My $0.02 on Ferguson (Quantifying Equity)

Note: for the sake of brevity, I refer to the collective white community as “Whitey”.


The St. Louis County grand jury decided, after careful deliberation, that there was not enough evidence to even put police officer Darren Wilson on trial.

If there’s no indictment, that means there was no case. Period. The prosecutor–Robert P. McCulloch–provided an excellent presentation of the facts, making a strong basis for why there were no charges, not even for the lowest-level felony considered. From the hard forensic evidence that we knew about, I figured that, unless the grand jury had a bombshell in their hands, there would likely be no indictment. I was correct.

The forensic evidence, from two different autopsies, did not jibe with the fantastic tall tales provided by “witnesses” who clearly didn’t see what really happened. Either they were intentionally lying or their recollections were lost in the “fog of war”; I would suspect that there are some of both here. At any rate, the grand jury made the correct decision.

The reaction of the black community, however, speaks volumes.

(1) While there could very well be a serious racism problem among the Ferguson police department–the Department of Justice is investigating that very possibility–Wilson was not up for indictment for that. Nor was he up for indictment for racist incidents in other cities. He was only being considered for felony charges related to his shooting of Michael Brown.

(2) Michael Brown was shot because he was a thug who fought with a police officer. While Wilson did not stop Brown as a suspect for the armed robbery in which he had just taken part, the fact that Brown had stolen from a store, just minutes earlier, would explain why he was being hostile toward Wilson. Having a large size advantage over Wilson, he fought over Wilson’s gun. Had he merely been polite with the officer–“I’m sorry, officer, I should have been walking on the sidewalk”–there would have been no altercation.

(3) If the black community wants to be angry, they should be angry that one of their own–Michael Brown–engaged in an armed robbery and then initiated a fight with a cop. If anyone devalued the life of Michael Brown, it was Brown himself.

(4) If the black community wants to be angry, they should be angry at their “leaders” who whipped up a frenzy because raciss! They can be angry with their “pastors” who are too busy sleeping with parishioners, and others who lack the balls to call out the sluts, and their sperm donors, who jack up the black illegitimacy above 70%. They can be angry with the thug culture that discourages education, achievement, innovation, and entrepreneurship. (A friend of mine–a gal from Nigeria who was in one of my classes at a local university–was excoriated by American blacks who hated her because she busted the curve in those hard classes.)

For the last 50 years, blacks have clicked their heels and voted Democrat, to the tune of 90%. They are disproportionate recipients (in percentage terms) of federal transfer payments; they get preferential treatment in hiring and college admission via Affirmative Action; their votes have elected the mayors of large cities such as Detroit and New Orleans and Atlanta.

But every time things go wrong, it’s Whitey’s fault.

Ergo, it wouldn’t have mattered if O.J. was caught on video slashing Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman, or if Darren Wilson had a bodycam that showed his innocence.

At the end of the day, I have some questions for the black community:

(1) What, in your estimation, would Whitey have to do in order to have equitable race relations?

(2) How many whites need to be hanged publicly for the blacks who were lynched? That number must account for all black-on-white (and white-on-black) murders over the past 50 years.

(3) How many whites need to be passed over for college admission and job selection? That number must account for the 40 years of Affirmative Action, from which blacks have already benefited.

(4) How many white women should blacks be allowed to rape for the blacks who were raped? That number must account for all black-on-white rapes over the past 50 years.

(5) How many whites should be designated as slaves, and for how long and in what regions?

(6) What dollar amount must be paid by whites for justice to be finally served? That dollar amount must account for tax monies paid by whites into federal welfare programs to the proportion that blacks have benefited from them.

(7) Let’s assume that we could quantify questions 1-6; how does that change your illegitimacy rate?

(8) Let’s assume that we could quantify questions 1-6; how does that change your illiteracy rate?

(9) If you would like to introduce other metrics by which we can quantify equity, please feel free to provide those.

I raise these questions because no amount of wrangling over these matters is worth much if we cannot quantify particular metrics that would serve as markers for justice.

I bring up (7) and (8) because those things are doing more to harm the black community than any sins of Whitey.

Better Yet…

Talk show host Tom Joyner is offering Rachel Jeantel–the much-maligned prosecution witness in the George Zimmerman case–a chance to attend college tuition-free.

At face-value, that is a very kind and charitable gesture. But seriously, given that the market that is already saturated with college degrees–it may be an dead-end offer.

I would suggest that she take him up on the offer of tutoring to prepare for college; that will involve developing communication skills that will be conducive to success. Then she should go to a 2-year school and learn a trade.

