Patterico's Pontifications

7/17/2013

Some Tips for the DoJ on George Zimmerman

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:48 pm

I sent a few emails to Sanford.florida@usdoj.gov, giving them tips about George Zimmerman and some other criminal justice issues that I thought they might want to hear about. This morning I fired off this:

From: Patrick Frey To: “Sanford.florida@usdoj.gov”
Date: Wed, Jul 17, 2013 at 7:50 AM
Subject: Important tip

Eric Holder lied under oath.

And this:

From: Patrick Frey To: “Sanford.florida@usdoj.gov”
Date: Wed, Jul 17, 2013 at 7:54 AM
Subject: Important tip

George Zimmerman has mentored black children.

Tonight I sent this one:

From: Patterico To: Sanford.florida@usdoj.gov
Date: Wed, Jul 17, 2013 at 7:40 PM
Subject: Important information about George Zimmerman’s attitude towards blacks

I have collected this information for you here. I hope it is helpful to your endeavor.

http://is.gd/zimmermantip

P

It’s worth clicking the link.

The best email I have received regarding this issue, I am saving for tomorrow morning. It is tremendous.

SEK: The Fact Zimmerman Called 911 on Many Black People Proves He Racially Profiled Trayvon Martin; Or, Why Zimmerman Is a Man-Hating Feminist

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:20 pm

This evening I am taking the liberty of reprinting a post by Scott Eric Kaufman at Lawyers, Guns, and Money, and tweaking it just slightly to make a point about the clear sexism of George Zimmerman. The following is Scott’s post, word for word, with only very slight emendations: I have bolded certain words for emphasis, and struck out some words or phrases (relating to race) and added my own immediately after (relating to gender — it will be clear from context what added words and phrases are mine).

With my changes, Scott’s post becomes a powerful indictment of Zimmerman’s radical man-hating feminism, as clearly and indisputably evidenced by Zimmerman’s repeated 911 calls complaining about men — and virtually only men!!! — whom he found “suspicious.” Enjoy:

Your black male best friend isn’t an “Unfamiliar Black Male
July 17, 2013 | Fake SEK

I’m getting more than a little annoyed with the self-righteous proclamations of conservatives radical man-hating feminists that George Zimmerman’s been proven innocent of profiling by virtue of his acquittal on charges of manslaughter and murder. The evidence all points to Zimmerman becoming increasingly obsessed with the presence of black males at his apartment complex in the months leading up to Trayvon Martin’s death. Prior to April 2011, Zimmerman’s 911 calls were the work of the neighborhood busybody. For example, he called to report:

12 August 2004: “a male in a green Ford pickup”
20 August 2004: “an open garage door”
27 April 2005: another “open garage door”
17 March 2005: “pothole that is blocking the road”
21 September 2005: “a stray dog”
10 June 2009: “fire alarm going off”
7 September 2009: another “pothole in the road”
22 September 2009: “yellow bike … doing wheelies”

But starting in August of 2011, Zimmerman’s calls took on a decidedly different note. He reported:

3 August 2011: “[a] black male last seen wearing a white tank top and black shorts,” who he “believes … is involved in recent [burglaries]“
6 August 2011: “two black males … in their teens”
23 September 2011: yet another “open garage door,” but specifies reason for calling is “neighborhood watch [meeting] last night”
1 October 2011: “two black males … 20 – 30 [years old] in Chevy [possibly] Impala at the gate of the community,” about whom Zimmerman’s concerned because he “does not recognize [the subjects] or [vehicle] and is concerned due to recent burglaries”
29 January 2012: children “running and playing in the street”
2 February 2012: “black male last seen wearing] black leather jacket, black hat, printed PJ pants [who] keeps going to [the same] location”

And then on 26 February 2012 he calls about Trayvon Martin. There’s a pattern here obvious to anyone without an investment in not seeing it. What began as annoying 911 operators with pointless complaints escalated to notifying the authorities any time he saw a black male he didn’t know. The argument that he’s not racist sexist and wasn’t profiling is based on the fact that he “mentored black male children” and “had black male friends” and is entirely beside the point, because it presumes that he’s an overt and deliberate racist sexist. Those who make it claim victory when they demonstrate that he never wore a white hood “I hate men” T-shirt or bedecked his body in Nazi radical feminist ink.

