Duke Lacrosse, DSK, Trayvon Martin ...

ISTM that there is a common thread in all these (& similar) stories. And that is that following the initial reports which generated widespread publicity, there was mass acceptance of the narrative as reported by the media, of the noble innocent Minority Member, viciously attacked by the evil Privileged White Man. Only later do the facts very slowly and very painstakingly emerge in the face of resistance - the MM is not so noble and innocent, the PWM is not so evil, and that even if there is some ambiguity and uncertainty as to some of the unknown details, it’s certain at least that the initial picture was slanted in favor of the MM and against the PWM.

This is true - in these cases - even if you ultimately believe that the PWM is in fact guilty.

The point of this is there is a widespread notion that due to racism of American society, people are apt to prejudge MM as guilty and evil and PWM as innocent and pure. But in these cases at least, the opposite is true. ISTM that this is itself due to the acceptance of an exaggerated notion of the extent and depth of racism in American society, which makes the narrative of the innocent MM being persecuted by the PWM all the more compelling. But in reality, while racism undoubtedly exists, and is widespread in its milder forms, it’s not nearly as severe as people like to assume.

The upshot is a sort of “reverse racism”, where people can suffer for the color of their skin or their ethnic background, not because people inherently hate them, but because they find the narrative of them as Evil people compelling, regardless of the facts. From the perspective of the victim, I don’t know if there’s that much difference.

Well, let’s stipulate that there was both “mild” racism and “reverse” racism in the case of Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman.

I think you would agree that, “from the perspective of the victim”, there was a rather significant difference in the outcome.

This applies to the other cases as well. Being falsely accused of rape sucks - being raped is worse. Being accused of murder when it was self-defense sucks - being shot and killed is worse.

Also, the scale is totally different. In 2011, 87% of people stopped and frisked in NY were black or Latino, so 595,000 people stopped and frisked, possibly because of the mild racism of the NYPD. Then, one guy might be falsely accused of murder. What you’re noticing is a man-bites-dog event.

(statistics from this probably biased source: http://ccrjustice.org/stopandfrisk)

Yes, exactly. As a white male in the United States, I am sick and tired of being oppressed this way. It’s not right that a white person should be accused of a crime just because there’s some witnesses say he might’ve committed a crime and some evidence he might’ve committed a crime and that the public and press pays attention to those things. This kind of thing would never happen to a black guy. He might get shot in the street, but is that really as bad as negative publicity?

The Duke case was bullshit and people jumped to a lot of conclusions about it based on preconceived notions, and the DSK case was similar. I don’t know if he did nothing wrong, but it was impossible to charge him. We’re not at that point with the Martin shooting, although it’s already clear that some people very much want that to be the case because they feel that any complaints about the investigation, the relevant laws, or the situation are attacks upon all white people (and by extention themselves).

I find it interesting in this narrative that the PWM is hispanic. If Zimmerman had been shot by a white cop, we would be hearing of the racist attack on the hispanic. Because Zimmerman shot a black youth, the story does not fit the standard narrative, so his race has been de-emphasized (not ignored, just de-emphasized).

If it is successfully proven in court that Martin DID have Zimmerman on his back and was assaulting him, that could lead to Zimmerman walking. If THAT happens, I wonder what the fallout will be (why yes, I do live in Southern California where we rioted for a few days after white cops initially walked from an assault charge on a black motorist).

Of course. I wasn’t comparing being accused of murder to being murdered. I was comparing being accused of murder to the general category of being judged by the color of your skin, which has many negative aspects.

Point was just that if you are white in certain circumstances, people who are predisposed to fit you in to the stereotype of PWM can have very negative consequences, which are comparable to some of the other effects of being fit in to other sterotypes.

Sorry if that wasn’t clear.

I never thought Zimmerman was guilty because he is white and Martin was black. I think Zimmerman is guilty because
• he has a history of aggressively and unreasonably patrolling his neighborhood (depsite Neighborhood Watch guidelines of not carrying a firearm, not going alone, not following suspects, and not disregarding police advice)
• was following Martin for a period preceding the incident (despite being advised not to by the police)
• who was not engaged in any overt criminal activity (recall Zimmerman’s contemporaneous call that Martin was merely walking slowly down the street)
• Zimmerman’s intention to confront Martin (which he now denies, but he plainly vocalized on the phone call)
• Zimmerman’s weight advantage
• the fact that Martin was unarmed (the last two points make it difficult to believe he reasonably feared his life was imperilled or serious bodily harm was in the offing, something that is a bit more than soundly getting your ass kicked — you are not licensed to use deadly force merely because you picked fights you shouldn’t have)

I would have thought Zimmerman likely guilty on these facts if both parties were white or if both were black.

