The “stand-your-ground” law – when it interacts with race – can come perilously close to a return to the right to lynch black men in America – just for being be in the wrong place at the wrong time, for doing nothing wrong, except wearing a hoodie and carrying some Skittles. Perhaps the best way to react now is to raise awareness about these laws that all but sanction murder because in a one-on-one conflict, in which there are no reliable witnesses and in which one of the individuals is dead, reasonable doubt is a very hard hurdle to overcome. This verdict may give some racist vigilantes encouragement to single out and murder black men with a sense of impunity. That is simply unacceptable, to put it mildly. It is a terrifying reminder of how the past can become present again.This is the point. What stand your ground was intended to mean is if you are attacked when say coming out of a restaurant, you then have a right to defend yourself with lethal force if required. But if you start a fight, if you follow someone, if you say nasty words to them, then when they stand their ground, you, being the one with a gun, you have the right to slaughter them?
We must respect the jury’s decision. But we need not respect that law. And, unless we are to return to the era of lynching, it needs to be repealed. Andrew Sullivan
It's a law that needs to be rethought when it enables weaklings, such as Zimmerman's own attorneys painted him to be, to use deadly force to try to prove their manhood because nothing but a gun can do it.
It used to be that to even shoot someone in your home, you had to prove you were endangered. All Zimmerman could prove of his being endangered was a bloodied nose and a few small bloody spots on the back of his head where he went down and hit it on the sidewalk before the two ended up on the grass. Nothing happened to him that doesn't happen in any fist fight-- except he was carrying a gun and counting on his right to use it with this stand your ground law-- or was he sure he could use it because Trayvon was a black?
What happened that night wasn't stand your ground. It was a searching out of trouble, ignoring what the police said and then shooting to kill someone. When he pulled that trigger, with hollow point bullets intended to kill, pointing at the youth's chest, he knew he was about to kill.
Was it also racism? One has to wonder if the prosecution did a lousy job or didn't want to win the case. They let it be an all female jury without a single man or minority that wasn't also Hispanic. The people on that jury didn't understand what it's like to be black in this country, how they are guilty before they prove they are innocent. Did the prosecution only bring the case because they had to do it? When they allowed evidence as well as insert it themselves that led to doubt regarding Zimmerman's guilt, whose side were they really on? Did they throw the trial?
How about the other story coming out of Florida's legal system. A young mother, with a master's degree, had an acknowledged abusive husband who was ordered to leave her alone. When he came to her home, she tried to get away into the garage but could not; so she came back with a gun and fired it into the wall to frighten him off. The jury in Florida just gave her a 20 year sentence for that shot which killed and hurt nobody. Oh, did I mention she's black?
To me, the ones defending Zimmerman and the things I hear from right wing pundits who have ignored any fact that didn't fit their version and Zimmerman's constantly reworked version, it is racism. From the start, the killer has been supported by the right wing-- economically and with their voices. By them he is admired. If that's amazing, it just shows how far they have fallen in terms of any recognition of true morality.
It appears, from what I read, that Zimmerman and his wife have neither one worked a day since this happened (fear dontchaknow). It has been right wing donations that enabled that. A guy whose own lawyers painted him as inept, that's the kind of man stand your ground gun laws are supporting.
More in the video on my feelings about this but for anybody not viewing it, I think the whole nation needs to rethink these laws that do seem to enable a different kind of lynching; and if someone stands up for their 'rights,' someone of the wrong color, think that law will support them? It didn't the young black mother of three in Florida...