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Black boys denied the right to be young
Last comment by SportsFan31313 1 year, 4 months ago.

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I know first hand the pain and fear of raising black males in the south. I feared for my son's life if they were late coming home, if they went on a field trip, or spent time after work with other males that weren't' black. I spent countless hours talking to them about how to deal with the police if they were stopped or searched. In one breath I was encouraging them to further their education, find a good job and life would be better; in the second breath I was telling them no matter where you graduate from or how well you speak or how much money you make; you still have to watch your back. One of my son's hated the be careful and watch your self talk..that was until late Saturday night when they found Zimmerman not guilty! He called minutes after the verdict- for the first time-he understood that the world isn't always kind to young black men.. I felt like he understood his fathers struggle, his grandfathers struggle and why I nagged him when he didn't call if he was running late. He understood that I didn't do those things because I didn't trust him; he understood why I waited at the door when he came home late; why I still ask him to call me when he arrives at his destination (traveling for work) even-though he is out on his own. He Understands that I did it because I love him and I don't want to lose him to someone one that doesn't respect or value a black boy/young man life.


Justice failed Trayvon Martin the night he was killed. We should be appalled and outraged, but perhaps not surprised, that it failed him again Saturday night, with a verdict setting his killer free.

Our society considers young black men to be dangerous, interchangeable, expendable, guilty until proven innocent. This is the conversation about race that we desperately need to have — but probably, as in the past, will try our best to avoid.


George Zimmerman’s acquittal was set in motion on Feb. 26, 2012, before Martin’s body was cold. When Sanford, Fla., police arrived on the scene, they encountered a grown man who acknowledged killing an unarmed 17-year-old boy. They did not arrest the man or test him for drug or alcohol use. They conducted a less-than-energetic search for forensic evidence. They hardly bothered to look for witnesses.

Only a national outcry forced authorities to investigate the killing seriously. Even after six weeks, evidence was found to justify arresting Zimmerman, charging him with second-degree murder and putting him on trial. But the chance of dispassionately and definitively establishing what happened that night was probably lost. The only complete narrative of what transpired was Zimmerman’s.

Jurors knew that Zimmerman was an overeager would-be cop, a self-appointed guardian of the neighborhood who carried a loaded gun. They were told that he profiled Martin — young, black, hooded sweatshirt — as a criminal. They heard that he stalked Martin despite the advice of a 911 operator; that the stalking led to a confrontation; and that, in the confrontation, Zimmerman fatally shot Martin in the chest.

The jurors also knew that Martin was carrying only a bag of candy and a soft drink. They knew that Martin was walking from a 7-Eleven to the home of his father’s girlfriend when he noticed a strange man in an SUV following him.

To me, and to many who watched the trial, the fact that Zimmerman recklessly initiated the tragic encounter was enough to establish, at a minimum, guilt of manslaughter. The six women on the jury disagreed.

Those jurors also knew that Martin, at the time of his death, was just three weeks past his 17th birthday. But black boys in this country are not allowed to be children. They are assumed to be men, and to be full of menace.

I don’t know if the jury, which included no African Americans, consciously or unconsciously bought into this racist way of thinking — there’s really no other word. But it hardly matters, because police and prosecutors initially did.

The assumption underlying their ho-hum approach to the case was that Zimmerman had the right to self-defense but Martin — young, male, black — did not. The assumption was that Zimmerman would fear for his life in a hand-to-hand struggle but Martin — young, male, black — would not.

If anyone wonders why African Americans feel so passionately about this case, it’s because we know that our 17-year-old sons are boys, not men. It’s because we know their adolescent bravura is just that — an imitation of manhood, not the real thing.

We know how frightened our sons would be, walking home alone on a rainy night and realizing they were being followed. We know how torn they would be between a child’s fear and a child’s immature idea of manly behavior. We know how they would struggle to decide the right course of action, flight or fight.

