The death of a sensational Baltimore teen!

MONDAY, JULY 22, 2013

What we were talking about: Late last week, we mentioned the fact that the city of Baltimore is full of good, decent, tremendously admirable black kids.

The next day, one day late, we read a front-page Baltimore Sun report about one of those kids who was murdered last week. To all appearances, she was killed by an older teen who had lost his way.

Courtesy of three Sun reporters, this was Diamond Williams, the 16-year-old rising junior at Mergenthaler Tech (Mervo) who was killed last week:
RECTOR, FENTON AND BOWIE (7/20/13): Teachers said Diamond was enrolled in a nursing program and was a cheerleader. She was a member of the school's modeling club and had acted in two school plays, including "Annie," this past year. Her mother said she wanted to pursue a career in theater.

"She was one of the sweetest, best kids I have ever met," said her English teacher, Alicia Van Wert. "I loved having her in class every day. She was going places."

[...]

Terrena Williams, Diamond's mother, said her daughter grew up in the family's neighborhood and thrived at Mergenthaler.

"Diamond was the sweetest person you could know," she said. "She had a good head on her shoulders."

Van Wert, her teacher, described her as a particularly compassionate teenager who volunteered to take charge of two elementary students at the Special Olympics this year.

"She built a relationship with them within the first 10 minutes she was there and set a good example for everyone."

And when the petite girl studied the Holocaust this year, she pleaded with Van Wert to arrange a trip to the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington because she had never been there. When she got there, she was fascinated by the exhibition. "She was very curious about things all the time," Van Wert said.

"She was one of our most promising students," said Angel Watts, an emergency room nurse and a nursing teacher at Mergenthaler. "She had this bubbly, upbeat personality."

When Diamond walked through Mervo's halls, Watts said, she would always say hello, even if she had seen that person a half-hour before. Williams was in a training program to become a nursing assistant and was one of the top students in the class that Watts co-taught.

Watts said Diamond had supportive parents and came to school every day. She was "eager to do what she needed to do to stand out" in her classes.

"She was one of those kids who everybody spoke to. She was such a pleasure to teach. I can't believe this happened to her."
She pleaded for a trip to the Holocaust Museum!

The city of Baltimore is full of good, decent kids. Last week, when we said we think they’re sensational, this portrait is part of what we meant.

There are also many kids in Baltimore who have lost their way, perhaps quite badly, as must have been the case with the 19-year-old who seems to have murdered Williams before killing himself soon thereafter.

We’ve been thinking about those sensational kids in the past few weeks as we listen to the ongoing discussions about the killing of Trayvon Martin. We’ll do a post on the topic each day this week.

But for today, that portrait of Diamond Williams, 16, is part of what we meant last week. What are these good, decent kids being told about the killing of Martin?

58 comments:

  1. "What are these good, decent kids being told about the killing of Martin?"

    Thank you!

    One thing they are being told is that it is OK to pretend to be on a first-name basis with the deceased, if doing so helps your argument.

    So it is refreshing when somebody in the commentariat is respectful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. An insightful comment. That's a refreshing thing.

      Of course you are entirely correct, but I'd say the kids aren't being "told" that. They and we are all being treated as though we won't see through that "first-name basis" emotional propaganda.

      Delete
  2. "Good decent (black) Kids ......"

    Sheesh.

    This guy seems to have come undone by this case.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We can tell you have a problem with this article, but we can't tell what it is, because you don't even try to say.

      Can you string together a few subject/verb/object combinations and try to tell us?

      If not, that's OK, too. We have a lot of inane comments here, we're used to it by now.

      Delete
    2. This is heartbreaking.

      Look, the vast majority of white people are not going around killing young black teens. Young black males are not being hunted down by neighborhood watch members and killed simply because of their race.

      It's not happening and if black children are being told this then they are being misled.

      Just as it is wrong to single out black men because of the behavior of some, it is terribly wrong to extrapolate from the awful Martin tragedy and make larger conclusions.

      I don't know why people can see only half of that equation.

      The Martin killing has brought out a lot of wrong-headed thinking by a lot of liberals and progressives. And it's hurting the very causes they believe in.

      Delete
    3. "We?" You got a weasel in your pocket?

      Delete
    4. No, but there are two people looking over my shoulder! Rude, ain't it?

      Anyhow, what's up, camus?

      Got any idea what 2:43PM Anon's beef is? Just inane, useless commentary, much like your own?

      Delete
  3. What are these kids being told? I hope they are being told that you can be killed as easily by a knife wielding "friend" as easily as you can by a creepy cracker with a gun. Then the question becomes "is our children learning"?

    And what are your readers learning? Are those attacking Obama for "race baiting' going to remember that many of his comments last week they deplored addressed the higher likelihood that black teens will die at the hands of someone like them? I doubt it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He gave a much better speech in Chicago some months ago. Too laden with excuses as usual, but at least he addressed black men producing children and failing to be effective fathers if they even show up at all.

      Delete
    2. IMHO Obama should do more for the inner city than just give a reasonable speech or two. Our first black President ought to actually do something to improve the situation. Unfortunately, IMHO he has made things a bit worse by opposing voucher programs. In particular, he shut down a successful voucher program in Washington D.C.

