Al Sharpton, Alice Stanley, Angela Corey, barack obama, Benjamin Crump, Bill Whittle The Lynching, George Zimmerman, hoodies, Joy-ann Reid, Lean, Rachel Jeantel, Rick Scott, Sanford Florida, Skittles, Social justice, stand your ground, Sybrina Fulton, The Scheme Team, Tracy Martin, Trayvon Martin
In The Trayvon Martin Case, Update #52: Resting In Power, Episode 1, I observed the “documentary” was nothing more than the original Trayvon Martin social justice narrative masquerading as a documentary. This is an important distinction in that one expects a documentary to be accurate and truthful, to focus on fact rather than opinion. After viewing Episode 2 on The Paramount Channel–it also appears on Black Entertainment Television–I find my initial impression was, if anything, understated. Episode 2 was social justice on steroids.
I’m going to try to avoid retrying the case as much as possible, but for a recap of the trial, a good place to start might be Update 32, the beginning of my direct coverage of the trial. Again, I’ll add details only to correct the blatant misrepresentations and outright lies presented in the series.
In Episode 1, I identified these themes:
1) Trayvon Martin was a virtual infant, an innocent budding scholar, football player and aviator, though the assertion about Martin’s passion for aviation didn’t appear until about May of 2017. I wrote about it in June of that year.
2) Martin was carrying Skittles and wearing a hoodie. Both are somehow indicative of his virtue and Zimmerman’s evil, and both have assumed mythic significance despite having no bearing whatever on the case.
3) Zimmerman was a white racist who racially profiled, pursued and murdered Martin, who was only walking home from the 7-11.
4) The Sanford police did not immediately arrest Zimmerman because they are racists, and so is everyone that doesn’t buy the social justice narrative. Their refusal to arrest him because there was no probable cause, was even more racist.
5) Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law allows white racists to murder little black boys at will.
6) It’s the NRA’s fault, Donald Trump is evil too, and Martin’s parents are virtual saints.
Those themes, the foundation of the social justice narrative, continued in Episode 2, but these supporting and embellishing themes were added:
1) The entire nation wanted George Zimmerman arrested, and were outraged he was not. Anyone that did not–I thought everyone did?–was a racist.
2) Trayvon Martin was “a rallying cry” for all black people, and Facebook pushed the racial theme and demands for Zimmerman’s arrest.
3) Sanford, Florida was the epicenter of historic racism, and remains so today.
4) Nothing like the circumstances of the death of Trayvon Martin has ever happened to white people.
5) George Zimmerman is guilty. To hell with the presumption of innocence. Justice can only be served with his arrest and imprisonment/death.
Before dealing more with Episode 2, there are a few issues to resolve from Episode 1. Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon’s estranged mother, announced “they can’t account for 71 seconds and it changed America.” There were no missing 71 seconds in the case, and it was not mentioned again, in Episode 1 or Episode 2. So much for that momentous change.
Sybrina Fulton was Trayvon’s birth mother, but she and Tracy Martin divorced when Trayvon was three. Alice Stanley, Trayvon’s stepmother, raised him, according to Alice, 90% of the time thereafter. Sybrina was essentially out of his life for 14 years, but became Trayvon’s doting mother when there was profit in it.
Episode 1 pushed the theme that the authorities refused to release the relevant tapes. Actually, they were played for Tracy, Sybrina and other family members within a few days of his death. Tracy said the screams were not made by Trayvon. Anticipating a payday, he later changed his mind.
Episode 2 begins with more photos of a much younger, cute and smiling Trayvon, and the announcement that more than two million were demanding Zimmerman’s arrest–no support was cited for this–which constituted “a social revolution.” This was followed by a few very quick photos of Trayvon in full thug mode, which was immediately followed by the assertion that pretty much every young person these days flips people off and behaves like a thug (gold teeth, smoking pot, misogyny, bragging about assaulting people, displaying guns, etc.) on social media–those darned kids!
This is a primary tactic of the “documentary”: overwhelm screen time with the social justice narrative, but toss in a few photos, or out of context video or audio–very briefly (mere seconds)–that only well-informed viewers would recognize as factual information, allowing the directors to claim a balanced presentation.
The primary theme of this episode was the hellish racism of Sanford, and as soon as this was announced, a Confederate flag on a flagpole, waving in the breeze was displayed. Presumably this was in Sanford, but there was no context or identifying landmark to confirm it.
The NRA was disparaged, and tied to the Stand Your Ground Law, which all right thinking people know protects killers. The focus then shifted to the Sanford Police Department with Colorado Attorney Jeralyn Merrit, whose Talkleft blog covered the Martin case. Merritt is a defense attorney, and I often linked to her work on the Martin case. Merrit, who was generally critical of the prosecution during the case, was several times quoted out of context, with this introduction:
The Sanford Police Department has in the back of their mind if we don’t do this right we could be sued.