That would cost Joyner less money, while better-preparing Jeantel for success in the work force.

I will bloviate more about her case later, but, to make a long story short, I felt bad for her.

She was not a credible witness; at the same time, how on earth did she get so far through the education system?

Professor Hale Weighs in on Zimmerman Trial

He seems to have screwed up the same things I did.

1. I was certain that an all female jury would find Zimmerman guilty. I even mistook their 16+ hour deliberation as a sign that they were doing their best to find Zimmerman guilty of SOMETHING. But I was wrong and I am glad I was. An innocent man won’t go to jail (except for the time he already served that he will never get back or be compensated for).

I, too, was totally convinced that the all-woman jury would find him guilty. They were mostly middle-aged, many “baby boom” age. Other than an all-black jury, that was the second-most-likely combination to lay down a conviction. Most had children of their own. When Martin’s parents said the voice on the call was his, I figured they would go with that.

Their 16 hours of deliberation told me they TRIED VERY HARD to convict him of something. But they went with the law and the instructions, and they got it right.

2. The S did not HTF. Other than very limited instances of black on white violence which are normal events every day, there wasn’t huge rioting. If there was, the compliant news media is keeping a tight lid on it. I certainly didn’t see any acts of corporate violence. But then again, I was out in the Shenandoah valley all day Sunday.

There’s still time. If the DoJ doesn’t come back with an indictment, TS may yet HTF.

3. I thought that once the verdict was in that the malicious prosecution would end too. But the Obama administration has already announced a civil rights investigation. That law needs to be repealed. It is obviously only used to overturn local jury verdicts. There is no sense of the term “double jeopardy” that does not apply here. Notice that this law is never used to lock up a person of color who commits grievous violent crimes.

I absolutely figured that DoJ would go after Zimmerman in the event of an acquittal. But this time around, that is going to be difficult. This is not the Rodney King case. There are no incriminating videotapes. Getting a conviction on “civil rights” charges is no slam dunk. They may not even have enough of a case for an indictment.

4. Also I wish to point out that the verdict did not determine that Zimmerman was justified in shooting Martin. It found that he was not guilty. A fine distinction but an important one.

I didn’t know that was one of their options. I was under the impression that their choices were either (a) Guilty of murder 2, (b) Guilty of manslaughter, or (c) not guilty.

There could yet be a civil suit, but–thanks to Florida law–there are marginal disincentives for pursuing this. Trayvon Martin’s track record–including his propensity to start fights–would be fair game. Also, Martin’s team would be on the hook for Zimmerman’s legal expenses if they lose.

But still, a federal civil rights trial is very probable.

5. What if…. When Martin pinned Zimmerman to the ground and bounced his head off the concrete, if Zimmerman had died of his trauma on the spot. Would Martin have ever come to trial for murder? Of course not. He would have fled the scene instantly before police arrived and no one would identify him. Just another unsolved murder in a state that has thousands of them. If the state failed to prove his guilt in a jury trial, would the Federal government get involved? Would the president make any statements at all about injustice? Of course not. Nor do we need to speculate on this. In the past year there were thousands of murders in this country where the presumed guilty guy got away with it. Our president has said nothing about any of them. Nor has he directed the DOJ to crack down on it.

I absolutely agree, and this is a freaking outrage.

Zimmerman Acquitted

I am glad I was wrong on this one: I predicted that George Zimmerman would be convicted, even though his acquittal should have been a no-brainer.

In spite of the overwhelming pile of evidence i his favor, the deck was stacked against Zimmerman:

(1) the Governor–Richard Scott–caved to pressure from the Obama Administration and the Department of Justice to ignore a detailed police report, that exonerated Zimmerman, and appoint a special prosecutor;

(2) the “random” jury was six middle-aged women, a demographic group that–short of an all-black jury–was most likely to convict him;

(3) the judge excluded evidence that was indicative of Trayvon Martin’s propensity to get into fights, which would have bolstered the premise that he, not Zimmerman, was the aggressor;

(4) Right before the judge handed the trial to the jury, she allowed prosecutors to add a reduced charge of manslaughter as a possibility.

But the judge did one thing right. In her instructions, she explicitly said, “George Zimmerman cannot be guilty of manslaughter by committing a merely negligent act or if the killing was either justifiable or excusable homicide

This is important because, at the end, the prosecution was stuck with arguing that Zimmerman was guilty merely because he got out of his car to follow Martin. While I would contend that Zimmerman was well-within his rights to do that, as there is no law against watching someone who might be suspicious, even if you think he was wrong, that particular act does not establish intent to do harm.