I’ll grant that that Zimmerman didn’t pine for the days of short ropes and sturdy limbs doesn’t pine for the day when men are not necessary.

I’ll grant that he didn’t dream of goose-stepping down the Champs-Élysées in his dress browns ordering women onto lifeboats on the Titanic while telling men to enjoy their drowning deaths.

But I won’t grant that race gender didn’t color his judgment when it came to young black men with whom he wasn’t personally acquainted. From 3 August 2011 forward he’s increasingly — and almost exclusively — concerned with unfamiliar black males in his apartment complex. Maybe confirmation bias is more the problem here than racism sexism, but the fact remains that the bias being confirmed is that young black males are suspects until proven otherwise. You can’t look at the 911 calls in the months immediately prior to the shooting and argue otherwise. (At least not honestly.) He transformed from a harmless nudnik into someone very concerned with the presence of unfamiliar black males, which at the very least means that by 11 August 2011 his worldview contained the category “Unfamiliar Black Male” and that the presence of people belonging to it warranted calling 911.

That’s indisputable.

Whether he volunteered the race gender of Trayvon Martin to the 911 dispatcher or responded to a question about it is immaterial. As evidenced by previous calls, this one was triggered by the presence of an “Unfamiliar Black Male.” And as the escalation of 911 calls indicates, he was becoming increasingly frustrated with the presence of people belonging to this category. Because, in his words, “These assholes always get away.” You can argue that he’s simply referring to generic burglars of an undetermined and irrelevant race gender, but doing so requires ignoring the larger context of Zimmerman’s recent 911 calls in which all the subjects were of a determined and relevant race gender.

But if you want to make that claim in order to win an argument with someone on the Internet, by all means, please tell me about call from 2007 in which he reported seeing two Hispanic males with a “slim jim,” call from 2010 in which he reported seeing a blue jeep grand Cherokee female driver yelling at elderly passengers, or the one from 2009 in which he didn’t identify the race gender of the people “going into the pool and trashing the bathroom.” Feel free to ignore the cluster of calls immediately before the shooting in favor of the ones from three and five years previous, because we all know that beliefs don’t develop and concretize over time. While you’re at it, continue to insist that people who instigate confrontations are in no way culpable for their outcome. You know why? Because to everyone but you your argument amounts to this guy Blah blah blah.

Here ends the sarcasm and begins the real analysis.

The problem with SEK’s argument is that he employs the “logic” that if Zimmerman made a bunch of calls about black people he deemed suspicious, that by itself shows Zimmerman’s judgment was affected by the race of the people. But most of the people he called about were also male. Why does SEK not conclude that he profiled them on the basis of gender?

Somehow, SEK seems quite convinced that it is the color of the subjects’ skin rather than the shape of their genitals (or, gasp — their behavior!!) that determined Zimmerman’s reaction to them. But what is the evidence for this? He provides absolutely none. The rational reader gets the sense that he argues it is so because he wants it to be so.

SEK implicitly declares irrelevant petty details such as these:

  • Were the black people he called the police on actually acting suspicious?
  • Were there non-black people he observed who were acting suspiciously but did not become the focus of Zimmerman’s attention?

All he needs to know is: most of the people Zimmerman called about were black. Ergo he profiled them on the basis of race, end of analysis.

Using SEK’s logic, you could argue that I am a racist because I have prosecuted over two dozen murder cases, and virtually all the defendants were black, Hispanic, or Asian. It is not fanciful to imagine a leftist making this argument, either, because they already do. It is not uncommon for the people who have made a career of harassing me and other critics of Brett Kimberlin to argue that I am a bigot because I “prosecute minorities.” These people do not stop to ask whether the police routinely bring me murder cases involving white suspects that I then reject (they don’t) or whether I have rejected cases against minority suspects (I have). The simple fact is that in the jurisdictions where I have worked, the overwhelming majority of murder cases presented to me have involved minority suspects. The fact that I appropriately prosecute the people whom I can convict does not make me a racist.