      Delete
    3. You mean he should help support inner city public schools more? I agree. We all should, even if we aren't POTUS.

      Berto

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  4. Well, of course Zimmerman could have been "good and decent" prior to following Martin, perhaps attempting to restrain Martin, and Martin defending himself by hitting Zimmerman in the face. In fact, Zimmerman could STILL consider himself "good and decent" because he obviously thought following Martin was justified, and he could also believe attempting to restrain Martin was justified, because "they always get away". Why do his supporters think he followed Martin, if not to deliver him to police when they arrived?

    The "teens gone wild" theory isn't limited to teens. People are complicated.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "perhaps detain" -- In other words, you're making that up.

      "could also believe attempting to restrain" -- That thing you made up, that's not borne out by any evidence: you're doing it again.

      "his supporters" -- Are you talking to someone? Who are these "supporters?" How can you tell if someone is a Zimmerman supporter?

      Is it just that they tell you they're tired of listening to people make shit up that wasn't in evidence in the case?

      Delete
    2. There isn't any evidence that Martin attacked Zimmerman first other than Zimmerman's claims.
      The rest of the stuff you guys quote endlessly is garbage. The cell phone doesn't matter and either does the flashlight. The placement of those two objects mean nothing. We'd know something if we had the location of his car, but his wife moved it.
      Again, you are relying on George Zimmerman's story of an unprovoked attack. I don't believe him. I read his statements and they read like a bullet-pointed, careful recitation of the elements he thinks he needs for self-defense. I think he's lying.

      Delete
    3. "There isn't any evidence that Martin attacked Zimmerman"

      Well, other than Martin's hand injuries, Zimmerman's head injuries, and the eyewitness testimony, that is.

      "But wait," you whimper, "I said "attacked Zimmerman *first*."

      Yes, you did. But actually there's no evidence that Zimmerman attacked Martin "first" either.

      So, just pointing out that THE ONLY EVIDENCE of an attack prior to the gunshot is evidence that says Martin was pummeling Zimmerman.

      Delete
  5. I suspect that black children (and adults) are receiving two unfortunate messages from the Zimmerman/Martin affair.

    1. Non-blacks are not to be trusted.
    2. Hero status can be attained through victimhood.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 3. it can be attained through victimhood, especially if that victimihood attained by victimizing someone else, which you had every right to do if they are of a lighter color than you

      Delete
    2. Every black man in America should be given a gun and training on how to use it at birth. Because guns = freedom (per the NRA), and nobody who has paid a modicum of attention can honestly believe black men are as free as white men in this country.

      Berto

      Delete
  6. I hope they're not learning that if someone beats you up in a fist fight, you can legally kill them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why not? That's always been the case, in every state of the union.

      Delete
    2. Sorry, Marcus, that hasn't always been the case in every state of the union, and it's not the case now. Some states require commensurate force, some states require that you take every reasonable chance to leave, and even in Florida, if you started the fight, you don't get to kill your opponent.

      It might be a good thing to learn that if you get in a fist fight, your opponent may kill you, within the law or no. And that if he claims self-defense in your killing, then he's likely to get away with it if you're the only rebuttal witness.

      Delete
    3. If your head is getting bashed in and you believe they won't stop until you're dead, you have a right to defend yourself with necessary force. Every time.

      Delete
    4. True but I don't believe it would fall under self defense. It would be a justifiable homicide.

      Even if you start a fight you have the legal right to stop someone from killing you.



      Delete
    5. Marcus,

      Sorry, not always in Florida. If you started the fight, you still have the right to defend yourself, but you lose the right to use lethal force. As I was corrected yesterday, you may regain that right under two circumstances: 1) you take every reasonable opportunity to flee, or 2) you surrender in good faith. Take one of those options, and you regain the legal right to use lethal force if you're still under an attack that puts you in reasonable fear for your life or of severe injury.

      If you start a fight that you end up losing, you don't get to use lethal force even if you find that losing is putting you in fear for your life.

      Delete
    6. "If you start a fight that you end up losing, you don't get to use lethal force even if you find that losing is putting you in fear for your life"

      If the fear of serious injury or death is reasonable and you cannot escape safely, you may use lethal force regardless of who started it.

      Delete
    7. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    8. Deadrat,

      I haven't read through the applicable Florida law however I think there's a third instance under which the person who started a fist fight may gain the right to use deadly force and that's when the person being assailed escalates the conflict by, for instance, picking up a baseball bat or producing a knife and, thereafter, does not give the assailant the opportunity to withdraw. This may fall under your #2 but I think it's in a separate category.

      Delete
    9. Yes the right can shift from person to person throughout a conflict and can even exist for both at the same time in some scenarios

      Delete
    10. The President yesterday raised the question of Martin's hypothetical SYG rights. He thus implied that Zimmerman might have attacked Martin.

      I think Martin probably threw the first punch, although the evidence may not be conclusive. However, there's no evidence at all that Zimmerman threw the first punch. IMHO it's wrong for the President of the United States to publicly imply that an ordinary citizen did something wrong, when there's no evidence that such wrongdoing took place.