When I saw that instruction–about an hour before I read the verdict–I was convinced that Zimmerman would walk. The jury was going to do their best to get it right, because (a) there was much hanging on the outcome, and (b) they wanted to do be remembered for doing a good job in the midst of a difficult case. They were trying to convict, and their only hope was manslaughter.

But if the only wrong thing they could prove that Zimmerman did was get out of his car, even manslaughter was not going to stick. When the jurors finally talk, you will find that that instruction forced the acquittal.

As for those who INSIST on Zimmerman’s guilt, I will call your attention to this: if six middle-aged women, most of them having children of their own, unanimously said “not guilty”, then almost any other jury combination short of an all-black jury (which would have been unconstitutional, as Zimmerman was entitled to a trial in front of a jury of his peers) would also have acquitted him.

He was innocent, and this was a slam-dunk.

But now what?

At this point, Zimmerman is still a marked man. He will need to keep a very low profile. I suggest living off the grid.

At this point, Zimmerman still faces the prospect of a federal civil rights trial. While his chances of acquittal are very good, his legal costs are going to mount.

When one reads the Old Testament, one realizes that it is cases like these for which God specified Cities of Refuge. In Old Testament Israel, a man like Zimmerman–who killed Trayvon Martin in self-defense–would be able to flee to such a city and live in safety. He would be forced to remain there until the High Priest in his home city died.

While he would have to suffer the penalty of being uprooted from his home, much of his family, and perhaps even his livelihood, his life would not be in danger. He would not face a lynch mob. He would not be in danger of being stoned to death. He would not face any prison time. He would not be sued.

That allows justice: on one hand, he gets to live; on the other hand, justifiable homicide is still homicide and there’s still a price to pay.

Ultimately, that’s the sobering truth: justifiable homicide is still homicide. It sucks all the way around.

Still, Zimmerman received the right verdict. Hopefully, his journeys through civil and federal court will have similar outcomes.

Why Zimmerman Case Should be No-Brainer

The tragedy here–other than the unfortunate death of Trayvon Martin–is that George Zimmerman is even on trial for the death.

I have no joy over the demise of the 17-year-old Martin. I do not celebrate the pain of his parents or family.

It is easy to see where one would want someone to pay for this, as everyone wants answers anytime a teen dies the way martin did.

At the same time, the evidence is what it is, and–like it or not–Zimmerman, who is rightly under scrutiny, is entitled to Constitutional protections over which we fought a war to guarantee to the accused.

The evidence favors George Zimmerman. It’s not even close.

The Constitution requires that the prosecution prove that Zimmerman is guilty beyond reasonable doubt.

The “reasonable doubt” is so long, deep, and wide that I could land a Boeing 777 on it, at San Francisco International Airport, on my first try, without a flight instructor, without damaging the plane.

(1) Zimmerman was within his rights to follow Martin, even though the 911 dispatcher said, “We don’t need you doing that.” He was a neighborhood watch captain, and he was merely doing his job: he was following and watching. There is no law against that.

(2) Zimmerman was within his rights to carry a firearm. Aside from the Second Amendment, he had a valid concealed carry permit.

(3) Zimmerman was within his rights to carry his firearm “hot”: fully-loaded, with a round chambered. If he was concerned that he could be put into a situation where he needed to get a shot off–not having time to rack the slide–his approach was reasonable. That his Kel-Tec 9mm was a double-action pistol provided a modicum of safety.

(4) While it is understandable that Martin could have felt threatened by someone following him, that still would not be cause to escalate a confrontation. If Martin ran, then the evidence does not support Zimmerman–an obese tub of lard–pursuing him.

And that is what it comes down to: WHO escalated the confrontation from verbal to physical?

If Zimmerman did that–and evidence supports it–then he is guilty. Go Directly to Jail, Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200.

If Martin did that, then he is liable: it means he made a very tragic mistake–picking a fight with a grown adult.

But what does the evidence say about the confrontation?

(1) We cannot establish–from witnesses or video–who started the fight.

The eyewitness accounts–and hard evidence–points to Trayvon Martin being on top when Zimmerman shot him.

The wounds on the back of Zimmerman’s head are consistent with him getting his head bashed into the concrete one or more times.

The wounds on his face indicate that he was punched. There is no evidence that Zimmerman even landed a blow on Martin.

The forensic evidence–from clothing to bullet path–is consistent with Martin having the upper hand at the time the shot was fired.

While none of those things establish who started the fight, they do back up Zimmerman’s account and not the prosecution’s theory.

In the absence of other evidence, this is clearly ADVANTAGE: ZIMMERMAN.

