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Trayvon Martin, Walking While Black, “Stand Your Ground,” and U.S. Foreign Policy

Trayvon Martin, Walking While Black, "Stand Your Ground," and U.S. Foreign Policy

By Dennis Loo (3/21/12)

Trayvon Martin is the 17-year-old black teen carrying the suspicious and threatening weapons of a bag of Skittles and iced tea and walking while black in a gated, white community in Sanford, Florida in February.

No doubt in mortal fear for his life, neighborhood watch cum vigilante George Zimmerman coped with his fears of being Skittled and iced tea’d to death by Trayvon by chasing after Trayvon. Any black male walking around in a gated community, for god's sake, is just asking for trouble! I mean, don't they know where they belong?

This is what you do when you feel afraid for your life – you chase the person you’re afraid of.

If that person tries to get away from you, well, that’s just more evidence that they are really trying to get you and, of course, you then pursue them even more aggressively, confront them, and then you have no choice but to use your gun to shoot them before they Skittle you to death.

As Scott Sundby, a professor at the University of Miami School of Law, quoted in a Huffington Post article about this case and the 2005 Florida law that allows people to use deadly force if they feel threatened called "Stand Your Ground," states,

"You cannot provoke the confrontation. You cannot be the instigator and then claim 'stand your ground.’”

Trayvon Martin’s murder and the rationales offered by his murderer Zimmerman parallel the justifications we are being given for an attack upon Iran and the justifications that we were given when the U.S. attacked Iraq:

“Iran (or Iraq) is building WMD and if we don’t get them first, they’re going to get us.”

Word to Iran – don’t start importing Skittles and iced tea or you’ll really get bombed.

Aggressive war is the supreme war crime. As Judge Robert H. Jackson, chief American prosecutor of the Nazi war criminals, stated at the Nuremberg Tribunal: "To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole."

On the macro sphere of national foreign policy decisions and federal laws (e.g., the NDAA and HR 347) and executive orders (such as Obama's assassinations of those that the president alone has decided - as prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner - that someone shall be killed, including even U.S. citizens and even on U.S. soil), we can find parallels to state laws such as the "Stand Your Ground" Florida law that makes it possible for someone who has murdered someone to simply claim that they felt threatened and therefore escape prosecution for murder.

From the national and international to the microsphere of individual behavior: When government figures openly kill without any indictments, trial, and convictions, then individuals also feel that they have a license to act lawlessly and as vigilantes. Remember the woman at Walmart who shortly after the infamous pepper spraying of students at UC Davis by Officer John Pike, decided that it was ok to pepper spray fellow shoppers so that she could get a jump on them in grabbing up the bargains?


Killed Buying Skittles While Black

Killed Buying Skittles While Black

By Dennis Loo (3/14/12)

Editor's Note: We posted this article before Trayvon Martin's murder became a national story. We suggest that you also read two subsequent postings, this related story and this.


"17-year-old Trayvon Martin was visiting a relative's house in a Florida gated community when he walked to the store to get Skittles and iced tea for his little brother. He never made it home. Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by a self-styled neighborhood watch leader, who told police he thought Trayvon was 'suspicious' in the mostly-white community.

"Unbelievable twist: A man named George Zimmerman allegedly admitted to police that he shot Trayvon Martin in the chest. Zimmerman claims he acted in self defense, even though police allegedly told him not to do anything until they arrived -- and despite the fact that Trayvon was unarmed, carrying only a bag of Skittles when he died. In the two weeks since Zimmerman allegedly killed Trayvon, police have refused to arrest the confessed killer."

Imagine if the roles were reversed and an armed vigilante "neighborhood watch" black man shot and killed a 17-year-old white boy holding Skittles and iced tea in his hands because he thought the boy was "suspicious."

Would the police still not have instituted charges against the black killer? It's been two weeks since his unjustified murder. [Now as of 3/24/12, a month.]

Would the news not now - and for some time - be blaring headlines and other stories about the outrageousness of it? [Since writing this article the murder of Trayvon Martin has become a national story.]

See also this story that connects this incident and the authorities' behavior to larger societal issues. And this.

Editor's Note (3/24/12):

Some new comments were submitted to us recently for posting but because of some technical glitch we weren't able to post them. For some reason suthorizing those comments' posting didn't work. If you submitted a comment, please do so again and we will post them (if they comply with our guidelines). If we're still having techical problems posting them as comments, we will post them here at the end of the article itself within the article.;feature=colike


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Elaine Brower 2

Elaine Brower of World Can't Wait speaking at the NYC Stop the War on Iran rally 2/4/12