Is This A “White” Trayvon? A Handy Chart For Conservatives

In recent weeks, conservatives have tied themselves into knots attempting to shoehorn horrible crimes into a framework which would allow them to attack President Obama and other prominent black leaders for ignoring a white analogue to the Trayvon Martin murder.

Because I am a giver, I’ve created a handy flowchart to assist our friends on the right in this endeavor:



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  • DaveInSoCal

    I see that Oliver Willis is deleting the comments of people who disagree with him and call him out for his partisan hackery.
    Nice to see that some things never change.

  • OsborneInk

    Charts have a liberal bias.

  • cattnipp

    the chart left out….. Was there an automatic assumption that the killer was only acting in self defense and no crime had occurred?……

  • gandhi77

    Hey Oliver, what do you think about the fact that the prosecutor in the Trayvon case said there was no racism involved?

    • FeRD

      I think if anything was successfully proven in that case, it was that said prosecutors are all pretty terrible at their job. So what would you like anyone to think? I’ll go with, “Well, then that’s another thing you screwed up.”

  • Francisco D’Anconia

    “Seriously, the ‘closest thing to proof is Zimmerman’s statement’? Why should I take you seriously when you say something like that?”

    You owe me a new monitor for that.

    After you told me, “See, when you mention Trayvon’s appearance as represented by the media, I know you’re full of shit,” I knew you were unserious, yet I still treated you like an adult.

    After you said, “The unarmed kid shot in the chest after being followed by the killer isn’t probable enough cause?” and proved that you have neither understanding of the concept of probable cause, nor knowledge of the contents of Zimmerman’s call to the Sanford Police, I still treated you seriously.

    After you told DaveinSoCal that to unquestioningly believe the killer’s version of events made him a gullible fool, while at the same time demonstrating over and over again that you unquestioningly believe – while utterly failing to provide a single piece of evidence, mind you – the victim’s family’s version (or, put truthfully, the lack thereof) of events, making you by your own standard an equally gullible fool, I still treated you seriously.

    After you said, “I just don’t trust Zimmerman enough to go along with the rest of his story,” without offering even a reason, let alone a fact to inform your opinion, I continued to treat you seriously.

    After you said, “Objection, facts not in evidence. While you haven’t said Trayvon was the aggressor, per se, you sound like the type who would have said it before,” which, let’s face it, is about as baldly as you can assert facts not in evidence while complaining about someone else asserting facts not in evidence, I continued to treat you seriously. Though by this point I had begun to question why, as you had proved, and continued to prove with each passing reply, that you are as unserious as I had originally decided. The evidence has been there all along.

    And now you’ve said, “Yeah, I don’t trust the word of a guy who was on the hook for a murder charge. But his word is enough for you, huh?” Again you’ve asserted mistrust in the statement of a man but given no reason for your feelings (how very liberal, if you feeeeeeeel it, it must be so). And I find it disingenuous, not to mention genuinely distasteful of you to pronounce him untrustworthy – because he was charged with murder – based on statements he made PRIOR TO BEING CHARGED. Charges which he is no longer “on the hook for,” if we’re being completely accurate. But I guess that’s just silly old me, NOT making stuff up as I go along.

    The serious answer to that question – “His word is good enough for you, huh?” is no.

    His word is not good enough.

    But the problem, as you have so ably demonstrated by your unwillingness and/or inability to provide any evidence, is that while Zimmerman’s word is not good enough, there is no evidence available to contradict it. And when a man’s life is in the balance (or even when it’s not), “he just feeeeeeeels guilty to me,” cannot possibly pass muster.

    And then you ask, “if Zimmerman was not racially profiling Trayvon that night, why did he find him suspicious?” And here I am, one last time, about to answer you seriously. The facts which inform my answer are available to you. In my opinion, you will neither seek out these facts nor allow them to alter your opinion. Of this I have no doubt. I desperately hope that you will surprise me and, for the first time in our long conversation, prove me wrong.

    So, again, based on documented proof, here is why Zimmerman found Trayvon Martin suspicious:

    The Retreat at Twin Lakes was a declining neighborhood where crime was increasing. Zimmerman was an involved neighbor prior to agreeing to be a neighborhood watch captain.

    Dozens of reports of attempted break-ins and would-be burglars casing homes had created an atmosphere of growing fear in the neighborhood.

    Zimmerman had reported another suspicious person about three weeks prior who had fled before police arrived. It was not the first time this had happened, but it was the most recent episode prior to the fateful night. Four days later, the same suspicious person was found carrying merchandise stolen from a home in the neighborhood and arrested for burglary.

    A pattern had been established in the neighborhood. Suspicious individuals had been spotted, reported and had escaped, only to return later and commit crimes.

    Zimmerman observed Martin walking through the neighborhood in the pouring rain, looking about, staring into houses. Like a would-be burglar casing homes. (By the way, this is the precise action that Trayvon was engaged in that would have been totally out of the ordinary for a normal person to do. Also, running away when he determined he was being observed.)

    That is why he found him suspicious. Based on…wait for it…facts.

    Facts which led George Zimmerman to the reasoned and sensible conclusion that he had once again encountered a suspicious individual, one who appeared to have no good reason to be walking in the rain, without an apparent destination, looking
    into the windows of houses he passed by. And when this suspicious individual ran, the established pattern of past experience also led Zimmerman to the reasoned and sensible conclusion that this suspicious individual would escape the police, only to return later and commit a crime. It had happened before. And except for answering the dispatcher’s question as to the race of the suspicious individual, there is no proof anywhere that this was an episode of racial profiling, nor is there evidence that George Zimmerman ever acted with racial animus toward any other human being in his entire life.

    Gussie, you will no doubt wonder why I choose not to provide links to this proof. Because it is time and past time for you to take a long walk off a short pier. Your argument has proved – and I would put it before any jury in the land, with my own
    life in the balance – that you are precisely the fundamentally unserious person
    I originally pegged you for. I’m done taking you seriously and I’m done treating you seriously. I have no more time to waste beating you to a rhetorical pulp. It’s down to diminishing returns now. Kicking your behind is no longer fun or worth the effort.

    • cheviteau

      Are you and George lovers in some way?

    • Ol Froth

      Are you seriously arguing that ordinary citizens have a right to conduct Terry stops?

      • Francisco D’Anconia

        No. Are you arguing that Zimmerman made a Terry stop?

