FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Second Killing of Trayvon Martin

by JOHN ESKOW

The cowardly police in Sanford, Florida, who sanctioned the murder of an unarmed black teenager by a racist vigilante named George Zimmerman, have now assassinated Trayvon Martin a second time, by leaking  scurrilous and irrelevant “news” about him.  This age-old dirty-trick of cops—compounded by a blitzkrieg of propaganda from Zimmerman’s lawyer, The Orlando Sentinel, and one apparently unhinged black “friend”–has been, so far, fairly successful in muddying the narrative on the public airwaves.  So let’s take a moment to sift through the cops’ slurs and innuendoes and see where, if anyplace, they take us.

About the salient facts there is no dispute.  Zimmerman, a cop wanna-be who was also probably a small-time informant, a pathetic, chubby, Chaz-Bono-lookalike who’d twice been arrested for hitting a woman;   Zimmerman, son of a judge, safe from reprisals; George Zimmerman, who calls black kids “coons” and “assholes,” who was strictly warned not to pursue Trayvon Martin,  refused this direct order over the phone and instead grabbed his 9-millimeter gun and waddled off to blow a hole in the chest of a kid who had committed no wrong.

From the  start, I was edgy about certain elements of the outrage.  Too much emphasis on the presumed childishness and vulnerability of Trayvon Martin, about the Skittles and ski-vacations and his undeniable cuteness.  My own son is only six months younger than Trayvon, and he is of mixed racial background, with a tawny complexion; he always wears a hoodie with the hood up, along with other clothes some would perceive as “ghetto”; he is 6’1” and very well-muscled; and he loves Skittles.  He is also, by objective account, adorable and kind-hearted.  But if some oafish vigilante were to challenge his right to walk down the street, he might well become angry, and he might defend himself with a punch.

Thus today’s biggest, police-leaked “reveleation”: that, gee, perhaps Trayvon Martin was not Mahatma Ghandi with a sweet-tooth.  According to the cops—parroting  Zimmerman’s own account, since of course they did absolutely no forensic work of their own (CSI Sanford would be the worst and shortest program on TV)—Martin punched Zimmerman in the face, breaking his nose…thus, of course, provoking his own murder.

Let’s take this face-punching story at face value, though few of the details ring true (Zimmerman refused medical attention at the scene, which will confuse anyone who’s ever suffered a broken nose).  Though it is not noble or Christian of me to admit it, I hope Trayvon got a few good shots in.  The big irony here is the much-cited “Stand Your Ground Law,” quoted as a defense for Zimmerman’s actions; but if the phrase and the concept have any meaning at all, they would, rather, go to justify Trayvon Martin’s punches!

So let’s assume a scenario where George Zimmerman, with the “fucking coon” still fresh out of his mouth, stomps off to play tough-guy with the “asshole” in the hoodie, and winds up getting punked in a fight he picked but can’t finish.  Any man who lived through public high school knows George Zimmerman, and may well have had occasion to kick his ass.  But, until fairly recently, the George Zimmermans of the world did not carry nine-millimeter guns.

And so hateful, dopey, clumsy George Zimmerman pulled his trump card, his one and only answer to a world that scares and overwhelms him, and shot a hole in Trayvon Martin’s chest.

The other piece of the cop/Zimmerman leak-strategy today was to drop the supposedly Perry Mason revelation that…this supposedly “good” kid, Trayvon Martin…had been suspended from high school…for possessing an empty bag that had once held marijuana!

Yeah…so, America, how do you like your Trayvon Martin nowHe may have smoked weed!

The assumption being, in Sanford, Florida, that possession of an empty bag that once held marijuana is reasonable grounds for murder.

Let us not impose a false and un-necessary innocence on Trayvon Martin in order to pump up our outrage.  Let’s allow Trayvon Martin to be a real young man—my son, your son–with anger as well as innocence, perhaps even with marijuana as well as Skittles.

George Zimmerman did not murder some idealized vision of Innocent Black Childhood, or any other idealized vision.  No, worse—much worse.  He murdered a real 17-year-old.  And now, with the help of the local newspaper and a shyster lawyer, the cops are killing that 17-year-old a second time.

