RODEO CLOWNS: From Rush to Crump!

FRIDAY, AUGUST 23, 2013

Part 5—Good decent person gets hurt: Rodeo clowns have been driving the right for at least thirty years now.

Let’s be clear on what we mean by that statement.

We don’t mean that the right has been driven by actual rodeo clowns—by people like Tuffy Gessling, whose clown act two weeks ago led metaphorical rodeo clowns to compare him to the Klan and the Westboro Baptist Church.

We mean that the right has been driven by people who are like rodeo clowns, although most actual rodeo clowns are probably much better people. For one example, consider what Rush Limbaugh did on March 10, 1994.

We were driving to Huntington (West Virginia) that day to stage an hilarious comedy act. For that reason, we were listening in real time when Limbaugh linked Hillary Clinton to the death of Vince Foster, a death he described as a murder.

Two days later, Howard Kurtz described what millions of people had heard. To its credit, the Washington Post ran his report on page one (for additional text, see below):
KURTZ (3/12/94): On Thursday, a newsletter published by the consulting firm Johnson, Smick International alleged without evidence that Foster committed suicide at a secret apartment he shared with top administration officials, and that his body was moved to the Virginia park where it was found. Radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh went a step further, saying the newsletter "claims that Vince Foster was murdered in an apartment owned by Hillary Clinton." White House spokeswoman Dee Dee Myers called the newsletter report "a complete fabrication," but several media outlets picked it up. "Foster's secret apartment hideaway revealed," the New York Post said.
Foster wasn’t murdered by anyone. Nor did he die in a secret apartment. There was no apartment, secret or otherwise, owned by Hillary Clinton.

Aside from that, Limbaugh got it right! But millions of people got conned that day by this repellent rodeo clown, where “rodeo clown” is a term of art, not a job description.

(Many people on the right are still in the grip of Limbaugh’s invention. Last Sunday, Maureen Dowd brought a few of these people out of the woodwork, as you can see in the comments to her screed about the hideous values and conduct exhibited by everyone ever named Clinton and by everyone who has ever known any such person, including Anthony Weiner and his hideous wife!)

Limbaugh has long been a rodeo clown. On the right, millions of people have been deceived by his repellent clowning.

Such figures have driven the right for decades. But now, rodeo clowns have begun to service us rubes over here on the left!

Consider a good, decent person who recently quit a job she seems to have liked. She did this after getting misled by Benjamin Crump, a Limbaugh-like man of the left.

The person in question is Brenda Howard of Clinton, Maryland. In Sunday’s Washington Post, she wrote an account of the reasons why she felt she had to leave her job.

Complete with headline, this is the way her essay began. Everything Howard says in this passage is technically accurate:
HOWARD (8/18/13): I left my job over a computer-desktop hoodie

A year and a half ago, a news story exploded out of Sanford, Fla. George Zimmerman, an armed, 28-year-old man of mixed white and Hispanic ancestry, followed and killed Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old African American. The tragic episode was touched off because Zimmerman, out on neighborhood watch patrol, found Martin to be suspicious as he walked home from a store wearing a sweat shirt with a hood.
Everything Howard says in that passage is technically accurate. Zimmerman really did “follow and kill” Martin, although it isn’t clear he was following Martin when the fatal altercation occurred.

(Zimmerman says he was walking back to his truck. The location of the fight might seem to support this statement.)

It’s also true that Zimmerman “found Martin to be suspicious,” and that Martin was “wearing a sweat shirt with a hood” when these events occurred. It just isn’t clear that Zimmerman found Martin suspicious because he was wearing a hoodie..

You may be wondering how any of this led to Howard quitting her job in a doctor’s office. If you read her full essay, you’ll see what happened. You’ll also see why we feel sure that Howard is a good decent person, as most people are.

Howard can understand and respect other people’s points of view. She doesn’t criticize her former employer for the disagreement that occurred. She doesn’t speak poorly of her former co-workers, some of whom complained when she used an image of a hoodie for the wallpaper of her office computer.