        • Ol Froth

          It sounds like that is what you’re arguing. You list all these things that might cause Zimmerman to be suspicious of Martin, but Zimmerman still has no legal authority to stalk or detain Martin. But you imply that he DID have that authority. Your words:Facts which led George Zimmerman to the reasoned and sensible conclusion that he had once again encountered a suspicious individual, one who appeared to have no good reason to be walking in the rain, without an apparent destination, looking
          into the windows of houses he passed by. And when this suspicious individual ran, the established pattern of past experience also led Zimmerman to the reasoned and sensible conclusion that this suspicious individual would escape the police, only to return later and commit a crime.
          He was suspicious of him, OK, I get that. As soon as he called the police with his suspicions, then that should have been the end of it. By continuing to follow Martin, a person who was acting in a totally lawful and legal manner, Zimmerman set up the conditions for the encounter. What he should have done was let the police do their jobs; he didn’t do that a kid is now dead because of his reckless disregard.

          • CiscoDanconia

            I think you’ve drawn an inference based on what you believe I think rather than on anything I’ve actually said. To be fair, I think you may have missed several exchanges between Gussie Jives and me. Many of mine have been deleted.

            Long story short, I’ve already covered a lot of territory with Gussie, who proved either unable or unwilling to bring facts to the conversation, and frankly I’m not willing to do it again.

            I’d be more than willing to continue with you if you can bring facts to support your assertions. I see in another post you said you still think Zimmerman’s guilty as hell. I think you’re entitled to your opinion, but I’m having trouble finding anyone who holds that opinion based on documented facts.

            If you can bring facts to support your conclusions that a) Zimmerman continued to follow Martin after the dispatcher said “we don’t need you to do that” and Zimmerman responded “OK,” and b) Zimmerman showed reckless disregard in any way, than I’ll continue.

          • dbtheonly

            I’m confused. I thought the time-line had Zimmerman notice Martin, call the Police, and then follow Martin to Martin’s death. Are you asserting that’s incorrect?

          • Francisco D’Anconia

            Absolutely not. That may be precisely what happened.
            What I am asserting is that there is no proof that such a time-line is correct. In general, I am asserting that there was no proof sufficient to meet the standards of probable cause nor the standards of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt to a charge of homicide in the second degree.
            The specific answer is that there has been an assumption made that Zimmerman followed Martin until he caught up to him and confronted him, but there is no testimonial or physical evidence to support that assumption.
            Conversely, the transcript of the call reports that the dispatcher asked if Zimmerman was following, Zimmerman said yes, the dispatcher said we don’t need you to do that, and Zimmerman said OK. Beyond that, we can gather no other information from the transcript regarding whether Zimmerman continued to follow or not. According to Zimmerman’s written account given to police, he left his vehicle to find a street sign and to determine where Martin was going. He was returning to his SUV when Martin approached him from behind.
            That’s thin evidence. But it’s evidence. And in court, thin evidence beats no evidence, or at least it should before an objective jury. Like I said elsewhere, “he just feeeeeeels guilty to me” doesn’t pass muster. That’s why we have the standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

          • dbtheonly

            “the transcript of the call reports that the dispatcher asked if Zimmerman was following, Zimmerman said yes, the dispatcher said we don’t need you to do that, and Zimmerman said OK. Beyond that, we can gather no other information”
            Except, presumeably of course, that Martin was alive at the time of the call. Therefore any action Zimmerman took after that went beyond the rational standard of care & resulted in Martin’s death.
            You are absolutely right that Zimmerman left no witnesses & thus nothing to contradict his self-serving statements. Are you arguing that a Defendant’s statements are a bar from conviction of a crime?

          • Francisco D’Anconia

            Okay, you’ve taken my words completely out of context for no useful reason, and you refuse to proffer a fact in support of your position.
            Done with you.

          • dbtheonly

            I’ll cry myself to sleep.

          • Ol Froth

            Well we know from Martin’s phone call that Zimmerman was following him and Martin was trying to lose him. We also know that Zimmerman left his car to allegedly read a street sign because this self-appointed neighborhood watch captain apparently didn’t know where he was in his own neighborhood.

          • Gussie Jives

            So essentially, the way to get away with killing somebody is kill the witness in a place with cops who don’t give a shit.

            See, cops who wanted to find evidence wouldn’t have allowed Martin to go unidentified for an entire day. The way you talk about the lack of probable cause makes it seem like the cops did a full and thorough investigation, but just didn’t find anything. No, they didn’t do their goddamned jobs. Unless you think throwing a dead kid’s wet clothes in a plastic bag to rot is good evidence collection technique.

          • Ol Froth

            I think 2nd degree murder was a stretch. I’d have gone with a manslaughter charge since Zimmerman recklessly created the conditions that lead to Martin’s death.

    • Gussie Jives

      Wow. He was walking in his own neighbourhood in the rain. Looking at houses. Only something I’ve done about a dozen times when I saw something interesting on a house’s front stoop or lawn.

      You know, thieves would probably case a neighbourhood during the day, when the people who live there are AT WORK.

      “Reasoned and sensible conclusion” my rear end. You seriously think that if he saw a white kid doing that he’d have the same reaction, based on the popular stereotype of the black male youth in the United States?

      See, an intelligent person is able to form patterns in the face of the available evidence, while processing several scenarios based on what evidence is missing. In the lack of a GOOD reason to find Trayvon suspicious, race is all that is left. I’d love to believe Zimmerman didn’t racially profile Martin, but a paranoid “neighbourhood watch” captain following a black kid for flimsy reasons just doesn’t leave anything else, especially the way young black men are portrayed in media.

      Similarly, because there are so many OTHER ways that Zimmerman could have received his injuries other than his story means that I can’t accept his word as true. I’m not saying that I KNOW what went down, but in order to be intellectually honest, you have to say when you don’t know.

  • Katerwriter

    I have a feeling that there’s a segment of the population who can’t understand this simple diagram.

  • BillAndersoot

    I have come to the conclusion that I am allergic to any argument that requires the mention of a person’s skin color to make its point. I begin to yawn uncontrollably and I just can’t stop.

    • Bill Andersoot


  • Patrick Grady

    You have an error in your flowchart, Oliver.

    You should make a more clear distinction regarding the race of the perpetrators.