John Eskow is a writer and musician. He wrote or co-wrote the movies Air America, The Mask of Zorro, and Pink Cadillac, as well as the novel Smokestack Lightning. He can be reached at: johneskow@yahoo.com

 

John Eskow is a writer and musician. He wrote or co-wrote the movies Air America, The Mask of Zorro, and Pink Cadillac, as well as the novel Smokestack Lightning. He is a contributor to Killing Trayvons: an Anthology of American Violence. He can be reached at: johneskow@yahoo.com

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

August 30, 2016
Russell Mokhiber
Matt Funiciello and the Giant Sucking Sound Coming Off Lake Champlain
Mike Whitney
Three Cheers for Kaepernick: Is Sitting During the National Anthem an Acceptable Form of Protest?
Alice Bach
Sorrow and Grace in Palestine
Richard Moser
Transformative Movement Culture and the Inside/Outside Strategy: Do We Want to Win the Argument or Build the Movement?
Nozomi Hayase
Pathology, Incorporated: the Facade of American Democracy
Jan Oberg
How Did the West Survive a Much Stronger Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact?
Linda Gunter
The Racism of the Nagasaki and Hiroshima Bombings
David Swanson
Fredric Jameson’s War Machine
Dmitry Kolesnik
In Ukraine: Independence From the People
Omar Kassem
Turkey Breaks Out in Jarablus, as, Fear and Loathing Grip Europe.
George Wuerthner
A Birthday Gift to the National Parks: the Maine Woods National Monument
Logan Glitterbomb
Indigenous Property Rights and the Dakota Access Pipeline
National Lawyers Guild
Solidarity with Standing Rock Sioux Tribe against Dakota Access Pipeline
August 29, 2016
Eric Draitser
Hillary and the Clinton Foundation: Exemplars of America’s Political Rot
Patrick Timmons
Dildos on Campus, Gun in the Library: the New York Times and the Texas Gun War
Jack Rasmus
Bernie Sanders ‘OR’ Revolution: a Statement or a Question?
Richard Moser
Strategic Choreography and Inside/Outside Organizers
Nigel Clarke
President Obama’s “Now Watch This Drive” Moment
Robert Fisk
Iraq’s Willing Executioners
Wahid Azal
The Banality of Evil and the Ivory Tower Masterminds of the 1953 Coup d’Etat in Iran
Farzana Versey
Romancing the Activist
Frances Madeson
Meet the Geronimos: Apache Leader’s Descendants Talk About Living With the Legacy
Nauman Sadiq
The War on Terror and the Carter Doctrine
Lawrence Wittner
Does the Democratic Party Have a Progressive Platform–and Does It Matter?
Marjorie Cohn
Death to the Death Penalty in California
Winslow Myers
Asking the Right Questions
Rivera Sun
The Sane Candidate: Which Representatives Will End the Endless Wars?
Linn Washington Jr.
Philadelphia District Attorney Hammered for Hypocrisy
Binoy Kampmark
Banning Burkinis: the Politics of Beachwear
Weekend Edition
August 26, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Louisa Willcox
The Unbearable Killing of Yellowstone’s Grizzlies: 2015 Shatters Records for Bear Deaths
Paul Buhle
In the Shadow of the CIA: Liberalism’s Big Embarrassing Moment
Rob Urie
Crisis and Opportunity
Charles Pierson
Wedding Crashers Who Kill
Richard Moser
What is the Inside/Outside Strategy?
Dirk Bezemer – Michael Hudson
Finance is Not the Economy
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Bernie’s Used Cars
Margaret Kimberley
Hillary and Colin: the War Criminal Charade
Patrick Cockburn
Turkey’s Foray into Syria: a Gamble in a Very Dangerous Game
Ishmael Reed
Birther Tries to Flim Flam Blacks  
Brian Terrell
What Makes a Hate Group?
Andrew Levine
How Donald Trump Can Still be a Hero: Force the Guardians of the Duopoly to Open Up the Debates
Howard Lisnoff
Trouble in Political Paradise
Terry Tempest Williams
Will Our National Parks Survive the Next 100 Years?
Ben Debney
The Swimsuit that Overthrew the State
Ashley Smith
Anti-imperialism and the Syrian Revolution
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail