is "mostly white." This is also a lie. The neighborhood is only 49% white. It is over half non-white.

All the way back on February 27th, the local Orlando Fox station interviewed the witness who dialed 911. Almost none of the thousands of articles since have mentioned any of the details described by the witness. Some, however, have attributed false statements to this witness. On March 16th, the Sanford police department released new details to the Orlando Sentinel. Once again, these details have been ignored or changed by the media.

The witness reports that George Zimmerman was on the ground and Trayvon is on top of him punching him.
The witness says that George Zimmerman was screaming and yelling for help.
Police arrive and find Zimmerman bleeding on his face and the back of his head. He also has had grass stains on his back. All this confirms the story told by Zimmerman and the witness.
Police play the 911 tape for Trayvon Martin's father, who tells police that the voice screaming is not the voice of his son.

The neighborhood this took place in has seen a lot of crime. Would you be surprised to learn that there were eight burglaries, nine thefts, and a shooting just in the past year? In fact, the local homeowners' association reports that George Zimmerman actually caught one thief and aided in the apprehension of other criminals. The Miami Herald wrote about this on March 17th. None of the thousands of articles and cable news segments that came after, thought this was important.

In fact the Miami Herald goes on to interview neighbor, Ibrahim Rashada, who is black. Rashada ​confirms that there has been a lot of crime in the neighborhood and indicates to the reporter that the perpetrators are usually black.
The media also characterizes Trayvon as a "model student." In fact, he under a five day suspension when the shooting took place. That is why he was staying at a house so far from his school on a school night. A laywer for Trayvon's family has blocked access to his school records. However, you have to do something pretty bad to get suspended for five days.
Now that you know the suppressed facts of the case, you can for form a better more balanced opinion. Maybe you still think Zimmerman was wrong to pull the trigger. However, I think you will come to the conclusion that the "mainstream" clearly is pushing an agenda. Even when they have to grossly alter and adjust a story to fit that agenda.

Continue reading on Examiner.com Zimmerman was on the ground being punched when he shot Trayvon Martin - Charleston Charleston Conservative | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/charleston-cons ... n-the-grou nd-being-punched-when-he-shot-trayvon-martin#ixzz1q4dlbRy3


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 8:29 pm 
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Kevin McCullough weighs in

The Face of Obama's Son
http://townhall.com/columnists/kevinmcc ... obamas_son


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:34 am 
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Zimmerman's friend Joe Oliver and an Orlando reporter:
http://video.foxnews.com/v/153134080000 ... t_id=86924

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:49 pm 
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As is often the case when a situation like this occurs and gets a lot of attention, the worst elements from both sides come out to display their ignorance. On the one hand here, we have the New Black Panther party, acting like the severely confused racist people that they are, putting bounties on people and proclaiming themselves to be the military arm of the effort to help Trayvon's family (even though Martin's family wants absolutely nothing to do with them). On the other hand we have the people who might call themselves "racial conservatives" (racists from the other side of the racist continuum), who are quick to look for any piece of evidence that the victim was some young hoodlum who had it coming and that, by the way, only liberals are supposed to care about this type of thing anyway.

Meanwhile, a young man was shot to death three weeks after his seventeenth birthday. He was not at the time of his death armed with any type of weapon. Although his family and many supporters are demanding justice for him, he will never be able to give his side of the story.

I've seen Mr. Oliver go on numerous media outlets to defend Mr. Zimmerman. While everyone could use a friend that is loyal as Mr. Oliver, the biggest flaw in his statements so far is that all of the information that he has shared is based on information that he's received directly from Mr. Zimmerman.

Meanwhile, many people are clamoring to dive into the situation from a race angle. On the one hand, some people are insistent that because Trayvon was black and his killer was not black and was in the middle of profiling him based on the assumption that he looked suspicious that this means that Zimmerman shot Martin because he was black. I've never thought that. On the other hand, many people seem to communicate the idea that because Zimmerman has a black friend and therefore may not be racist that the case is closed and that the shooting doesn't warrant charges. I also thoroughly disagree with that.

Maybe it's just me, but, when a person who is unarmed is shot and killed, and especially when that person is legally a child, there are only a couple of possibilities. One possibility is that it was an accident. Accidents tragically happen from time to time. Another possibility is that it was a case of self defense. For me to buy this possibility would mean that the unarmed child is either extremely proficient in the martial arts or ... I don't know. I think that for one kid to attack a grown man to the point that the man faces a real danger to his life, that has to be a very unusual kid. As in, we should have sent him to Pakistan to take out bin Laden all by himself unusual. I don't buy it. Neither, apparrently, did the police or at least half of the witnesses.

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