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03-24-2012, 01:13 AM #1
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- Raleigh, North Carolina, United States
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What is a "white Hispanic" that killed the black boy?
Obama gets personal over killing of black Florida teenager
By Jeff Mason and Daniel Trotta
WASHINGTON/SANFORD, Florida | Fri Mar 23, 2012 7:03pm EDT
(Reuters) - President Barack Obama weighed into the controversial killing of a black teenager in Florida in very personal terms on Friday, comparing the boy to a son he doesn't have and calling for American "soul searching" over how the incident occurred.
Seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin, dressed in a "hoodie" sweatshirt, was shot dead a month ago in Sanford, Florida by a 28-year-old white Hispanic neighborhood watch volunteer who said he was acting in self-defense.
"If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon," Obama said in his first comments about the shooting, acknowledging the racial element in the case.
"Obviously, this is a tragedy," Obama told reporters. "I can only imagine what these parents are going through. And when I think about this boy, I think about my own kids."
The case has rippled across the nation and prompted rallies protesting the failure of the police to arrest the shooter, George Zimmerman, and, more broadly, a pattern of racial discrimination black leaders cite in Sanford and elsewhere in the country.
Obama, the first black U.S. president, made his remarks at a White House event to announce his pick to lead the World Bank, waiting briefly after the announcement to take a reporter's question about the incident.
Martin's parents thanked the president for his words.
"The president's personal comments touched us deeply and made us wonder: If his son looked like Trayvon and wore a hoodie, would he be suspicious too?," they said in a statement.
Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law allows people to use deadly force in self-defense.
Similar laws are in effect in at least 24 states including Florida, according to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. Calls are mounting to repeal them. Earlier this week, a Florida state senator said he was drafting new legislation to drastically change the law in Florida.
A South Carolina state representative said on Friday he had introduced a bill to repeal his state's law. Bakari Sellers, a black Democrat and gun owner, said he wanted to prevent an incident like the Trayvon Martin shooting happening in his state.
"I'm six-five and a black guy," he said. "I just know that it could have been me."
Obama said the "Stand Your Ground" laws should be studied.
"I think all of us have to do some soul-searching to figure out how does something like this happen. And that means that examine the laws and the context for what happened, as well as the specifics of the incident," he said.
"Every parent in America should be able to understand why it is absolutely imperative that we investigate every aspect of this, and that everybody pulls together -- federal, state and local -- to figure out exactly how this tragedy happened."
Obama, the son of a white mother from Kansas and black father from Kenya, is often hesitant to reflect on race, a sensitive topic in the United States, which still grapples with a legacy of slavery, segregation and discrimination.
Early in his White House tenure, Obama inflamed another racially tinged incident after that declaring police had "acted stupidly" when arresting a well-known black documentary filmmaker, Henry Louis Gates, after an altercation at his home.
He later invited Gates and the white police officer, Sergeant James Crowley, to the White House, where the men shared a drink in what became known as Obama's "beer summit."
In Sanford, Norton Bonaparte Jr., the city's manager, acknowledged that tensions between the black community and police "go back many, many years." "The trust that existed is gone, so we have to start from ground zero," he said. Sanford's police chief and a Florida state prosecutor overseeing the case stepped aside on Thursday as criticism grew over the police handling of the investigation.
The U.S. Justice Department is also investigating. Senior officials from the department met with the Martin family in Florida on Thursday, along with their lawyer. A Justice Department spokeswoman said early in the week that they must collect evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that there was intent to violate civil rights laws.
A Florida college announced it had suspended Zimmerman's enrollment.
Zimmerman was working toward an associates degree in arts at Seminole State College in Sanford. He previously earned a vocational certificate in an insurance field, the school said. "Due to the highly charged and high-profile controversy involving this student, Seminole State has taken the unusual but necessary step this week to withdraw Mr. Zimmerman from enrollment," a statement dated Thursday said.
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, the frontrunner in the Republican race to be nominated to face Obama in the November 6 presidential election, added his voice to the issue as well.
"What happened to Trayvon Martin is a tragedy. There needs to be a thorough investigation that reassures the public that justice is carried out with impartiality and integrity," Romney said.
(additional reporting by Jeremy Pelofsky, Steve Holland, Deborah Charles, Samson Reiny, Kevin Gray, Harriet McLeod and Colleen Jenkins; editing by Mary Milliken and David Brunnstrom)
Obama gets personal over killing of black Florida teenager | Reuters
How can a college throw someone out that has not yet even been charged with, much less convicted of a crime? Another University out to punish someone over left wing reactionary politics? I mean sure, if a court finds this guy was guilty of a crime then fine throw him out of school, but throw him out of school over politics?
Last edited by Newmexican; 06-13-2012 at 09:35 PM.
03-24-2012, 02:03 AM #2
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What I don't understand is why this guy felt the need to pursue the teenager. If he for some reason thought he was suspicious, he should have left it in the hands of the police. If he believed the police were not going to do anything about it, then tough luck, move on, but don't go confronting the person. It seems to me the Stanford police did not do a thorough investigation at the time of the incident. They just took his word for it that it was self defense, possibly because the victim was black, and didn't bother to do more. This police department has been shrouded in controversy before so this is nothing new and it took this unfortunate incident to bring attention to the corrupt Stanford police.
03-24-2012, 02:19 AM #3
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I want to know why they are trying to make the shooter out to be white when he is not. This was a Hispanic and black encounter, not a white and black encounter.
03-24-2012, 02:22 AM #4
'Hispanic' is an ethnicity, not to be confused with a 'race.' On their birth certificates in the U.S., all Hispanics race are listed as 'White.'