    Like so:

    Were the perpetrators black?
    YES: Were they arrested? (not “Where,” but this is the internet where poor spelling and usage is no reflection on overall intelligence…honest)
    NO: All of them?
    YES: Were they arrested?
    NO: Did any of them have a black father and a white mother (like the President)?
    YES: Then they’re black (like the President). They might even look like the President’s son, if he had one. Were they arrested?
    NO: Well, just go ahead and pretend they were anyways.

    And we’ll just conveniently ignore that George Zimmerman WAS arrested (by a politically motivated prosecutor), and WAS tried (by a politically motivated and quite incompetent prosecution team), and WAS found not guilty (by a fairly chosen jury), which makes the manufactured outrage seems just all the more fake, huh?

    • Oliver Willis

      The outrage was because Zimmerman hadn’t been arrested, despite the concern of the police.

      • Patrick Grady

        That’s a pure load of horse crap and you know it.

        According to Wikipedia’s entry on the night of the shooting, the white devil (with a racially insignificant Peruvian mother) Zimmerman was taken into custody, treated for the injuries he received as a result of the beating he took from poor, cute, darling little 12 year old Trayvon, and questioned for five hours. During the trial, lead investigator Chris Serino testified that while interrogating him, Serino tried to bluff Zimmerman by telling him there was videotape of the altercation.

        According to Serino, Zimmerman’s response was, “Thank God. I was hoping somebody would videotape it.”

        A Reuters report published on April 3, 2012 indicates Serino wanted to interview Zimmerman again after he was released, “to try and catch him in a lie.” The same article noted that Sanford Florida has “a long history of racial tension, and black mistrust of the police runs deep. In 2011, a previous Sanford police chief was forced out of the job after a white police officer’s son was captured on video sucker-punching a black homeless man outside a bar.”
        Curiously, the article fails to note two facts: the name of the homeless man, Sherman Ware; and the fact that a primary supporter and toiler for justice in the case of Sherman Ware was one George Zimmerman.

        Additionally, I learned from the Reuters article that Trayvon’s father Tracy Martin was unsatisfied with Serino’s recounting of Zimmerman’s side of the story. Sadly, Trayvon was dead and unable to contradict anything. According to Reuters, Trayvon’s parents “believe he (referring to Zimmerman) stalked their son because he was black, and they were outraged that Sanford police had accepted Zimmerman’s claim of self-defense.”

        Despite not being able to produce a scintilla of evidence to buttress this belief that Zimmerman was racially profiling his son, Reuters reports that Tracy Martin turned to his sister-in-law Patricia Jones. She in turn called upon “Benjamin Crump, the state’s best-known civil rights attorney.”

        He first counseled patience. “’I told him to believe in the system,’ Crump said of that first call. “’I really believed they were going to arrest Zimmerman. I said, “He’s a neighborhood watch person with a gun. Of course they are going to arrest him just for that.”’ ‘Then 48 hours passed and they still hadn’t arrested him,’ Crump said. ‘After that we just had to do what we had to do.’”

        On February 28, after those first 48 hours had passed without an arrest, Crump took the case pro bono and partnered with Natalie Jackson for local expertise; her mother lives in Sanford. According to Reuters, their first step was to work out a “media strategy.”

        Not a legal strategy, mind you, but a media strategy.

        On March 5 Jackson brought in publicist Ryan Julison, who immediately “went to work pitching the story (which Dr. Kermit Gosnell would later refer to as a “local news story”), to national media.”

        According to Reuters, they were first to publish anything, on March 7th. CBS News aired a segment on their morning show the following day. By 10:00 AM a crowd of reporters was gathered outside Natalie Jackson’s law office for the first major news conference with Ben Crump and Tracy Martin, in accordance with the “media strategy.” The rest of the media lemmings quickly piled on as well, and the firestorm had ignited.

        To summarize this mountain of evidence, we have the parents of Trayvon Martin, helped by Ben Crump, Natalie Jackson and Ryan Julison, based on nothing more than an unsubstantiated belief (and in point of fact, this was a belief that was factually contradicted by past evidence in the Sherman Ware case) that Zimmerman was engaged in racial profiling, manufacturing a media event, in order to force the police to act in a case where there was no probable cause to do so.

        • Oliver Willis

          right, so nobody was arrested.

          • Patrick Grady

            That’s what I respect so much about you, Oliver, is your unparalleled ability to argue based on merit and substance.
            Why should anyone have been arrested, given that based on the initial police investigation, there was no witness testimony or physical evidence providing probable cause to do so?

          • Razor

            No physical evidence… Ya know, aside from the dead fucking body that couldn’t tell his side of the story.

          • DaveInSoCal

            Oh I don’t know, I think Zimmerman’s broken nose and the lacerations on the back of his head caused by St. Trayvon repeatedly slamming Zimmerman’s head against the concrete did a pretty good job telling his side of the story.
            You just don’t want to hear it.

          • Gussie Jives

            Again, nobody saw any slamming. That is from Zimmerman’s account only, and repeated ad nauseam on right-wing corners of the web as if it were proven fact. It isn’t.

            Your confirmation bias is showing.

          • Patrick Grady

            Razor, thank you so much for helping to prove my point…which was, as you may not have noticed from the reply you possibly failed to comprehend, that the “dead fucking body” PROVIDED NO PHYSICAL EVIDENCE PROVIDING PROBABLE CAUSE TO MAKE AN ARREST. Nor did it provide any evidence contradictory to Zimmerman’s account. An account which, according to the March 26, 2012 Orlando Sentinel, states that “Zimmerman had turned around and was walking back to his SUV (while still stalking him, the racist bastard!) when Trayvon approached him from behind, the two exchanged words and then Trayvon punched him in the nose, sending him to the ground, and began beating him.”

            In addition, at trial, Sanford EMT/firefighter Stacy Livingston testified that she treated Zimmerman at the scene, noting that he had a swollen bleeding nose (corroboration for Zimmerman’s account) and two cuts on the back of his head (still consistent with Zimmerman’s account).
            Both these points are also corroborated by photographs of Zimmerman taken after the shooting.
            This is an example “eyewitness testimony” backed up by “physical evidence.” You might want to look into the concept.

          • dbtheonly

            That’s the point. Leave no witnesses.


            This applies to your comments too. We can’t argue against anything Zimmerman said because he didn’t leave anyone to contradict his account.