Howard understands that this may have created “anxieties” for some of her former co-workers. As a decent person will do, she regrets the fact that she had no opportunity to explain her motives and feelings to them.

Her employer told her she had to change the wallpaper. Howard felt she couldn’t do that, given her feelings about the Martin case. For this reason, she quit a job she had held six years, then told the story to many people in Sunday’s Washington Post.

Here’s what we were struck by in this story:

Howard seems to believe that Zimmerman found Martin suspicious because he was wearing a hoodie. It isn’t surprising that she would think that. Within a few weeks of the killing, attorney Crump was aggressively peddling that idea.

Zimmerman freaked about the hoodie! The claim was part of a package of false facts and unfounded claims about the killing of Martin. Crump was aggressively selling this package. The national “press corps” was buying.

With remarkable speed and uniformity, the national “press corps” quickly adopted those false and unfounded claims. In the most repellent example, the New York Times even reported that two gunshots had been fired that night—a warning shot and a kill shot—thus advancing a heinous false claim which came directly from Crump and a second lawyer.

Because it was so blatantly false, that heinous claim was soon abandoned. Other claims were widely accepted as fact, including the claim that Zimmerman found Martin suspicious because he was wearing a hoodie.

Sixteen months later, still apparently sure of this claim, a good decent person quit her job as a matter of principle.

Did Zimmerman find Martin suspicious because he was wearing a hoodie? Everything is possible, of course, but there is no evidence of that in this case. In real time, as he spoke with the Sanford police, Zimmerman described behavior by Martin which he found suspicious, even menacing. He only mentioned the hoodie when the police dispatcher asked him what Martin was wearing.

Like everyone else, we have no way of knowing what Martin was actually doing that night, if anything, when Zimmerman first observed him. We don’t know why Zimmerman phoned the police.

We don’t know if Martin behaved in the ways Zimmerman described to police, in real time and then later.

We do know this: Following the lead of Crump, the mainstream press corps disappeared the description of suspicious and menacing behavior which Zimmerman gave to police. Rodeo clowns of the left and the mainstream simply began to tell the tale in the highly novelized form which had come from attorney Crump, a rather dishonest fellow now cast in the role of “liberal” rodeo clown.

Crump’s account of what happened that night included many false facts and unfounded claims, highly evocative phraseology and a lot of disappeared information. Because the left and the mainstream press corps memorized and recited the story this way, many good people—good people like Howard—have never heard a discussion of what Zimmerman actually told the police, which may or may not have been accurate.

Instead, they have repeatedly heard a pleasing tale in which a “wannabe cop” shot and killed “an innocent child” because he was wearing a hoodie. There is no evidence that the hoodie played a role in what occurred. But if “journalists” were willing to type the heinous tale of the two gunshots, what wouldn’t such useless enablers be willing to pimp to us rubes?

Sixteen months later, a good decent person quit her job because of her feelings about the hoodie. And as fate would have it, attorney Crump was holding court in the Washington Post that same day!

On page C4 of Sunday’s paper, Howard told her tale of lost employment. As is the norm in such cases, attorney Crump was given more prominent placement.

Crump appeared at the top of the op-ed page, offering a fact-challenged column in which he hides behind Medgar Evers and Emmett Till. We’re not sure we remember the time when Evers, a truly great historical figure, promoted fake facts and unfounded claims to get someone convicted of murder.

If memory serves, that is precisely the kind of conduct Evers was killed for opposing. History professors could help us with that. But they went into hiding, perhaps in France, as Crump’s novelized story advanced.

For the past three decades, rodeo clowns have turned brains on the right into embarrassing mush. Today, these brains believe that Obama was born in Kenya. Back then, these brains believed that the Clintons had conducted a string of murders.

Limbaugh conned many people when he engaged in that heinous conduct concerning the “murder” of Foster. Today, corporate media are finally hiring similar rodeo clowns on the left.

Crump is a free-lance rodeo clown. He too has invented fake facts about a death which he still describes as a “murder.”

