Conservatives and liberals at their games (CON edition): The character assassination of a dead 17-year old boy
Now I have had more than a few things to say about the hypocrisy of a lot of people, such as Mayor Nutter of Philadelphia and columnist Leonard Pitts denying that there was any implication to Zimmerman’s racial double-consciousness. But the recent move to discredit Trayvon Martin has been disturbing. Although I suppose I should completely expect this some of thing as liberals and conservatives, or more specifically, Republicans and Democrats, like to play games with facts to score superficial political points regardless of the situation.
So, here’s the disturbing move: The attempt to place the focus on Trayvon Martin. Now, let put this way, in both versions of the story, it is clear that Zimmerman stalked Martin thinking he was suspicious, that there was some kind of conflict, and that end, Trayvon Martin was dead. Even at my most charitable reading of the events to Zimmerman, Zimmerman appears to singled out Martin, stalked him, been comforted perhaps violently, and this ended with Martin’s death and Zimmerman’s life ruined. That’s the most charitable reading. The rest of the circulation about Martin’s character, honestly, is irrelevant. Some of things linking around from news sources into blogs are, well, patently false. I don’t care for Alternet much and Thinkprogress even less, but they do a good job of documenting things here.
So it appears that most of things are political games aimed at discrediting a dead kid which won’t benefit Martin either and ignores the structural problems of Florida laws and Florida communities. I’ll quote the rather even-handed think progress piece:
Ultimately, whether Martin was a perfect person is irrelevant to whether Zimmerman’s conduct that night was justified. Clearly, there are two different versions of the events that transpired on February 26, the night Trayvon was killed. There are conflicting statements by witnesses and conflicting evidence as to who was the aggressor. Zimmerman has the right to tell his side of the story. But his opportunity to do this will come in a court of law after he is charged and arrested. In the meantime, Zimmerman’s supporters should stop trying to smearthe reputation of a dead, 17-year-old boy.
If you have a real point to make, make it. Don’t smear a dead boy. I would try to shame those of you doing this, but we all know this isn’t about morality, or what happened to Trayvon. This is about cultural power in a way in which honesty is largely irrelevant. I won’t say anything more about this case. It’s a distraction, but a tragic one. One where people seem to be learning that moral outrage and character smears is a way to avoid looking a deep-seated cultural problems. It doesn’t undo the situation, and it is unlikely to bring justice to anyone.