Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Hoodwinking the Public

In the 1999 film, The Thomas Crown Affair, billionaire and art thief Thomas Crown hires a crowd of look-alikes dressed in the same suit, bowler hat, and brief case to help him steal a valuable painting.  No one knows better than a criminal that looks can be deceiving.  All but one of the bowler hatted men is innocent.  But which one is the criminal? 

America is a nation of mystery buffs.  We love to play armchair detective and solve crimes in front of our televisions and computers.  The Media loves to play detective.  But they are also propagandists.  One of NBC’s editors, in his zeal to prove a case of racial profiling, edited George Zimmerman’s 911 call to police on Feb. 26, 2012.

According to reports, on Feb. 26, 2012, Trayvon Martin, 17, was walking to his father’s fiancée’s home from a convenience store after purchasing an Arizona iced tea and Skittles. Zimmerman, a member of a community watch program, called 911 saying Martin looked suspicious, then began following him, against the 911 dispatcher’s instructions.  Martin’s girlfriend says she was on the phone with him at the time and he said he was being followed and that he was scared.

At some point after the Zimmerman 911 call, the two men got into a confrontation in the backyard of a condo unit.  Neighbors reported a gunshot and one eyewitness said that the one man was holding the other man on the ground before the shooting.  All witnesses reported one of the men calling for help, although it’s unclear which one.

Zimmerman immediately admitted the shooting and was taken into custody.  He told the police that he fired in self-defense and the Martin had banged his head into the ground.  Zimmerman’s critics claimed he was lying about being injured.  However, ABC News released an enhanced video showing Zimmerman, in a white tee shirt, with a gouge in the back of his head.  The police did not press charges at the time, saying that the shooting was a matter of self-defense.

Then, the 911 transcript was released.  During the call, Zimmerman tells the operator that there have been robberies in the neighborhood and that the man he sees is behaving suspiciously.  The NBC News editor altered the audio recording so that Zimmerman appears to be saying, “This guy looks like he's up to no good … he looks black.”

This is the actual transcript:

We’ve had some break-ins in my neighborhood and there’s a real suspicious guy. It’s Retreat View Circle. The best address I can give you is 111 Retreat View Circle.  This guy looks like he’s up to no good or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around looking about. [00:25]

911 dispatcher:
OK, is he White, Black, or Hispanic?

He looks black.

911 dispatcher:
Did you see what he was wearing?

Yeah, a dark hoodie like a gray hoodie. He wore jeans or sweat pants and white tennis shoes. He’s here now … he’s just staring.

The edited version of the 911 call set off a racial controversy, with rallies being held around the country in support of Martin in which participants wore hoodies.  Obama inserted himself into the Media melee saying that he sympathized with Martin’s parents and that if he’d had a son, he would have looked like Martin.  His comments were taken as a sign of condemnation of Zimmerman before he’s been tried.

Zimmerman has now been charged with 2nd degree murder in the case by Florida State Attorney General Angela Corey.  Corey denies that the belated charges have anything to do with public unrest or community demands, even though police evidence indicated the shooting was a case of self-defense.  The basis for the charges are not physical evidence but the suspicion of racial profiling.  The New Black Panthers have put out bounties on Zimmerman’s head and Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have further fueled public outcry over the case.

Some wonder why Zimmerman has been charged with second-degree murder rather than manslaughter.  Second-degree murder must show a depraved indifference for life.  The prosecution must prove that Zimmerman followed Martin with the intention of shooting and killing him.  The obvious shooting indicates that Zimmerman disregarded the 911 operator’s instructions, but not necessarily that he intended to kill him.  He seemed to be worried that someone he believed to be an intruder was going to get away again.

Martin fled; Zimmerman pursued him.  At some point, they confronted one another.  Push seemed to have come to shove.  They wound up on the ground, with Zimmerman suffering minor head injuries.  Then there was a single gunshot, followed by cries for help.  Note that:  the cries of help came after the shooting, and according to the report of at least one neighbor, the body on the ground was very, very dead, despite the 911 operator’s protestations that the woman couldn’t know that for sure.

In one of the more contentious portions of the tape, critics say that Zimmerman uses the F-word followed by what they claim is an old racial slur of black people.  CNN had their audio specialist “wash” the tape to make the sound clearer.  The first word is obviously the “F” word.  The sound that is “washed” as best as possible is the sound of Zimmerman panting as he’s either walking or running to catch up with Martin.  You can hear CNN’s report for yourself.

