The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Trayvon Martin Rashomon

Posted on | March 30, 2012 | 46 Comments

The first time I talked to anyone about the Trayvon Martin case, I cautioned against the urge to jump to conclusions based on media accounts.

Remember, “Send the Body to Glenn Beck“?

That turned out well, didn’t it?

Whatever actually happened in the Martin case — and we still don’t know the whole truth of it — it’s a bad thing for an unarmed kid to get shot.

But the liberals insisted on portraying this incident with a certain slant: Saint Trayvon, innocent martyr to racism, with George Zimmerman portrayed as being incited to violence by right-wing talk radio.

Neither basic element of that narrative was accurate. Trayvon had been suspended from school and accused of criminality. Zimmerman was a registered Democrat. And, while Zimmerman clearly failed to comply with a 911 dispatcher’s advice not to pursue Trayvon, there are witnesses who say that Zimmerman shot Trayvon after an altercation in which Trayvon was the aggressor.

But we don’t know everything yet, and the ongoing effort to try the case in the media or turn this into a political volleyball match has resulted in people making fools of themselves:

The comedian Roseanne Barr last night tweeted the home address of George Zimmerman’s parents to her 110,000-plus Twitter followers, only to delete the posting after “not fully understanding that it was private not public.”

And as if that were not enough:

Friday night, CNN’s Soledad O’Brien leads a special town hall event about the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin that has sparked a national dialogue on race and what it says about America. “Beyond Trayvon: Race and Justice in America.”

My bedtime reading lately has been The Future Once Happened Here, Fred Siegel’s brilliant account of how liberal social policy destroyed America’s cities. Siegel’s book was a major resource for Chapter 8 of Donkey Cons, and is full of insights on the development of our contemporary attitudes about poverty, race and crime. On page 58 of his book, Siegel writes about “a cultural shift” that occurred in the 1960s:

[O]lder ideas about shame were starting to be replaced by a new concern for self-esteem. Christopher Lasch wrote that formerly “shame was the fate of those whose conduct fell short of cherished ideals.” But in the 1960s, the new age of moral deregulation and therapeutic ethics, shame came to refer to whatever prevents us from feeling good about ourselves.

Am I the only one who sees the Trayvon Martin carnival in this context? Liberals have turned the case into a sort of public festival, a self-congratulatory celebration of their own moral superiority. And they have arranged the symbolic elements of the narrative so that to criticize them — the shameless media moralizers — is to become implicated in George Zimmerman’s presumed guilt.

They are using the corpse of Trayvon Martin as a human shield to conceal their ideological agenda and protect themselves against criticism.




46 Responses to “Trayvon Martin Rashomon

  1. SDN
    March 30th, 2012 @ 1:34 pm

    Considering they’ve been using dead ‘Rats as human shields since Kennedy, why would they stop now?

  2. PaulLemmen
    March 30th, 2012 @ 1:36 pm

    Then we should not muddy the waters further with ever more “psychics” propounding the version of the samurai (the race pimps and MSM). Instead we should await the outcome of the investigation and decision of the legal representatives of the State of Florida as to the truth of this matter.

  3. Jonathan Bellerive
    March 30th, 2012 @ 1:49 pm

    “a new co0ncern for self-esteem.”
    COONcern?  Sir, have you no shame?

    I’m kidding, of course, but watching this whole debacle has just been shameful.  It all seems so suspect, too.  What on earth caused the media to suddenly jump on this after a month?

    The whole “White Hispanic” description of Zimmerman is a total joke too.  It just reinforces that “race” as a social construct isn’t about “race,” it’s still all about the skin color to them.

  4. Serfer1962
    March 30th, 2012 @ 2:17 pm

    “And, while Zimmerman clearly failed to comply with a 911 dispatcher’s advice…”
    All 911 operators say that no matter the situation, So using that warning as a condition is missleading, something only an anti self defense Kommiecrat could come up with.

  5. James Knauer
    March 30th, 2012 @ 2:20 pm

    Yes yes we all know rules are for pussies.

  6. Serfer1962
    March 30th, 2012 @ 2:24 pm

    And what rules are you promoting?

  7. Adjoran
    March 30th, 2012 @ 2:31 pm

    There WAS an investigation.  The prosecutor found no probable cause to charge Zimmerman with a crime.  The case presents as classic, textbook self-defense – the only way it isn’t is if Zimmerman threw the first punch, and there is ZERO evidence of that.  NONE.