          • Gussie Jives

            That might satisfy a jury, as they need proof beyond reasonable doubt and it did in this case, but it doesn’t mean that Zimmerman’s word is correct or that we should believe him. I certainly don’t.

          • Gussie Jives

            The unarmed kid shot in the chest after being followed by the killer isn’t probable enough cause?

            If not for an arrest, how about a deeper investigation? Test Zimmerman for drugs. HOLD HIM IN CUSTODY for a while while the investigation is done. None of that was done.

          • Ol Froth

            Generally, you don’t test for drug or alcohol impairment unless you can articulate a reasonable suspicion of drug and/or alcohol impairment or use. If Zimmerman didn’t exhibit signs he was impaired, no blood draw/urine test is warranted.

        • Gussie Jives

          See, when you mention Trayvon’s appearance as represented by the media, I know you’re full of shit. As if we’re not supposed to empathize with a dead person because they were older than 12.

          And the unarmed dead person probably warrants an investigation, no? Not just letting the guy go without testing him for, say, drugs?

          • General Buttnaked

            What PC would there have been for a blood draw warrant? I don’t recall any suggestion in the testimony that Zimmerman was impaired. And even if he had drugs in his system, what real impact would it have had on the case?

          • Steven

            Well considering they tested TM for drugs, Id say there’s plenty of reasons when the guy killed an unarmed teenager. The main question being, Was GZ impaired when he made his life ending choices.

            Pretty critical info to know when your going to take his side of the story.

          • Ol Froth

            Its callous, but the legal reality is that a dead person doesn’t have privacy rights. If there were drugs in Martin’s system, that could be evidence in Zimmerman’s favor. To get a warrant to test Zimmerman though, you must be able to articulate why you believe he is impared.

            That said, I still think Zimmerna’s guilty as hell, but the only opinion that really matters is the jury’s.

          • cattnipp

            if you have an accident in the workplace they test you for drugs at the behest of your employers insurance….. it is assumed that error in judgement is warrant enough to require drug testing……. there was a killing of an unarmed youth — THAT was most likely the result of an error in judgement…. they should have tested Zimmerman for any impairments.

          • Ol Froth

            Yes, but the workplace is not constrained by the 4th Amendment. The government, via the police, is under those constraints.

          • cattnipp

            In Texas they are doing full body cavity searches on women at the side of the road because the officer believes they MIGHT be guilty of littering……. and a drug test after causing a death is seen as unreasonable?????

          • Ol Froth

            My guess is that a full body cavity search for littering will result in a hefty lawsuit. Just because something happened, doesn’t make it legal. And no, drug and alcohol testing are not done after all accidents. They’re only done if there is reasonable suspicion that the person was impaired, such as the odor of an alcoholic beverage, physiological clues like slurred speech or unsteady gait, etc. or presence of drug paraphernalia. Even then, in many states you can refuse to give a sample, with the penalty being loss of your license. In light of a refusal, a warrant must be obtained to compel a blood draw, and you better have probable cause.

          • William Carr

            The cavity searches have been done twice now, right out in the open, without changing gloves between women or between their anus and vagina.

            I hope there’s a hefty lawsuit, but I don’t see one yet.

        • JozefAL

          Yes, because everyone knows that Wikipedia is completely unbiased and that no one other than authorized Wikipedia editors are allowed to contribute to a Wikipedia entry.
          So, by all means, use Wiki as your source. (I will admit that I use Wiki, but I’m also aware that not everyone will accept Wiki as a legitimate source. Wiki’s a good starting point; it’s not the be-all and end-all.)

    • Gussie Jives

      I’ve seen a lot of really stupid people criticize the President for saying “if I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon”. How do you interpret that statement that makes it hypocritical or otherwise a point of contention?

      It’s called “empathy”. The President was trying to provide empathy for a deceased individual. Of course, ten bucks says you think he was a “thug” and thus undeserving of empathy, but that was all he was trying to do.

      • Patrick Grady

        Gussie, I can tell already that you are a fundamentally unserious person, but I’m going to treat you like an adult anyway. You may want to sit down, so that later on you can jump up and down and scream at the computer screen and stomp your feet and all that sort of thing.

        I’m also going to cover all over your many points in one reply, because to me it’s all of a piece anyway. Do try to keep up.

        In response to DaveinSoCal, you point out that nobody saw any slamming, and as accurately as I am able to determine from various accounts, this is true. Normally I would let Dave handle his own battles as he seems more than capable, but it’s worth pointing out that if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, IT STILL MAKES A NOISE. In plainer words more suited to the situation, if Gussie wishes to assert that a thing did not happen, Gussie better bring proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

        Now, it is worth noting carefully that I DID NOT assert that Zimmerman’s head wounds were caused by having his head slammed to the concrete. I said that Zimmerman told police investigators that “Trayvon punched him in the nose, sending him to the ground, and began beating him.”

        And that his injuries, as examined and treated by the EMT on the scene, were entirely consistent with his account. But I think you may not have seen that post, at least not as I write this one.

        Now, as adults, we can generally deal with more than one facet of an argument at a time, so let us turn to the media’s representation of Trayvon Martin.

        Here’s my issue: OF COURSE we are supposed to empathize with poor, cute, darling little 12 year old Trayvon, because he was absolutely blameless! You can see that in his darling baby face and innocent eyes. And fortunately for us, because these images were the only ones that Team Trayvon provided to the media, they were the only ones that the media used. You’ve perhaps heard once or twice the phrase “crafting the Narrative?” Tell me, what do you think Team Trayvon needed a publicist and a “media strategy” for, anyway?

        In order to create the leverage required to move the Sanford Police Department, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Justice Department and the FBI beyond the apparent facts of the case which would eventually lead to a resounding acquittal, and on to action, to the desired result, to an ARREST, Team Trayvon needed a Narrative that would allow the media to apply continuous pressure.

        And the photos of a hoodie-wearing, doe-eyed, elementary school sweetheart provided just that. Tell me, Gussie, why not release some of the more contemporary photos? Photos of Trayvon sucking back smoke from a joint (you do recall from the autopsy that his toxicology came back positive for a several-days-past level of THC, do you not?), photos of Trayvon flipping the double bird at his webcam?

