Trayvon Martin and Vigilantism

The killing of an innocent person in a "Stand Your Ground State."

The haunting lyrics of Billie Holiday's song Strange Fruit is a poignant reminder of our past when black Americans were lynched for the smallest transgression against a system of segregated subservience to white supremacy.

Today, we still witness vestiges of a virulent racism as reflected in Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” legislation and similar legislation in 20 other states. Florida’s statute is a license to kill as it embraces the concept that if a citizen feels threatened he/she has a right to use deadly force.

A vigilante mentality is being legally sanctioned.

Trayvon Martin (140 lbs.) was a 17-year-old black child visiting his father in a gated community in Sanford, Florida. He was sent to the store on an errand. Trayvon had no record or gang affiliation.

A self appointed white 28-year-old male neighborhood watch person (250 lbs.) was, it appears, a zealous guardian of the neighborhood. George Zimmerman had called the police 46 times since 2011. He packed a 9mm weapon and Trayvon had a bottled drink and packages of Skittles in his possession.

A witness claimed that she “heard the crying of a little boy,” followed by a shot and an eerie silence. Trayvon was dead, a modern day lynching.

The witness said that the police did not want to listen to her. Also, according to Jasmine Rand, (attorney for the Martin family) audio tapes revealed that Zimmerman used a racial slur and actively pursued Trayvon in order to met out vigilante justice—death.

The police have refused to arrest Zimmerman on the basis that he acted in self defense. Such a claim is absurd and reflects a racial climate in which African American lives are not granted equal protection under the law.

A firestorm has been ignited and the “self defense” laws being promulgated in various states must be rolled back by an enlightened citizenry as these laws create a climate of vigilante justice that will result in the destruction of innocent lives.