That said, we also have our salaried rodeo clowns. Last week, they were upset by an actual rodeo clown. He was like the Klan, Lawrence clownishly said. He reminded Alex of the people at the Westboro Baptist Church!

The national interest has been massively harmed by the wild bull rides of Rush and Sean. At long last, we have talented screechers of the “left” like Jonathan, Alex and Lawrence.

For decades, such people have driven the right. At long last, the corporate world is gifting us liberals with our own “rodeo clowns!”

The wages of rodeo clowning: Limbaugh invented fake facts about a high-profile death—a death he was calling a “murder!” Below, you see the way Kurtz described the deteriorating media landscape two days after Limbaugh’s broadcast.

Kurtz focused on the press corps’ treatment of the Whitewater “scandal.” His account of Limbaugh’s behavior came deeper in his text:
KURTZ (3/12/94): Media Awash in Whitewater, Some Critics Warn

The torrent of headlines has come fast and furious: "President Runs Afoul of the Watergate Trap"; "Foster File Shocker"; "Rose Staffers Say Hillary Ordered Papers Shredded"; "Bill on Hillary: SHE'S NOT A CROOK."

As the Whitewater affair has reached white-hot intensity, some journalists and White House supporters have begun to argue that the coverage has been excessive. They say the media have gotten caught up in a scandal mentality and that comparisons to Watergate are far-fetched.

Walter Cronkite, the former CBS News anchor, called the recent coverage "definitely overheated. The clear attempt in both the Watergate break-in and the coverup was to subvert the democratic workings of our government. There's nothing nearly comparable to that in the Whitewater affair."

Marvin Kalb, director of the Joan Shorenstein Barone press center at Harvard University, sharply criticized the media's performance. "Without any significant legal evidence linking the president to any criminal activity, everyone and his uncle in the press is on board this train, and they are riding to a destination that is utterly unknown to them," he said. "There is a rushing to judgment that is unprofessional and distasteful. The press is going to have a lot to answer for when this is over."

The short-term impact is clear. As dozens of reporters, some dreaming of Pulitzer Prizes, burrow deeper into the story, health care and other parts of the Clinton agenda have been crowded off page one.
Here’s the best link we can find.

Does any of that sound familiar? The Clinton agenda had been wiped away, Kurtz said, as “everyone and his uncle in the press” climbed on the scandal train. Later, Kurtz described Limbaugh’s claim about Hillary Clinton’s connection to Vince Foster’s “murder.”

At this point, the Post was still advancing the idea that the Whitewater coverage was overblown. Marvin Kalb proved to be a seer in one respect.

“Everyone and his uncle” were on board the scandal train, just as Kalb said. Kalb was wrong in his second claim. The press corps didn’t have to answer for its conduct in the end.

The children you see on The One True Channel are too useless to talk about this. They assure you that no one has ever been treated the way Obama has!

It must be race, the children exclaim. Then they discuss the rodeo clown who seems so much like the Klan.

Later, they spend the piles of cash they get from their corporate employers. As Limbaugh proved several decades ago, rodeo clowning produces good pay when performed in New York or D.C.

103 comments:

  1. Ramblin' Bob, ramblin' Bob
    Why you ramble, no one knows
    Wild and wind-blown, that's how you've grown
    Who can cling to a ramblin' Bob?

    With apologies to Nat King Cole for the Dowd quote.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Yes, indeed. "Keep moving; nothing happening here." Maybe you should call Bob "Mad Cassandra."

      As Bob Dylan sang, "Why don't you shove off if it bothers you so much?"

      Delete
    2. I am thinking of the Dave Clark Five:

      "Over and over and over again,
      This dance is going to be a drag.
      I said
      Over and over and over again,
      This dance is going to be a drag."

      Delete
    3. Will whoever has shackled Anon12:53 to this bog, please let him go.

      Delete
    4. "to this bog"

      What an interesting choice of words, Cecilia.

      Delete
    5. Yeah.

