Try to Be of Reasonably Good Cheer

big picture stuff

On this day of bad news, I don’t suppose it helps to remind everyone that 150 years ago today, New York City was in the grips of the largest riot of American history. In four days of violence, white mobs killed at least 100 African Americans. I had always thought most of the rioters were Irish immigrants, but it turns out that wasn’t entirely true. They mostly just got blamed for it.

That said, Irish music doesn’t seem at all appropriate, but it always cheers me up. So let the dickheads and white supremacists celebrate; justice will have its day. Someday.

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  1. Chief  •  Jul 14, 2013 @8:57 am

    I can live with the jury’s decision. They were there, I wasn’t.

  2. c u n d gulag  •  Jul 14, 2013 @9:14 am

    No Chief,
    They weren’t there – they LIVE there.
    We don’t.
    I was in that sh*thole town, back in 1990, and as is typical in the South (and, sadly, up here, too), the poor whites and the poor blacks don’t want to have anything to do with one another.
    I imagine the town has changed, since I was there, 23 years ago. But probably not for the better, since apparently the newer homes were built with wealthier people in mind.

    I was resigned to Zimmerman winning when I heard that the jury consisted of 6 women, 5 of them, white.

    To me, it was unconscionable that they couldn’t find ONE person of color, to sit on that jury. NOT ONE! Really?
    Jayzoos, but I’m reminded of my youth, when I’d read about those all-white juries acquitting the murderers of black and white folks fighting for their Civil Rights.
    I know things have changed.
    And for the better – mostly.
    But it just reminds me, as much as it always has, that this country is separated by racism. And probably always will be.

    But that arc of justice keeps bending.
    Sometimes, too slowly.
    But at least it’s bending.

  3. erinyes  •  Jul 14, 2013 @10:03 am

    I got a summons last year for Federal Court jury duty.
    The jury pool got questionares to fill out, and were then interviewed (after the judge and both sides reviewed the questionares.) The trial involved trafficing in marajuana, which I really don’t give a rat’s ass about, but it also involved military weapons, including RPG’s.
    I was disqualified as a juror. I think the reason being, is that my brother had been convicted of a crime that ultimately lead to his death at the age of 49.
    What he did was no where near what Zimmerman did, however, the stigma and political implications of the crime made the situation much worse. When the judge asked me if I thought justice was served in my brother’s case, I said absolutely not. He essentially got the death sentance, and death by slow torture at that. The judge agreed with me and said changes were needed in that area.
    Regardless of what one thinks about Sanford Fl, or the South in general, the jury selection process is quite complicated. This trial was very controversial and highly charged racially and politically.
    I think people with carry permits (some) will take notice of the crap Zimmerman went through, and the uncertain future he faces, guilty or not.
    Although I’m not happy with the jury’s decision, I agree with Chief. I DO want the toxic “Stand your ground” law reviewed, and hopefully repealed.Nobody should be able to kill an unarmed minor and get away with it, “Stand your ground” and the proliferation of hand guns made it possible.

  4. Gator90  •  Jul 14, 2013 @11:00 am

    What I take from this is that, here in Florida, it is OK to carry a concealed gun, provoke a fight, and then, if you start losing the fight, just pull your gun and shoot to kill. Of course, it helps if the other guy is black and you’re not. Sigh.

    (Jeez, hope I’m not breaking any Florida law by commenting here. Maybe someone will shoot me.)

  5. Tom_B  •  Jul 14, 2013 @11:23 am

    “To me, it was unconscionable that they couldn’t find ONE person of color, to sit on that jury. NOT ONE! Really?”

    Technically, it is supposed to be a jury of the accused’s peers, but this certainly speaks to grotesque incompetence on the part of the State’s Attorney.

  6. Pat  •  Jul 14, 2013 @12:10 pm

    Some white people I know are saying they’re certain Zimmerman will carry a heavy burden through life, that he’s remorseful, and that “the law is the law so accept it”. Somehow these seem to be the wrong things to say at the time, too little too late and is evident of an easily acquired regret that could never approach that of Travon Martin’s parents. Saying nothing at all might have been more of a high road than that.

    I would be remorseful but neither would I have gone after another doing nothing, nor would I have done so with a lethal weapon, nor would I have saved a bloody nose by killing someone. I’m confident of those differences between Zimmerman and myself but, in whatever regret I might have, I’ve not crawled inside the his head nor am I prepared to project my thoughts and feelings onto George Zimmerman, who I have absolutely no way of knowing, simply because he’s white or walks erect on two legs.

    Wishful thinking and fairy tales aside, what we’ve learned from this could be bad for us all. We could not only hope for justice to hold people accountable for what they set in motion, we should all question whether the outcome would have been different had the roles been reversed. While it might serve some purpose to wish everyone could agree that the law is the law and everything is settled no one can decree that to all others and that point should loom larger than any. This had been completely avoidable…

    There will be an abundant supply of examples in the coming days in which verdict and color are reversed. That much is inevitable. We have much to fear from the anarchy that can result from unequal application of the law.

  7. Pat  •  Jul 14, 2013 @12:22 pm

    As to the jury makeup that all depends on who registers and how the peremptory challenges unfolded. As regrettable as it might be it should on record and I’m confident that any irregularities would have been pounced upon given the megawattage of the spotlights illuminating each and every aspect of the trial. …and no, that doesn’t make it right. I’m more dismayed at how successful the defense was in getting the jury to eliminate everything leading up to one final moment from consideration to focus only on the relative the moment Martin was murdered.

  8. Swami  •  Jul 14, 2013 @12:25 pm

    Well, it kinda give credence to Long John Silver’s words of wisdom…Dead men tell no tales.

    Oh, and speaking about Long something Silver…What’s Clarence been up to lately?

  9. Swami  •  Jul 14, 2013 @12:55 pm

    Interesting article about the Draft Riots. .I wonder if being able to buy your way out of conscription had anything to do with it.

  10. moonbat  •  Jul 14, 2013 @1:57 pm

    I really appreciate that beautiful music video. Thanks.

  11. ulee  •  Jul 14, 2013 @2:53 pm

    Maybe I missed this. Was Zimmerman ever questioned about when he released the safety on his pistol, or does he ride around with the safety off all the time?

  12. biggerbox  •  Jul 14, 2013 @3:47 pm

    The victory was that Zimmerman was on trial in the first place. For a while it seemed like the traditional “nothing to see here” approach was in place. It’s nice to at least have some official recognition that there might be something notable about the gunning down of an unarmed black kid, even it if is just having to go through the motions and the formality of letting the shooter off at trial.

    Maybe I will live long enough to see a day when black kids and domestic abuse survivors also have a right to “self defense” and ground to “stand” on.

  13. c u n d gulag  •  Jul 14, 2013 @4:09 pm

    Thank you for reminding me that the police in that town didn’t want to do anything about the murder – that an adult white male shooting an unarmed black kid, was just BAU – until public pressure forced them to charge this pathetic sociopathic cop wannabe, just to get people off their backs.

    A small victory – but a victory nonetheless!!!

  14. c u n d gulag  •  Jul 14, 2013 @4:38 pm

    As usual, the best take, is the one from the great Charles Pierce:

  15. Chief  •  Jul 14, 2013 @6:16 pm


    I am not going to get all hot-n-bothered by the decision. There are far too many so called experts commenting in the media and blogging.

    The law may change – someday. The arc of justice is bending slowly.

    As someone who was raised in Connecticut by two parents, of whom I never heard even the slightest racist or any derogatory ethnic remark or comment, I do not really understand why so many people are racist.

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