(2) In the absence of other evidence, the prosecution had to be able to make the case that it would have been in Zimmerman’s character to start a fight. They failed.

Zimmerman is about 5-foot-7, overweight, and not athletic whereas Martin was almost 6 feet tall and very athletic.

If Zimmerman started the fight, then that means he initiated a physical confrontation with a man who was almost a half-foot taller than himself, and who had a serious physical advantage.

Is that possible? Yes.
Is that rational? No.

In other words, in order to show–beyond reasonable doubt–that Zimmerman started the fight, they needed to show that (a) Zimmerman was prone to get into fights, and (b) that Zimmerman had a track record of being less than rational.

And yet, the portrait from the prosecution of Zimmerman was that of an otherwise intelligent, rational person who otherwise had no track record of getting into fights. They failed to produce one drop of evidence that showed irrationality. (This hurts their attempts at manslaughter as well as murder 2.)

That this case is even in court is the mother of all travesties.

Who needs to be on trial here: The judge and prosecution. They are in the same league as Mike Nifong.

Prediction: Zimmerman Gets Convicted

If this was just about the evidence, it should be a no brainer: George Zimmerman should walk. This case should not even be in court. The prosecution has no case, the evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of Zimmerman, and the reasonable doubt in his favor is so wide I could land a Boeing 777 on it–at San Francisco International–without a flight instructor, and without crashing.

If the judge had any semblance of respect for the law, she would have already either (a) dismissed the case with prejudice, or (b) ordered a directed verdict of not guilty. There is no case, and–on the basis of evidence–this isn’t even close.

But George Zimmerman is going to go down. He will get convicted.

Why do I say this?

The verdict will not be a rational one. The prosecution–for all their incompetence and stupidity–played one card right: Trayvon Martin’s mom got on the stand and said that the screams were her son.

In front of a jury of all women, that sealed it. None of the facts matter.

A Bleak Picture

I cannot answer as to whether this is the exception or the rule for black youth.

(I realize that anecdote is not statistic, but–having been to inner-city schools and one integrated school–I never saw a situation that was this bad. Then again, it’s been a while since I was in school.)

Still, if this is indicative of the situation, I’d say the black community is disintegrating even worse than I thought.

Question About Epithets

I realize the N-word is a racial epithet. Even when I lived in the Deep South as a child, I was never comfortable with others who derided blacks as “n*****s”.

On the other hand, it was always my understanding that “negro” was a technical reference to blacks, and not a racial slur. In elementary school, that was the term by which we referred to blacks. My third-grade teacher in Ohio–who was black–taught that way. My fifth-grade teacher in Florida–who was black–taught that way. We all, I am sure, heard of the United Negro College Fund.

For many years, I referred to blacks as negroes, because it was my understanding that this was more technical. In high school, a black person told me, “Chill, Amir. You can call us “blacks”; it’s not offensive.” From then on, I always referred to blacks using that term.

I’ve never accepted the term “African-American” as a legitimate means of referring to blacks, as (a) most American blacks are from America, not from Africa, (b) the term excludes American blacks who are from Central America, and (c) the term excludes non-American blacks.

Referring to blacks as “coloreds” was not as widely used, although most of the blacks I knew back then didn’t take offense at it. We’ve all heard of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
Now, it seems, the standard for what constitutes an epithet is getting even wider, as “negro” is now a racial slur (emphasis mine):

Al-Qaida’s No. 2 leader used a racial epithet to insult Barack Obama in a message posted Wednesday, describing the president-elect in demeaning terms that imply he does the bidding of whites.

The message appeared chiefly aimed at persuading Muslims and Arabs that Obama does not represent a change in U.S. policies. Ayman al-Zawahri said in the message, which appeared on militant Web sites, that Obama is “the direct opposite of honorable black Americans” like Malcolm X, the 1960s African-American rights leader.

In al-Qaida’s first response to Obama’s victory, al-Zawahri also called the president-elect — along with secretaries of state Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice — “house negroes.”

While I have no affections for al-Zawahiri–I would love to see our military kill him before Bush’s term ends–I would also take exception to the assertion that he used a racial epithet. Negro is a technical term. “House negro” would be a polite way of referring to the “house [n-word]”, which is what Harry Belafonte called Colin Powell.

So why is it a “racial epithet” when directed at a President elect, while it is perfectly ok that liberals use a much stronger term on Republican administration officials, who happen to be black?

So, for anyone who is more knowledgeable on race issues: when did “negro” become a racial slur and not a more technical, even if lesser-used, reference?