—Don Torrence

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Walt Wingo March 28, 2012 at 01:48 PM
Your comments are truly pathetic. Since you obviously do not have the intellectual wherewithal to address on a substance level the important issues Mr. Torrence brought up in his piece, you have to resort to name calling and the demonizing of the messenger which is always the refuge of the ill-informed and ignorant. Your lack of understanding of the historical unfolding of the race issue in this country and the various ways it affects our society to this day is unique even when measured against a low information voter. And your simplistic argument that some sort of political agenda is being pushed is made more ridiculous the fact that you are the only one bringing up the subject of politics. The tea-bagger mentality that so obviously burdens you does not permit any reflection on issues that don’t conform to your moronic world view and results in the asinine charge that progressives are the “real racists”. You are the one who should be ashamed of your mind-numbing ignorance.
Michael M. March 28, 2012 at 06:15 PM
I am most ashamed of you. You have drunk the koolaid from the progressive cup. You rail against name calling, yet you have called me all kinds of names. Hypocrisy at its best.
MIKE JONES March 30, 2012 at 10:44 PM
Last night, March 29, 2012 there was a shooting of 6 people with 1 dying at 79 and Loomis. Several hours later four people were shot on Roosevelt and Keeler. Both large scale, multiple victim shootings. Where is the dialect? Why aren't we discussing the reasons behind these multiple victim shootings? Are these victims not worthy of our sympathy?
Michael M. March 30, 2012 at 10:48 PM
They are worthy, just like all the rest. But, you have to realize that the left and progressives will only discuss them if it can advance their political agenda.
nick March 31, 2012 at 04:34 AM
Patrick Buchanan's comment on the trayvon shooting. http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=50546
Sara Waters March 31, 2012 at 05:09 AM
Stephenie - This is the best comment of the evening. You are absolutely correct. Let's not forget the most important fact and the one true fact, a child is dead. To everyone: I would not think if someone like Zimmerman had self appointed himself to patrol your neighborhood with a loaded gun that anyone would think it was a good idea. The only result of a non police officer walking around with a gun is innocent civilians being killed.
Sara Waters March 31, 2012 at 05:20 AM
Trayvon was murdered February 26th. The 'outrage' you speak of did not happen immediately.
Sara Waters March 31, 2012 at 05:23 AM
Pat Buchanan? Really? And anyone cares what this guy thinks why?
nick April 01, 2012 at 03:26 AM
Travon shot by a registered Democrat. http://freebeacon.com/registered-dem-killed-trayvon/
MIKE JONES April 02, 2012 at 07:22 AM
16 more people shot over the weekend in the City of Chicago. Where is the "outrage"? It has been a couple of days, where are the answers to this continuous crime wave? Three men were killed over a coat? No "outrage", or has there not been enough time passed to decide if we should be outraged?
Sara Waters April 02, 2012 at 01:37 PM
Who killed them? Does everyone know and no one made arrests or are the police doing their job and investigating?
MIKE JONES April 02, 2012 at 02:38 PM
I would believe the police are doing their job investigating. I would bet that everyone in the community knows, hopefully the community is not exhibiting the "Code of Silence" that occurs so often and will actually assist in the investigation. However, what are the reasons behind these shootings? Whatever the reasons are, the individuals are no less shot or no less killed. These reasons need to be addressed. Four people were shot in the 2700 block of Madison at a nightclub because an individual was denied entry, what is this individuals. Why did these four people get shot? It needs to be addressed.
Russ April 02, 2012 at 03:30 PM
Nick,voice experts have analyzed one of the 911 calls and determined that the voice crying for help was not Zimmerman . http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/31/trayvon-martin-shooting-911-call-screams_n_1394224.html?icid=maing-grid7|main5|dl2|se This definitely conflicts with the witnesses account on the fox report that you show here. The video shown when Zimmerman was brought to the police station doesn't show Zimmerman with any grass stains ,blood stains,broken nose etc. I also read a report from the mortician for Trayvon that said he did not find skinned or damaged hands on his corpse indicating that Trayvon was not in a hand to hand battle.
Russ April 02, 2012 at 03:44 PM
The fact that other crimes are happening everywhere and they are not solved ,perpetrators are not found doesn't mean they won't be found and arrested.In Trayvon's case the admitted murderer was never charged.Zimmerman is a free man.There is a great deal of evidence that says he should have been arrested .We also see conflicting reports supporting his self defense claims.The only way to have a real determination of what went on is to arrest Zimmerman and see what sticks in a trial. Isn't that the way things happen?When crimes are committed and people get caught or confess to the crime,they go before a judge or jury . That is all Trayvon's parents are asking for.I call it justice.
nick April 02, 2012 at 07:54 PM
trayvon Martin case: looking ahead to a grand jury hearing: http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-trayvon-martin-20120329,0,4927997.story
nick April 02, 2012 at 08:06 PM
Zimmerman hasn't been arrested, yet. But the police know where he is, he can't run. There is nowhere to go without being recognized. We'll all just have to wait and see what the Grand Jury decides.
GS April 02, 2012 at 08:46 PM
I love how the left media is making this out to be a racial issue. Watch Fox news and get the fair and balanced truth. When are we going to get conceal and carry here, so I can protect myself and my family.
Sara Waters April 02, 2012 at 08:50 PM
GS - thank you for your post. That's the funniest thing I read all day. Fox News for fair and balanced truth.
GS April 02, 2012 at 08:54 PM