    If you listen to the 911 calls, there is also no evidence Zimmerman did anything but return to his truck after the 911 dispatcher tells him, “We don’t need you to do that” – which, according to Sanford police, was NOT a “lawful police order” anyway.  The only reason he was out of his truck in the first place was because Martin, who was walking up close to houses instead on the sidewalk, took off when he realized he was being watched.

    The area he ran into was between houses and the community center, where a vehicle couldn’t go.   The guy who was acting suspiciously has now moved into areas behind people’s houses in the dark.  The Neighborhood Watch guy wanted to keep eyes on him.

    The official reports and all the 911 calls are at – if people bothered to familiarize themselves with the facts, there would be a lot less crap out there.

    There was no outrage until Ben Crump, notorious race pimp attorney, went to the parents with the prospect of a payday.  That’s when the angelic picture of Trayvon as an 11 year old began circulating.  No mention of his backpack full of jewelry and what a school security officer described as a “burglary tool,” as well as a small amount of pot – which is what got him suspended.  The school has a “zero tolerance” policy on drugs.  The jewelry wasn’t on their list of reported stolen items, so they let that go.

    When Crump, Sharpton, and Jesse Jackson all show up at the same place, you can bet your last nickel there is a scam going on.  Don’t believe a word of it.

  8. Pathfinder's wife
    March 30th, 2012 @ 2:43 pm

    In regards to the two actual people involved: fear, panic, and sheer stupidity are always the odds on favorites over pure malice as the causative events.

    The pure malice comes in afterwards, when the “bastards that rule us all” (I love that phrase) decide to use such an event to attempt to herd us all into opposing camps and distract us from the real issues in order to steal us all blind.

    The trick: recognize the really real and don’t fall for the bait.

    Zimmerman and Martin were both stupid and likely both “not exactly innocent but not exactly guilty either”.
    The real criminal action is taking place somewhere else; focus on that.

  9. Charles
    March 30th, 2012 @ 2:44 pm

    I’ve looked at the Stand Your Ground law in Florida and its main problem is not its definition of self-defense but that it gives a grant of immunity and a civil cause of action to the acquitted defendant. And we all know that not all acquitted defendants are innocent.

    So Florida has created a situation where prosecutors won’t file charges until they have a slam dunk case. That, not any racial component, explains the delay even after the appointment of the special prosecutor.

    I noticed that Jeffrey Toobin has curiously disappeared from Anderson Cooper’s show on CNN. And there have been some episodes of Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC that have just been embarrassing from a journalistic point of view. Such as brow-beating local journalists for divulging leaked police reports outlining the self-defense claim.

    I give the family a pass in such cases on the principle that they are entitled to be unreasonably angry. but in this case the family and its lawyers seem like the voice of reason in comparison to the CNN/MSNBC lynch mob.

  10. edge of the sandbox
    March 30th, 2012 @ 3:01 pm

    “They are using the corpse of Trayvon Martin as a human shield to conceal
    their ideological agenda and protect themselves against criticism.”
    They are also shamelessly using their kids (staged photographs and all) to whip up sympathy.  I wrote about it yesterday:

  11. AnonymousDrivel
    March 30th, 2012 @ 3:11 pm

    “…it’s a bad thing for an unarmed kid to get shot.”


    If literally unarmed, yes. But ones with arms who can punch can still beat the snot out of you, or the coma into you, and even induce death. Arms can also reach for your weapons and, with an assist from hands, arm themselves in close quarters. Unarmed does not equal docile, safe necessarily.

  12. AnonymousDrivel
    March 30th, 2012 @ 3:15 pm

    It doesn’t shock me to see Roseanne Barr pull a Spike Lee; it shocks me that she has 110,000-plus Twitter followers (or followers of any sort).

    Surely this is yet another marker in the coming Idiocracy.

  13. AnonymousDrivel
    March 30th, 2012 @ 3:25 pm

     Is “We don’t need you to do that” a lawful order? Is a 911 dispatcher credentialed to give a binding police order over the phone, particularly given the lack of scene information?

    A general suggestion is not a legal order as I would understand it. Dispatch is not there and does not have all the facts as emergency events can and do turn extremely fast.

    There are guidelines and then there are laws. In this case specifically, Zimmerman seems not to have broken a law.

  14. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    March 30th, 2012 @ 4:00 pm
  15. DaveP.
    March 30th, 2012 @ 4:13 pm

    Nice to know that you feel that Zimmerman was “as guilty” as the man who jumped on him and was beating his head on the pavement.

