RANGER AGAINST WAR: The Armed Citizen <

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Armed Citizen


Can you hear and do you care and
Can't you see we must be free to

Teach your children what you believe in

Make a world that we can live in

--Teach Your Children
, CSN&Y
___________________

Since we are in Florida and guns and police are occasional topics, Ranger will address the furore surrounding the 26 Feb 12 death of a 17-year-old black youth in the central Florida town of Sanford.


First to the hagiography of Trayvon Martin and concomitant vilification of his killer, Zimmerman. [Anything that follows is not to justify murder, if that needs be said.]


An associate of Ranger's in the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) commented this morning to him that Trayvon Martin's police file has been sealed. We know that Martin was in Sanford because he was expelled from his South Florida school for as-yet unverified offense(s). So what we do know is, both participants in this engagement had rap sheets. Neither were lily white when it comes to their experience with the law.


Another fact is that thousands of black / white /brown /yellow people shoot and kill thousands of other black / white / brown and yellow people every year in the U.S. Can they all be hate crimes?

The exact statistics are hard to come by; a rough estimate is 30,000 firearm deaths in the U.S. per year, with almost half of those being suicides.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC),the Bureau of Justice Statistics and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) all release their own stats; the FBI also tabulates justifiable homicides separate from murders. For instance, in 2005, there were 337 justifiable, fatal shoots by the LEOs and 143 by private citizens.

Since this is a criminal investigation, the general public can have no idea into which category this killing falls. It doesn't make anyone smarter or more liberal to side with the black youth over the late 20's Hispanic in the absence of all the data. However, it does appear to make some people feel better to slot themselves with one over the other. Why would that be? Do liberals suffer a higher collective guilt over past treatment of black people than we do over the treatment of Hispanics? If so, why is that?

We suggest if you really sympathize with the plight of blacks, you back it up with equal concern over every blight facing the black community in America, namely:

  • What are you doing about the disproportionate rate of sexually transmitted disease (STD's) -- especially AIDs -- in the black community? According to Zack Burgess of the Philidelphia Tribune:
"African Americans represent one-half of the new HIV infections, those living with HIV and those who succumb to it each year in the United States. We also have higher rates for other STDs. Not to mention that Blacks represent 50% of the 2.8 million new Chlamydia infections and our infection rates for Gonorrhea and Syphilis are 16 and 23 times those of whites respectively."

"Nowhere is this impact greatest than in young people, especially young women. A recent CDC study estimated that 48% of black adolescent girls in the United States had at least one STD. Moreover, many are unaware of it."
  • As of 2008, the U.S. Bureau of Justice estimated there were over 846,000 Black men in prison, making up 40.2% of all inmates in the system at large. More black men are now in prison than were enslaved in 1850, before the Civil War began.
  • African Americans have 2.4 times the infant mortality rate as non-Hispanic whites. They are four times as likely to die as infants due to complications related to low birth weight as compared to non-Hispanic white infants.
  • While African Americans comprise 13.5% of the U.S. Population, 43% of all murder victims in 2007 were African American, 93.1% of whom were killed were African Americans (Black on Black Crime Coalition.)


Do you know these statistics? Do you care? If you think Trayvon is some kind of aberration, than you do not, and your wailing and gnashing of teeth is fallow and will flame out once the next new outrage is fed to you. If you do not care about the reality girding this discrete episode of violence, you can save your bile.

Maybe it is just like those adverts for the World Health Organizations that solicit funds for children with bloated bellies. Kids are cute and we feel sorry for them. We would turn away if the ads featured adults with festering sores and vermin surrounding them. It feeds our egos to have the little picture in our wallet of "our" Third World kid"

Ditto the way the press is marketing the Martin-Zimmerman fight: We see the latter's mug shot, but the former's smiling, pre-17-year-old face. We envision laughter and Skittle-eating Trayvon, and the lurking vigilante, Zimmerman. We do not see the scowling, hooded Trayvon or the one sporting his gold rack, because that would plant a seed of doubt in our minds, and the press and your ego trafficks in simple black and white.

Outrage can feel cathartic, but to what end?


Next: The Armed Citizen II: Race in America

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9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fact that you can say, unironically, that "Neither were lily white when it comes to their experience with the law" underscores how clueless you are, how bathed, marinaded in white privilege you are. And I say this as a white woman and a lawyer. We are so unconscious of the multitude of advantages we carry as white people in our society that even language regarding innocence is cast in colors. I don't expect you two to get it, I really don't. The world has and will move on. Demographically our people are on the outs and all the tantrums, denial, sniping, and intimidation can't change that. Sure, I want the investigation to conclude. But you are a FOOL if you think that this was handled properly by the police (something I have knowledge of too), that they shouldn't have even arrested Zimmerman. Do you think if the shooter had been black and the victim white, they would have let the shooter walk away? Seriously? And that's some of the reason for the rage that's bouncing around now. The assumptions people make based on race, and how some people have to be even "lily whiter" than snow to avoid character assasination after their death. As if anything that has been mentioned, his record, his suspension from school, even how he dressed, justified what happened to him. FOR SHAME. It's just that for certain ethnic groups, "the rules" they must abide by, the bar they have to reach, is so much harder, so much more, than we can even imagine, for them to succeed, even to justify their continued existence on this earth. So he wore a hoodie? A "gold grill"? Probably wore jordans and low-handing pants. SO WHAT? I'm sure he wouldn't be caught dead in a Brooks Brothers suit and wingtips, as I see my male colleagues in all the time. Why is one automatically suspect and one not? The guys in the suits have stolen trillions from all of us and caused untold misery around the world for the past few years. I'd check my wallet after I passed the guy in the suit, not the black youth in the hoody.
And yes, there are many sad and outrageous facts that you've pointed out about the sad state of the black community, and some of that is definitely self-inflicted. Does that mean we shouldn't care about this? Maybe this is the incident, the name, the person that can raise up the same outrage the HS students in Little Rock did, or Rosa Parks' insistence on sitting where she wanted on that bus. Think those were the biggest problems of the time? No, but they sparked change. It's the little things that can start change in ways that big things can't sometimes; big problems can feel hopeless, but when one person, just one person, is wrongly hurt, that can motivate people to say, that is it, this cannot stand. "Each man's death diminishes me" as Donne said.
You are clueless. Don't inflict more pain where you don't have to. I thought you were smarter than this.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 2:28:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