But employing SEK’s logic, it does.

And guess what? I have never prosecuted a female for murder. So by SEK’s logic, I am a man-hating sexist too.

These conclusions are facially absurd. That is why you have to examine whether I am taking reality as I find it (and I am) — just as you have to examine whether Zimmerman took his reality the way he found it. You don’t get to assume I am passing up the chance to prosecute white murderers any more than you get to assume Zimmerman passed on the chance to report suspicious non-black people. You have to have evidence. Otherwise you’re just arguing your wishes and hopes and prejudices.

This is pretty basic logic; my 13-year-old could easily understand it. But then, she is not hellbent on not understanding it.

When it comes to issues like politics and race, failure to understand simple logic is generally not a failure of intelligence. It is a function of a mindset that blinds you to viewpoints that lie outside the realm of your own pet views. SEK is intelligent, to be sure, in the way we traditionally think of intelligence. He just has a view of the world in which the word “they” — just the word “they”! — is a dog-whistle for racism. The frisson of self-righteousness that runs down his spine as he declares people like George Zimmerman to be a racist is simply too enticing to let something like basic logic interfere.

P.S. One final point: SEK ends his post by arguing that conservatives “continue to insist that people who instigate confrontations are in no way culpable for their outcome,” which is, he says, an argument that someone who goes up to a group of black people and screams the n-word is morally right to shoot them “should he decide that the danger he sought is more dangerous than he thought it’d be.”

Simply put: bullshit. First of all, Zimmerman did not yell the n-word at Martin. But more fundamentally, conservatives are not arguing that it is always morally right for someone to use a gun “should he decide that the danger he sought is more dangerous than he thought it’d be.” There is a key word missing there: “reasonably.” Conservatives are arguing that it is moral for someone to use a gun should he reasonably decide that the danger he sought is more dangerous than he thought it’d be” — such that he reasonably and honestly believes using deadly force is necessary.

If you honestly believe deadly force is necessary, but your belief is not reasonable, that is manslaughter. If you honestly believe deadly force is necessary, and your belief is reasonable, that is self-defense — and you’re damn right it’s moral.

But lefties love to leave out the word “reasonably” because if you include it — which you must do in order to accurately reflect the state of the law — then your indictment of the outcome of the Zimmerman case sounds pointless. “Why, that jury is saying that anyone can shoot a black boy if he reasonably and honestly fears for his life!” is not much of a rallying cry.

So they just omit the word, say to hell with accuracy, don a smug look, and dare you to argue with them.

Welcome to today’s left, folks.

DoJ Seeks Tips About George Zimmerman

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:47 am

Today, the federal government is asking an entire country for “tips” about one man. Who is the focus of this intensive effort? A top outstanding Al Qaeda terrorist? Someone from the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list?

Nope. In fact, you’ll never guess who it is. Oh, you read the headline. Sneaky of you.

The U.S. Department of Justice on Monday afternoon appealed to civil rights groups and community leaders, nationally and in Sanford, for help investigating whether a federal criminal case might be brought against George Zimmerman for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, one advocate said.

The DOJ has also set up a public email address to take in tips on its civil rights investigation.

Barbara Arnwine, president and executive director the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law – who earlier in the day joined calls for federal civil rights charges against Zimmerman, said that later in the afternoon, she joined a U.S. Department of Justice conference call to discuss the prospects.

“They were calling on us to actively refer anyone who had any information,” that might build a case against Zimmerman for either a civil rights violation or a hate crime, Arnwine said. “They said they would very aggressively investigate this case.”

The email address for tips is Sanford.florida@usdoj.gov. I’ll be writing them and I think you should write them too.

I plan to send in a tip talking about how George Zimmerman has mentored black children. I will also mention how Eric Holder and James Clapper lied under oath to Congress, in case they want to investigate real crime. I will likely send that email later today and publish it.

I encourage everyone reading to send in a similar “tip,” as it sounds like DoJ needs some help here. Copy me on your email and I’ll publish the best ones.


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