Comments about ‘Letters: Racism gets attention’

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Published: Friday, July 19 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Moderate
Salt Lake City, UT

"The reason is pure and simple — and racist. It is because of skin color." -- Ryan Phillips

This case wasn't about race at all. Its about a bad law. That law allowed a bully to pick a fight, pull a trigger when he started to lose, and then claim it was all in self-defense. For the bully, its a win-win. Either he picks a fight and wins, or he loses the fight and kills a man for free.

Americans didn't tune in because of race. They tuned in because they hoped to see a bad law fail in court. The jurors wanted to convict, but couldn't get around that law. It's a horrible law.

higv
Dietrich, ID

I wonder why some cases are beat to death, Natalie Holloway, Laci Peterson particularly by Greta Van Susteren while others are mere footnotes on fox or only local news stories like they should be. Tragic but what makes them more newsworthy than others.

Midvaliean
MIDVALE, UT

The outrage lies in the fact that Treyvon was killed, and no one was arrested for 40 days. To the black community it seemed like another dead black man that the USA doesn't care about enough to even prosecute.
Zimmerman is almost a side story, the real racism here is the Florida police department not caring enough about a dead black boy to even TRY to find out what happened until someone twisted their arm.

Edgar
Samaria, ID

I find it fascinating how much consternation is coming from those who agree with the decision in the George Zimmerman trial. It seems that a verdict of not guilty is not enough to make them happy. They continue to go on and on about the virtues of the justice system that has decided that an armed citizen who followed and tracked an unarmed teenager to the point that an altercation occurred leaving the unarmed teenager dead. And now it seems they want to put the unarmed teenager and those who are speaking out on his behalf are the racists, not the armed citizen who was recorded yelling a racial slur just before he shot and killed the unarmed teenager.

A trial was held and a jury decided. What's wroing with just leaving it at that? Some of us will continue to have our opinions - like would I be safe visiting the state of Florida if I happen to be wearing a hoody and look a stranger in a neighborhood - but people have opinions about every issue. What's done is done. Let's leave it at that.

Counter Intelligence
Salt Lake City, UT

Moderate
you are completely wrong
self defense laws exist in all states in some form
the prosecution didn't even make an issue of Florida's stand you ground laws
Al Sharpton and Eric Holder didn't make it a cause because they thought it was a bad law
The New York Times did not make up silly terms like "white Hispanic" because it was a bad law
NBC did not racially edit tapes because it was a bad law
it was only about race

Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT

The only proof of racism in this story is when treyvon used a derogatory and racist term to describe Zimmerman

Shame on treyvon and others like him who think using racist terms is acceptable.

Lane Myer
Salt Lake City, UT

I just keep thinking about the parents. Their son went to 7-11 for a drink and skittles. He never came home.

Was it because of his color of skin? Was it his age? Was it because he was male? Was it a combination of all of them? Probably.

Now I ask myself, how would I tell my son to act if he had all of those traits so that they come home every night? Treyvon was not doing anything wrong when he was followed by Zimmerman.

Was it because a seventeen year old boy wanted to be a man and not just run home? Did he turn around to "stand his ground" for the right to walk home without being stalked, followed and feel afraid? I can understand this too. He just did not know that the "creepy" man following him was armed and would use that weapon to kill him.

And I ask myself, why didn't George Z. just wound Martin? Did he have to shoot to kill? Wouldn't a shot in the shoulder, arm, or leg accomplished the feat of allowing him to escape Treyvon's grasp? What a waste of life, time, and resources.

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Florida law actually states that if you start a fight, you cannot claim self-defense as an excuse. For some reason the jury was never informed of this part of the law.

Edgar
Samaria, ID

Counter Intelligence - Of course there has been outrage expressed by those who disagree with the verdict, In their mind a murderer has been set free. But just as passionate and even more continuous is the need to justify the verdict by those who agree with it. Why so much passion about a decision they agree with? Why do they feel it necessary to make statement they have no way of proving. Stating that George Zimmerman's story is, in fact, the facts is nonsense. It is simply his side of the story and the jury decided to believe it. So the case is over.

And finally, instead of accepting the verdict as a victory, their need to justify it has turned them into name callers. Trying to use Martin Luther King's words to then call the advocates of black rights racist is just nonsense.

When OJ Simpson was set free you didn't see the same thing from those who agreed with the verdict. Although I disagreed with that verdict I can't say I heard those who disagreed with me continuing the argument for weeks after. They won. Just accept it.

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

Re:CounterIntell
Wrong

In the mind of at least one Juror, "Stand your ground" laws did require they find Zimmerman not guilty.

According to the judge's instructions to the jury, Zimmerman had "no duty to retreat and had the right to stand his ground and meet force with force" if he reasonably feared for his life or great bodily harm.

The jury instructions DID include the definition of the "stand your ground" law, specifically on page 12.

