George Zimmerman

Republicans, Race, And The Confederate South: Successors To Old Southern Democrats!

The Republican Party, the party of Abraham Lincoln; the Emancipation Proclamation; the 13th, 14th, 15th Amendments; large scale support for civil rights in the 1960s; and having three progressive Southerners as President (Lyndon B. Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton); and many New South Governors (including Jimmy Carter, Reuben Askew, Dale Bumpers, Bill Clinton), has now fully adapted itself to the old Confederate South, the old Southern segregationist Democrats, the South that wants the “good old days” of slavery and discrimination that existed before the Civil War and continued for another century until the civil rights movement transformed the South, or seemed to do so.

The fact is that the old Confederate South still exists, and the Republicans have become the successor to the old racist, Southern Democrats. Many of the members of Congress from the South and the Border States have no problem spewing racist statements, and backing racists, including, just recently: Cliven Bundy, Donald Sterling, Paula Deen, George Zimmerman, Ted Nugent–all of whom identify with the Republican Party.

At the same time, the majority of the Supreme Court, appointed by Republicans, have weakened the Voting Rights Act enforcement and have now made affirmative action something that will be ended, rather than reformed; and the use of abusive language toward the first African American President has been done with absolutely no sign of any respect or deference for a person in the Presidency, who at least has the right to expect that. Some would say that every President suffers abuse, but none since Abraham Lincoln has faced as much hate and personal threats as Barack Obama.

Additionally, the Republican Party has done everything it can to limit the right to vote to African Americans and other minorities as the only way for them to keep power in the South, but also in the heartland, as well!

It is indeed sad that the GOP has become what conservatives love to condemn the old Southern Democrats for doing, but indeed have copied–a party of support of racism and inequality of treatment!

The Florida “Stand Your Ground” Law, George Zimmerman and Marissa Alexander

Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law was used to justify what George Zimmerman did, the killing of Trayvon Martin.

But the same law was used to justify the 20 year prison term of a black woman, Marissa Alexander, who fired a warning shot into the ceiling to ward off the threat of a beating by her husband, who had already been cited for abuse of Alexander.

Marissa Alexander did not kill anyone, only used a gun to threaten a husband who was threatening to her, and how can anyone see this as fair, to give her 20 years without parole possibility, and have her child conceived with this husband brought up by him, with her having little or no contact with her own child?

How can anyone NOT see the injustice in this, and the fact that the jury in her case only took 12 minutes to convict her? Is it any wonder that African Americans see this as open season for whites who are racists to fire guns on blacks and get away with it through the justice system?

Is it any wonder that the offices of Governor Rick Scott have faced sit ins, insisting that the Governor and the legislature do something about Marissa Alexander? Should not this law be repealed, as Attorney General Eric Holder declared yesterday? Should not Jeb Bush, the former Governor, and brother and son of two Presidents, explain how he can justify this law he signed in 2005, and should he not be expected to lead the fight to have this unjust, discriminatory, and dangerous law repealed?

And should not “Stand Your Ground” laws be reviewed as dangers to the civil rights of minorities, giving whites open season for a new, different form of lynching, as in the Jim Crow Era of Segregation?

At the least, Marissa Alexander needs to be released immediately, have her child given back to her with the father not allowed to have contact anymore because of his abusive behavior, and compensation paid to Alexander for her unjust conviction and time in prison!

Reflections On George Zimmerman And The Future!

Now that the George Zimmerman Trial is over, one thinks about the future of this man who used very poor judgment in pursuing an unarmed black teenager, Trayvon Martin.

Certainly, the possibility of a United States Department of Justice Civil Rights lawsuit is a legitimate avenue of action!

Additionally, civil law suits for financial damages can be pursued, and should be considered!

But beyond that, it should be made clear that under NO circumstances should ANYONE work to make the life of George Zimmerman or his family a nightmare in any form!

Neither he nor his family members should have to live under the threat of violence now, or at any point, for the rest of their lives!

Pursuing such threats or violence would undermine the whole point of why the trial was pursued, as it would sully the memory of this young man who was doing nothing wrong, and was profiled because he was black!