      It would have been more accurate to wonder who has shackled this blog to that bog.

      Delete
  2. And, we now take a break our deep discussion about race involving rodeo clowns and return to our deep discussion of race involving Martin/Zimmerman, promising to our loyal readers that we really have absolutely nothing new to say lest they be challenged to think.

    After all, after hearing the all-mighty Benjamin Crump speak on behalf of his clients, this poor woman who lost her job had absolutely no control over any or her subsequent actions.



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  3. Simply excellent series, Mr. Somerby.

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  4. The hoodie is metaphoric for Ms. Howard in the same way that Rodeo Clowns are metaphoric for Mr. Somerby.

    The hoodie symbolizes the danger young black males experience at the hands of police and others, and their parents fear that they will be caught up in violence. Trayvon Martin, to an extent, has also been chosen to symbolizes those things, making the actual facts of his case moot at this point. It is tragic that Zimmerman was run over by those eager to make this case into a complaint about police mistreatment of minority youth, and it is criminal that Crump mobilized those strong feelings and beliefs in service of a client's financial interests, co-opting legitimate civil rights issues. But that is hardly something new.

    I do not think Somerby is oblivious to the symbolism of the hoodie but his claim that Ms. Howard is being hoodwinked may be incorrect -- the hoodie shows support for the larger issues, not for Martin or his family. A person can support those larger issues without being ignorant that the case is more complex than portrayed.

    I do believe she felt that those complaining about her screensaver were rejecting those larger goals, and I can understand her hurt feelings and the necessity of quitting such a job. Businesses have generally not wanted to get involved in politics of any kind and most businesses would object to a controversial image. However, people are at cross-purposes when one side treats Martin as a symbol while the other is concerned about the details of the shooting.

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    1. Thoughtful reply, and even though I deeply disagree with some of the things you expressed, I do respect them and particularly the thought you put into them. And thought is something that has been sadly missing in this whole episode.

      I also hope that others, like you, take the time to read the essay to which Somerby has linked to.

      When I read it, I did not get the impression of a woman so easily led astray by a lawyer and leftist media propaganda.

      Delete
  5. Poo Poo Platter Deluxe (All the Ingredients)

    The Shroud of Trayvon Returns

    "Howard seems* to believe that Zimmerman found Martin suspicious because he was wearing a hoodie....

    Zimmerman freaked about the hoodie! The claim was part of a package of false facts and unfounded claims about the killing of Martin. Crump was aggressively selling this package.

    Sixteen months later, still apparently sure of this claim,** a good decent person quit her job as a matter of principle.

    Did Zimmerman find Martin suspicious because he was wearing a hoodie? Everything is possible, of course, but there is no evidence of that in this case. In real time, as he spoke with the Sanford police, Zimmerman described behavior by Martin which he found suspicious, even menacing. He only mentioned the hoodie when the police dispatcher asked him what Martin was wearing.

    ... Following the lead of Crump, the mainstream press corps disappeared*** the description of suspicious and menacing behavior which Zimmerman gave to police."

    Bob Somerby This post.

    Let's see.

    * Seems! We start with a famous Somerby wiggle word. Howard, whose essay is the inspiration for this rehash of Bob's best comment generating tale, never says she thinks Zimmerman followed Martin based his attire. So Bob says she "seems" to believe it. BULLSHIT.

    Bob, who derides the media or "disappearing" things, disappears the words of Ms. Howard herself. She never says what Bob says she seems to believe when she quite easily could have. Instead she says this about the hoodie:

    "This image had sprung up on the Internet and social media as an expression of support for the Martin family. It is meant as an acknowledgement that this senseless death had not gone unnoticed.
    --------
    ... It was merely an image of a piece of clothing worn by a young man who was wrongfully killed. By displaying it, I was simply saying that I was sad."

    Brenda Howard August 18, 2013

    There is simply no "seem" to be found. Howard clearly stated the symbol meant to her. But that is not enough for Bob, who spent a whole post deriding this symbol.

