The Zimmerman/Martin case. Why so cleanly divided between the parties?

In following the “Neighborhood Shooter” story, one thing has really stood out for me- liberals are more likely to believe that Zimmerman shot Martin without provocation, while conservatives are more likely to believe that the shooting was justified.

Why is this? Is it because of the 2nd Amendment angle? Is it a race thing?

I say it’s a Second Amendment major with a minor in Racial Profiling.

Not sure the OP’s premise is based on fact. Polls show that 73% of Americans think Zimmerman should be arrested. Only 11% are sure he shouldn’t. It’s not broken down by party, but those numbers do not support a “cleanly” divided situation. I think the OP is confusing political commentators with regular people.


It’s possible that I’m seeing a division that doesn’t exist, but at least with the right-wing forums versus the left-wing forums; those on the right seem to be looking for reasons to exonerate Zimmerman, while those on the left seem to take the story at its face. Now, granted, that’s a selection set which is probably more polarized than most, but it certainly seems to be indicative of something.

You’ve picked the 2% of liberals that post on left-leaning forums and the 2% of conservatives that post on right-leaning forums. It’s not surprising that they fall into the groups that they do.

The vast middle believes something terrible and unavoidable happened that should be more thoroughly investigated.

Also, depending on which “right-wing forum” you are talking about, many are rife with barely-hidden racists. It shouldn’t be very surprising that they think Zimmerman did the right thing.

For the more mainstream, I think you fall into the pattern of supporting a law that you created. Since at least part of the story is Stand Your Ground laws, something generally supported by the right, it’s somewhat instinctive to stand up for someone that is using it as his defense.

It’s indicative of anecdotal data gleaned from a self-selected subset of the larger society. The Polls tell us more scientifically what the larger society thinks.

Well, yes, but I didn’t see anything on that poll that indicated the political leaning of the respondent. All the poll seems to indicate is that the majority feel that Zimmerman should be charged. Of those who don’t want him charged, is there a larger percentage who also identify as conservative?

I’m not sure what function the term “right-wing” serves in this sentence. AFAICT, there’s plenty of racism to go around.

One thing that stands out to me, at least on this board, is that there seems to be more ideological diversity on the pro-Martin side than on the pro-Zimmerman side.

The posters who have defended Zimmerman (and the cops) usually present as conservative here.

But the posters who have decried Zimmerman’s actions (and the cops) span the gamut from monstro to Lonesomepolecat. Both liberal types and conservatives. It’s quite interesting to see this, actually. For once, race doesn’t seem to be strongly tied to how you see this issue.

What does this mean? I don’t know. But it could be an indicator as to who the far right is vs. everyone else.

How terribly enlightened of you. so those who support Zimmerman (a hispanic) are racists? Is there some scale on which one can slide up and down or back and forth that gets one from racist to non-racist?

No there isn’t. It’s only right wingers who are racist. When a left winger is racist, it’s more rightly called compassion.

Be sure not to confuse “let’s not condemn anyone without access to all the facts” with “he’s clearly innocent”.

Also don’t confuse this -

with a statement holding any meaning whatsoever.



Rod Liddle was rightly lambasted for his idiotic racism. Why would racism be less prevalent on the left than right? Simple: it’s harder to hold the “just world hypothesis” if one is discriminated against and the case for international working class solidarity. Those on the left wing are more likely to associate by ideology/class than arbitrary phenotypical distinctions.

Because I was referring to a few boards in particular that are known for racists. You can find them on your own. They are, in fact, right-wing. I’m not familiar with any left-wing racist message boards, but perhaps they exist.

I did not say that. I said that the OP’s observation that ring-wing boards all tend to support Zimmerman is colored by the fact that a few of the more well-known right-wing boards are extremely tolerant of racists.

You need to make a distinction between people who are defending the checks and balances of the entire legal system from people who are defending Zimmerman. I haven’t seen many of the latter (although I stopped reading most of these threads, I admit).

I am sure that all those 84% are wrong- both the 73% and the 11%. They shouldn’t arrest him until the Grand Jury comes back with a decision. Of course, this just shows that 84% of Americans don’t know how the law works and want to rush to judgment instead of letting the system do what it’s designed to.
Of course the “let us wait and see what the legal system does instead of gathering a lynch mob” seems to put me in most dudes minds solidly into the Zimmerman and thus Conservative side. Even tho I am fairly liberal.

It’s just that I actually sat on a GJ and I know how they work, and I trust them.

Actually, it’s more the fault of the pollsters for not including more nuanced options.

Are you saying that nobody is arrested before a GJ does its work? I also sat on a grand jury and I’m sure that many of the cases we looked at involved people who were arrested before we saw the case.

Yes, but in this case, the Florida SYG law seems to get in the way of a arrest without a Indictment.

So it does not actually seem to be divided between the parties. Conservatives are generally against gun control laws and I’m sure many are in favor of allowing people to use guns in self defense without fear of being prosecuted for shooting a dangerous criminal, but that doesn’t mean they are guaranteed to see this situation as something that should be covered by those laws.