Obama is feeding the fortunes of Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton and feeding the fires of racial hatred from the highest public elected office in the United States government.
Anybody surprised he would do this? Desperate powerful men do desperately powerful things, especially to either get or stay in power.U.S. Constitution - Article IV, Section 4: GUARANTEES AMERICA FROM INVASION!
03-24-2012, 08:49 AM #5
I don't know what happened that night, I wasn't there. We don't have all the facts either, only what the media has chosen for us to know. All I see is a national lynching where the shooter has been tried and convicted by media blurbs. He may very well be guilty, as I said, I do not know, but until he has a trial, I thought in this country we were innocent until proven guilty, not simply guilty because public opinion of the barely informed decreed it to be so.Proud American and wife of a wonderful LEGAL immigrant from Ireland.
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing." -Edmund Burke (1729-1797)
03-24-2012, 09:03 AM #6
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- somewhere near Mexico I reckon!
The fact that Obama commented at all about this shows his true intentions of bringing racial division into the elections this time too! The Police told Zimmerman to "stand down" and he instead followed this kid until the kid felt threatened and confronted Zimmerman!
Obama will order one of his liberal judges to drop any action against Zimmerman and that will be the beginning of the end!
Sharpton is already making it a white on black hate crime scenario!
03-24-2012, 09:39 AM #7
There are Hispanic whites (from their Spanish ancestors) and non-Hispanic whites (no ancestors from Spain). Zimmerman was the former but I don't see any of the left wing blogs mentioning that. Just goes to show the biasness of the left.
03-24-2012, 09:54 AM #8working4changeGuest
Creating racial divide is what he does best
03-24-2012, 10:38 AM #9
Florida race shooting suspect has Hispanic heritage
The crime watch volunteer accused of shooting an unarmed black teenager to death in this Florida town has a name suggesting that he could be of German ancestry. The truth is more complicated.
George Zimmerman, 28, allegedly shot and killed 17 year-old Trayvon Martin in a gated neighborhood of Sanford, Florida on February 26.
Zimmerman is widely described as a white man, but the one-time Catholic altar boy "is Hispanic and grew up in a multiracial family," his father said in a letter to the Orlando Sentinel newspaper.
"He would be the last to discriminate for any reason whatsoever," 64 year-old Robert Zimmerman wrote. "The media portrayal of George as a racist could not be further from the truth."
George Zimmerman claimed that he acted in self-defense after a confrontation with the teenager. He has been neither detained nor charged with any crime.
At The Retreat at Twin Lakes, the gated community where Martin was shot dead, few people seemed to know anything about the Zimmermans. Neighbors interviewed by AFP were unable to physically identify George Zimmerman.
"I know the mother is not Puerto Rican or Mexican, but she is Hispanic," a community resident told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The suspect's mother, Gladys Zimmerman, was a court interpreter in Virginia and is of Peruvian origin, the Washington Post reported Friday, cited a former colleague.
Former neighbors in northern Virginia, where the suspect grew up, described the family of three children as being devout Catholics, according to the Post.
Following police advice George Zimmerman has not talked publicly about the incident, father said.
Court records uncovered by US media show that Zimmerman was accused of domestic violence in 2002 and 2006, but in both cases he claimed that his girlfriends at the time attacked him.
On Friday Seminole State College, where Zimmerman has been taking classes since 2003, announced that it took "the unusual but necessary step ... to withdraw Mr. Zimmerman from enrollment" due to "the highly charged and high-profile controversy," the college said in statement.
"This decision is based solely on our responsibility to provide for the safety of our students on campus as well as for Mr. Zimmerman," Seminole State said.
The Zimmermans have moved out of the gated community, at least temporarily, due to death threats, Robert Zimmerman said.
What happened that night was "tragic... and very sad for all concerned," Robert Zimmerman wrote. "The Martin family, our family and the entire community have been forever changed."
The victim, Trayvon Martin, was in his last year of high school in Miami, 400 kilometers south of Sanford, where he lived with his mother. The teen was in the gated Sanford community visiting his father the night of the fatal shooting.
"At no time did George follow or confront Mr. Martin. When the true details of the event became public, and I hope that will be soon," the letter said, "everyone should be outraged by the treatment of George Zimmerman in the media."
The media crush in the gated community was such that neighbors hired a uniformed security guard to control access.
"Honestly, the truth is that I never saw him. I even don't know who he is," said Angel Hicks, 40, a community resident and Sanford public school teacher.
"This was an isolated case, very sad but isolated, we live very quiet here," she said.
According to Hicks, who is black, half of the community residents are white and the rest are African-American, Latino and Asian. "I've never felt racial issues here," she told AFP, "but I think in the case of Trayvon Martin the racial factor played a role."
As she spoke Hicks placed a teddy bear in a makeshift altar at the community entrance in the victim's memory.
03-24-2012, 11:44 AM #10
The president could have had a great teaching moment but once again missed the boat,he should have stated simply, I feel bad for the family of this American child and I certainly want a full investigation into the shooting, but once again making it a racial issue can bring about more problems with riots and/or more revenge shootings.
I cannot judge since I wasn't there however crime is crime doesn't matter about race gender or other reasons, overall our justice system is failing because of liberal bias. We have enormous problem in our country, jobs, poor economy, decline in morals. values, education, etc. Clearly a strong leader is needed who can at the very least start some type of healing process.
Last edited by oldguy; 03-24-2012 at 11:56 AM.I'm old with many opinions few solutions.