  16. Pathfinder's wife
    March 30th, 2012 @ 4:34 pm

    As guilty of being stupid and thus implicated in creating this whole ugly business?  Yeah, he was.  Martin was guilty too (he didn’t have to confront Zimmerman).  I’m of the theory that likely neither and both started it — they went off presumptions of one another and did not step back…or emotions and not malice caused this.  This both absolves and exculpates both of them, but it’s very plausible given what we know — and then we can toss out any notion of malice aforethought, which some are relentlessly trying to hang on this case.  Don’t worry, I’ve had rousing arguments with liberals who want to make Martin out to be a poor victim and Zimmerman out to be a monster — I get much the same sorts of responses, just in the other direction…

    And by affixing total blame to either one of these two, we all just fall for the same trap that has been laid for us all by the media and certain people.
    Again, eye on the donut, not the hole…don’t fall for the trap.

  17. JamesMc
    March 30th, 2012 @ 5:21 pm

    I began seeing lefty trolls trying to play the let’s change the subject card when they were, naturally, losing an argument by shrieking “What about Trayvon Martin?”. So, God knows how long the story has been brewing in their fever swamps before it hit critical mass for the MSM to pick it up.

  18. Steve in TN
    March 30th, 2012 @ 5:38 pm

    The jewelry with screwdriver and the MJ baggie with MJ paraphernalia were separate occurrences.   Martin was suspended after each instance and was at the start of the second suspension when the shooting occurred (actually, his third known suspension).

    I think it is important to emphasize this, as it is unclear from your comment, and that the parents and authorities had two known chances to try to correct what had become a criminal pattern of behavior.  They failed.    

  19. SDN
    March 30th, 2012 @ 5:51 pm

    The problem for you and the other statists is that under our Constitution all acquitted defendants ARE innocent.

    And no, I don’t think OJ should have been sued. To take the same set of facts they couldn’t prove criminally and use them in a second trial sure acts like double jeopardy.

  20. SDN
    March 30th, 2012 @ 5:55 pm

     Yeah, it’s stupid to look out for anyone but Number One. Kitty Genovese would thank you.

    Our legal system has been set up to systematically ban defense of the victim… and it’s attitudes like yours that are the cause and result.

  21. A Battleship Potemkin Village « sitting on the edge of the sandbox, biting my tongue
    March 30th, 2012 @ 8:32 pm

    […] 3/29/2012: An insightful post at Other McCain, particularly: My bedtime reading lately has been The Future Once Happened Here, Fred Siegel’s brilliant […]

  22. Pathfinder's wife
    March 30th, 2012 @ 8:48 pm

    Ultimately no private citizen is under any injunction to protect another private citizen.

    It’s a nice thought; I definitely encourage people to be good witnesses, but nobody is required to go beyond that.  In fact, as can be seen here, going beyond that can cause all sorts of problems.

    I could argue that Zimmerman took a rather lefty stance to this whole thing: rather than being just a good witness he took authority (that was not granted to him) upon himself to do something “for everyone’s own good” (sounds kinda familiar doesn’t it?)…that worked out well.
    Now, who is really suffering because of it? I would concur the “who” would be us.

  23. Charles G Hill
    March 30th, 2012 @ 11:21 pm

     If it’s any consolation, Mitt Romney has about 400,000 Twitter followers, or about two-thirds as many as singer Rebecca “Friday” Black.

  24. Adobe_Walls
    March 30th, 2012 @ 11:45 pm

    There is no trap to fall into here, the blame is ALL on Martin the only thing stupid Zimmerman did was letting Martin get get close enough to hit him.
    There is zero evidence that this is anything but a totally righteous shooting. As for Martin good riddance to bad rubbish.

  25. AnonymousDrivel
    March 30th, 2012 @ 11:46 pm

    So you’re saying Idiocracy is already here?

    You know I really can’t refute that. Well played.

  26. Adobe_Walls
    March 30th, 2012 @ 11:56 pm

    What problem has been created here?
    Zimmerman is a trained albeit zealous member of his neighborhood watch, the “authority” to be on “watch” for suspicious activity was specifically granted to him, not that he need any.
    In what way are we suffering? I think this whole thing is good for the country. We need more Zimmermans and if we had a lot more there would be less Trevor Martins.

  27. Bob Belvedere
    March 31st, 2012 @ 12:02 am

    Damn!  I wish I had thought of that movie title.

  28. Bob Belvedere
    March 31st, 2012 @ 12:09 am

    Actually, many Hispanics like to consider themselves White. 

    In my job we use the Federal Census, and I discovered some years ago that it was Hispanic groups, especially the Cubans, who lobbied to be able to declare themselves ‘White’ and ‘Hispanic’ in order to distinguish themselves from those Hispanics who were descended from slaves.

    As a result: On the Federal Census, you are asked two separate questions (1) your race and (2) are you Hispanic/Latino.

