Sunday, April 8, 2012

You Will Not Change The World By Wearing a Hoodie

Ok people, I have to weigh in with my opinion...repeat, MY OPINION.  You may disagree, that is your right, but take my POINTS with you.

In regard to Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman.  Let's put aside the emotion and discuss a couple of facts, now that what has happened has happened.

First...IF Zimmerman's judgment of Trayvon WAS racially motivated, then lets agree that THIS is an isolated incident between Zimmerman and Martin.  I bring this up because Zimmerman is not "the man" or the leader of the world.  He is one person involved in one incident.

Second...lets all agree that as high a profile case as this is with a national microscope, there is no bias against Trayvon for being black.  I think the plight is being fairly and accurately portrayed in his favor by most ALL media outlets, and his being black is not hindering any coverage or fairness.  If anything, his being black is helping his cause... for fear of any agency dropping the ball will not be tolerated by those looking in from the outside.

Now that being said, what is done is done and we cant unring that bell.  But what can people do...what to do to be heard or make a difference?  Rallying and screaming black vs white issues is not going to work, and is just going to create a societal divide.  The lack of arrest in the case has nothing to do with the races of those involved, it has to do with the fact that a "poorly worded" law, or a liberal law, is currently PROTECTING Zimmerman.  This is not the opinion of the Sanford police chief who was the first scapegoat.  The police detectives initially asked the state attorney TO PRESS charges because they felt the initial story did not wash.  The state attorney's office opted to not prosecute.  The FDLE was called in...the DOJ was called in and an audience with a grand jury has been put on the calendar to review this.  You just cannot GET anymore judicially scrutinized than this, so what higher court or power is supposed to respond to the rallies and petitions to arrest Zimmerman?

Given that, I ask...WHAT ARE THE RALLIES SUPPOSED TO ACCOMPLISH then?  Repeating, this is not a black and white issue, it is a legal issue.  It would not matter the race or color of the participants.  A less open mind will argue with me at this point to say that Trayvon was shot for being black.  That is the opinion of the onlooker, only Zimmerman knows for sure...but as I said, Zimmerman is just one man.  Only HE knows the motives of his heart, and his motives are not those of every man, or policy of law enforcement, or all of society.   If you want to call him a racist, so be it, even if it is or isnt true, but rallying in Trayvon's name, calling for an arrest and saying it is because Trayvon is black is just not productive, or accurate.  IF George shot Trayvon "for being black", a rally is not going to change or open the minds of those who currently do equate being black as being a suspect.

Stop equating Sanford with Selma.  Sanford is NOTHING like Selma was, and if you think it was, you are watering down the importance of what happened in Selma.  

Wearing a hoodie will change nothing.  Stop it.  Anyone wearing a hoodie in support of Trayvon does not have a clear concept of the issue and should develop a clearer concept.  That being said, the hoodie is a non issue.  Somehow, Trayvon was wrongly cast as a suspect.  PEOPLE, If you want to not get shot, or not appear to be a suspect, DON'T LOOK LIKE ONE. This covers all races.  Recently a national blogger wrote that white people were lucky that they will NEVER appear to be suspects.  That is just crap.  I am white, and I have been pulled over on suspicion numerous times, had my car searched MORE than a handful of times, been detained by the police on suspicion several times and actually been handcuffed during detention twice.  HERE is a link to the blog, my reply appears directly under the article:

  http://globalgrind.com/news/michael-skolnik-trayvon-martin-george-zimmerman-race-sanford-florida-photos-pictures

SLIGHTLY OFF TOPIC BUT RELEVANT...If I develop a fashion affectation and all of a sudden start going out in public wearing western hats, chaps and boots, I should not get offended if people THINK I like country music or horses.  If you have the appearance of a swarthy person, a violent person, a thug, a tough guy, a psycho, a homeless person, a convict, an extremist of any type, etc... and you have affected this look, you should expect to be pre-judged.  That is not just human nature, it is nature.  Watch a dog interact with other people or other dogs.  When they sense no threat, they accept, and when they sense danger or bad vibes or fear they attack.  People are largely the same way.  If you don't want to be treated as a suspect, don't look like one. That being said, appearances are not everything.  No one knows what is in a man's heart, and the guy in the suit could do you a lot more harm than the biker or homeless guy.  If your doorbell rings at 3AM who are you more scared of...a guy in a suit, a biker or a guy with dreads, pants low with underwear showing and a grill of gold?  If you gave this any thought, you are judgmental too...fear everyone.
  

