“Trayvon was a thug.” This is an actual comment from a Care2 member.
Such thinking has resulted from a shameless campaign by influential right wing news sites to paint Trayvon that way. Some of the misinformation has even originated from trashing efforts by white supremacists, other stories selectively leaked from a Sanford police department under fire.
The New York Times demolished the selective picking from Trayvon’s social media feeds. They ignored of pictures of Trayvon holding up a birthday cake with his name on it, fishing with his father, dressed in a suit for his prom, and looking excited to inspect an aircraft engine.
The right has called the protests about the case a distraction from other crimes, claimed falsely that communities are failing to protest gun violence, endlessly referred to “black on black” crime to suggest that blacks are somehow more prone to violence — which is untrue, yet so widely fixed that even African Americans have come to believe it.
Guns and laws
One of the highlights of Corey’s press conference was her saying she will “fight” any immunity request using the ‘stand your ground’ law. Before the law was passed in Florida, there was a near united front among police and prosecutors that the law was a bad idea, so her attitude is not surprising.
That front was not enough to defeat a legislature in fear of the NRA, but the new focus on this law — which even Bill O’Reilly has expressed disquiet with — alongside the growing pushback against the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the conservative group responsible for pushing ‘stand your ground’ laws in state legislatures for the NRA, is a good sign.
In a little noticed commentary last week, a veteran’s group examined how the law actually gives far more latitude to American civilians to shoot people and face no consequences than soldiers in war zones. The army rules of engagement requires a whole series of tests to be met before lethal force can be used, which this law does not.
Of course, the actual application of the law in practice suggests even more leniency. People shot in the back while fleeing, people pursued and shot, gang members chasing and killing other gang members, the law failing to protect blacks or other minorities who are defending themselves — despite what its defenders say, the law has been applied by judges in all those cases to set killers free.
Bill Cosby, when asked about this case, did not say it was about race, he said it was about guns. Cosby lost a son to guns, so he’s not a disinterested observer. And he’s plainly right. No gun would have made it far less likely there would have been a death.
But this is in a state where Zimmerman, despite having been arrested for an altercation with a police officer and having had a protective order entered against him for domestic violence, had been granted a concealed carry permit under Florida’s lenient system.
Picture: CNN screengrab
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