Unfinished Business

It has been six weeks since our last posting. During that time there were summer courses to teach and the completion of a research fellowship in Chicago that undertook the difficult topic of the origins of the Afrocentric slur “Uncle Tom.”

As to the previous post on July 22nd:

About George Zimmerman and Trayvon. Since the Zimmerman verdict, he has been stopped by police for a traffic violation and was armed. He was photographed at a munitions manufacturer. African American pundits have quieted down, as is usually the case. So far the vast majority have refused to elevate black-on-black youth murders to the level of outrage exhibited in the Zimmerman case. The legacy of Trayvon Martin is that we will never really know what happened except Martin died under suspicious circumstances at the hands of a man who fully bought into the gangsta thug stereotypes created by black male youth themselves.

About Comic Con – This event examples the complete and utter success of hegemonic influences to distract young Americans from the problems they will face (are facing). It also sucks billions out of the pockets of consumers as they desperately seek to leave the reality of their daily lives.

About Tiger Woods – Upon reflection not really worth talking about.

About Heidi – The revelation is that her mother is the photographer. Heidi looks great, to be sure, and if she needs to display her perfection as a means of coping with her divorce, who are we to argue?

Trayvon Continued; Racial Bingo from Juror B-37

First a correction: In a previous post Zimmerman Juror B-37, who was the female juror interviewed on CNN’s AC 360, was incorrectly identified as B-33.

From the website The Root, a very reasoned argument made by Keith Harrison that African Americans do not engage in self preservation at a level befitting the perilous conditions they live in. Harrison writes that

“Indeed, a key component of this awful tragedy is the message that our community already delivers to the world: African-American life is cheap. We deliver that message through our everyday collective silence in communities nationwide. Silence in not engaging in a sustained fight to stop the slaughter in our neighborhoods of our young black men. Silence in stonewalling law-enforcement officials when they seek assistance in finding murder suspects. Silence in not letting those outside our community — including Zimmerman juror B-37 — appreciate that every black life is precious.”

He goes on to add:

“From 1980 to 2008, according to Bureau of Justice Statistics, 93 percent of black homicide victims were killed by other blacks. During the same time, 84 percent of white homicide victims were killed by other whites. But blacks are disproportionately represented in homicides as both victim and offender. Blacks were six times more likely to be killed than whites and eight times more likely to face homicide-related charges.

Where is the outrage in our community about all of those slain blacks, most of whom were male and a plurality of whom were under 25 years old? Where are the protest demonstrations? Where is our community’s message that the ongoing carnage is unacceptable?”

Read the entire article at:

http://www.theroot.com/views/do-blacks-cheapen-value-black-life

Racial Bingo from Juror B-37

The more B-37 speaks the more she takes on the appearance of someone who was predisposed to an acquittal before being seated. According to B-37,when the jury first voted it was 3 for acquittal, two for manslaughter, and one for second degree murder.

Clearly B-37 voted for acquittal. She has referred to the defendant as “George” and not Mr. Zimmerman, she is on the record as saying “George’s heart was in the right place,” she has made a gaggle of insensitive comments that her five fellow jurors have distanced themselves from and, most egregiously, she has equated Zimmerman’s post-shooting emotional pain as being of equal stature to Trayvon Martin’s death.

From Gawker, her voir dire (questioning before being accepted on the jury): Her husband is a lawyer, she refers to Trayvon as a “boy of color” (i.e. a colored boy), and she goes out of her way to claim that she does not read the newspapers delivered to their home (her husband is a lawyer, so they don’t discuss anything?), nor trust anything the media says (but how would she know if she doesn’t read the papers or watch the news?).

http://gawker.com/george-zimmerman-juror-b37-hates-media-called-trayvon-787873533

From CNN, part of the AC 360 interview with said juror:

B-37 revealed that:

“I think George got in a little bit too deep, which he shouldn’t have been there. But Trayvon decided that he wasn’t going to let him scare him … and I think Trayvon got mad and attacked him,” she said.

She told Anderson Cooper that Zimmerman felt his life was in danger before shooting Martin, and it was his voice that was heard screaming for help in 911 calls. “He had a right to defend himself,” she said. “If he felt threatened that his life was going to be taken away from him, or he was going to have bodily harm, he had a right.”

Didn’t the defense in their closing argument admonish the jury not to try to “fill in the holes”? Sure looks like B-37 did not take that seriously.