Everyone should leave George Zimmerman and his family alone permanently, other than available legal alternatives, and realize one thing that is clear.

The life of George Zimmerman will, even if left at peace, hopefully, will never be the same, as he will be recognized; will have his obituary with the first paragraph and heading mentioning his involvement in this tragedy; and in his heart of heats, his conscience, he will always have some guilt for his actions which took a human life unnecessarily!

But please, everyone who reads this entry on this blog, leave George Zimmerman and his family alone, and leave it to the courts for any further resolution, and if those further legal motions fail to gain a desired result, accept the reality and pursue the memory of Trayvon Martin in commitment to the further promotion of civil rights in a peaceful, orderly manner!

Condolences To The Family Of Trayvon Martin: Racial Justice Has A Long Road To Travel!

The decision of the jury in the George Zimmerman Trial in Sanford, Florida, finding him not guilty in the killing of 17 year old Trayvon Martin, is a tragedy of major proportions, and my condolences to the family of Martin, who will not see racial justice in his death!

There is no question that racial profiling was part of the mindset of George Zimmerman, and that IF Trayvon Martin had been white, this tragedy would not have happened!

So as this author said just yesterday, any young black male from age 14 to 35 is an endangered species, and any one who has a racist intent can feel free to shoot and kill such a person and claim self defense!

So it means that every black parent has to live in constant fear of the demise of their sons because we have a crazy system which allows the use of firearms by people who should not have such firearms, and with the recognition that fifty years after the March on Washington, racial justice still has a long road to travel!

Just because we have a black President does not mean that the fight for racial justice, racial equality, and equal treatment under the law has been won, far from it! It is clear that battle will continue long into the future, but this is not the time to despair, but instead to regroup and organize for the struggle ahead for all decent people in this nation!

Most Endangered Species In America: Young Black Males!

No matter what the result of the George Zimmerman trial for the death of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, it is clear that the most endangered species in America are young black males between the ages of 14 and 35.

Hate crimes of whites against blacks are, according to one study, 28 times that of blacks against whites. According to FBI statistics, one out of five hate crimes are against whites, with the vast majority of the remaining 80 percent being against blacks, and to a lesser extent, Hispanics and Latinos.

When one realizes that the majority of crime is black on black crime in the city ghettos, and then add the fact that white crime against blacks is the above stated 28 times as much as blacks against whites, it is clear that any African American mother or father must live in fear that his son of high school or college age or the ten years beyond, is threatened with violence, often leading to death, whether in his own neighborhood, or out in society, because his presence and appearance makes many men and women nervous, and suspicious of his intentions, much like Trayvon Martin was profiled by George Zimmerman.

Add to that the reality that many businesses in shopping malls and elsewhere tend to profile young black men as potential criminals, who will steal if given the opportunity to do so.

So therefore, fear and insecurity is clearly the reality of life in America for people, who because of their darker appearance and the continued presence of stereotyping and profiling, makes their lives very difficult to live in a relaxed. confident manner. Even with the election of Barack Obama to the Presidency, there is still too much distrust and suspicion regarding the issue of race in America!

The Burden Carried Daily By Young Black Males In America: A Great Human Tragedy!

We love to claim that there is equal opportunity and fairness of treatment in America.

But it is reality that anyone of us born white has a tremendous advantage at birth to live a good life, as compared to people of other racial groups, particularly the case with African Americans.

And the most dangerous life is faced by young black males in their teens and 20s and 30s.

Not only do young black males face the constant threat of violence and danger in heavily black communities in the cities, with the horrors of drugs, gangs, and poor slum conditions so common in America’s urban centers.

But even for those who are “middle class” or live in integrated communities, their daily lives are a nightmare!

It is hard to find work, hard to get a good education and go to college, hard to shop since they are constantly watched because of ingrained fears that they might steal items from department stores, supermarkets and other retail establishments.

But also, at a young age, they have to be informed by those who love them that they need to recognize that other people who are white, and sometimes even Hispanic or Asian ethnicity, may look on them as suspicious, simply on the basis of how they dress, how they walk, how they speak, how they behave, and if it is felt that they are in a neighborhood that arises suspicion as to their intentions.

