Tree-Hugging Dirt Worship

April 2, 2012

The World Needs another Damned Opinion about Trayvon Martin’s Slaying

The Tree-Hugging Dirt Worshiper watched more than one consecutive hour of MSNBC the other day and is ready to tear out his own eyeballs again. All shows on the network must frame the story in the same way: Trayvon Martin, 17-year old black man, was walking back from the store when George Zimmerman, 28-year old racist White Latino overzealous neighborhood watchman, started following him. Zimmerman was on the line with 911; Martin knew he was being followed and started to run; perhaps a struggle ensued. Because of his fanatical racism and Florida’s “Kill at Will” self-defense law, Zimmerman felt justified in shooting Martin to death. Because of Florida’s pro-vigilante self-defense law and their own racism, the police let Zimmerman go. Moral: We must change Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law and stomp out all racism.

For a little while, I found MSNBC more bearable than the conventional news because their pro-Democrat bias better matches my own. Fox is biased to the Republicans; CNN is biased to the ridiculous story that Republicans and Democrats are just equally wonderful. But I can’t stand being propagandized to, and spoken to like a little child anymore, from any news source. I can’t stand seeing a human story stripped to the studs that will hold up the message of the day,  then having that message repeated and repeated and repeated at me. (Note: Al Sharpton went into Martin’s Sanford neighborhood to broadcast, and talked to the family and politicians in town the day after his own mother died, and generally treated the thing with some thought and respect. He didn’t have to tiptoe around race or the questionable self-defense law, either. Good job, Reverend.)

The same propaganda story appeared in many permutations on AlterNet. In “Trayvon Martin and America’s Racist Underbelly, ” Gary Younge writes that:

 “To assume that when you see a black man you see a criminal is rooted in the fact that black men have been systematically criminalized. That excuses nothing but explains a great deal.

Add to this lax gun laws, entrenched segregation, deep economic inequalities and a statute that endorses vigilantism, and a murder of this kind is inevitable.”

Another story points out that the Stand Your Ground law is connected to the foul arch-conservative Koch Brothers, and another is titled “Let’s Be Honest: Trayvon Martin is Dead Because Black People Are Scary.” On the liberal side, acceptable explanations for the facts include race, race, race, and faulty self-defense and gun laws. (Conservatives are taking a “wait and see” approach, hoping that the known facts will change to give them some kind of acceptable story. Usually, the NRA would speak out about such a high-profile shooting and suggest that things would have gone better if the victim had been armed. Yet, they are being spineless silent cowards at the moment, creepily suggesting that they only favor an armed White  populace.)

So, every way I’ve heard the story, it makes no sense. Maybe George Zimmerman was afraid of black people, toted a gun, and was aware of Florida’s forgiving self-defense laws. Those things don’t quite add up to shooting a fleeing man. Now that I’ve Clockwork-Oranged the story into my own consciousness, I have to arrange it into some kind of sense for myself, or live with the irritation of not understanding. Therefor I find Trayvon Martin’s slaying decent fodder for a blog entry; may you glean something from it, also.

Poor Trayvon Martin, his only motivation was to get home with some Skittles and tea. His role in the story is that he was going about everyday activities in the neighborhood when a paranoid person ended his life senselessly. He may have smoked weed, gotten into trouble at school and posted naughty Tweets, but so what? Perhaps he fought back (we know that he tried to run away, because Zimmerman said so to the 911 operator.) But who the Hell is George Zimmerman and what motivated him?

The Huffington Post reports on Zimmerman’s rageful history: his ex-girlfriend, Veronica Zuazo, reported several violent incidents involving an out-of-control Zimmerman; police once dropped charges against Zimmerman for resisting arrest and assaulting an officer; Zimmerman’s tailgating once inspired a driver to spit his gum at Zimmerman’s car, causing Zimmerman to call the police.

Zimmerman loves calling the police, and he loves to use force in defense of law and order. From 2001-2005, Zimmerman worked security for house parties. He was fired from one agency for being too aggressive with out-of-control partiers, having thrown a drunken lady, twisting her ankle. An anonymous coworker reported, “He definitely loved being in charge. He loved the power.” Neighbors have reported Zimmerman following them home and otherwise acting outside of the normal scope of a neighborhood watch volunteer.

So George Zimmerman loves to play enforcer, but lacks judgement about what move to make when. He’s called 911 47 times in recent years, trying to catch bad guys, which suggests to me that his paranoia is extreme to the psychotic — he inhabits a dream world far, far from consensus reality. Bad guys are lurking everywhere — doesn’t the evening news inform each of us about that? There is  a strong racial element to the paranoia — the bad guy tends to always be Black or Muslim.

Let’s sideline the race issue, because there are all kinds of stories circulating about that. I get it — the Bad Guys programmed into our subconscious minds are disproportionately dark-skinned. Most people can’t grapple with this in themselves because admitting to a single racist thought would send them into conniptions of self-flagellation. Dark-skinned people therefor suffer from extra suspicion, from the disproportionate scrutiny of supermarket security goons right on up to judges handing down wrongly-weighted sentences.

Allow me to flesh out the racism and gun violence stories by presenting a complementary story, an equally flat morality tale called “Trayvon Martin’s Slaying Illustrates Epidemic of Paranoia.”

George Zimmerman embarked on his career of party security guard the same year that some murderers steered jets into the World Trade Center and Pentagon. There was a nationwide surge in security measures, from offices to chemical plants to shopping malls to government buildings. Everyone was advised to look out for the terrorist threat, which might reveal itself through political views or unusual behaviors. Most people felt that crime was on the rise, even during stretches when it wasn’t. And every night the local Miami news stations were leading with stories of murder, robbery and rape.