  29. Bob Belvedere
    March 31st, 2012 @ 12:13 am

    Damn fine summations Adj and Steve.

  30. Bob Belvedere
    March 31st, 2012 @ 12:15 am


    The one mistake Mr. Zimmerman made was to not walk backwards to his vehicle – you never take your eye off where the perp went.

  31. Bob Belvedere
    March 31st, 2012 @ 12:32 am

    -You wrote: …rather than being just a good witness he took authority (that was not granted to him) upon himself to do something “for everyone’s own good” (sounds kinda familiar doesn’t it?)…that worked out well.

    Whoa there, Nellie!

    Who grants the authority you speak of to Mr. Zimmerman?  The government?  If you think that way then you’re the one taking ‘a rather lefty stance to this whole thing’.  The citizens of The United States grant certain rights to the government.  Those they do not grant to it they reserve for themselves [for an example see: Amendments, Ninth and Tenth].

    One of those rights is the right to protect your property, which includes the right of neighbors to band together to do so.  Any powers the police have were granted by the people and the people never, in any case where a police force was formed, ceded their right to preserve the peace themselves.

    -As for your statement: Now, who is really suffering because of it? I would concur the “who” would be us.

    If we are suffering at all it is because we let Leftist Thinking about self-defense and the right to property [with all it entails], which is designed to disarm us [in all ways] against the power and force of government, invade our thinking and destroy our Reason.  Therefore, we don’t shun race hucksters and race baiters.

  32. Adjoran
    March 31st, 2012 @ 1:26 am

     If anyone bothered to read the official statements from the Sanford Police, the dispatchers cannot give “lawful orders” because they aren’t sworn police officers, and the dispatcher only said, “Okay, we don’t need you to do that.”  That’s not an instruction of any sort.

    Also, just after that the line goes dead for about a minute before Zimmerman calls back.  He is headed back to his truck and giving the dispatcher landmarks for the cops to meet him before it goes dead again. 

    So the claim he “disobeyed” or “failed to comply” is utterly bogus.

  33. Adjoran
    March 31st, 2012 @ 1:26 am

     According to the Sanford Police, dispatchers can’t even give “lawful orders” because they aren’t LEOs.

  34. Adjoran
    March 31st, 2012 @ 1:30 am

     He was the Neighborhood Watch Captain watching a suspicious character in the neighborhood who had just ducked around the community center into people’s backyards.  That’s like saying a rape victim’s good looks contributed to her assault, or guy who is robbed shouldn’t have been in a high-crime area.

    Stop blaming the VICTIM – and by all actual evidence in the case, that is Zimmerman.

  35. Charles
    March 31st, 2012 @ 1:30 am

    We the taxpayers should have paid OJ’s attorney’s fees, lost income, and other expenses? Who you calling a statist?

  36. Adjoran
    March 31st, 2012 @ 1:33 am

    You have NO evidence he did anything but WATCH, do you?

    Do you?

    You are spouting LIES about him “taking authority upon himself” unless you have some new information not previously available.

    Zimmerman was the one with a legal right to be where he was.

  37. Adjoran
    March 31st, 2012 @ 1:39 am

    There are too many who have allowed themselves to be intimidated by the mob already, for thousandth time.  People are afraid of being denounced, called “racist,” or even physically assaulted for standing up for what is right and the due process of law – which in this case should have reached its end when the prosecutor declined to file charges or present to a grand jury.  That’s the prosecutor’s job and his decision in every other case, but this one is different because Ben Crump smells a payday?

    At some point, don’t we just have to say, “ENOUGH!” and refuse to be intimidated by thugs, extortionists, and scam artists?

  38. Pathfinder's wife
    March 31st, 2012 @ 10:29 am

    The fault was all on Martin!?  Who initiated the thing?

    And remember: whatever you think of Martin or his manner of attire or his past history…at the time Zimmerman started following him (and got out of his SUV and ran after him)…Martin was only guilty of walking down a street (which, as a guest of someone who lived in the community, he was not trespassing), and Zimmerman only saw that person (and what he presumed Martin to be…which does point back to presuming of Martin’s looks).

    Is it ok to do that?  Does that mean a person would have the right to do the same to you and yours if you looked “suspicious”.  Does it mean that no one has the right to walk down a street — unless you hand over some sort of ID to prove you are not a stranger?  Is that what you want?  

    That, is something I wish conservatives/libertarians who are jumping on the defend Zimmerman bandwagon would think about!

  39. Pathfinder's wife
    March 31st, 2012 @ 10:40 am

    Bob, again: Martin was guilty of nothing but walking down a street when Zimmerman started following (and then got out of his SUV and followed, rather quickly) him.