        There had to be a reason for that, don’t you think? Like, maybe those pictures don’t paint quite so rosy and empathetic a picture? A
        picture of Trayvon flipping a double bird is not likely to be a picture
        President Obama might say would look like his son, if he had one. More contemporary pictures of Trayvon do indeed paint him as a “thug.” So I guess I have to agree with you once more. Ten bucks to you.

        Because the evidence does speak it so. Congratulations.

        Images are powerful, Gussie. Powerful enough to help move a politically motivated prosecutor into pressing a ridiculous case before a judge, even.

        Speaking of ridiculous, when you say “And the unarmed dead person probably warrants an investigation, no,” are you asserting that THERE WAS NO INVESTIGATION? Are you saying that the Sanford police DID NOT take George Zimmerman into custody and interrogate him for five hours the night of the shooting?

        Because that would be patently false. And ridiculous. No?
        Now, I can excuse the statement that follows in your comment: “Not just letting the guy go without testing him for, say, drugs?” And I can excuse it because you may simply be ignorant of the law here. A
        story posted in the International Business Times on March 21, 2012 states:

        “Police seemed to accept Zimmerman’s account [of the shooting] at face value that night and that he was not tested for drugs or alcohol on the night of the shooting, even though it is standard procedure in most homicide investigations, ABC News reported.

        The Sanford Police Department have stood by their investigation
        thus far, according to the network.

        Other reports say testing Zimmerman for drugs and alcohol is not
        standard procedure.


        I also took the trouble to look at the referenced story from ABC News and found a familiar name was extensively quoted or paraphrased in the story – the Martin family publicist Ryan Julison. So now we’ve circled all the way back around to media strategy and crafting a Narrative, haven’t we?

        Now, let’s go back to President Obama’s statement about how his son might look like Trayvon and how it fits into Oliver’s genius flowchart, shall we?

        I believe you may be missing a fact which Oliver also either missed or glossed over (with Oliver, one can never be sure): while it was originally reported that Australian baseball player Christopher Lane was shot and killed by a group of three black teenagers, this was later corrected to note that one of the assailants was not black, hence the oval on Oliver’s flowchart that reads “Well, just go ahead and pretend they were anyways.”

        But what Oliver missed or, more likely in my opinion, skipped right past is the fact that the guy who pulled the trigger, Chauncey Allen Luna, is the mixed-race child of a black father and a white mother. Just. Like. Our. Black. President.

        Truly, if anyone were going to have a chance to look like the son of Barack Obama, wouldn’t it be a child of a mixed race couple?

        Oliver, and you, so it would seem, want to have it both ways; when a child of mixed race rises to great heights and esteem, well, he’s a black man. But let a child of identical heritage – do I dare even say it? I do! – stalk and shoot down a white man in cold blood, not so much, huh? Gotta step right out of our way to minimize that fact just as quickly and thoroughly as possible.

        It must be so nice to be a liberal and ruled by your feelings all the time. I know it’s a cliché, but the reason they are clichés is because they’re true: if it weren’t for double standards, you’d have none at all.

        Now would be the time to start your tantrum. Enjoy.

        • Gussie Jives

          When it comes to homicide, I’m pretty serious. Still, brevity, my friend. Condense your text walls.

          Anyway, lack of drug testing is just one example where the police didn’t bother to do a thorough investigation. Even if it wasn’t “standard procedure,” look at the rest of the police failures:

          Then you turn around and say there wasn’t “probable cause” to arrest Zimmerman, huh? Five hours does not an investigation make. And Zimmerman’s injuries are also consistent with just being hit once and falling on the pavement. I don’t trust Zimmerman enough to go along with the rest of his story.

          It’s ironic you claim liberals are ruled by emotion, when you make your opinions of Trayvon based on his clothes and a picture of him flipping the bird. It doesn’t matter if he did all of those things you mentioned: he wasn’t doing anything wrong when Zimmerman spotted him. The reason right wingers have to believe the worst about him is that cognitive dissonance will not allow him to have not deserved being shot. Because that allows you to fill in another gap where we don’t know who the aggressor was. Him being a “thug” allows you to just leap in an say “of course Trayvon hit first, he was a thug.”

          Objection facts not in evidence. While you haven’t said this, per se, you sound like the type who would have said it before.

          As to the President’s comment, it’s obvious that you missed the point entirely. Seriously, his racial makeup is what you took away from it, huh? Not that the kid had a family who will miss him or black people tend to be profiled as being up to no good? No, you took away “the president identifies with every black/mixed race hoodlum”? Otherwise, why mention Chauncy Allen Luna by name?

          Again, ironic because conservatives often claim liberals make everything about race.

          Might want to dial back the smug. It’s a poor alternative to certainty and sincerity.

          • Patrick Grady

            Brevity, huh? K. The soul of wit.

            I’m going to stop direct quoting and identifying sources then, and as far as I’m concerned, you can too. We both seem to know a great deal about the case, and if there’s a disagreement we can hunt down our own sources of info without quoting them.

            That said, your most recent effort is a festival of circular logic.

            I love that you say “Objection, facts not in evidence,” and in your very next sentence imply (and later on assert explicitly) that I think Trayvon was the aggressor, despite there being NO FACTS IN EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT YOUR IMPLICATION/ASSERTION OF MY POSITION. But that’s okay because when it comes to homicide you are so totes srs u guyz.

            In the NYT article, there are some material problems, but aside from the critical attention from the media in hindsight, I don’t believe they are anything beyond the ordinary. It seems fair to conclude, based on published evidence, that there was a “media strategy” at play designed to undermine confidence in the local police and push toward a much more PC solution: a “Law and Order” style story where the killer is guilty in just 58 minutes, 42 if you skip the commercials. Unfortunately, the real world doesn’t work that way.

            Nobody saw the altercation start except Martin and Zimmerman. That means only one person could testify as to who the aggressor was – Zimmerman. And even you admit that his injuries are – at a minimum – consistent with being hit once and falling to the pavement. This begs the question, Gussie, and I beg you’ll answer: hit once…by what? And please, show your work.

            Yes, I say there wasn’t probable cause to arrest Zimmerman. Why? Because the police investigating the crime said that was the case. The original prosecutor on the case declined to file charges citing to a lack of evidence against Zimmerman. So I’m not the only one.

            May I draw the inference from your opposing position that you DO believe there was probable cause? If so, may I trouble you for the details of the evidence which informs your position?

            To restate it another way: Objection, facts not in evidence. Your words.