This is what led to the murder of Trayvon Martin, ironically by an Hispanic man, George Zimmerman, who thought 17 year old Martin was in the “wrong” neighborhood, and was up to no good, and therefore, was perceived as a threat that allowed Zimmerman to “stand his ground” and use his firearm to end the life of a young man, who if he was white, would not have faced the death penalty issued by Zimmerman on his own decision, as if he had the right to be an executioner and claim self defense.

This situation involving Trayvon Martin is a great human tragedy, but for more than Trayvon Martin himself. It is a warning to every young black male that he is part of an endangered species that can become hunting material as much as a deer, a bear, or any other animal.

It cheapens the value and worth of human life, and it sets up a potential for a never ending Holocaust, which may likely also cause a counter reaction of response, which can only bring about a civil war, which could make our official Civil War seem trivial by comparison!

The Horrific Racial Record Of Florida: From Rosewood To Trayvon Martin!

Florida is in the center of controversy again, due to the murder of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman a month ago.

This is another example of African Americans being killed without a sense of justice in a state with a horrific record historically on the issue of race.

We like to think, particularly those of us who live in the Sunshine State, that Florida has come a long way from the “Old South” mentality of the past.

But in actual fact, much of the state, north of Palm Beach County, is still perceived as different from South Florida, with an attitude and mentality more like Alabama or Georgia, if not Mississippi! And even South Florida has its ghosts of prejudice and racism!

This is the state that has tried to hide its racial past, both then and even now!

This is the state of Rosewood, a black settlement on the Gulf of Mexico, 140 miles west of Sanford, where the town was destroyed and multiple numbers of blacks were killed by a white mob in 1923, simply on the suspicion that a black man had assaulted a white woman. This was a well hidden story until recent years, when the few survivors were paid compensation for what they went through.

This is the state that in 1934 saw one of the most heinous lynchings of a black man, Claude Neal, in this case in the Florida Panhandle, who was castrated, tortured for hours with tremendous cruelty, and his fingers displayed as souvenirs.

This is the state where a spokesman for the NAACP was killed, along with his wife in 1951, by a bomb exploding under their bed, because they were trying to register voters and get equal wages for black teachers.

This is the state of a lynching by Fort Lauderdale police officers in 1960, and of Miami police killing a motorcyclist in 1979, arrested for speeding, but being handcuffed and beaten with nightsticks until he expired.

In all of the above cases and more, juries found the perpetrators not guilty, or there was no trial at all.

Florida has a lot to answer for, and this Trayvon Martin case may be going down the same path, as George Zimmerman was not questioned by the police at the time; he was not tested for drug use; he was not given medical care for his wounds, which might have explained what really happened a month ago; Treyvon Martin’s body was not identified as more than John Doe for a few days, as the police failed to call the last callers on his cell phone; and the police department now seems to be out to trash Trayvon Martin for his youthful shortcomings, rather than look at what George Zimmerman did against the statements of the 911 contact who told him to stop interfering and leave it to the police to investigate the purpose of Trayvon Martin being in the gated community in Sanford.

Florida will take a long time, if ever, to recover from the damage done to its reputation by yet another racial bias case, nearly as heinous as its long disgraceful racial history, as outlined above!

The “New” Lynching Mentality: “Stand Your Ground” Laws!

The death of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, and the decision of the local police not to question George Zimmerman, the man who killed him, and not to detain him, because of the Florida “Stand Your Ground” law passed by the Florida legislature ni 2005, and signed by Governor Jeb Bush, is all a sign of the “new” lynching mentality that exists in the nation.

With 21 states having passed this law since Florida did so in 2005, it is clear that this is a method to allow “lynching” in a legal fashion, and avoid any accountability for any shooter’s actions.

Lynching went on a for a century in many states, particularly in the South and Border states, and was ignored, leading to very few prosecutions and convictions. The US Government refused to take any action until the Civil Rights Act of 1964 allowed prosecution on a federal level.

Now there is a legal way to get around the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and there need not be any charges or accusations brought against the victim. Simply if someone is fearful of a black male, does not like the way he walks, dresses or looks you in the eye, is justification for the shooter to “stand his ground”!