BACK ON POINT... If you are marching, or assembling to bring attention to an issue that needs attention, more power to you.  If you are marching or assembling to say that Trayvon is not getting a fair shake, I cant agree with you because you have every court in the nation on the case, what more can you ask for?

If your answer is an arrest...then I ask you to revisit the point that no agency is willing to arrest Zimmerman because no one is YET willing to prosecute him, because simply, he is protected by the law BASED on the information and evidence the powers that be have at this time.  Period.  Hear say is not admitted, nor is opinion or feeling.  Facts are what successful prosecutions are made from.  Having said that, what is going to happen if the court decides to charge Zimmerman based on any kernel they can come up with, or just as a tool to pacify a crying public.  An arrest is not a conviction, so after a court date, Zimmerman will be released again, protected by the law.  How will the public handle it when and if Zimmerman is arrested, and cleared and released?  Will there still be a bounty on him, figuratively or literally?

IS THAT ZIMMERMAN'S FAULT?  No.  It is the fault of the law, SO, now that the wheels of justice are turning, PEOPLE I ASK YOU, what makes more sense?  Rallying about the lack of arrest, or about Trayvon being wrongly accused for being black by one man...or to use the power of numbers to assemble and get an audience to hear the real issue, the re visitation or adaptation of the law?  You wont do that wearing a hoodie, eating skittles and walking 40 miles.  Work the system.  If the system is broke or not working for you, change IT.  Currently the system is in Zimmerman's favor...and it has nothing to do with race.  If this troubles you, consult a lawmaker.  Get a petition on for that.  March for that... leave the hoodie at home.

I don't want to appear uncaring about Martin's death.  He did not need to die.  My point of this blog is just to rationally point out the real issue without emotion, as my inbox fills with invites to marches, and as I pass the marchers on the street, and hear Mr. Jackson and Mr. Sharpton 20 miles from my house talking race, and hear my elected officials on Capitol Hill extol how they are tired of burying black boys...in the name of this incident, and lack of arrest.

ADDENDUM 4/9/12:  The Sanford PD was closed for 5 hours today while protesters engaged in the promised civil disobedience that would occur if Zimmerman were not arrested.  I offer this...if Zimmerman is protected by law, where is the justice if he is arrested...and if he is arrested and found not guilty under the same protection, it is not his being white or Trayvon being black that failed, it was the law.  Rather than being civilly disobedient, again I offer, why not work within the system to change it?  When it comes to brass tacks, the system is your issue, not race.  I also offer this scenario...if Zimmerman were black, and arrested, would there be marches in protest of his arrest because he should have been protected by the law??

Having an open mind is easy when the benefit is falling in your favor.  To be truly just and open minded means accepting things you don't necessarily agree with, in the name of liberty for all.

Link to todays fiasco:  http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/04/09/students-shut-down-sanford-police-station-in-march-for-trayvon-martin/

ADDENDUM 4/10:  If you want to read some reactions by posters at Facebook, here is the first thread I shared this in:  https://www.facebook.com/harryoke/posts/380230742016713?notif_t=share_comment


  

6 comments:

Harryoke said...

