The Blight of the Suburbs, cont…

Finally, someone’s got the lye and gelatin. We’re making soap. Give this video a listen. Joe Scarborough gives a Network type speech. It’s a small monologue, but its precisely from the place I am coming from. Shame. Shame that I’m from here. Scarborough’s ashamed that he’s from even closer to Sanford than I am.

Not only that. The two strongest condemnations of the Sanford P.D. and the State of Florida’s foot-dragging have come from Rick Santorum* and Barack Obama. The latter powerfully coming out and saying the kind of thing (in italics below) that lets me know no matter what, there will be justice here.

“I can only imagine what these parents are going through and when I think about this boy, I think about my own kids, and I think every parent in America should be able to understand why it is absolutely imperative that we investigate every aspect of this and that everybody pulls together, federal, state and local, to figure out how this tragedy happened. You know, if I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.

I am going to wildly speculate now, so please back away from the computer screen if this offends you. This comes from a place that’s familiar to all Floridians and most likely all Southerners of a semi-enlightened disposition.

  • Why hasn’t Zimmerman been arrested? The “stand your ground” law protects someone not only from prosecution for using lethal force to defend yourself, but also grants full immunity from being arrested. To disambiguate: if you arrest someone who successfully brings a “stand your ground” defense, your police department can be sued for it. This is why he’s not behind bars.
  • Why was Martin’s body drug tested immediately at the scene, but Zimmerman wasn’t given a breathalyzer or blood test? This is Sanford, Florida. This is the trucks on the lawn part of the state. In order to get to my parents house I have to drive through places identical to Sanford. I pulled off the road one time in just such a place and it was full of abandoned truck stops, SUVs (which, next time you’re out, try to identify some Explorers and Suburbans. They’re increasingly more rare, I find, but not here), and even more desperate homeless people than you’ll find in cities. A more precise definition of why one was tested but the other wasn’t from Mr. Chappelle.
  • What does it mean that the Governor opposed the “stand your ground” law being applied to this case? It means that the conservatives who put in place the “stand your ground” law are terrified. It means if that law is successfully used to defend Zimmerman, if the “stand your ground” law works here, these NRA conservatives and the governor will eat crow all the way to the ballot box. The state and the nation will set ablaze with petitions and referendums in order to overturn this law and punish those who put it in place. Florida is not alone, it is one of several dozen states that fixed their self-defense laws to remove the “need to retreat” clause that’s successfully been part of our collective Anglo-American legal code for centuries. No matter what these NRA conservatives say, that law is responsible for Martin’s death. It is the reason Zimmerman was packing heat on patrol, it is the reason Zimmerman knew he could confront Martin, it is the reason that when Martin swung Zimmerman drew and put a bullet in a little boy’s chest.

*-Santorum’s Quote:

“It’s chilling to hear what happened and of course the fact that law enforcement didn’t immediately go after and prosecute this case is another chilling example of you know obviously horrible decisions made by people in this process.”


One Response to The Blight of the Suburbs, cont…

  1. Pingback: The Blight Continues: Politicization « Nerd Runner

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