It is hard enough to be born black, to grow up in many cases in a poor neighborhood, to have white people look at you as somehow someone not to be trusted, to be denied the opportunities for a good future that so many blacks, male and female, face, and to live daily with the internal fear that your life could end at any time simply because someone does not like the color of your skin.

This is a sad time in America, and requires serious assessment as to how to overcome the laws passed, that allow legalized murder simply based upon suspicion and racism.

Florida Casualty Toll Due To “Stand Your Ground” Law Signed By Governor Jeb Bush: 93 Incidents, With 65 Murders!

Governor Jeb Bush, by signing the Florida “Stand Your Ground” law in 2005, must take responsibility for the results from 2005 to 2012.

93 incidents have occurred, with 65 murders!

Thousands of people gathered last evening in Sanford, Florida, to show their anger over the Trayvon Martin murder by George Zimmerman.

This issue will not go away, and Jeb Bush will pay the price for this in history, as he could have prevented these 65 tragedies and 93 incidents, but no apology or responsibility is forthcoming.

And now, Democratic Senator Mark Begich, from the “Wild, Wild West” of Sarah Palin’s Alaska, has proposed legislation for “reciprocity”, allowing any citizen anywhere in the nation to use the “Stand Your Ground” laws in 21 states to cover any situation in the other 29 states!

This is pure insanity! Imagine this happening in Manhattan, in Los Angeles, in other cities and suburbs in states where the desire is to curb the gun maniacs of the National Rifle Association!

This tragedy must lead to action in just the opposite direction, to curb gun rights, or else we are doomed as a nation to constant tragedies such as that of Trayvon Martin!

Jeb Bush Must Take Blame For Signing Florida “Stand Your Ground” Law In 2005!

Beyond the tragedy and the turmoil caused by the death of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida, is to assess who is ultimately responsible for the passage of the Florida “Stand Your Ground” law in 2005.

One could blame the Florida legislature, and particularly the majority Republican Party, which passed a bill left purposely vague, and has caused the death of many people who could be alive today if the legislation had never passed.

But, in reality, one cannot blame the legislature as the primary source of criticism!

Rather, it is the job of the Governor of the state to use his wisdom and judgment, and utilize the veto if legislation passed is seen as unwise, dangerous, and reckless. As President Harry Truman said while in office, “The buck stops here”, meaning in the office of the executive, whether President, Governor or Mayor!

It is the job of the executive to stand in the way of emotional reactions by the legislative branch. No one can claim that he or she had to sign legislation, as that is what we elect him or her for, to use their best judgment, and if seen as wrong, that executive must be held accountable.

Ok, so therefore, who is ultimately responsible for this disaster? Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who now must take responsibility, but will he? Don’t bet on it! The Bush family has NEVER taken responsibility for anything they have done which went wrong, certainly not brother President George W. Bush, and the arrogance of their father, President George H. W. Bush is legion in public situations. The Bush family does not have a distinguished record of decency and honesty, so to expect an apology or taking any blame is highly unlikely to be the reaction of Jeb Bush.

However, with the recent discussion that Jeb might be running for President in 2016, or accept a Vice Presidential nomination from Mitt Romney, this is the time for it to be made clear to Jeb Bush that he has forfeited his right to run for Vice President or President!

And if he does, all good people will haunt him and his campaign for the arrogance, the egotism, the gall of Jeb Bush to do what he knew had to lead to disaster, but instead, he chose to cave in to the National Rifle Association and the right wing of his extremist party in the Florida legislature!

Look at it this way: Jeb Bush will likely forfeit a chance for the Presidency or be dogged by it if he does run, but his life will go on, and he will live in great comfort, while Trayvon Martin has forfeited his life and a chance to give joy to his family, to accomplish occupational goals, to fall in love, to have children, to have a normal, decent life!

One wonders how Jeb Bush can sleep at night knowing that what he failed to do, veto this despicable law, has caused the death of a promising young man, who should not have had to face the threat of a bully who thought he had license to kill, thanks to Jeb Bush’s lack of conscience!