            It’s a question I put to Oliver yesterday which he has not deigned to answer. If you are concerned about my smugness, Gussie, be assured that it is birthed from just such episodes; Oliver feels no need to be a serious host so I feel no need to be a serious guest.

            You note that my opinion of Trayvon as a thug based on photos of him behaving as such doesn’t matter because he wasn’t doing any of those things when Zimmerman saw him. That’s true. But you assert that “cognitive dissonance” is responsible for any right-wing (nice generalization, by the way) belief that doesn’t lead to Trayvon being shot.

            Let’s turn that around, Gussie: what then informs your opinion that Trayvon DIDN’T do anything to deserve being shot?

            For the sake of clarity and perhaps a little personal introspection for you, let me ask that question differently: According to you, Zimmerman’s injuries are consistent with him being hit once and falling to the pavement…hit by what? You’ve already walked right up and toed the line…why not just step over and speak?

            And also, hit…WHY?

            Given the fact, which I don’t dispute, that Trayvon was no threat to Zimmerman, merely suspicious to Zimmerman’s eyes; given the further fact that Trayvon was in an altercation with an armed Zimmerman, near enough to be shot from less than 18 inches away, then: what motive brought the two near enough to be fighting? And again, please provide evidence.

            And as to the President’s comment and what I think of it, perhaps you are narrowly focused on our conversation and have lost the thread of the topic as a whole. It was not I who built a little racial escape hatch into Oliver’s flowchart. What I did was flesh it out with more detailed information; information in the public sphere and consistent with the President’s statements regarding the Trayvon Martin case, applied (by me) evenly to another criminal case. And why use Luna’s name? Simple: a continuous and ongoing quest to bring facts and evidence to bear in the rhetorical battle with emotion-based “Well, just go ahead and pretend they were anyways” liberal argument.

            Again – Oliver: unserious host. Me: unserious guest, armed with facts and mighty to behold.

            Why point up the president’s statements? Because as an elected official, the head of the Executive Branch and by extension the Department of Justice, you can’t act much more stupidly than to publically speak out on an ongoing criminal case when you do not have all the facts. You could even ask the Cambridge Police what they think.

          • Gussie Jives

            Okay, no idea what you’re talking about with the PC strategy to undermine confidence in the police. Seriously, not securing the crime scene from rain damage? That undermines it in itself.

            Yes, I do believe there was probable cause. It was established that Zimmerman followed Martin, and Martin ended up dead. That’s enough probable cause for me. Zimmerman’s injuries have no concrete (no pun intended) explanation save his own.

            It’s obvious that Martin hit Zimmerman at least once. Beyond that, the injuries prove nothing more. They certainly don’t prove any head slamming.

            The point is we DON’T know what started the fight. If you’re not one of those knuckleheads claiming Travyon absolutely was the aggressor, fine, we have nothing to argue about. But the internet is swarming with those knuckleheads.

            As to Oliver’s chart, your “quest” is ultimately meaningless. You’ve misinterpreted what Obama meant to do… what exactly? Poke liberals in the eye? Yeah, great quest you got there.

          • Patrick Grady

            Damn, and I had such high hopes for you, too. You seem to be trying real hard, and you almost have some game, but you can’t keep up with facts at hand, let alone draw conclusions from them. And now you’ve let it all slip away.

            Who first determined that Zimmerman’s story must be false, and that Zimmerman “stalked their son because he was black?” Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton. Based on what evidence? I’ll wait.

            Who said “He’s a neighborhood watch person with a gun? Of course they are going to arrest him just for that?” Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump. Based on what evidence? I’ll wait.

            Why did attorney Natalie Jackson and publicist Ryan Julison join Team Trayvon? To craft a media strategy. To what end? I’ll wait.

            What did Ben Crump, the state’s best-known civil rights attorney, know from previous cases? That publicity could force officials to act. To act in what way? Gee, who could possibly guess? Got any thoughts, Gussie? I’ll wait.

            What did Ryan Julison know about making a media strategy work? As he told Tracy Martin, “It’s not going to be any fun, but this is the only way to find justice (justice based on what? On Trayvon’s parents’ belief that Zimmerman stalked their son because he was black. Continuing to wait for evidence of that…). You are going to have to bare your soul and express your inner grief (the perfect liberal argument).”

            And your probable cause argument is frankly just absurd. It’s like an Underpants Gnome theory of crime:
            1. Zimmerman followed Trayvon.
            2. ???
            3. Trayvon gets shot.
            4. Probable Cause!

            I’m glad that’s sufficient probable cause for you. I hope that thought comforts you should you ever be in a similar situation.

            And yet, above and beyond this meager standard of probable cause, you admit to two mitigating facts which must have taken place at point 2: first, Trayvon hit Zimmerman at least once, and second, Zimmerman’s injuries cannot be explained by anyone but him (not by
            the police, not by the prosecution, not by Ben Crump, not by Ryan Julison, not by Trayvon’s parents except perhaps he got injured while stalking a boy because he was black).

            Which brings us back to a question you’ve left unanswered: Why would Trayvon hit Zimmerman at all? WHY? Why do that when he was less than 100 yards from home? Why not just run from this “creepy ass cracka” for the safety of home, less than 20 seconds away?

            I think I won’t wait…

          • Gussie Jives

            If you have another reason that Zimmerman picked Trayvon out as “suspicious”, I’m all ears. So far, the reasons I’ve heard from right-wingers are ludicrous. No, he racially profiled the kid. It’s the only logical explanation that exists.

            Even if public pressure forced their hand… why is that wrong? Unless you’ve got no faith in the justice system, why did you dedicate three paragraphs about it? I’ll get back to that.

            Finally, I have no idea why Trayvon hit Zimmerman, but it’s a stretch to think it was out of malice. Because anything could have happened, including Zimmerman catching up to Trayvon and confronting him, or Trayvon wanting to identify himself to Zimmerman, to claim that Trayvon was the aggressor and thus deserving of his fate asserts facts not in evidence.

            I freely admit when I’m speculating. As for you, your
            conclusions seem constructed out of some kind of political grievance against liberals, hence dedicating so much of your rants to political correctness and media strategy (what proof do you have there WAS one?). That’s pretty sick, pal, to use deaths that way.

          • Francisco D’Anconia

            Like I was sayin’…

            Oh, now you want proof?