    There was no “protection of property” or self-defense at that point (but, under FL stalking is considered a misdemeanor to a felony — so then Martin could legally enact the Castle Doctrine… we have it on Zimmerman’s 911 tape: he ran; then Zimmerman getting out of his SUV and giving chase).

    We suffer from the Leftist thinking of we don’t know well enough for ourselves.

    Was Martin attacking anyone? No.   Was he breaking into anyplace? No. But Zimmerman knew what was best.

    And I might add on the defense of other citizens: unless there is a murder or rape taking place in front of me, in which case I take the huge personal risk of death, injury, and being sued all to Hades and possibly imprisoned (please keep that in mind), the only thing I am legally and morally required to do is be a good witness and watchman and call the cops. In fact, sometimes its the wisest choice.

    One has to ask the what ifs here: what if Martin really had been a professional criminal?  Zimmerman would likely have been a statistic (and dead kinda sucks); what if Martin had been armed and they both got into a shootout and some kid or grandma had died as the result of stray bullets?  Would we be defending Zimmerman then?  Would we be screaming about his right to self defense and defense of his neighborhood?  What if Zimmerman did shoot Martin in the back?  Is it still “good riddance to bad rubbish”?

    The answers are something I think I’d like to know, because they are important.

  40. The Riot Ideology : The Other McCain
    March 31st, 2012 @ 8:18 pm

    […] addthis_share = [];}Yesterday, I mentioned Fred Siegel’s The Future Once Happened Here in connection with the Trayvon Martin case. Siegel’s book is one of those timeless classics — like Christopher Lasch’s The […]

  41. Adobe_Walls
    March 31st, 2012 @ 9:03 pm

    Yes. Aside from the ID which a private citizen has no right to ask for.  Whether Martin was there as someone’s guest or not is irrelevant. He looked and acted suspicious apparently deliberately so. When he realized he was being observed he made an effort to hide his face. Zimmerman was supposed to be watching for suspicious persons, he was performing a service to the community as a volunteer.  IF Martin’s actions and presence were totally innocent when he realized he was being tailed he had every right to feel offended if he thought it was because he was black. He had no right however to act offended doing so cost him his life. Oh well.

  42. Adobe_Walls
    March 31st, 2012 @ 9:15 pm

    I’m suspecting the whole concept of neighborhood  watch is eluding her.

  43. Adobe_Walls
    March 31st, 2012 @ 9:30 pm

    We have conceded that it was stupid of Zimmerman to let Martin get the drop on him. If he’d been armed he would probably have shot at Zimmerman from ambush. Street thugs don’t usually get in much range time so depending on distance he could well have missed. If Martin had fired at Zimmerman and in the ensuing shootout either’s stray bullet hit a bystander the fault would have been totally on Martin and yes I would be defending Zimmerman. Zimmerman committed a tactical error. Martin may or may not have been up to no good prior to attacking Zimmerman. Once he assaulted Zimmerman he lost all the arguments.

  44. DaveP.
    April 1st, 2012 @ 5:40 pm

    Here we go again.
    All evidence- witness and forensic- points to Zimmerman defending himself from an attack by Martin.
    The only justification you can pull up is that Zimmerman was following Martin- which implies one of two things. Either, in your world, following someone behaving suspiciously IN YOUR OWN NEIGHBORHOOD is acceptable grounds for the person to beat you down- in which case I hope for your sake you wait until low-traffic times to drive back home, lest the guy in front of you feel the same way you do- or you have some reson to believe that Martin was autojustified in engaging in violence.
    Which, you know, makes you look kind of bigoted if that’s the bahavior you EXPECT form Martin.  

  45. DaveP.
    April 1st, 2012 @ 5:47 pm

    The entire point of SYG was to remove the weapon of malicious prosecution from overzealous DA’s and malicious civil suits from criminals and the families of criminals injured by their erstwhile victims. From here, it looks like SYG worked just fine: the prosecutor couldn’t use the threat of a lengthy and ruinously expensive court proceeding to  coerce the victim to plead guilty to a crime he didn’t commit; and the criminal’s family can’t attempt to destroy the victim’s livelihood and future via civil court.

  46. Profiles in Narcissism: Charles Johnson Blinded by His Own Self-Righteousness : The Other McCain
    April 7th, 2012 @ 11:32 pm

    […] Up to Hatred, etc. I’ve had little to say about the case, but one thing I did say was this:The first time I talked to anyone about the Trayvon Martin case, I cautioned against the urge to jum…The federal Justice Department was involved and a special investigation was underway, and there was […]