Highly unlikely, and it’s unlikely that’s what Merrit was saying, but the impression was left that the SPD was doing something wrong and trying to cover for George Zimmerman.
The directors alleged the SPD eventually caved in and wanted a warrant for Zimmerman, but the local prosecutor, Norm Wolfinger refused. They eventually mentioned–barely–this was because he could not prove any crime beyond a reasonable doubt, which the trial proved.
Next was Benjamin Crump’s “explosive new witness” who was going to blow the cover off the case and convict Zimmerman. She did just the opposite. Rachel Jeantel made her appearance. She was much more polished and well spoken than during the trial. This may be due to practice, or perhaps merely to growing up, but she presented much differently than the angry, sullen and dim-witted girl at the trial. She began by observing that she “didn’t want to be involved.” She did, with some variation, confirm her trial testimony, with Trayvon confronting Zimmerman, demanding “why you following me?”, and Zimmerman replying “What are you doing around here?” She added “and then the phone just went off.” At trial, she testified she heard something being hit and other sounds, including “the grass” which she somehow heard was “wet” before losing the connection, but didn’t mention that this time.
By this point, the message of the episode was already clear: the elements of the crime–the law–must be ignored. Zimmerman killed a black boy, so he’s guilty, he must be arrested, Stand Your Ground was letting him get away with murder, the Sanford Police Department–and Sanford at large–is racist, which is the only possible reason Zimmerman isn’t already in jail.
Joy-Ann Reid popped in, as she did in the first Episode, to announce the prosecutor “read” the SYG law so as to prevent Zimmerman’s arrest. Apparently, so did Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, who called Martin’s parents to tell them she had no authority to arrest Zimmerman.
As with in the 1st Episode, a brief video clip of George Zimmerman walking up a flight of stairs in the Sanford Police department was played to illustrate the horror of Zimmerman, three days after the shooting, walking in the SPD without being manhandled by police officers or handcuffed! He was actively and voluntarily cooperating with the police, was not under arrest, enjoyed the presumption of innocence under the law (not in social justice), and like any citizen, could walk in the public access areas of any public building. But Zimmerman should have been in jail, convicted, and executed already, so forget all that racist rule of law stuff.
Once more, the SYG law had nothing at all to do with the Zimmerman case. It was not raised at trial. It had no more to do with the case than Florida’s law requiring the use of turn signals. It did not prevent Zimmerman’s arrest, nor does it allow anyone to get away with murder, then or now. Continually harping on this irrelevant statute is one of the most egregious lies of the “documentary.”
This was when the idea that Martin was a “rallying call” for all black people was introduced. He was such a rallying cry, virtually no one outside of Sanford ever heard of him. It was the mainstream media, who found the social justice/anti-gun/black vs. “white/Hispanic” narrative irresistible, the Crump Scheme Team, Al Sharpton and other notorious race hustlers, and finally, the Obama Administration that constantly hyped the case, bringing an unremarkable self-defense case, like hundreds that are never known outside the immediate area, to national prominence.
The Episode focuses on a variety of protests, but never mentions that the Obama/Holder DOJ sent it’s own racialist operatives to Sanford. They used taxpayer money to provoke outrage and stage protests. They would do the same thing in Ferguson, and other places around the nation.
Viewers learned that Martin’s hoodie became “a symbol” that created “a sense of community and struggle.” This was punctuated by video of a variety of protests with the obligatory “we are all Trayvon” posters. This included video of the Martins marching in New York City, where Sybrina Fulton announced that Trayvon’s death “woke [me] her up” and made her “want to fight.”
The hoodie was originally seized upon to suggest Zimmerman, seeing a hoodie, “profiled” Martin and was thereby a racist. Of course, no one but young, black men wear such garb… Reality is quite different. Martin’s hoodie played no role at all in the case, with the possible exception of hiding Martin’s race until he was close enough to Zimmerman–it was dark and raining–for him to see clearly; Zimmerman “profiled” someone whose race he could not determine because his head was obscured by the night, rain and the hood of his sweatshirt.
It was, however, reasonable for Zimmerman to be suspicious. Martin was acting drugged–because he was as the autopsy revealed–and appeared to be casing a home that had recently been burglarized. He was not on the street or sidewalk, but standing on the wet lawn, in the rain. He was not trying to get out of the rain or going anywhere. Whose attention would not be drawn to someone like that, hoodie or not?
Tracy Martin reappeared to announce their pursuit of “justice for Trayvon” a “new civil rights movement.” It was also a new–and successful–“give me millions” movement.
Al Sharpton appeared to drop Barack Obama’s name, and Obama’s “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon,” reappeared as well.
The Local NAACP head demanded the head of Bill Lee, the Sanford Police Chief, and the City commissioners obliged. This was followed by a quick flash of several protest signs, apparently at a protest somewhere. One read “Don’t judge me by my hair,” which appeared to have as much relevance as the SYG law.