            Remember when you counseled brevity, Gussie? Prior to that, I had cited sources for every assertion I made. So, in the interest of brevity, go pound sand. The sources for every assertion I’ve made and every statement I’ve quoted are still there; go find them yourself.

            And to use deaths for some kind of political grievance is pretty sick? You’re kidding, right? Let me go get one of my Million Hoodie March sweatshirts, or perhaps one of the split/photo “Trayvon Martin Luther King Jr.” t-shirts that were being hawked on the National Mall this week. I’ll just run to the garage and grab my fabulous PREPRINTED “Justice for Trayvon” placards (you know the one, with the photo of the cute l’il 12 year old on it). And then I’ll just whip out my cell and summon up the good Reverend Al and the good Reverend Jesse. You know they don’t have ANY experience or interest in turning death into political grievance, do they?

            The problem with saying “anything could have happened” is that it’s a tremendous cop-out. Because only one thing did happen. And only Zimmerman knows what that is. You might believe that it was Zimmerman confronting Trayvon…but you can’t prove it. There are no such facts in evidence. You might believe that Trayvon wanted to identify himself to Zimmerman…but you can’t prove it. There are no such facts in evidence. I don’t claim that Trayvon was the aggressor. George Zimmerman does. And the closest thing there is to proof is his statement. A statement which must obviously be false, because “he racially profiled the kid. It’s the only logical explanation that exists.” Your words.

            Well, sure it is. You’re entitled to your own opinion, but you aren’t entitled to your own facts. Start introducing some pesky and undesirable (yet completely sourced and verifiable) facts, and see what other “logical” conclusions can be drawn:
            1. From Jan 1, 2011 to Feb 26, 2012, the police had been called to the Retreat at Twin Lakes 402 times. That’s just short of one call every day.
            2. In the 8 years prior to the shooting, Zimmerman called the police 46 times to report disturbances, break-ins, windows left open and other incidents. On 9 of those 46 occasions (7 of which came since August 2011, which is like every second day, right?), he saw someone or something suspicious.
            3. Zimmerman NEVER mentioned race unless he was specifically asked by the dispatcher to do so.

            Again, these are facts. Documented and verified. Do some homework. What do these facts tell you?

            On the other hand, what evidence is there to believe Zimmerman was engaged in racial profiling?

            1. “Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton wanted George Zimmerman arrested. They BELIEVE he stalked their son because he was black, and they were outraged that Sanford
            police had accepted Zimmerman’s claim of self-defense.” There must be facts in evidence to support
            that belief, but I can’t find them. I know I will though; just as the Law of Infinite Probability predicts that one day a chimpanzee with a typewriter will randomly write Shakespeare, I am confident these facts will turn up somewhere.
            2. “The killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin left the boy’s family and attorneys CONVINCED that the volunteer developed a twisted sense of entitlement, one that gave him a false sense of authority to enforce the rule of law in his tiny
            gated community. Trayvon’s family’s attorneys BELIEVE that led to racial profiling and murder.” And there must be facts to back up this conviction, evidence to sustain this belief. I know I can find them. Just as O.J. Simpson vowed never to rest until he had caught the killers of Nicole Brown Simpson, so I shall never rest until I bring these facts to light.
            3. “[James] Davis, like many others, THINKS Trayvon was confronted — and ultimately shot to death — because he was black.” But where is the evidence to back up the claim? I’ll find it. I swear I will. I will devote every bit of my energy to it, right after I play another round of golf, take another multi-million dollar vacation, play some more golf, hold a fundraiser, buy a new puppy, play another round of golf, give a speech to make Chris Matthews swoon, and bomb Syria. And maybe play some golf.

            These quotes are not facts. These are documented and sourced statements of opinion with no evidence to back them up…


            Oh, damn. NBC doesn’t have the audio of George Zimmerman’s 9-1-1 call on their website any more. The full call is available elsewhere, but gosh, it’s got nothing in it to damn Zimmerman for a racist. I know NBC’s version(s) did, but sadly, those bits of audio were removed from the web. They sure would come in handy now.

            Maybe you’ll have more luck finding some actual facts to support this belief that George Zimmerman racially profiled Trayvon Martin. No one else seems to have had any success.

            This really seems like a put-up-or-shut-up moment for you, Gussie. I’ll keep trying to help, though. There must be some proof somewhere.

            And therein lies the rub.

            The very most basic problem for everyone involved (directly or indirectly) in this case, from Zimmerman to the first cop on the scene to the entirety of the Sanford Police Department to the victim’s parents to their team of lawyers and publicists to the protesters to the first Seminole County attorney to Angela B. Corey to the judge to the media to the commentators to the bloggers and their commenters and right down to you and me, is that it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks. It doesn’t matter what anyone is convinced of. It doesn’t matter what anyone believes. It doesn’t matter what anyone can wish for.

            What matters is what you can prove to a jury.

            At the start of this case, the Sanford Police could not meet the burden of proof required for probable cause. And at the end of the case, the prosecution fell far short of meeting a burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

            Again, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but no one, no one is entitled to their own facts. And up to now, you simply have none to offer.

          • Gussie Jives

            Yeah, you’ve documented your facts fine, they just don’t amount to a conclusion. Seriously, the |closest thing to proof is Zimmerman’s statement”? Why should I take you seriously when you say something like that?

            Yeah, I don’t trust the word of a guy who is on the hook for a murder charge. But his word is enough for you, huh?

            Let me put it this way: if Zimmerman was not racially profiling Trayvon that night, why did he find him suspicious? What action was Trayvon engaged in that would have been totally out of the ordinary for a normal person to do?

          • Francisco D’Anconia
          • cattnipp

            Francisco……..If your daughter were walking home from the store and was being stalked by a strange man…….. and she was to slap or mace him when he popped up in front of her…… and the stalker shot her dead because he was “in fear of his life” would you feel justice was done if the police did not investigate the matter and just took the word of the killer?????? I did not think so…. Trayvon had a 3.7 GPA; over 600 volunteer hours on his resume and was offered a full scholarship for college….. yes, someone did post a picture of him giving the camera the finger AND he was suspended from school for truancy, have you ever in life flipped someone the finger? should giving the finger be a death penalty offense? should students be given the death penalty for missing a class? TRACE marijuana was found in his system….. TRACE means either he did smoke it a 2-4 weeks ago OR was in an area where it was being smoked in the past 10 days—— it is NOT an indication of a heavy or even regular marijuana use. ALSO a number of websites that were supporting Zimmerman posted a picture of a 30’something rapper that goes by the name of ‘Game’ that was a good 5 inches taller than Trayvon and 70 pounds heavier and has tats all over his arms and even on his face CLAIMING that he was the REAL Trayvon Martin and it was obvious the bleeding hearts chose 12 year old pictures to make him appear innocent…… why would they have to do this if they thought there was no question that Trayvon was so obviously the guilty party? hummmmm?