You don't sound much like an attorney to me. If "the world has moved on" -- as you claim -- then why this incident? Not very rigorous thinking, IMHO.

You say, "But you are a FOOL if you think that this was handled properly by the police" -- how can you possibly know? Me, "(m)arinaded in privilege"? LOL -- you may speak for yourself, perhaps; you don't even know me.

Anyway, privilege is not the issue in this case; Travyon is photographed on ski holiday -- to me, that seems like privilege.

You say you work with guys in BB suits who've stole trillions? What does that make you -- informed about this matter?

Anon, you say, "I'd check my wallet after I passed the guy in the suit, not the black youth in the hoody [sic]". I'd suggest you stick with the guys wearing the BB suits. Unless you're the sort who enjoys slumming now and again; in either event, sounds like you should hold your wallet real close.

I'll say, good luck to you.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 6:14:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This incident seems to have brought out some serious negativity in people; including priviledged and protected white people.

All over the blogosphere white liberals are spitting mad - hopping steam comin' outa the ears mad I tell ya - that a racist gun toting vigalente killed an innocent black kid in cold blood and the racist police did do jack about it.


It's really bizarre. I cannot for the life of me figure the psychology behind the need to believe that story, despite 1. facts to the contrary (e.g. the police did bring Z in and question him, gather crime scene evidence, take witness testimony, etc, etc etc and decide there wasn't sufficient evidence to bring a case to court) and 2. the absolute inability to read Z's mind now or at the time of the shooting to know what he thinks of blacks.

Yet these white people become furious if one suggests this may not have been a racially motivated homocide.

No we have yet another lawyer - this is not the first I've encountered - who is capable of reading minds and trying a case without access to evidence.

If Joe the plumber claimed these abilities, i wouldn't be surprised. But high flying lawyers? For shame.

avedis

Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 7:54:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RRRRRRRR seriously bad typos...but you get the gist.

What is it with the need of white people, usually protected squishy white people, to see racism at play in this incident? Where is all of their emotionalism coming from What syndrome is this because it sure looks like a syndrome - and one that should be disected, understood and cured.


avedis

Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 7:58:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

avedis,

Yes -- this is precisely my point: What IS this syndrome? I am very freaked out by it, frankly.

It definitely deserves some dissection. Is it because we live in such factionalized times? Is it because people are just fighting mad, and they figure they're gonna get some pats on the head for showing, "Hey, I'm not bigoted -- look at me, I'm wearing a hoodie in solidarity! Like me now?"

"All us good liberals really DO like you all, so don't jump us, o.k.? Black guy got killed by someone not a brother? Guilty!"

It's like a joke, and methinks they do protest too much, or . . . can it be that these raving liberals are really that cosseted?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 10:45:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

I'll stick to my original contention: The day this broke big, no one quite knew who this Zimmerman was; in fact, he was presumed white. And Zimmerman is a Jew, right? . . . except, he wasn't.

We all know that good liberals aren't bigoted except when it comes to Jews, because they must love them some Palestinians.

Now, here's where they would be left with egg on their face unless they pressed on, and press on they have in what is really, sadly, just another killing, just another aggression, and we do not even know who was the aggressor.

But the good liberals presume they know more than the cops and the investigators, so they're bloviating about something which will ultimately, I would guess, disappoint them.

I was sent a good stomping mad liberal column recently which substantiates my supposition; I'll post it soon.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 10:51:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Anon,
Are not gold grills a sign of affluence?
My fillings are composite and none of my teeth were voluntarily replaced with gold substitutes, nor was my face book name-angry nigger.
oh yeah- but i'm a racist?
Have you read my posts of respect and love that i had for the black soldiers that i served with?
I live in a county of extreme poverty and 60% plus minorities, which is confusing since if this number is true then i'm the minority.
I live and deal with blacks on a daily basis and not just in theory.
jim

Thursday, March 29, 2012 at 9:27:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Anon, o500,
My point is that the black community has serious issues and we focus on a single shooting. This is just chaff on the screen.
Since we have 4th generation welfare mothers in my community, i consider this a grater threat to the black community than is an isolated shooting.
If we are a society of law then i'm a monkeys uncle.
jim

Thursday, March 29, 2012 at 9:41:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Anon 0500,
As for the brooks brothers suits, i'd rather have a sister in a whore house than a friend,or associate with a bb suit.
jim

Thursday, March 29, 2012 at 9:43:00 AM GMT-5  

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