Summary: Conservatives have exploited the shooting of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman. Inciting tribalism, even racism — the 1%’s best friends. They seek to cloud the facts, exploiting the usual mish-mash of conflicting evidence to paint a simple false picture that arouses hatred of minorities and mistrust of the news media.
Divide et impera
— Divide and rule, a maxim that served Rome well
(1) A useful summary
What we know about the incident, and the latest news:
- “What is known, what isn’t about Trayvon Martin’s death“, Miami Herald, 31 March 2012 — “What happened the night of Trayvon Martin’s death has become a blend of truth and unattributed rumor accepted as fact. A look at events, minute by minute.”
- “Trayvon Martin shooting: It’s not George Zimmerman crying for help on 911 recording, 2 experts say“, Orlando Sentinel, 31 March 2012
On the other side, we have conservative activist Kyle Rogers blogging at the examiner website, using exaggeration and misrepresentation to paint a false picture of the incident. This received considerable attention. What’s disturbing is the attention this racist screed received on military threads, suggesting that the picture of a happy multiracial military has less substance than we hoped.
These incidents serve a valuable role for the 1%, serving to arouse tribal emotions and prevent Americans from realizing their common interests. They have played this game well since the Founding. Indians, Afro-Americans, various immigrants — all serve as others against which to arouse mob emotions.
We need not play their game. Calm and patience will service us well when thinking about incidents such as Trayvon Martin’s shooting. The facts will come out eventually. A rush to judgement often produces wrong conclusions, especially on the scraps released by the police and uncovered by the news media.
(2) More evidence gathered by the Orlando Sentinel
- Here is the video of an interview with the primary witness. A 13-year old boy, who saw the incident from 25 years away in the dark. He says he could not see who was on the ground.
- The other witness, Maty Cutcher, gave a statement contradicting Zimmerman’s, which the police dispute.
- Here is the most detailed 9-11 call released so far; t provides little useful information.
(3) Update — a last note about George Zimmerman
OK, it looks like this post counts as a win — and the critics were wrong.
“Yet Again, George Zimmerman Proves He’s Violent, Aggressive, and Confrontational“, Jamelle Bouie, The Daily Beast, 29 November 2013 — Zimmerman’s recent arrest for domestic violence, and attempt to pin the blame on his girlfriend, should put an end to the debate over Trayvon Martin’s killing.
“What to make of George Zimmerman’s Latest Arrest“, Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Atlantic, 19 November 2013 — “What to make of a third violent incident involving the man who killed Trayvon Martin”
“There’s Something Wrong With a Country That Lets George Zimmerman Have a Gun“, Amanda Marcotte, Slate, 19 November 2013
(4) For More Information: about our struggle to adapt to a new century
- Which is better? Rioting in France and Greece or snoozing in America?, 28 October 2010
- Polarization and hot rhetoric conceal two similar political parties. Will we ever notice?, 29 October 2010
- We have the leaders we deserve. Visit MacDonald’s to learn why., 30 October 2010
- The problem with America lies in our choice of heroes, 2 November 2010
- The Enigma of American Power, 8 November 2010
- Why China will again rise to the top. About their most important advantage over America., 11 November 2010
- The story of the early 21st century: the future arrives, forcing us to build a new world order, 6 December 2010