Nate
Pleasant Grove, UT

@Moderate

What evidence do you have that Zimmerman started the fight? Post it right here -->

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Moderate,
This may have had nothing to do with race for you, but if you think it has nothing to do with race for Jessie Jackson, Al Sharpton, and the protests they are organizing and the riots.... you have another think coming.

I think we can all admit that it has something to do with race.

I tend to agree with the person who said, "Self defense is a right". I think our right to self defense it inalienable (not subject to political approval). I think it's part of human nature, and something we are born with (not something the government gives to us).

That includes monitoring your neighborhood to keep threats away, as well as defending our life when you are convinced your life will be over if you don't.

Zimmerman made huge mistakes. He shouldn't have bothered Martin. Martin was doing nothing wrong. But I don't believe the only reason he watched Martin was race. I think he had other reason to watch Martin (the way he was dressed, the way he was acting, the smell of weed around him, etc).

Race may have been one factor, but it wasn't the only factor.

Steve C. Warren
WEST VALLEY CITY, UT

Truthseeker and Moderate, you are absolutely right about the application of the "stand your ground" law in this case, and Counter Intelligence, you are absolutely wrong.

Hopefully, the Justice Department can persuade courts to overturn these laws. Such laws provide an open invitation for someone with a chip on his shoulder to provoke an unarmed person. Then, when a fight breaks out and he's getting whipped, he can pull out his concealed weapon and open fire.

2 bit
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Kayser,
The Florida law does not say what you said.

The law is 776.013. Google it. Read it. It doesn't say what you said (even if somebody on MSMBC said that's in there). You can read it for yourself.

It's important to note that Martin also had the right to stand his ground and defend himself. He is protected by the same law if... Zimmerman threatened his life.

But just asking you to wait for police is not threatening your life. From all evidence and witnesses accounts... the gun didn't come out till the beating started. Martin didn't have the right to start the beating just because Zimmerman asked some questions (no matter how inappropriate he found the questions). He would only have the right to jump on Zimmerman if Zimmerman was threatening his life. I don't think anybody's claiming Zimmerman walked up to Martin with a gun and threatened to kill him.

Martin should have told Zimmerman to leave him alone and call 911. Zimmerman should have stayed in the car. Leaving the car isn't "Murder".

Moderate
Salt Lake City, UT

2 bits "I tend to agree with the person who said, "Self defense is a right". I think our right to self defense it inalienable (not subject to political approval)."
Why didn't Martin have the right of self defense?

jsf
Centerville, UT

Holder' concept of defense: Someone just broke into your home, shot a family member, then you are duty bound to escape before returning fire. Under Holder's concept if you returned fire you would be charged with murder or attempted murder and have to prove escape was not possible. The prior shooting of a family member is irrelevant. Think it not so, just read all the postings that lack facts about this case. The new call for a new judiciary system, courts that convict on public sentiments not facts. And remember Obama is as white as Zimmermon.

Redshirt1701
Deep Space 9, Ut

To "Midvaliean" why should somebody be arrested? Zimmerman was acting in accordance with Flordia law. He broke no laws. The only laws that were broken were broken by Trevon, and you really can't arrest a dead person. Had Trevon not died, he would have been arrested for assault or worse.

To "Steve C. Warren" if it wasn't for the "Stand your Ground" laws, then a criminal can enter your home or come up to you on the street with the intent to hurt or kill you, and if you defend yourself, you can be put in jail for not fleeing. So tell us, which way is better, legally telling people they can stand their ground to defend themselves, or tell them that they must run and hide if threatened?

Bifftacular
Spanish Fork, Ut

Edgar, I find it fascinating how much consternation is coming from those that DON'T agree with the verdict. They keep trying and trying and trying to make this a race issue when there is nothing in the evidence of the case or Zimmerman's background to suggest that race was a factor. Yet, people with an agenda to make race an issue whenever they can won't leave it along. I personally believe both parties were at fault. Zimmerman was overly zealous in being a neighborhood watchdog and probably should never have been carrying a weapon that night. And, I believe Martin violently attacked him. So what do you do with that situation? Send a man to jail for 30 years who clearly had no ill intentions and isn't a criminal? Especially, when there was AMPLE doubt in the case of his guilt? The verdict was correct. Was it entirely just? Maybe not but definitely correct.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

The real question remains --
Did this need to happen?

If George Zimmerman was in his house,
and heard an intruder,
and the intruder attacked - I would support him.

If George Zimmerman was at Trolley Square or a Mall or School,
and heard gun shots,
and took action and out a lunatic - I would support him.

BUT --
George Zimmerman went out his home that night,
with a gun,
and a predetermined chip on his shoulder,
and was activity looking for a reason to support his motivation.

He didn't find one,
so he created one.

And the ONLY other witness to what really happened was dead.

Nate
Pleasant Grove, UT

@Moderate "Why didn't Martin have the right of self defense?"

He did. Where is your evidence that Zimmerman was the aggressor?

Right here -->

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