As y’all know, I promised a post about the George Zimmerman trial days ago, but this whole case has been so hard for me to write about… it’s because it makes me angry and when I’m angry, I rant. I don’t want to just rant about this, though. I want to be thorough and calculated in my thoughts, so let me begin with this:
George Zimmerman is in fact, a creepy ass cracker.
There. I said it.
This refers to testimony given by the last person to speak to Trayvon Martin alive before the fateful confrontation, Rachel Jeantel. She was a virtual lightning rod last week during her testimony and for so many, many reasons. There was the issue of her dialect, her soft-spoken voice… and of course there was talk of her demeanor and her looks. It was deplorable. Not only did this brave young woman have to be on the stand discussing at length her last moments on the phone with her murdered friend, but leave it to “Black Twitter” to drag this poor young lady. I saw tweets referring to her as Precious, tweets extolling how “Black people gotta do better…”
SMH. It was really sickening.
And then there was the now infamous post on instagram by Don West’s daughter… ugh…
And yet in the midst of all that, which Ms. Jeantel couldn’t have known about until leaving the stand after almost 2 full days of testimony, she remained steadfast and consistent in her story, no matter how many times the unbearable Don West and Mark O’Mara (Zimmerman’s defense team) tried to trip her up. A few times she even told Mr. West, “you can go on… GO ON THEN!!!” I was a part of her amen chorus. I stand with Rachel because that was tough and she remained composed.
The part of her testimony that seems to have garnered the most attention though, was how she said that Trayvon Martin described George Zimmerman to her. She revealed that during the conversation he referred to Zimmerman as a, “creepy ass cracker.” The defense seized upon this opportunity to try and turn the tide of the case and to characterize Trayvon as a racist, therefore negating the claim that he was being “profiled” by Zimmerman in the moments leading up to his death.
Hold it. If ANYONE is following me either on foot or from a car while on the phone on a rainy night, I’m going to find THEM suspicious. It still boggles my mind that anyone could believe that Zimmerman was COMPLETELY in the right, but that a kid at the age of 17 was COMPLETELY in the wrong by running from someone who was watching him and following him home. Again, Rachel’s testimony didn’t change. According to her, he said that a “creepy ass cracker” was following him, he was going to try and lose him; the man came up on him as he was getting close to his home and he asked “Why you following me for?” and the man said “What you doin around here?”
Even Zimmerman tells the dispatcher that Trayvon began running before the confrontation. Now… if it’s raining and I stop and stand under an awning or whatever to keep from getting wet, and I’m up the street from my home and spot someone following me, am I not entitled to the same reactions they say Zimmerman was entitled to? That’s pure fight or flight, if I feel uncomfortable. Trayvon didn’t follow Zimmerman, why would he? He had just tried to run away, right?
I mean… I’m over here… sipping tea… so come and discuss it because I’m waiting…
PLEASE. HAVE ALL THE SEATS EVER MADE AVAILABLE TO YOU IN LIFE.
Listen… he ALSO referred to George, according to her testimony, as a “nigga.” Apparently he told her that a “creepy ass cracker” was following him, ran in an attempt to lose the man in pursuit of him, and finding that “the nigga” was “still following” him, was subsequently confronted by Zimmerman.
So, if Trayvon was in fact a racist, how could he have referred to Zimmerman as both a cracker AND a nigga? Don’t worry, I’ll wait…
I will admit that although I knew cracker to be a slur toward White people, I never knew of it’s origin and etymology. Enter this really good post on NPR’s website about the history of the word cracker (used as a pejorative term). What I found really interesting about the history of the word is that the people that it was meant to be a pejorative toward (Scots-Irish poor that settled in the Carolinas and parts of Georgia, eventually migrating into Florida) appropriated the word for themselves and began to use it amongst themselves as a term of endearment. Now… who does that sound like?
Don’t worry… I’ll be over here… sipping my tea…
CNN did a whole entire show on the “N-Word” last night (apparently in an attempt to boost a ratings slump… *insert all my MOST sarcastic snark and venom here*). Why not a show on the word cracker? I mean, it IS a racial slur… and it IS the slur in question during the trial they have decided to televise non-stop. I contend that the problem is much deeper than just the usage of the “N word” or the “C word” (not cunt though… we LOVE cunt… #pause) or what profiling really is or something more relevant than a thrown together “mockumentary” on the word nigger. It is about understanding what this case is REALLY about. The attempt by CNN to connect Paula Deen’s case to this one by use of the “N word,” which it is reasonable to assume Zimmerman didn’t utter during this case is laughable at best. But nice try, Counterproductive News Network. We got it. Nigger is an explosive word and a hot topic. Let’s not get to the point of racism in general. Good job…
No… let’s just not address the many bullshit calls Zimmerman made to the SPD during his time as a resident of the community. Let’s glaze right on over the fact that Zimmerman, as evidenced by the pictures shown in court today, could have seen addresses from his car. Sure, I can see street signs from the window of a car on rainy evenings, but maybe Zimmerman was half blind or whatever. Not to mention, the testimony by the amazing Dr. Rao today; the Medical Examiner who reviewed the evidence and found that Zimmerman’s account of him being beaten to within inches of his life by Trayvon are absolutely false. She stood HER ground under the intense cross examination and I believe she bolstered the prosecution today. Even when shady Mark O’mara asked about injuries that Zimmerman NEVER sustained. I wonder how she was supposed to conjure THAT testimony…
Just the Facts, Sirs…
The problem, as I see it for the prosecution, is that they MUST prove without a reasonable doubt that Zimmerman not only profiled Trayvon, but was in the mind state to shoot first and ask (or answer) questions later. Although there is ample evidence that this was the case, I don’t really feel that the state of Florida is doing a great job presenting those facts. They haven’t been objecting to the right things, in my opinion. I am obviously not a lawyer, just a Black woman with many opinions, but it seemed to me that the defense badgered the hell out of Rachel and to no real effect. Where were they in standing up for the witnesses they called? Even officer Serino (the lead officer in this investigation) was caught up a few times and there was no help… I just have to wonder what will be the main focus here. Today, I think we saw glimpses in the forensic evidence. That is one of the things I knew would be key from the beginning. All this talk of the language used is irrelevant. Actions speak much louder than words in this case to me…
Zimmerman at one point told the dispatcher that he was not comfortable approaching Trayvon, or even speaking his own address aloud. How close was he that he felt Trayvon would hear him? And if he was so uncomfortable engaging, then how did he end up face to face with Trayvon? Then there’s the part of the phone call where he said he told the dispatcher that Trayvon was running and that he was in fact following him, and subsequently told not to. This jibes with Rachel’s account that after a little while of feeling uncomfortable, he ran. Zimmerman told the investigators that the tape of screaming in the background of a 911 call during the incident “didn’t even sound like him.” The Medical Examiner testified that his injuries were not consistent with his story. Also, there’s the real issue of Zimmerman referring to Trayvon as a “suspect.” I mean… if he wasn’t playing Keystone Cop, then why that terminology?