George was going to stand on the side of Law and Order. Capable of snapping and going into violent fits, Zimmerman saw himself as Thor, his gun as Mjollnr, the bad guys as Ice Giants threatening Middle Earth. (Well, he probably wouldn’t go with the Viking motif, but something similarly grand and mythic.) If he didn’t have the makings of a Navy Seal, then Zimmerman was going to make a difference in the neighborhood watch, doing battle with the foes of suburban suspended animation, keeping things quiet and Evil-free.

One rainy day, Zimmerman was driving up and down the streets in his SUV, trying to spot Bad Guys. He spotted a young black man in a hoodie, and being a watcher of the evening news, he thought that he might be onto a Bad Guy. He would tell the 911 dispatcher: “It’s raining and he’s just walkin’ around, lookin’ about… He’s just staring. He was looking at all the houses…” So there is Trayvon Martin’s suspicious behavior: he was walking in the rain, looking at houses. Good suburban people, in Zimmerman’s twisted view, are so physically unwell and averse to the elements that they require aid of an SUV/super-cushy-wheelchair to move around the neighborhood during times of rain. Walking is suspect, with or without a hood to keep the rain off your face.

When you walk through a neighborhood, you naturally look at the houses you’re going by. It’s a more interesting view than the sidewalk in front of you. These days, you’re supposed to walk with your eyes down. Eyes elsewhere, and you might be casing joints or picking fights. The best way to look non-suspicious is to go out in a ridiculous outfit that says “I’m only moving about out-of-doors to get my aerobic exercise!” I won’t say that the hoodie did him in, but Trayvon Martin would never have been shot wearing Spandex pants and sporting a yellow-green reflective stripe on the back of his jacket.

Zimmerman thought that there was something wrong with Martin, that he must be on drugs. Martin probably had a concerned face because he knew he was being followed! So remember, citizens, that displaying an emotion in public is a warning sign of deviant behavior. Face dead, eyes down!

Finally, Zimmerman couldn’t stand letting the 47th criminal slip away, so he drove that pedestrian down and hopped out of his SUV for a confrontation. According to the young lady Martin was talking to on the phone, “Trayvon said, ‘What are you following me for,’ and the man said, ‘What are you doing here.’ Next thing I hear is somebody pushing, and somebody pushed Trayvon because the head set just fell.” Someone (not Zimmerman) was heard screaming in the street and then shots rang out from Zimmerman’s 9mm handgun.

Poor Trayvon, he talked back to someone with delusions of authority. In Zimmerman’s head, he was following Martin because of his role as Neighborhood Watchman, and what kind of scummy criminal would question his honorable position? That’s the equivalent of quizzing a police officer on the Bill of Rights (lately considered a warning sign of a terrorist bent — along with “people acting suspiciously, departing quickly when seen or approached, or in places where they do not belong“). Zimmerman probably used to wear a Hall Monitor badge and beat up his classmates, and people thought he was just a little overzealous. The local police apparently thought of him as one of their own, ’cause who else would they drop the charge of assaulting an officer for? Apparently no one was concerned enough about Zimmerman’s violent outbursts to steer him into some counseling or psychiatric help. The authoritarian thug is a welcome character type in our society. We seem to feel that we need people like that to stand between us and anarchy.

Black people, I can understand that you are really tired of this type going after you.  Hoplophobic liberals, I can understand that you are tired of stupid disputes and petty crimes escalating into shootings. But let’s not forget the roles of good old-fashioned paranoia, and the urge to righteously inflict violence on another. George Zimmerman’s crime stands out because he only thought  he was in a position to inflict “legitimate” violence on the Other — he was just a volunteer on the neighborhood watch, but if he had the state’s proper authorization for violence, Trayvon Martin would only be another Black victim of police brutality. As it was, police almost managed to hide the murder for their friend George.

Kind of like how these cops acted to protect themselves, endangering everyone around them (shooting in all directions from the middle of an intersection on a busy street, then threatening witnesses with their guns). I don’t claim to know the ratio of honorable cops to abusive cops, but I do know that there are enough videos of cops violently abusing people in circulation to keep you occupied 24/7. The nation will tolerate a lot of violence in the name of maintaining order.

Our nation as a whole occupies and violently abuses Afghanistan and shoots anybody anywhere in the world for any secret purpose, even our own people. Could there be connections between the “global cop” role of America’s CIA and military, the swelling police/intelligence apparatus, abuses by hometown police, news media obsessed by crime and terrorism and the case of the Psychotically Overzealous Neighborhood Watchman? Out there beyond my window, it looks a little bit like a Twilight Zone episode where everybody gets infected by a creeping paranoia until they start preemptively murdering each other!



  1. good info here, i didnt know about zimmermans priors. what a dick. rev sharpton is my favorite…msnbc is getting just as bad as fox with half true slanted talking points… they do lean way left but still a total corporate version of the news “Jobs! Economy! Manufacturing!” and constant coverage of the most popular topics instea of the most important . MSNBC still leans too far right for me. zimmerman is gonna fry i hope florida has the death penalty.

    Comment by wilfrid cyrus — April 2, 2012 @ 10:32 pm

    • Hmm, with half-true slanted talking points, maybe MSNBC is only half as bad as Fox! MSNBC can’t touch environmental or finance scandals, ’cause so much of their advertising comes from oil or banking. Everything has to be organized around the propaganda aims of the Democratic Party — thus Jobs, Economy, Manufacturing are okay topics. Racism and gun control are pretty safe for Democrats, but bringing up the police state makes ’em look as bad as the R team.
      As for Zimmerman, I’ll be happy (for a minute) if they just charge the guy with a crime. His lawyer says he’ll turn himself in at that point. And yes, Florida fries people — they affectionately call their electric chair “Old Sparky” after it lit a guy’s head on fire!

      Comment by paragardener — April 3, 2012 @ 12:59 pm

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