Jedadiah Casey Excellently worded :-)
16 hours ago · Unlike · 1
Kim King-Alepin I'm with you on this one, good job !!
16 hours ago · Unlike · 1
Sara Fox Woods Great thoughts Harry!
16 hours ago · Unlike · 1
Jessica Bailes Craft Well said. I always like to read your point of view in things , very insitful and down to earth
16 hours ago · Unlike · 1
Heidi Lahey opinions are like assholes, everyone has one. but that was well said
16 hours ago · Unlike · 2
Harry Smith I added this on today after reading todays updates: ADDENDUM 4/9/12: The Sanford PD was closed for 5 hours today while protesters engaged in the promised civil disobedience that would occur if Zimmerman were not arrested. I offer this...if Zimmerman is protected by law, where is the justice if he is arrested...and if he is arrested and found not guilty under the same protection, it is not his being white or Trayvon being black that failed, it was the law. Rather than being civilly disobedient, again I offer, why not work within the system to change it? When it comes to brass tacks, the system is your issue, not race. I also offer this scenario...if Zimmerman were black, and arrested, would there be marches in protest of his arrest because he should have been protected by the law??

Having an open mind is easy when the benefit is falling in your favor. To be truly just and open minded means accepting things you don't necessarily agree with, in the name of liberty for all.

Link to todays fiasco: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/04/09/students-shut-down-sanford-police-station-in-march-for-trayvon-martin

Students shut down Sanford police station in march for Trayvon Martin
www.foxnews.com
The Sanford Police Department was closed Monday due to students protests in Florida demanding justice in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.
15 hours ago · Like · 1 ·

Harryoke said...

'Dagny Kight I think who Trayvon was is less important than who Zimmerman is with race irrelevant. I have to wonder about a guy who takes a gun out on neighborhood watch. The legislator who wrote the SYG law says it doesn't apply. I hope there's a trial! We'll find out what Corey decides tomorrow.
15 hours ago · Like · 2
'Dagny Kight Hey are posts with the words "Trayvon" or "Zimmerman" being monitored by FB? I got a warning before I could post!
15 hours ago · Like
Harry Smith No, I dont think so, but posting the link to the blog I did have to solve a CAPTCHA.
15 hours ago · Like
Harry Smith What kind of warning Dagny, how was it worded?
15 hours ago · Like
'Dagny Kight Let's try an experiment... Trayvon... George Zimmerman...
15 hours ago · Like · 1
'Dagny Kight Here's what I got:
Are you sure you want to post this?
If your comment is irrelevant or inappropriate, you may be be blocked from commenting on public posts. Please review your comment before posting.
15 hours ago · Like
Elizabeth Nicholson Laberge I do have to agree with just about everything you had to say on this one, Harry. I wasn't going to form my opinion until I had all the facts, and at first, it was hard to really get any facts about what actually happened. My only other thought on this, Zimmerman perhaps shouldn't have been allowed a gun? I just mean with all of the other things available, pepper spray and tazers for example, why would he be armed just as a neighborhood watch guy?! I still can't say for sure Zimmerman or Trayvon. Just an unfortunate set of circumstances. All of this other media black-white crap is really getting old!!
15 hours ago · Like
Elizabeth Nicholson Laberge oh, btw, I got the same warning. I thought you had it set up that way, Harry!!
15 hours ago · Unlike · 1
Harry Smith Wow!
15 hours ago · Like
Tom Bulfin Good job, Harry. As Joe Friday would say... "Just the facts, M'am"
15 hours ago · Unlike · 1

Janice Carey · Friends with Tom Bulfin and 1 other
trayvon zimmerman
15 hours ago · Like

Janice Carey · Friends with Tom Bulfin and 1 other
What the rallies accomplish is Jesse Jackson getting his face on TV.
15 hours ago · Like · 1
Harry Smith ‎Elizabeth , one of the gists of my post, and my outrage, is that too many people are basing the results of the incident on opinion, feeling, emotion or what should have happened, without regard to the current law, the facts presented on public record and the prosecutability based on how the law reads today. I can argue your point unemotionally by offering this: first, he had a permit for the gun and wielded it legally...and as to his status as the neighborhood watch guy, it was heard in a statement made by Joe Oliver that at the time of the shooting, George was not on duty as the neighborhood watch captain, but that he was returning home from the grocery store, saw what he thought was suspicious activity and took action as a concerned citizen. IF this is the case, he was most assuredly legal in his gun carry, and the homeowner association will be insulated from the lawsuit that is forthcoming from Trayvons parents.
15 hours ago · Like · 2
Harry Smith These are all the points the grand jury will hear tomorrow.
15 hours ago · Like

Harryoke said...

