Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Trayvon Martin killing: is the investigation by Barney Fife or Bull Connor?

One aspect of the American Brand of Fascism (TM) is that it could not exist as it does but for the exploitation of those persons holding onto the remnants of the mental-frame of White Supremacy.  One only has to look at the current Republican Presidential Nominations campaigns and debates to see how the Republicans appeal directly and indirectly to White Supremacists and those with affinity for that framing of social relations.

Fascism always has a pseudo-populist appeal by its stirring up of the us-them framing of every major issue.  Without the version of racism within the American Brand of Fascism (ABF) constellating chief features of the primal feelings of tribalism for the in-group hatred of the out-group, there could not be the successful divide and conquer approach that fascism needs in order to develop its faux-populist base.

This week has revealed only the latest disgusting example of this lingering White Supremacy that the ABF relies and thrives upon. I'm speaking of the apparent murder of Trayvon Martin, a 17 year old boy in Sanford, Florida.  This is another case of wrongful death exposing the living remnants of delusional white supremacy in the good ole USA.

Trayvon Martin was killed by a self-appointed neighborhood watch fanatic named George Zimmerman, who by all the reported facts appears to have been racially motivated in his attack upon Trayvon because he though Trayvon was from another neighborhood as he exited a convenience store. In fact, Trayvon was a part-time resident visiting his father who lived in that neighborhood, a gated community, and was leaving the store with Skittles candy and tea that he had purchased.

Always on the forefront of exposing such attrocities of our fascist system, the news program Democracy Now! devoted a special program hour on Tuesday March 20, 2012, to reviewing this event.   Included in the program is a discussion of Florida's misnamed "Stand Your Ground" law that permits people to carry concealed weapons and use them if they feel threatened.  While the facts of the Trayvon Martin murder clearly do not come under this law as the 911 calls from the killer Zimmerman show the he was not "standing his ground" but was in pursuit of Trayvon and was at the same time being told by the police on the 911 call to stand down from his pursuit. 

GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: This guy looks like he’s up to no good or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining, and he’s just walking around, looking about.
911 DISPATCHER: OK. And this guy, is he white, black or Hispanic?
GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: He looks black.
911 DISPATCHER: Did you see what he was wearing?
GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: Yeah, a dark hoodie, like a grey hoodie, and either jeans or sweatpants and white tennis shoes.
911 DISPATCHER: Are you following him?
911 DISPATCHER: OK, we don’t need you to do that."

Still, NRA gun lobbyists and supporters of the law are claiming that Zimmerman was somehow acting in "self defense" when he ran after Trayvon who had a pack of Skittles while Zimmerman had a hand gun.

 At the time of the recording of the program, the Florida State's Attorney office was not committing itself to charging Zimmerman and instead was making excuses for stalling the arrest.  But the Dept. of Justice by the FBI, had announced that it would review the case from a federal perspective, which was initially a noncommittal statement.

The latest news is that the State's Attorney's Office is trying to craft a "compromise" by announcing that instead of just indicting the suspect by the filing of what is called "an information" which is the usual way that suspects are arrested and charged, they will present the case to a grand jury in order for the grand jury to issue the indictment and thereby take the heat off the prosecutor's office for whatever decision is made.  This is a common method adopted for crimes with political overtones to be handled if the prosecutor has reluctance to stand up and just make the charge directly on his own responsibility. 

Why wouldn't the Florida State Attorney's office want to issue the charges on its own?   Basically it appears that they are reluctant to do the charging because of the racist elements in the office and the local police who have botched the investigation. The question that is begged by the total unprofessional and incompetent conduct of the investigation by the Sanford Police Department is was this investigation done by Barney Fife or Bull Connor?  Based on the reported facts so far, it looks like Bull to me.   I can only conclude that the police are deliberately failing to investigate seriously and that only a public outcry will create any chance of a fair inquiry if one is even possible in that location.

P.S. Here is one online petition to record your views of this tragedy and to call for a real prosecution of this hate crime.

P.P.S.  Here is The Young Turks, Cenk Uygur, reviewing this story and interviewing Turner Clayton of the Seminole County Chapter of the NAACP  providing previous examples of police failure to investigate "white on black" crime but if the roles are reversed to immediately arrest the African American suspect.    http://current.com/shows/the-young-turks/videos/local-naacp-leader-fbi-should-take-over-investigation-into-florida-shooting-of-trayvon-martin