And we know that a skinny boy armed only with candy, no matter how big and bad he tries to seem, does not pose a mortal threat to a healthy adult man who outweighs him by 50 pounds and has had martial arts training (even if the lessons were mostly a waste of money). We know that the boy may well have threatened the man’s pride but likely not his life. How many murders-by-sidewalk have you heard of recently? Or ever?

The conversation we need to have is about how black men, even black boys, are denied the right to be young, to be vulnerable, to make mistakes. We need to talk about why, for example, black men are no more likely than white men to smoke marijuana but nearly four times as likely to be arrested for it — and condemned to a dead-end cycle of incarceration and unemployment. I call this racism. What do you call it?

Trayvon Martin was fighting more than George Zimmerman that night. He was up against prejudices as old as American history, and he never had a chance. (Eugene Robinson)


Latest Activity: Jul 16, 2013 at 3:35 PM


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PoliticsNation commented on Tuesday, Jul 16, 2013 at 18:02 PM

@Sebekm- Justice wasn't not served. It's amazing how you are so quick to condemn people (al sharpton;etc) for standing for what's right but you didn't have a problem with Paula Deen fans- boycotting networks, taking over social media and calling it unjust...why is it when blacks stand up for themselves it's a riot or rabble rousing..

PoliticsNation commented on Tuesday, Jul 16, 2013 at 18:30 PM

@Sebekm-you may want to go back and review your post under my Paula Deen blog...You never condemned the boycotting and social media take over..You tone was different. However, I feel good about the dialogue. Were talking about an issue that's usually taboo. I appreciate the open dialogue but I hope at the end of the day something said or done helps you to see things different.

PoliticsNation commented on Tuesday, Jul 16, 2013 at 19:12 PM

It's not over because he may face Federal Charges. Also, the juror during her rounds on television.. lied..her husband went to school with the defense attorney and she was handpicked for the jury. Her husband is an attorney in the town..and also knows Judge Zimmerman..(3) jurors wanted to find him guilty..she was prep for a year to sway the jury...He would have been found guilty...

PULLIAM commented on Tuesday, Jul 16, 2013 at 19:16 PM

This will be my last post in reference to the Zimmerman Trial. Yes, Zimmerman was acquitted, but justice was far from being served an unarmed teen was killed. Zimmerman supporters will support him no matter what, and the same for Trayvon's supporters. As for the jury, the case was determined before it began. Hey it was just another thug (black man) that was murdered. Do I believe that Zimmerman is a racist, no. Do I believe that he profiled the victim yes. Do I believe he shot in self-defense yes, but after provoking the young man. Hey we will never know if Martin was acting in self-defense. We do know for a fact that Zimmerman started the whole tragic nightmare. We can all say that this trial was not racially motivated and we all know the answer to that. Zimmerman may have been acquitted, but he will never be free. He will now become the victim of his own demise, meaning he will be profiled, judged, and running for his life. He will now experience how Trayvon must have felt.

P.S. I wonder if we would all be quick to judge if it was our son, brother, or friend. But hey like I said it was just another young black thug, and I will quote Zimmerman by saying "THEY ALWAYS GET AWAY."

MAY GOD HAVE MERCY ON US ALL!!!!!!

up2sumptin commented on Tuesday, Jul 16, 2013 at 19:53 PM

I'll say this little bit and then shut the heck up about all this. Let me be the devil's advocate here for a moment and pretend that TM was a gangsta thug. He regularly engaged in B&E, he was racist, he did and sold drugs and any other crimes you can think of. The fact was this teenager was walking down the street. A street he had every right to walk down. GZ saw him and didn't recognize him from the neighborhood and immediately decided he was up to no good. GZ had no way to know anything about the TM except his clothing. Should have called the police and let them handle it. To classify TM as a criminal and to follow him smacks of rapists who say she deserved it because of the way he was dressed. Even if TM was a criminal, GZ was out of line and is morally responsible for what happened. Does the evidence meets the level needed for a conviction? No. What we need to do now is to make sure this kind of thing doesn't happen again.