      Delete
    11. Bottom line -- regardless of who threw the first punch, the guy getting the shit kicked out of him and having his head banged repeatedly on the concrete while screaming for help for forty seconds has the right to defend himself with deadly force.

      And if for some bizarre reason that isn't the law, then it damn well should be.

      Delete
    12. CMike,

      I don't practice law in Florida for the good and sufficient reasons that I'm not an attorney and I don't live in Florida. Florida court precedent may alter the interpretation of Florida statutes in the way you suggest, but I can't find any support for your point of view in Chapter 776. Some states allow and allow only commensurate force in these situations -- I think Ohio is one -- but as far as I can tell, Florida isn't.

      I've been wrong on the finer points of this law before and just recently, though.

      Delete
    13. DAinCA,

      Martin's SYG rights weren't hypothetical, and to mention that fact isn't to imply that Zimmerman attacked Martin. Of course, Zimmerman might have attacked Martin, but that possibility is unrelated to Martin's right to stand his ground.

      Because one may be reasonably fearful for one's life while being mistaken about the true nature of the threat, the law allows for the possibility for both combatants to invoke SYG protection.

      Delete
  7. Anonymous @ 6:53P

    Justifiable homicide falls under chapter 776 of the Florida statutes, Justifiable Use of Force. The only provision (for those who aren't cops) other than self-defense is defense of others. Lethal force is restricted for those who start fights.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So Trayvon lost his right to live when he sucker punched Zimmerman?

      Delete
    2. The jury was instructed as to the following (this is from the instructions):

      "Justifiable Homicide:
      The killing of a human being is justifiable and lawful if necessarily done while resisting an attempt to murder or commit a felony upon George Zimmerman."

      Justifiable homicide includes the right to use deadly force to protect yourself not just others.

      Delete
    3. majneb, No, not when he allegedly threw the sucker punch, however, when he mounted Zimmerman ground and pound style and started bouncing his head off the pavement then, sadly but understandably all bets were off.

      Delete
    4. majneb,

      First of all, we don't know that Martin sucker punched Zimmerman. Even assuming he did, he never lost the right to defend himself, just the right to use lethal force without first fleeing or surrendering. If he did start the fight, and he did put Zimmerman in reasonable fear for his own life, then Zimmerman had the right to use lethal force.

      Delete
  8. MSNBC just played video of the SUV accident backward showing Zimmerman shoving a family into a burning car and rolling it over

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thats funny. If they actually did that it wouldn't be too surprising.

      Delete
    2. Who does this Zimmerman guy think he is anyway, Batman ??

      Delete
  9. Looks like another SYG case. Here a black woman shot dead a black man who was attacking her.

    It will be interesting to see if she's charged with anything and, if so, whether she's convicted. The fact that she shot him four or five times may work against a claim of self-defense.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Bob asks: What are these good, decent kids being told about the killing of Martin?

    This article provides a disturbing answer to Bob's question

    “The thing is, I see Trayvon Martins everyday,” wrote the teacher. “I worry about young black men and their prospects in a world where a man is able to kill one without being convicted of something. Even if it isn’t as simple as that, kids will see it that way. Rednecks are holding their heads a little higher and tapping the guns on their holsters eager for a stand your ground moment.”

    Some have alleged that Zimmerman killed Martin in an act of vigilante-style execution, though the jury ultimately acquitted him based on his self-defense claim. Zimmerman suffered bruises and cuts during the altercation, and said that Martin was on top of him and he feared for his life when he fired his gun.

    Nevertheless, another teacher cited the verdict as evidence of the “fact that Florida law allows people to hunt and kill black youth,” and said that it was important to talk about it with students.

    “Ultimately, this is such an important and indicative decision that it needs to be addressed,” wrote Abe Cohen, a high school teacher in the Bronx.

    Dr. Imani Perry, a Princeton professor who said her two black children cried when they heard Zimmerman had been acquitted — and feared that he was coming to kill them — expressed the view that kids need to be educated about racial inequity in the context of the verdict.

    ReplyDelete
  11. "What are these good, decent kids being told about the killing of Martin?"

    I don't know Bob. Buy a gun and carry it with you at all times?

    ReplyDelete
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  16. Hello all,
    My name is Terrena Williams, PROUD mother of Diamond Williams. I would like to first thank you for such a nice article about my daughter. Yes! Diamond was a phenomenal young woman. She was sweet, smart, and so caring. She was also very trusting. I have read the comments and everyone is entitled to their opinions. What I believe our youth should have learned is.. simply.. It is WRONG! Race does not matter here.. Our youth have to face so many obstacles.. Why are they killing each other? Why is anyone for that matter? They are our future. I may seem like a dreamer, but what I believe they need is more guidance, positivity and encouragement from sincere adults. We have children raising themselves, feeling through life with blindfolds on. They watch dysfunction and repeat just that. Negativity breeds negativity. Again, I may seem like a dreamer, but for 16 awesome years I raised a young woman who had morals and standards that exceeded many people three times her age, unfortunately the young man lacked those qualities.

    Thank you again. I pray for our youth

    ReplyDelete