Devrie Paradowski I don't know. You automatically accuse people of being "small minded" if they disagree with you, and you assert that your argument is based on logic vs. the irrational emotions of opposing views. I'm not sure that sits well with people who actually are open minded to the point of view that hoodie rallies are meaningless. I agree that standing around wearing hoodies may seem pointless. It doesn't attack the justice system. You have to know the rules and play by the rules to win. That said, hoodie rallies are arguably NOT pointless. President McKinley learned that the success of a war oftentimes hinges on the moral support of the citizens not directly involved in the war. Not that I would equate wearing hoodies at peaceful rallies with sensationalism and yellow dog journalism, but if you want to get people to back you emotionally, if you want to inspire a viral outpouring of concern, those rallies have created a visual symbol that unifies people of varying resources with one simple logo: the hoodie. It makes the message clear and simple, and more importantly, it makes the message prolific! When that happens, people who know how to put pressure on the important people (investigative reporters, judicial system, local county commissioners, representatives, Etc). get tagged and inspired to join in the push. It creates momentum.
15 hours ago · Unlike · 1
Devrie Paradowski For the record, I mean that with utmost respect. I didn't mean to sound snooty in my first sentence, but, I did disagree with you...so I wanted to preempt my disagreement with the acknowledgement that I'm doing so at the risk of calling myself small minded! :) Good cheers. :)
15 hours ago · Like
Harry Smith LOL, the word "smaller" was probably not the most accurate word to use..."more closed" may have been better, but the point is, looking at it logically and not emotionally means NOT being able to make the claim that Trayvon was shot "for being black". That is an opinion. Trayvon happened to be black, but to be fair, we are not George and who is to say if he would have reacted THAT way to anyone he deemed suspicious, regardless of race. Yet all of this outrage BECAUSE Trayvon is black, and that is just not the issue if one wants to argue a lack of arrest of Zimmerman. If one is rallying because of THAT point, or wearing a hoodie in brotherhood because they feel he was shot for being black in a hoodie, or rallying against the freedom of George while extoling the unfairness to Trayvon because he "was black" , then it is my opinion...just an opinion, that their energy is being misspent.
14 hours ago · Like · 2
Harry Smith Smaller was the wrong word. My point is, I am looking at the issue by legality, and without regard to color, and I understand why Zimmerman is free, and if I disagree with his freedom, could come up with productive ways to change the system in Trayvons name that do not involve the activities we are seeing which will not be productive.
14 hours ago · Like
Harry Smith Creating momentum makes sense, if the cause is just. If people are rallying in the name of racial inequity, I don't think that is the same as rallying for an arrest, and the causes seem to be blurred. It is my opinion that rallying is not gonna change an outcome based on the law, they would be more productive to rally about the law...and leave race out of it. If racial harmony is the issue of the rally, it is not the government that has been unjust to a black man in this case, it would be the lone shooter, and I dont think we can have a rally to ask racists to stop being racist. It is a free country, but as long as the laws protect us from racial violence and racial prejudices where possible, that is as much as you can ask until people eventually evolve their own thinking. Nowhere in the system was the ball dropped due to Trayvons being black...the sole accusations seem to be at George, and at his lack of arrest.
14 hours ago · Like

Harryoke said...