Funkentelecky commented on Tuesday, Jul 16, 2013 at 21:45 PM

JM, did you forget about this fact about blacks within the criminal justice system, as stated by Larry Elder from “Obama will make blacks vote Republican” Five years into his presidency, Obama has picked up and dropped down the race card more times than a three-card Monte hustler on the street corner. When a black Harvard professor irresponsibly accused a Cambridge, Mass., police officer of racial profiling, Obama sided with the professor, saying, "The Cambridge police acted stupidly." Obama could have started a discussion about the false assumption that widespread racism remains within the criminal justice system. He could have cited a 1999 Justice Department study that found that, no, a black criminal is not punished more harshly than a while defendant with an identical background and record.
George Zimmerman, a "white-Hispanic" Florida neighborhood watch volunteer, shot and killed Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black 17-year-old. Before one word of testimony, Obama irresponsibly weighed in by suggesting that Martin's death was motivated by race. "If I had a son," said Obama, "he would look like Trayvon." Hint, hint: Travyon Martin was racially profiled.

Obama even thinks the tea party is racist.

http://community.coastalcourier.com/b...

SportsFan31313 commented on Wednesday, Jul 17, 2013 at 08:00 AM

Politics Nation,

Spot on. I wabted to say that about Juror 37, but I was not sure. Something was telling me that she was a Stealth Juror. You had 3 Jurors viting for a conviction, one for 2nd Degree Murder, two for manslaughter, and now, all of a sudden, a full unanimous decision to acquit? Investigation is a craft that I am very good at. I would have love to interview those three jurors who voted to convict Zimmerman to find out what gappened in jury dilberations. I believe Juror B 37 is as diabolical as they come. But I firmly believe that when the DOJ conclude their examination of this case, George Zimmerman will be indicted on multiple counts of civil rights violation, and this time, George Zimmerman will be found guilty, spending the rest of his natural life in Federal Prison.

SportsFan31313 commented on Wednesday, Jul 17, 2013 at 13:10 PM

Sebe,

You know that I have a great deal of respect for you. I understand your plight in regards to you being a jury foreman. You opportunity to serve this County as juror is duly noted. But how many times has you served as a juror? I am quite sure minimal. I on the other hand was a Police Detective whom investigated numerous of criminal cases, especially violent crimes against persons. I have countless arrest, and have testified in District Court, Circuit Court, and United States District Court. It did'nt take me to listen to too much media to determine that this was a great manslaughter case. The elements were not there to convict on a 2nd Degree Murder charge, but indeed it was enough elements to charge for manslaughter. He, Zimmerman should have beeb charged from the get go. No matter how weak the prosecution presented it's case, Ray Charles could have seen this as manslaughter. I have seen how juruors attempt to bully other jury memebrs into a verdict. I'm saying that Juror B 37 did that, but as vocal as she was, and as quick to get a book deal out of this, it really makes me wonder did she push the envelop on the three jurors who voted to convict? Nevertheless the jury has spoken and Zimmerman is a free man. Or is he? Maybe in constitutional purposes, but in the scheme of it all, I believe that Zimmerman is now a fugitive to himself. He wont get a job because no one will risk their company to hire him, He will lose friends, he wont be alble to walk outside even to get a breath of fresh air, He wont be able to go any where for him not thinkng someone will try to do to him what he has done to Trayvon Martin. There are criminals out there or thugs out there will maybe even try to attempt to bring harm to his family memebers. All of this becuase of this crime that he was acquitted for. See Sebe, you may get by, but you wont get away. It always comes back to you. He who lives by the sword, often dies by the sword. The Lion is now sitting in tree watching and awaiting for it's prey.