Fox news is the only news station that has BOTH sides Left and Right on to defend their ridiculous views. Did you see now that NBC doctored the 911 tape to make it racist? How is that fair and balanced? Tell me how you can be spoon fed the lies and propaganda that the left media, msnbc, today show, and cbs puts on the air to try and make this story into something bigger than a man protecting himself against a thug. Did you see what Trayvon's Twitter name was or did msnbc leave that off the nightly news?
GS April 02, 2012 at 09:04 PM
Russ April 03, 2012 at 12:12 AM
Fox is the biggest perpetrator of lies and distortion in the media.I guess you fell for it all GS.Have a nice day and I hope you wake up from your nap.
Sara Waters April 03, 2012 at 02:18 AM
Russ - of course GS fell for it. They all do. O'Reilly has the no spin zone yet it goes in a circle around is ignorant beliefs.
Michael M. April 03, 2012 at 02:20 AM
It is terrible that there are poor people in any country. Sara, what are you doing about it besides calling people idiots?
Sara Waters April 03, 2012 at 02:22 AM
Fox has the most anchors that have to apologize for their appauling behavior. They are a bunch of angry morons. Fox News declared that there are no poor people in this country since 97% of Americans own a refridgerator. A fridge. That still leaves 3% who don't. Ralph Cramden was living large in his one bedroom apt he shared with his wife, yet couldn't afford a telephone. Idiots.
nick April 03, 2012 at 04:10 AM
The following are facts about persons defined as “poor” by the Census Bureau as taken from various government reports: * 80 percent of poor households have air conditioning. In 1970, only 36 percent of the entire U.S. population enjoyed air conditioning. * 92 percent of poor households have a microwave. * Nearly three-fourths have a car or truck, and 31 percent have two or more cars or trucks. * Nearly two-thirds have cable or satellite TV. * Two-thirds have at least one DVD player, and 70 percent have a VCR. * Half have a personal computer, and one in seven have two or more computers. * More than half of poor families with children have a video game system, such as an Xbox or PlayStation. * 43 percent have Internet access. * One-third have a wide-screen plasma or LCD TV. * One-fourth have a digital video recorder system, such as a TiVo. For decades, the living conditions of the poor have steadily improved. Consumer items that were luxuries or significant purchases for the middle class a few decades ago have become commonplace in poor households, partially because of the normal downward price trend that follows introduction of a new product. Liberals use the declining relative prices of many amenities to argue that it is no big deal that poor households have air conditioning, computers, cable TV, and wide-screen TV. They contend, polemically, that even though most poor families may have a house full of modern conveniences.
nick April 03, 2012 at 04:16 AM
THE POOR IN AMERICA Television newscasts about poverty in America generally portray the poor as homeless people or as a destitute family living in an overcrowded, dilapidated trailer. In fact, however: * Over the course of a year, 4 percent of poor persons become temporarily homeless. * Only 9.5 percent of the poor live in mobile homes or trailers, 49.5 percent live in separate single-family houses or townhouses, and 40 percent live in apartments. * 42 percent of poor households actually own their own homes. * Only 6 percent of poor households are overcrowded. More than two-thirds have more than two rooms per person. * The average poor American has more living space than the typical non-poor person in Sweden, France, or the United Kingdom. * The vast majority of the homes or apartments of the poor are in good repair. By their own reports, the average poor person had sufficient funds to meet all essential needs and to obtain medical care for family members throughout the year whenever needed. Of course, poor Americans do not live in the lap of luxury. The poor clearly struggle to make ends meet, but they are generally struggling to pay for cable TV, air conditioning, and a car, as well as for food on the table. The average poor person is far from affluent, but his lifestyle is far from the images of stark deprivation purveyed by advocacy groups and the media.
Sara Waters April 03, 2012 at 01:39 PM
Michael - Every year instead of buying presents at Christmas, we donate food. When I worked downtown, I never hesitated to buy someone a sandwich that needed it. I am not a business owner, so I am unable to offer anyone a job. When I was a teenager, I worked with an adult that couldn't read. I helped assist him in learning to read and set him up with a program at his local library where someone could help him. Every time we worked together, we worked on his reading.
Sara Waters April 03, 2012 at 01:40 PM
Michael - for the record, I called Fox News idiots. I did not directly call anyone on this posting an idiot.
Rob P April 03, 2012 at 03:35 PM
Mike- 2 weeks ago over 45 people were shot over a single weekend in Chicago. Im not sure how mant died as a result but it was close to 8. Where are the tv promted marches run by the leaders. We see news reports on the victims and neighborhoods, but no outpouring like this recent Florida incident. I sure hope all the recent media and news conferences are not a political skewer in the fire to be used for the upcoming election. This Florida death was tragic, but police, prosecutors do this job almost daily. There are reasons to arrest, evidence to go to trial steps to take for proper conviction. Rush to judgement, jail or wrongful prosecution will always end up back in court with the victim being the survivor.
Michael M. April 03, 2012 at 05:45 PM
Why do you only donate food at Christmas? Why not more often? Like weekly or monthly or daily. Oh and don't ask me what I do for the poor, This is about you since you decided to complain about the poor. And I have some good stories for you about the poor I have met and serviced that would make your head explode. Why would you call anyone an idiot? it doesn't help your cause. The poor will always be with us. Fox news apologizes more than others? Where is your proof of that? Where is the news story that Fox ran saying there are no more poor? I am not taking sides, I am saying this to you and everyone else, that when you make a statement of fact, you have to back it up. Not backing it up makes it an opinion, and you know what they say about opinions.


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