May 2012

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The MARTIN-ZIMMERMAN Thing, Part Two. The Legacy of Racism Exists There Despite the Grays of the Incident.

by The Libertarian Heretic

As expected, the Zimmerman – Martin imbroglio is turning out more complex than a simple racial /racist assassination by a white (or thereabouts) guy.

Behind the shooting, however, lies the legacy of our nation’s lingering vile and unnecessary history of racial distinction-making. That is still true even if the facts of the incident are as gray as they appear. The racial mentality is not most profoundly reflected in the murky graying details of the incident, at least as far as we know them now. Many of those details were indeed misrepresented or hyped, while others are irrelevant -- like Stand Your Ground laws.

No, the hovering of our warped racial pastime can be seen in the big-picture nature of the entire incident.

How so?

Well, there is this simple basic revealing overriding absurdity: a kid, with every business to walk through a neighborhood, talking on a phone with his girlfriend, unarmed, carrying nothing more harmful than Skittles, doing nothing criminal, ends up as a corpse as a result of a confrontation that was not of his initiation. And that confrontation, in all likelihood, was undertaken for the subjective purpose of preventing crime and trouble.

Only in America.

Actually, not really only in America – but what I just described is not what is supposed to be going on here and now, today, in the USA.

The mere fact that such an occurrence has happened is a fluttering red flag of serious unresolved division.

Why did there even had to be a confrontation in the first place?

Such a confrontation confirms the LEGACY of racial class divided society, if not its persistence. The mere existence of sensitive miscues, and angry presumptions of malice possibly in both directions reflect a society still mired in a tradition-bred de facto segregation of life. And the fact that large swaths people beyond the incident can get so excited and so rapidly self-righteous, in whichever direction, about the rights and wrongs of a jumbled incident, and about the accusations related to it, is further evidence of the mental and factual segregation of our society.

A nation has “serious ongoing issues” when odd looks and habits, and yes, the poorer record of social behavior of an officially manufactured underclass, can lead to innocent people being the subject of 911 calls and then being followed, and then being confronted or incited to confront in a deadly way. A nation where the death of a kid is followed by delays in contacting or tracing the parents.

So why does this real world segregation exist still?

I would suggest a libertarian, anti-progressive, and anti-mainstream set of explanations that should accurately lay blame for the perpetuation of de facto segregation upon the soft bigotry of welfare-statism, on officially-financed housing policies, and even on the misguided benevolence of the Civil Rights Act (which creates undue expectations of economic fairness while crimping worthy private affirmative action) . But by far, though, the worst thing perpetuating the fact and psychology of cultural racial segregation is the draconian lock-em-up Drug War. This war on private adult choice is aimed at keeping color minorities shackled, whether consciously or not designed to do so. This war is often teamed with officially enforced gun controller fanaticism which encourages shakedown searches of minorities for weapons and consequently erodes the mutual perceptions of law enforcement and citizens of color .

Such official things have preserved, in practice, the past world of formal white supremacy by allowing the effects and methods of the past legalized brutalization to continue unhealed.

African-Americans are still slated, under the currently official and purportedly protective regimes of welfare, subsidy, and drug war to be shackled, housed, and employed under ghettoized systems. Communities coming out of a gauntlet of sadistic and exploitive history are actually preserved in a separate existence that allows failure, suspicion, and misunderstanding to continue to fall on them. To be accurate, it is getting better but we are not where we should be yet.

Back to Florida.

It is quite clear in this case that much of the media tried to make the killing of Mr. Martin a more simple case than it might be, trying to frame it as a standard old-fashioned cold-blooded lynching-style racist ambush and murder. Others in the media, the Fox News Hannity types, meanwhile are profiting from generating outrage at the initial excess outrage.

Team BLUE (and frankly anybody) was stirred up by somewhat misleading photos of a slight and very young Mr. Martin placed alongside a menacing looking mugshot of the (give-or-take) white Mr. Zimmerman. One station actually edited the audio of Zimmerman’s 911 call to make it sound as if he had specifically volunteered Trayvon Martin’s racial identity as his basis for suspicion to follow the young man. (Actually Mr. Martin’s race had been articulated by George Zimmerman only in answer to the 911 operator’s request for a description of the person that he was neighborhood-watching.)

For the media it is understandable -- a little. Even if it is evil -- a lot. It’s easier and more profitable to pander to the common stupid Team RED versus Team BLUE fault-line, which at much of its core is simply a set of alignments built around this simple question: who makes you more uptight and indignant – angry fair-skinned guys or angry dark-skinned guys? Divide yourself up accordingly.

And that division is perpetuated by the unfinished business of cleaning up our racial class system and putting it out of our misery. And we need to do so before another Skittles-bearing kid ends up shot dead for no good purpose whatsoever. Step one is ending the drug war, though it doesn’t seem relevant to this incident at first.