PoliticsNation commented on Wednesday, Jul 17, 2013 at 16:27 PM

Incarceration rates:

1 in every 106 White Men

1 in every 15 African-American Men

PoliticsNation commented on Wednesday, Jul 17, 2013 at 17:31 PM

Sebekm- we can go back and fourth all day with different articles and opinions on the verdict..The numbers presented are skewed. That study is based on the number of arrest. The number is high because blacks are more likely to get arrested for crimes than whites..Pull a study on cold cases...the majority of the cases involve whites..and the suspects are white..If you were to arrest/convict-solve those cases the numbers would be different.

PoliticsNation commented on Wednesday, Jul 17, 2013 at 17:40 PM

Disproportionately arrested
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), in 2010, 4,347 out of every 100,000 Black males were incarcerated in a state, federal or local facility. This number is seven times higher than the number of White males incarcerated.

In 2010, African-Americans, at 13.1 percent of the U. S. population, made up 38 percent of the total state prison population. Hispanic-Americans, at 16.7 percent of the U. S. population, made up 21 percent of the state prison population.

Compare those statistics to White Americans, at 78.1 percent of the U. S. population, made up only 34 percent of the total state prison population.

When arrest data are compared to prison data, the percentage of Blacks in the total arrest numbers (27.8 percent) is found to be 10 percent lower than the percentage incarcerated. This seems to indicate Blacks are more likely to be convicted and sentenced to time in prison than Whites.

Black convictions high
Similarly, an examination of felony conviction data shows Black felony convictions are more likely to result in incarceration than White felony convictions. According to BJS data for 2006, 39 percent of persons convicted on felonies were Black and 60 percent were White.

Conviction data show Whites who are convicted are less likely to be incarcerated (66 percent to 72 percent Blacks). For drug offenses, 72 percent of Blacks convicted were incarcerated in 2006 compared to 61 percent of whites. Only 59 percent of Whites convicted of drug trafficking were incarcerated compared to 70 percent of Blacks.

The mean maximum sentence imposed by state courts on White felons was 37 months compared to 42 months for Black felons. If violent offenses are isolated, the statistics show that the mean maximum prison sentence given to whites was 99 months, but the mean for Blacks was 108 months.

Regarding convictions, look at the fact that DNA testing has exonerated over 300 persons and 70 percent of the exonerations have been people of color.

http://flcourier.com/2013/02/21/why-a...

SportsFan31313 commented on Wednesday, Jul 17, 2013 at 17:48 PM

"I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for that to happen, Sporty."

Maybe you are right. But as we speak and debate on this, the Justice are invesstigating this. If the DOJ decides not to charge him for civil rights violation, then sobeit. You can bet your last dollar that what he has done has not only wrecked his life but his entire family's life as well. It's been reported that The Parents have moved out of the State already. His brother, I don't know but you bet your last dollar that he is not in Sanford or Orlando Florida either. As for George Zimmerman, well you know where he stands with society as a whole. Right now, the most hated person in the United States.

SportsFan31313 commented on Wednesday, Jul 17, 2013 at 18:23 PM

Well Jimmy D,

I can't help you there. I am center that sways to the left sometimes. But these days more and more to the left. Point being, Trayvon Martin, and now changing my gun law views from the right to the left now. We need stricter gun laws now in the wake of all that has happened. That Stand your ground law needs to be repealed.

up2sumptin commented on Wednesday, Jul 17, 2013 at 18:58 PM

SF, GA also has a SYG law as do 18 other states (including California). The idea regarding SYG is if you someplace you have a right to be (ie walking down the street, driving your car, etc) and someone attacks you, you have the right to defend yourself. In the case where any reasonable person would be in fear of their life, deadly force can be used. Without this law, say a woman is in a parking lot and a man jumps out and tries to force her into his car. She knows she doesn't have the strength to physically win a fight with him and we can assume he isn't taking her to Pizza Hut for dinner. She should be able to use whatever force necessary to save herself, including bust'n a cap in his arse. It is these type scenarios which the SYG laws were meant to protect. So no they should not be taken off the books. The SYG laws did not apply in GZ's case which is why he didn't use it. SYG laws don't apply if you start a fight and find yourself on the receiving end of a butt whipping. Now GA differs from FL in that if you invoke the SYG law, you are not exempt from civil liability. I do agree that the gun laws do need to be changed.