Zimmerman’s bestie was on the stand today, but this man has already written a book about something he didn’t even have anything to do with… but we question the credibility of a 19 year old girl who speaks English as a THIRD language…?
Zimmerman was already kind of a menace; calling the SPD several times for many “suspicious” acts in his community. But it’s one thing to be vigilant, another to be a vigilante.
The facts in this case are still being hashed out and I will come and update this post with thoughts on the testimony, which will cover past and future bits of information. I have never done a post in which I kept updating and adding, so please bear with me as I try and comb through the information.
Of course, feel free to leave your comments below and I will either update this post to include new info or speak to you in the comments below.
This is going to be a crazy outcome, no matter the verdict. We can only pray for justice to prevail…
As of yesterday afternoon, the case was finally turned over to the jury. The defense’s case was presented over 4 days of actual testimony in which O’Mara and company paraded all kinds of “witnesses” in front of us, none seeming to have actually been present during the night in question. No one person Zimmerman was on the phone talking to when he was “allegedly” attacked by Trayvon Martin. No neighbors who saw him walking back to his car. At least the state actually brought on experts. The Medical Examiners, the Forensics experts who examined the actual evidence, not people who could speculate as to what Zimmerman’s thoughts and actions were. They brought on his best friend Mark Osterman, who by the way has written a WHOLE ENTIRE BOOK about the murder of Trayvon Martin… BUT HE WASN’T THERE! He was the person who talked Zimmerman into carrying a concealed weapon and, in my never that humble opinion, turned him into a murderer by filling his head with stories of spooks and the cops not being there to protect him all the time. He helped Zimmerman and his wife obtain guns and concealed-carry permits. Osterman himself has worked in Law Enforcement since 1992.
There was also emotional testimony given by Tracy Martin, Trayvon’s father, regarding the screams for help on that 911 tape. He was called by the defense, which I thought was ridiculous, but they were trying to prove that Tracy didn’t believe it was Trayvon screaming for help. It sounds like a young boy screaming if you ask me. His voice was cracking and everything. It didn’t sound like a fully matured male voice. It also didn’t sound like Zimmerman who is quite soft spoken. Even HE said it didn’t sound like him… but then he’s said so many things that aren’t at all credible.
There was also emotional testimony given by Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin. She was called toward the end of the prosecution’s witnesses. Watching her talk about how her son is in heaven now was absolutely the most brave and yet unnerving things I’ve ever experienced. That is a strong and beautiful woman right there. My heart goes out to her every day.
I was a bit distracted this week as I had to take in the trial from my desk at work where the people in my office aren’t nearly as invested in this as I am, it was tough. I realize more and more every day how much removed I am from the people I work with and it’s a little scary. The older, wealthier people I work with are clueless about how much of a big deal this is because they are so far removed from what this trial represents. Their “White Privilege” allows them to not have to think of the inner city; the stereotypes, the ignorance of someone believing that just because a young Black man was wearing a hoodie, he was up to no good. They have never had friends or family arrested due to profiling, and that comes from not being a part of the demographic that is profiled… White Privilege. I am of the presumption that if Trayvon had been a White guy in a hoodie, he would have been viewed as simply wearing protective rain gear and left alone. He… fit… George Zimmerman’s profile. He was already looking for “suspicious Black men” in the neighborhood as evidenced by a witness the defense called, Olivia Bertalan. Apparently she had experienced a break in at some point before Zimmerman shot Trayvon and him being Neighborhood Watch, had discussed the robbery with her at length and offered her refuge at his home with his wife.
Below are clips that I find to be very key to the trial so you can use these to recap and also you can catch any trial activity as it happens by watching the feed here. Remember, it is only live when there is activity in the courtroom.
UPDATE 7.13.13 @ 6PM EST:
The jury has requested more clarification on the meaning of Manslaughter. Court is in session for 30 minutes. You can watch the feed at the above posted link when court resumes.
UPDATE 7.13.13 @ 10:22PM EST:
The jury has returned a verdict of Not Guilty for George Zimmerman.
I can’t even form words at this time except to say it has again been proven that the lives of young Black Men mean NOTHING in America.
My thoughts, love and prayers are with Sybrina Fulton, Jahvaris and Tracy Martin.