The entire interview is an eye opener. It reveals a person who admits that Zimmerman should have never gotten out of his car but yet doesn’t feel he should be held accountable for anything that happened after that. And that’s pretty much the whole case isn’t it? Zimmerman waits for the police, they escort Trayvon home, end of story.

Not to blame the victim but once Trayvon knew he was being followed by an adult male he should have hung up with Ms. Jenteal and immediately called 911. The dispatcher’s office then might have been able to correlate Zimmerman’s call with Martin’s call, and realize there was an emergency situation that needed responding to immediately. After all Zimmerman could have been a kidnapper or prowler himself. And that is what young Martin should have told police on the phone.

“There’s a man in plain clothes, that was driving a car suspiciously behind me, and now he is appearing to stalk me and he may have a gun.” For lightening fast service all Martin had to do was say he is watching a young white blonde girl being followed by a man who looks like he has a gun. Presto, they are there in seconds, guaranteed.

But I digress.

Don’t Tell Me, Show Me

Even though FBI forensics could not tell who the screams belonged to, B-37 could.  B-37 claims she knew what happened, that “Trayvon decided that he wasn’t going to let him scare him … and I think Trayvon got mad and attacked him.” That’s a juror who heard all about the case before being seated and was hoping to get on the jury to be able to acquit. Her belief was then completely reinforced by the in-court animated (sort of) cartoon representation of the incident put on by the defense (there’s audience reception rearing it’s head again, folks).

The defense showed the jury how it happened and, in absence of anything visual offered by the prosecution, the jury was left with the defense’s brilliant subliminal nudge to the jury’s own preconceived core beliefs of the defendant’s innocence (i.e. the victim was black so the likelihood of him being violent was great; and just look at Zimmerman’s face and head after the incident– evidence that he was in a fight). The defense’s visual theory of the crime is what convinced those three jurors who wanted a conviction (based on the evidence told them) to change their minds because, given the choice between evidence explained and a theory seen with your own eyes, you are going to believe what you see. Why do you think TV advertisers tell viewers “don’t try this at home”?

Then again, the three jurors who believed Zimmerman should have be convicted of either manslaughter or second degree murder should have stood their ground. B-37 says that those jurors changed their minds after “hours and hours” of reading the law, but since Stand Your Ground was not used as a defense, what were they really doing in there? Probably listening to B-37 and her two like minded jurors drone on about what’s done is done and how George needs to get on with his life because, although he shouldn’t have gotten out of the car to get his ass beat, he did, and so he had to kill the black gangsta ’cause you know how violent these colored boys are.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/15/justice/zimmerman-juror-book/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

Stand Your Ground Law Under Attack

But the Martin death has already opened up a whole new can of legal worms.

The so called Stand Your Ground law is under attack in Florida to the point that the Governor refused to return to the State Capitol until camped out protesters leave.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/17/florida-stand-your-ground-law_n_3612566.html

Currently 22 states have SYG laws on the books.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2013/07/15/202418599/stand-your-ground-laws-under-scrutiny-post-zimmerman-verdict

Higher Ground

Stevie Wonder, whose dogged determination rallied America around the idea of a King Holiday, announced he was cancelling ALL performances in Florida for the foreseeable future.

http://thehotzoneusa.com/entertainment-news/stevie-wonder-announces-he-will-boycott-florida-following-george-zimmerman-verdict/

And speaking of King

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57594183/martin-luther-king-iii-suggests-fla-orange-juice-boycott-to-protest-stand-your-ground-law/

Welcome to Man of Reel

This blog will answer some of the pressing eternal questions of the universe:

Why are universities so adverse to diversity when they spend so much money advertising that they embrace it?

Is the Kroger gas points program a benefit or a con job?

Why is it so hard to help people who ask for help?

Are the expectations of audiences unrealistic when it comes to TV and movies?

Does DePalma’s Scarface film still wield the most influence among young black males as it did ten years ago?

Why does the thought of LeBron being so successful still upset the fine citizens of Cleveland?

What the hell were black people thinking when they started calling each other “Uncle Tom?”

Is “The Walking Dead” the perfect narrative for teaching critical thinking skills to college students? Or is fly fishing?

Look for insightful commentary on the above, plus reviews of reviewers of television and cinema.

Stay tuned!