To this veteran dictatophonist, it sounds like Zimmerman is saying “F*&% cold.”  There is no detectable “oo” sound in what he says, but the “oh” schwa (an indistinctive vowel sound).  Remember:  it was a dark and rainy night.  However, the CNN anchor seems smugly self-satisfied that he’s hearing the “oo” word.

Martin’s mother stated today that she believes the shooting was accidental, although she just as quickly retracted the statement, saying that it was mischaracterized and that Zimmerman is a cold-blooded killer.  She only meant that their meeting was accidental and that Zimmerman never should have gotten out of his truck.  But then, it might not have happened if her son hadn’t had a craving for Skittles or worn a hoodie.  When last seen both alive, according to the eyewitness, the men were in very close quarters, and apparently face to face.   Zimmerman apparently did not shoot Martin in the back from a distance.

What the jury will have to decide is whether Zimmerman pursued Martin to detain him for the police or to take justice into his own hands.  “They always get away,” he says to the 911 dispatcher.  He knows the police are on their way.  If he believes himself to be a law-abiding citizen, it’s unlikely that he would deliberately shoot Martin and find himself in jail.

Obviously, Zimmerman ought to have followed the 911 dispatcher’s instructions and allowed the police to handle the matter.  No doubt, he’s wishing right now that he had.  He’d gotten fed up, apparently, with the inability of the police to stop the crime spree, and took matters – and a gun – into his own hands before he could be certain of the nature of the person whom he followed.

Zimmerman lived in the neighborhood.  He had a right to get out of his truck.  He had a right to keep an eye on his community.  He had a right to say something if he saw something.  He even had a right, in Florida, to defend himself with deadly force.  But there’s a difference between seeing something and saying something, and seeing something and doing something.

Martin’s father’s finacee lived in the neighborhood; Martin himself did not.  He was a stranger there, unknown to Zimmerman, especially in the dark.  Wearing the hoodie thing, he probably looked to Zimmerman like any of the goons who’d been robbing the neighborhood.

Therein lies the problem and the issue of profiling.  We shouldn’t judge people by their appearances, say young people.  But they do it all the time.  Through the generations, young people have selected the fashions of the criminal element, thanks to fashion designers who promote that kind of apparel.  In the 1980s, it was considered “hip” and “cool” to wear the cargo pants of the common shoplifter.  In earlier times, jeans were considered fashionable because they were the uniform of prison inmates and blue collar workers.  Then, of course, there’s the constantly eroding degeneracy of young women’s fashions.

Like Crown’s bowler-hatted army, young people wittingly or unwittingly are protecting the criminal element.  The rally organizers dressed in hoodies in solidarity for Martin; they should have thrown the hoodies on a great pile and burned them, instead.  Zimmerman must go to jail, although for manslaughter, not second-degree murder; a lifetime of jail is a bit lengthy for what amounted to an act of deadly foolishness. 

As for Martin, there’s a reason hunters wear orange when they go into the woods – so other hunters don’t shoot them by accident.  If you don’t want people to think you’re a criminal, you shouldn’t dress like one.  This juvenile argument that you can dress in whatever way you want without people judging or “profiling” you is unrealistic, unfair, and provocative.  That’s what children are known for, though; being provocative.  It’s time American youth grew up and stop aiding and abetting criminals by providing cover for them.

Meanwhile, the Florida Attorney General is going to pursue the second-degree murder charge against Zimmerman.  She’s aiming high and claims she never misses.  Speculating, it would be hard to bring charges against Zimmerman for second-degree murder when he was crying for help after he shot Martin.  That won’t matter to the thronging masses outside the courtroom clamoring for justice for Martin.  She’s working them up to a charge that won’t hold.

She’s aiming high and the result will be that she’ll cut the hangman’s noose around Zimmerman’s neck.  The lowered charges will result in riots in the street, just as there were after the Rodney King verdict in Los Angeles.  The Progressives have had two months to prime the crowds for their big performance.  Corey’s denials notwithstanding, these charges were trumped up thanks to the threat of the mobs.

Obama is looking for a long, hot summer just like 1967 that will sweep him into office and help him turn America once and for all into a socialist state, where we will all look alike, dress alike, think alike, and vote alike.


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