Sorry to rain on your White Victimology Parade.

That’s what they all say …

Seriously, no one ever says “I think this guy is guilty because he’s white/black/whatever”. Everyone picks out fact and interpretations that they believe support their case. You’re not adding anything here.

Point of the OP was that the facts and evidence that have emerged since the initial media exposure have pretty all tended in the opposite direction from the widespread assumptions, (which includes the initial interpretation of facts).

On a side note, DSK is currently being investigated for his possible complicity in a pimping operation in Lille, France.

Poor guy, he just has the worst luck, doesn’t he?

That must be why you clipped the part where I adduced all the race-independent facts that create a fairly convincing prima facie case … and not because it fatally undermines your White Pity Party.

It’s great that race relations have progressed to the point that people can be upset about a black guy being shot and killed for no particular reason even if the shooter isn’t white. Zimmerman was misidentified as white in some early reports about this case, but it really does not change the core issue here: black guy is doing nothing wrong, the cops are called because someone else finds him threatening, and the situation ends with an unarmed black guy getting shot.

Are you suggesting there will be riots? Because for some reason that implication does come up a lot when we’re discussing controversial legal cases and black people. I realize the King riots are seared onto people’s memories, but they were 20 years ago.

Did you pay attention to what I wrote?

I clipped them because the point of my response was that they are irrelevant.

Translation: “White people really are mistreated!! Fuck you and your facts!”

I wasn’t intending to debate the TM case here - there are other threads for that - but rather to discuss the pattern of emerging facts versus the initial impressions. I thought I made that clear in the OP, but if you can’t get past the issue of how right you are about the shooter’s guilt, have at it. Whatever, bro.

Do you imagine that there is any chance, any chance at all, that Zimmerman would have been following a white teenager? Seems unlikely to me, given my blind prejudices, but if you would like to offer that notion, please feel free.

I think that emotions on this case are very high. When you have a “bounty” on Zimmerman from activist groups, that indicates that this is more than an unjust shooting incident (which it is).

I drove by Florence and Normandie regularly after the King riots for several years while my wife was in graduate school at USC. During the riots, my office was on limited hours so that employees who commuted or lived near the areas would not be in danger. The King riots are especially seared on my brain I admit. I am NOT trying to be some cable talking head calling for the national guard, but I do believe that this story has grown so powerful that anything LESS than a conviction of Zimmerman could lead to a lot of unrest. How that plays out is dependent on the people and their self-appointed leaders. It could result in nothing more than a ballot-box movement, a recall campaign, etc. It could end up with marches - and if the police do not over-respond, then we are good. However, there is always the slight possibility that it could go further than that.

OK. But George Zimmerman was not powerful. That’s just a quibble, though.

But I guess it’s a fair point. We can balance the advantages and privileges of being a powerful white male in the modern USA against the fact that if you are accused by a minority of raping or killing them you might not get a fair shake from the media or the public until all the facts come out.

You’re still much less likely of actually being convicted of a crime you didn’t commit, of course. Or of getting the death penalty. Or even of serving jail time at all.

I also feel compelled to point out that the reason PWM’s are often pre-judged by the public is that the system many times seems to be set in place to protect them. In particular with DSK and GZ (not so much in the Duke case, which I think is on a significantly higher level of clusterfuck than the other two). When the investigation into the shooting of a 17-year-old seems so perfunctory it causes a high level of indignation.

Obviously Zimmerman nor anyone else shouldn’t be railroaded because he’s white and shot a black guy. I think everybody agrees on that point.

That is actually an interesting question. Of Zimmerman’s score or so of 911 calls, has anyone sorted them based on race? This is not a snark, just a question.

I don’t know.

But I completely agree that a black teenager is more likely to be followed than a white one.

Not sure what point you’re making with this.

Again - why do you insist on calling Zimmerman white?