          • Ol Froth

            Well stated!

          • gandhi77

            The problem is that Zimmerman didn’t stalk Trayvon Martin, unless you want to use a non-legal definition of stalking. Can you read to me what stalking means in Florida law?

          • cattnipp

            I am so sorry that you are unable to understand that following someone while in possession of a gun with the intent of stopping them doing ‘whatever’ it is they are doing because you do not approve of people having that color of skin would be considered as stalking…. as in stalking prey

          • William Carr

            The closest thing to proof… is the statement of the killer.

            Did you proofread that before you posted it?

            ‘On 9 of those 46 occasions (7 of which came since August 2011, which is like every second day, right?), he saw someone or something suspicious.”

            And how many of those turned out to BE a crime in progress ?

            Somebody’s garage door was open, some 9 year old black kid walking alone…

            Do you realize that someone that’s calling the police constantly for no reason, and who carries a gun against the Neighborhood Watch regulations, is quite possibly paranoid?

          • William Carr

            It’s difficult to prove that Martin hit Zimmerman at all.

            No Zimmerman DNA on Martin’s hands, or under his fingernails. No Zimmerman blood on him anywhere.

            One tiny cut on Treyvon’s left ring finger, one nick on the bridge of Zimmerman’s nose and scratches on the back of his shaved head.

            Maybe when the Aliens land in 2015, they’ll have a FTL drive and neutrino scans that show, right through the rainclouds, exactly what happened that night. EVERYWHERE on Earth!

            We’ll see GZ walk up to Treyvon, whip out his gun, and Treyvon tackle him to get the gun away.

            We’ll see Zimmerman bonk his head on the ground, Treyvon wildly struggle to get the gun, and Zimmerman yank it away, scratching Treyvon’s finger, and pull the trigger.

            Of course, the Zimmerman supporters will claim the Aliens have a well-known Liberal Bias, and ignore the evidence.

        • Zython


    • Zython

      If YES: Were they arrested? (not “Where,” but this is the internet where poor spelling and usage is no reflection on overall intelligence…honest)


      If none of them had a black father and a white mother (like the President): Well, just go ahead and pretend they were black anyways.

      So people who have 2 black parents aren’t black? O…k then…

      And we’ll just conveniently ignore that George Zimmerman WAS arrested

      2 weeks after the Sanford PD decided that Zimmarman’s word was good enough for them.

      which makes the manufactured outrage seems just all the more fake, huh?

      Yes, because clearly it is impossible to feel sympathy for a black person.

      But hey, I’m sure there’s plenty of reasons that Trayvon Martin “deserved to die”.


      • Patrick Grady

        Ladies and gentlemen, give it up for Zython! He’ll be here all week.

        Come for the pointless snark. Stay for the bottomless stupidity.

        Seriously…you take one little tl;dr, you miss a whole lot of good stuff. Don’t let it bother you though. It takes a big man to admit he has the attention span of a hyperactive gnat.

        • Zython

          Eh, I have more important things to do than read the overly long rantings of a self important asshole.

          • Patrick Grady

            Like passing judgment on them without reading them. So you’ve proven, over and over again, you uninformed pusbag.

  • DaveInSoCal

    Here’s an even simpler chart:

    Black on black crime —–> A local crime story. Nothing to see here.

    Black on white crime —–> A local crime story. Nothing to see here.

    White (or white hispanic) on black crime —–> A national story. Requires the President to weigh-in. A clear indication that ours is a racist country. Race hustlers quickly arrive on scene to drum up hate and discontent.

    I’m a giver too.

    • Scott Supak

      Do you live in Oklahoma? Oh, SoCal? Then your “Black on white crime —–> A local crime story. Nothing to see here” is proven wrong by your location, because you know about it, because it’s a national story. See how that works?

      • DaveInSoCal

        From Oliver’s Media Matters link above:
        “That’s three times in less than month that Fox has focused on a local crime story involving a white victim…”
        Did you see “local crime story”?
        You’re welcome.

    • lib4

      Your dumbass forgot

      White (or white hispanic) on black crime —–> A national story. WHEN THE ACCUSED ADMITS TO SHOOTING THE BLACK PERSON AND IS NOT ARRESTED UNTIL PUBLIC OUTCRY.

      What dont you idiotic Conservatives not understand about the case. There was NO ARREST hence the National Outrage. PERIOD.

      • DaveInSoCal

        Well, I understand the concept of “self-defense”, as in “after breaking my nose, this guy was sitting on top of me and slamming my head into the concrete, so with a reasonable expectation that my life was in imminent danger, I took out my concealed handgun and shot the guy once in the chest to get him to stop”.

        The Sanford police understood this concept, which is why they initially declined to arrest Zimmerman (until forced to later under ginned-up political pressure).

        You clearly have zero understanding about this concept. Hence your OUTRAGE!

        • Gussie Jives

          Just so you know, nobody witnessed Trayvon slamming any heads. John Good didn’t see that. While the contusion on the back of Zimmerman’s head may have been caused by such an impact, it may also have just been from a single impact from falling to the ground.

          So you unquestioningly believed the killer’s version of events. That makes you a gullible fool.

          • Michelle Miller

            I wonder if Zimmerman banged his head and bloodied his nose when he shot Trayvon. If he was holding his pistol in front of his face when he fired, the kick from the gun would have hit his nose and slammed his head into the ground. If he was laying on the ground and firing upward it fits.

      • Zython

        Hey, cut Dave some slack. Conservatives tend to have short memory-spans, what with their PBR and meth. Hell, many of them think that Iraq was a humanitarian effort, that teachers unions called the 2008 crash, and that the Tea Party was formed in opposition to bloated government spending.

  • Felonious Grammar

    Yep. Some Republican governor is bitching that Obama isn’t acknowledging that whites shoot black youth because they’re all dangerous and are the real racists.