TRUTH, JUSTICE AND JOURNALISM It seems almost redundant to link to the Reuters piece on George Zimmerman that nearly everyone has seen by now, but what's interest about it is just how routine it is. It's a standard background piece and thousands like it run after prominent crimes. Any sizable news organization can put one out within a week and smaller community papers and magazines regularly run them when there's a major case. When the case is big enough, some of them get turned into movies, mostly they help set a tone.All they really involve in meeting with some of the locals, arranging for interviews, taking some notes and writing up the results. And what's really interesting about "Prelude to a Shooting" is how long it took until a media organization chose to run it.
I strongly suspect that there's a dozen pieces like it sitting in file folders and desks in other media organizations that have not decided what to do with them. I suspect the Reuters piece was in that same state until someone decided to finally run it. The Zimmerman family has been proactive in reaching out and trying to tell the story. It's the media that has held the door shut.
"Prelude to a Shooting" is not the last word on the case. It's background on Zimmerman, not the entire set of events, and it wouldn't even be all that significant except for the lynch mob atmosphere in the media and the refusal of the media to do any basic reporting on the case besides spewing back the same 'hoodie and skittles' narrative.
If Zimmerman had just shot a man in cold blood, there would be little point in laying out the background, it would be no more than another Bernie Tiede piece, but instead we do get crucial bits of context that explain what was going on in the neighborhood at the time in the context of property values, constant break ins and a neighborhood on the edge.
It's the final concluding material on Emmanuel Burgess that sets the most important context in the case. It tells us part of why events happened the way they did and that along with Martin's No Limit Nigga material sets a different stage than the one that the media has thrust on us.
BUILDERS AND DESTROYERS
We are more than who we are at any given moment. We are also who we aspire to be.
Both Zimmerman and Martin were flawed men, but Zimmerman's writings and behavior showed a man who aspired to be something better, while Martin's showed that he wanted only to sink down. Martin can't be entirely blamed for that, he did not create and perpetuate the fake gansta culture. It's the mostly white entertainment industry that did that, often embedded in the same news corporations which organized the lynching of George Zimmerman.
The entertainment industry did not tell Martin what would happen if he assaulted an adult man who was concerned about the neighborhood, while Martin was concerned about getting the "Respect" that gangsta culture told him he was entitled to by virtue of his posing.
Martin did not understand that life was different than gangsta culture. That men who have guns don't necessarily go waving them around. And that sometimes when you have someone down on the ground and you're beating on them, they will use what they have.
Had Martin killed Zimmerman, he would be preening for the cameras now, the defiant upward head tilt you see so often in court photos. The pose that says, "I don't care, because I'm too cool to care." It's the pose that the man who might have been Martin's father often wears to tell us that he's going to go on doing whatever he likes, because he can.
But that's not what you see in Zimmerman's face, it's not just regret, it's pain. Zimmerman did not intend to take another human life, and he regrets that and regrets how society sees him, and he is coming to terms with doing what he had to do. There is a basic decency in his expression which cannot be photoshopped onto Martin's face. The photoshopping can pale his skin, younger photos can make him look innocent, but nothing can make him look decent.
Zimmerman quoted Burke. Martin quoted hip hop. That was the fundamental difference between the two men, not race, but culture. Zimmerman aspired to be a good human being. Martin aspired to be street trash.
In a society under siege, there are builders and there are destroyers. Zimmerman was a builder, we will never know what Martin might have become, but he was on a path to becoming a destroyer.
We live in a culture that punishes builders and rewards destroyers. That treats the destroyer as innocent and moral, because he is untainted by knowledge and experience, because he resists the builders and spreads anarchy and chaos.
The gap between Martin and Zimmerman is the gap between the graffiti scrawler and the business owner, the occupy wall street thug and the office worker, the rap star and the composer, the activist and the entrepreneur.
Martin was just another pawn in a culture war waged by the destroyers against civilization. As a a man he gorged himself on destroyer culture, imitated it and then fatally lived it out. As a dead man, he became a rallying cry for the destroyers.
There have been multiple black on white hate crimes in his name. There is a trial in his name. And there is an election campaign in his name.
Destroyers are obsessed with martyrs. They need these tokens to see them along to the next fight, the Horst Wessels, the Pavlik Morozovs, the Hussein ibn Alis and the Trayvon Martins. Idealized figures to justify the destruction and repression that they visit on others. Rituals, show trials, songs, marches whip them up into a frenzy of destruction.
The Destroyers are always out for respect, but when they say 'respect' they really mean power, they really mean the right to destroy because they are somehow superior. They aren't. Decency is worth respecting, power isn't. And those who try to get power by enforcing a mandate to respect them sometimes learn that power works both ways.
VICTORY IN IRAQ
A united Iraq died a few days after the withdrawal. The only people who still believe in the fiction of a centrally governed Iraq are holding down desks in the State Department. There are several Iraqs now. There is Iran’s Iraq, the one overseen by Tehran’s puppet in Baghdad, Prime Minister Maliki. Then there is Iraqi Kurdistan which stands on the verge of declaring its independence, an act that will touch off a violent territorial dispute accompanied by ethnic cleansing.
Iraqi federalism is only popular among some in the Shiite majority, for whom it means majority rule. Maliki’s warrant for Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi and the latter’s subsequent flight and sanctuary in Iraqi Kurdistan has ended the fiction of joint rule in Iraq. The Kurds have branded Maliki a dictator and are swiftly breaking their remaining ties to Baghdad.
President Barzani of Iraqi Kurdistan declared that, “Power-sharing and partnership between Kurds, Sunni and Shiite Arabs, and others is now completely non-existent and has become meaningless” and concluded his speech by hinting at an independence referendum, a move almost certain to touch off a violent conflict, particularly in oil rich Kirkuk.
... part of the story from my Front Page piece on Iraq's Coming Civil War
Occupy Wall Street is planning the expected freak show for May 1st. There have been stickers all around the city calling for a general strike, they won't get their general strike, this isn't Paris in the 30's, but they may pick up some headlines.
On the other coast though, another sort of strike will be taking place. A Town Hall on Terror. There will be some interesting people there, including Mark Tapson, a friend from another coast, Bosch Fawstin, whose illustrations appear sometimes in these roundups, Nonie Darwish, who knows the problem from the inside out, and Dwight Schultz, whom some of you may know from the A-Team, and a longtime conservative.
This will be a panel discussion on confronting the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic terror and you can find more details about it on the site.
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