Governor Rick Scott got involved, and the NRA again reared its uninvolved head. This was done apparently so Scott could be called an “ally for the NRA,” which is odd because Scott appointed a special prosecutor to get Zimmerman. But NRA and Republican Scott bad/racist, so it’s all cool.
Then we learned Zimmerman was being protected because his father was a magistrate at some point in the distant past. There was, just to be consistent, no proof of this. In short order, Norm Wolfinger recused himself, which paved the way for Scott’s appointment of Angela Corey, who was portrayed as a straight arrow, tough and honest prosecutor. Speculation that “this might be her career maker” was announced, and indeed, she acted that way. Facts about Corey may be found here.
Within minutes, LeBron James got involved, Skittles reappeared (Martin could have been carrying Ding Dongs, but that isn’t as woke as Skittles, apparently), Al Sharpton intoned “you still had to deal with the question of race,” and it became glaringly obvious no one involved in the production of the series had any idea of the law or the criminal justice process, or were simply choosing to ignore both.
Barack Obama reappeared 25 days after the shooting, did his “Trayvon is my son” bit, and we learned “at that moment, black people felt like we have a black president.” There was no mention of what other people might have felt.
A history of racism in Sanford was displayed, and equated with current racism. Apparently the citizens of Sanford learned nothing over the years, and are still as bigoted as their ancestors of the 1800s. A brief video was shown of the white son of a Sanford police officer beating a homeless black man to help illustrate the point. Withheld from viewers was that George Zimmerman single-handedly and relentlessly pushed that issue until the attacker was arrested. Presumably, this did not make the Sanford Police overly fond of Zimmerman.
We then learned “the conservative media was on attack.” This was illustrated by a few brief clips from Bill Whittle’s Afterburner presentation of The Lynching.
And what racist attack did Whittle perpetuate? He, like me, presented the facts, devoid of emotion and racist narration. Take the link and see for yourself. This outrage was also illustrated with a very brief clip of Judge Jeanine Pirro. She–the racist–outrageously averred we should be careful about mixing politics and the law.
During his video, Whittle explained “Lean,” and thought it interesting Martin was carrying two of the three ingredients for this illicit drug substitute, he bragged about using it on social media, and his autopsy revealed liver damage consistent with Lean abuse. The director responded with a young black author who smirked and proclaimed those ingredients aren’t Lean, offered nothing further–apparently young, hip black authors know all about such things–and the issue was never again raised.
One of the director’s methods was text such as “11 days, no arrest” overlaid on the latest outrage. Such text informed us “hoodies were deemed [apparently by unnamed white people] just as dangerous as George Zimmerman having a gun.”
Special Prosecutor Angela Corey reappeared to blame the SYG law for something or other, and Joy-Ann Reid explained “without the SYG law, he would have been arrested right away.” And without stop sign laws, Zimmerman would also have been arrested right away. SYG had nothing to do with the case. Then things gotracist racist.
Video of Sanford residents in an apparent city council meeting expressing disgust over outside agitators taking over their town was briefly displayed, and there was a brief interlude of members of a National Socialist Movement–essentially Nazi types–vowing to protect Sanford residents if necessary. This was a fringe group that played no role at all, but got a bit of easy publicity back then. The point was as clear and it was clumsy: all white people, particularly Sanford white people, are racist Nazis. But it seems they may have had a point about potential danger, as a brief photo of a Sanford Police vehicle hit with six bullets was displayed. The point? Certainly not to make the police appear sympathetic, no. The injustice of not arresting Zimmerman excused shooting up the police. Who couldn’t understand that?
A brief excerpt of Angela Corey’s bizarre social justice pep rally of an arrest press conference was shown, but not her improper and unethical praising of Martin’s parents and her praise of the Scheme Team. Former Federal Prosecutor Andrew McCarthy said this about Corey:
If I were a cynic, I’d say that an ambitious special prosecutor — exploiting the rabble-rousing of the U.S. attorney general and the racial grievance industry — filed an exceedingly serious charge for which she lacks evidence, second degree murder, in order to bask in the mob’s adulation while pressuring Zimmerman to plead guilty to a lesser charge, manslaughter, on which the special prosecutor runs a high risk of losing if Zimmerman forces a trial. So I’m sure glad I’m not a cynic.
Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz agreed with McCarthy, and he also frequently agreed with me throughout the case. Corey also mentioned “proof beyond a reasonable doubt,” but this was intended to contrast with Prosecutor Wolfinger and the Sandford Police, whose invocation of that legal necessity was racist while Corey’s was noble and just.
The episode ends with the happy arrest of Zimmerman, Martin’s parents declaring it “a moral victory,” George Zimmerman becoming “a hero to a lot of white America (?),” and in a preview of Episode 3, we learn the NRA bears some of the blame.
Tune in next week, gentle readers, for more of the same, likely more unhinged.