Harry Smith Just my observations watching from a few miles down the road. Someone asked why I was vested in this topic, and here in Central Florida I think all who follow the news and see the real issue versus the media issue wish that the focus could be more refined and dealt with rationally.
14 hours ago · Like
Devrie Paradowski I think more people are outraged that it appears law enforcement is more culpable in rendering the racial assessment. There are racist people who commit hate crimes all over. We can try to encourage a change, but you can't stop the mindset of some people. We must work to ensure law enforcement is there to equally protect us all, though. Maybe George was racist, or maybe the media cleverly edited his phone calls and used bits of information that made it appear that's the case. One thing is certain: IF there really were differing witness statements regarding who was calling for help, and IF Sanford LE really thought there was a chance that, as Zimmerman himself actually said in his 911 call, that Trayvon was "running away," and IF Zimmerman was following Trayvon, it doesn't matter that Zimmerman was only going after some kid whom he didn't recognize from the community. What matters is that Sanford drug tested a dead kid, but not the shooter (it's against FL law to fire a firearm under any influence, so why not test him when he shot someone dead?). What matters is that Sanford police took Zimmerman into custody, but someone ELSE not at the scene had him released. The case is complicated. We're being told different things by different media outlets. If this is a case for yellow dog journalism, you can't blame people for being outraged at what it seems is happening.
14 hours ago · Like
Harry Smith I think the community would have a TOTAL right to be outraged if it were left up to Sanford PD, but to be fair, they threw it to the State Attorney...they refused to prosecute, outrage came out, FDLE and the Department of Justice stepped in to review, and then a grand jury is being seated to review. Given those facts, how can ANYONE blame Sanford PD or any agency of being unfair, when it has gone THAT far up the ladder. Rally again, how much further can you go up the chain of justice command? That is my outrage too...to go on TV and yell about a lack of justice from the PD when the Grand Jury is on the job. So today, the protesters closed the Police Department for 5 hours. I cant justify that.
14 hours ago · Like · 1
Devrie Paradowski LOL, you just posted about the anger at George vs. the law. I do see what you're talking about in that sense. It seems like the message is off kilter there a bit.
14 hours ago · Unlike · 1
Devrie Paradowski I agree that we should wait and see what happens. I though the grand jury was out, though? Up to the prosecutor? I'm not really sure what's happening. Hopefully it's all kosher!
14 hours ago · Like
Harry Smith Wait and see...if the grand jury indicts him, it will be a matter of going thru the motions, and a jury will clear him...barring any admissable evidence that scuttles his statement. If he is arrested, then released, that will be a whole 'nuther can of worms to discuss. You think emotion is high NOW....
14 hours ago · Like · 1

Harryoke said...

Jimm Bacon Oddly, Zimmermans friends, and his own history show him to be anything BUT racist. I've thought if any "ism" from the get go it was age, the young man I don't think mattered his color as much as his age, the "hoodie" was an odd attire choice that weekend in this part of Fl, be ye black or white. Also of note, Zimmermans previous actions IN DEFENSE OF a homeless BLACK man against the son of a POLICE OFFICER likely didn't have him in good graces with the police. All of this is being over looked and the really sad truth is that IF Trayvon had been white and that had been the only difference we very likely never would have heard of this case. I sadly doubt that ANY media outlet has gotten or given ALL the correct info for either side. But we do now know that those supporting Trayvon have lied, deceived, and skewered the facts. Zimmerman has been tried by the press, something I'm sure NO ONE wants in this day and age and many who typically hate & distrust the press are eating it up. We all wish that that night and moment in time had gone differently, but it didn't. My biggest question is, as Harry pointed out, no one (who's heard all the facts & details) in this case is wanting to pursue it differently, even though it'd be popular in the court of public opinion, so... will the full (real) story make it out when all is said & done.
14 hours ago · Like
Tracy Walters George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin case will not go to grand jury http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/george-zimmerman-trayvon-martin-case-will-not-go-to-grand-jury/2012/04/09/gIQABDZG6S_story.html?tid=pm_pop