SportsFan31313 commented on Wednesday, Jul 17, 2013 at 19:01 PM

I know what it mean. I'm just against it now.

SportsFan31313 commented on Wednesday, Jul 17, 2013 at 19:04 PM

"Do Black Males get the same shake or treatment within the criminal justice system as White Males?"

Come on Jimmy, you know they don't...

up2sumptin commented on Wednesday, Jul 17, 2013 at 19:29 PM

SF, so what would you put in its place or would you leave decent folk at the mercy of thugs? (Not being snarky, I really want to know.)

SportsFan31313 commented on Wednesday, Jul 17, 2013 at 20:09 PM

You dial 911 and report your problem to the police. What makes you think carrying a gun would guarantee you protection? Especially when many amewricans are not professionally trained in the use of firearms? Let the professionals handle it. If not, there will be a lot of Trayvon Martins and George Zimmermans around here. You protect your property, if someone break in your home while you are present, and the suspect has a weapon, and at that time you believe that your life or family member is in iniment danger of bodily harm, then the use of force meaining the use of your firearm is permitted. But to carry a firearm outside of your property on your person just like George Zimmerman did, I say no. Let the Police handle it. Look, no matter what use of force you use, you still have to call the Police anyway. So, I am against citizens carrying firearms on their person off their property.

up2sumptin commented on Wednesday, Jul 17, 2013 at 20:24 PM

So if I'm am attacked coming out of the Walmart and some guy is trying to drag me into his car to take me somewhere to do God-knows-what, I'm to say, hold it a second while I call the police for help? SYG, does not apply to the home, that is the Castle law. You cannot take some thing away and leave nothing there to protect honest people. So what law do you purpose to replace SYG?

SportsFan31313 commented on Wednesday, Jul 17, 2013 at 20:57 PM

he same as other states who do not have have SYG Laws. Call 911. Do you have a firearm? Do you have a permit to carry a firearm? Do you carry a firearm?

up2sumptin commented on Wednesday, Jul 17, 2013 at 21:19 PM

And what do they do SF? Whether or not I personally have or carry a weapon is immaterial to this discussion. I ask again, I am being attacked, how am I going to call 911? If I can break free and get away so I can call, then the SYG law does not cover me.

Funkentelecky commented on Wednesday, Jul 17, 2013 at 21:47 PM

JM and Chief MVB, I'm recording the Charlie Rose show tonight at 10:00P and will watch it ASAP before giving my response based on real life experiences and the compelling facts that the Most Valuable Blogger has posted.

SportsFan31313 commented on Thursday, Jul 18, 2013 at 09:10 AM

The reason I ask those set of questions is because during a physical altercation (grappling) most of the time, you would not have the opportunity to reach for a firearm anyway. It is material. To avoid altercations, you walk away, run away etc. Most violent crimes that occur, robberies, and aggravated assaults, where a firearm is involved and is brandished by the suspect, he already has the advantage on you. It only takes a fraction of second before he discharges a round. You would not have time to draw your firearm anyway to defend yourself. That's what I'm saying. My point is that you run, and get away from the threat. Call 911 and report. Now I know there are times that this may not be the case, but still, as a law abiding citizen, and if you did carry a concealed firearm legally, i seriously doubt that you could defend yourself in the manner as I stated earlier given those circumstances.

PoliticsNation commented on Thursday, Jul 18, 2013 at 09:14 AM

Bruce Springsteen dedicated this song to Travon Martin this week. It's a a great song...makes you think about Guns and Violence.."41 Shots"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQMqWA...