George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin case will not go to grand jury
www.washingtonpost.com
Special prosecutor Angela Corey said Monday she will not bring the case before a grand jury.
14 hours ago · Unlike · 1 ·
Harry Smith Right. Another thought. When one looks at it logically without emotion, who cares if Zimmerman WAS a racist? It does not affect the legality. He could be the grand wizard of the KKK, and if the legal system approves his story and all the dots connect legally, he will walk on the shooting. An emotional public gets hung up on the racial aspect and cant focus on the legal realities.
14 hours ago · Like · 1
Harry Smith ‎...and Devrie , thank you...I am going to edit the word "small"...
14 hours ago · Like · 1
Harry Smith WOW...NOT going to grand jury, so now Corey has two choices...file charges or drop them. It is in Coreys court now.
14 hours ago · Like
Devrie Paradowski Thanks for the edit! :)
14 hours ago · Unlike · 1
Georgi Bennett Harry, I credit you with a well thought out view. I wish that more people in many situations would just take a minute and think out things before they start shouting. Right now, being up in Indiana I am, I'm sure, more out of the heated fracus than you must be. My thinking is that all the facts have not come out and we need to wait and see. My own gut feeling is that George panicked and pulled a trigger before he needed to. I think he needs to be charged with manslaughter. That is just my opinion and I'm willing to wait and see what the rest of the evidence is. Right now it's one dead teenager.
14 hours ago · Unlike · 3

Harryoke said...

Harry Smith Yup! It will be interesting to see what Corey does. She obviously has seen it and either A) she plans to charge him and don need no steenkin gran jury to tell her, or B) she knows the dog wont hunt and does not want to waste a juries time and plans to drop the case. We should know soonly.
14 hours ago · Like · 1
Elizabeth Nicholson Laberge Yes, Harry Smith I do understand his gun was legal and all, I just thought he was using it as a Neighborhood Watch thing, and I just wonder why anyone, would use a gun over tazer or pepper spray unless to kill. This particular incident, your point about the feelings and emotions of the thing, is clearly the issue. We shall soon see the outcome of this! I agree with Georgi and he panicked and pulled the trigger. Manslaughter may be the result, regardless.
12 hours ago · Like
Harry Smith Sometimes it takes an incident to wake people up to that concept. Anyone with a gun should be prepared to use it...and when you do use it, you had better be sure. I used to carry a gun in my car with me all the time. Once, I had to pull it on an attacker, and I was just about to shoot him when someone jumped him from behind. After stowing my weapon, I talked to the police about what would have happened if I had shot him. I switched to pepper spray in the car after that to hedge my bets.
11 hours ago · Like
Harry Smith After that, I pulled my weapon only once during an attack on a friend, and thought better of it and decided to pull my cell phone instead...
11 hours ago · Like
Georgi Bennett Many years ago in Florida, there was a serial killer on the loose. My job was one that had me working until 9 pm...so I was usually coming home in the dark. A policeman used to come into where I worked and was update us on what maybe going on. He said the police suspected that the killer was getting to his victims because they had not locked their right door. (He was wrong.) I drove a convertible...easy to get in. I asked him about carrying a gun. I had one, but no permit. He said, the law then was, if you didn't conceal it, you could carry it. So it rode in the open, by me on the seat. I locked it in the trunk otherwise. The policeman said, "Better to be judged by twelve than carried by six." I think with all that was going on, I could have used it. Thank God no one scared the BeJesus out of me. This may be what happened to George. They didn't have cell phones then...or that would have been the option I would have chosen.
10 hours ago · Unlike · 1
Harry Smith Clarification...the second time I did not pull my gun to attack my friend, he was being attacked by others. LOL. I approached them with my gun, then decided I could safely get to my phone. The police did apprehend them.
10 hours ago · Like
Catherine Allen Craig-Fisler Harry, I think I love you.
5 hours ago · Unlike · 1
Donald Williamson Well put, Harry. I wish you could get the NJ to feature this in their Opinion section.
3 hours ago · Like · 1
Catherine Allen Craig-Fisler Does anybody know if the kid registered as a guest at the "gated community"? I've never been to one you don't register with. Of course, I don't get out much... Just a question.
48 minutes ago · Like
Rosemary Newton What a powerful and what I believe to be an accurate statement , Harry. You have said it better than any others out there. Good for you.
20 minutes ago · Like