SportsFan31313 commented on Friday, Jul 19, 2013 at 13:11 PM

Legally no. I believe that the state attorney over reached in charging for 2nd degree murder. However; my opinion stands and remains for manslaughter. No way Zimmerman should have been found innocent based on the manslaughter charge. But it's the world we live in. The jury has spoken. Sir `Charles Barkley has never been in the law enforcement community rather being arrested himself, so what does he know rather than to repeat what he heard someone says.

PoliticsNation commented on Friday, Jul 19, 2013 at 17:39 PM

Sportsfan- Well said!

gacpl commented on Saturday, Jul 20, 2013 at 20:35 PM

Disproportionately arrested is based on the fact of Disproportionately being criminals. until that fact is faced there will be no solution to the problem.

SportsFan31313 commented on Monday, Jul 22, 2013 at 03:39 AM

Jimmy Carter, didnt say he should not have been convicted of manslaughter either Sebe. He only spoke of the 2nd Degree murder charge. Why don't you all get this? Why does it seems as if people are trying to use the legal loop hole of he was innocent of 2nd degree murder? This unarmed kid was shot and killled by this George Zimmerman person because he was black, wearing a hoodie, walking home through an exclusive neighborhood, and George Zimmerman profiled him. That my friend was ever bit of manslaughter. No doubt about it. What sickens me still is that people are making excuses for Zimmerman when they know Damned well what he has done was a crime. Yet as usual they spin it in such a way to make this teenager the suspect and Zimmerman the victim. You know why we still have a racial divide, it's because incidents, situations, and circumstances just like this. This case has set racial harmony back more than you could ever imagine. I have colleagues, friends, who are white that are mute on this subject now and wont touch this with a ten foot pole, other than when the verdict announced, and the aftermath or responses given by Juror B-37, all of their responses were "WOW"! You know Sebe, I'm gettimg myself so angry over this and I don't to be like this. The message that this has sent to the Nation is that you can be killed legally if you are black, for just walking down the street minding your own business, and person such as George Zimmerman see you. America hasnt changed one bit. They have just camoflauge everything. You just graduated from they lynching rope to a handgun. Blacks are still considered second class citizens and beast of burden to a lot of white americans. I am now more convinced that this is too big for you, myself, commumity activist, political leaders, and even the President Of The United States to change this for the common good for all human beings. It will take an act of GOD to eradicate this racial hatred. Until then, you can expect the same racial bigotry, racial bias, racial profiling, racial discrimination to continue. All simply because my skin color is darker than yours.

gacpl commented on Monday, Jul 22, 2013 at 11:05 AM

he was profiled because he was a walking around high on drugs covering his face (toxicology proved it). if he was walking normally, and not up into and between peoples houses no one would have looked twice at him. but i forgot, sharpton didn't tell you about the witness that seen him doing that before george spotted him. it was in the trial, not the news.

SportsFan31313 commented on Monday, Jul 22, 2013 at 12:14 PM

"he was profiled because he was a walking around high on drugs covering his face (toxicology proved it). if he was walking normally, and not up into and between peoples houses no one would have looked twice at him. but i forgot, sharpton didn't tell you about the witness that seen him doing that before george spotted him. it was in the trial, not the news."

You know what? You are incredibly STUPID!!! You have no sense of rationale what so ever. Your species of character is indicative of your inability read, and listen. If you are not a bigot, you sure sound like one. I don't know where you got your title of gacpl. But if it a acronym for Georgia Corporal, I sure hope that it has nothing to do with the Law Enforcement.
I just can't believe that the State Of Georgia would hire someone with the mentality of you. Your comment really isn't worth the time to refute.

gacpl commented on Monday, Jul 22, 2013 at 19:29 PM

call it what you want, it's the truth.

SportsFan31313 commented on Monday, Jul 22, 2013 at 23:00 PM

Whatever!!!!! For you, that's what I call it.


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