    ** Bob moves from Ms. Howard "seeming" to believe something to being "still apparently sure" of something. She has, of course, already clearly stated why she adopted use of the hoodie, and it is not, as Bob "implies" based on a belief she has held for sixteen months. She posted the hoodie after the trial.

    *** This is all a dastardly plot of Crump and the
    media with their disappearance of all that menacing behavior Trayvon Martin displayed.
    To do that Bob has to disappear the well established fact, which yours truly has, to use a recent Bob phrase, "complained and complained" about on these threads, that the belief that the hoodie aroused suspicion was first spawned by the lead investigator, Chris Serino, in his interrogation of Zimmerman. He repeated it to the FBI. He may very well have repeated it to Martin's father who passed it along to Crump. Crump and the media fueled it, but were they the first to advance it? No. The evidence has been in front of Somerby for quite some time. It just interferes with his narrative.

    Finally, what "menacing" behavior does Zimmerman ever describe Trayvon Martin displaying that led to his following him in his truck then calling the police dispatcher? None unless "walking about" and "looking about" are menacing.

    "Almost anyone with two IQ points to rub would understand this simple fact. But...(Somerby) got this stupid riff in his head a long time ago, and he’ll never drop it."

    Bob Somerby August 22, 2009

    I never dreamed Bob would present such a quick opportunity for me to use my favorite all time Bob quote with only one alteration.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Great work again, PPP, but I have a question since my memory seems to be foggy.

      Didn't Crump show up on the scene at least a few days AFTER the firestorm was raging? You see, my foggy memory is that the Martin family didn't hire an attorney until after constant media requests for statements or interviews, and they realized they would need the help of an attorney.

      Delete
    2. Brilliant PPP. It doesn't get better than that. You beat me to it. Lol.

      As soon as I saw the classic TDH weasel word "seems", I knew something was up and yep, like you, once I read what she actually said, it was clear that the TDH was telling a Howler itself and spinning a pleasing narrative that's become great for clicks.

      Delete
    3. Anon. @ 2:05. Thanks for your kind remarks.
      However, as a good "thought controlled" polically sensitive liberal, I prefer "wiggle" as an adjective over "weasel." Weasels are, after all, a feeling creature, Speaking of which, why, in all this hubbub over the rodeo clown, has nobody on the liberal side spoken up about the obvious abuse of animals amidst the racial animus?

      Thanks for your useful question, Anon @1:27.
      I cannot pinpoint the exact date of the arrival of Attorney Crump, Esq. For that reason I adopted the Bob technique of saying Serino "may" have told the elder Martin who in turn "may" have passed this tidbit on to Crump. Word of mouth. That's how rumors used to start before e-mail and tweets. It
      could be there were leaks from other cops to the family and family lawyers as well as the media. Serino alleged as much to the FBI. I will see what I can find.

      PPP

      Delete
    4. Anon@1:27 Some initial (and interesting findings).

      Serino alleged that Martin's dad believed him until he hired a lawyer. Martin's lawyer says Martin hired him as soon as he found Zimmerman would not be charged with a crime. In Bobworld that is certainly evidence of what "seems" to be communication
      about this case between S: Serino, B: Martin and C: Crump. Who knows what was said about the hoodie. We don't. But anything is possible.

      More to the point: Remember how Bob has trumpeted the good work on this case of the blog Talk Left? Well I tried answering your question by sening our analysts to that store of archival accuracy. I will link to what I found but summarize it first.

      Jerralyn Merritt, in discussing the FBI interview of Detective Serino, notes that Serino told the FBI he thought Zimmerman was not motivated by racism, but possessed a "hero complex." Merrit goes on to note that another Martin family attorney, the infamous Natalie Jackson of two shots fame,
      used that exact phrase on March 13, 2012 to the Orlando paper. Jackson is reported as saying:

      "Racism is too simple. It may have been a factor," said family attorney Natalie Jackson. But also to blame was Zimmerman's "hero complex."

      To Merritt this is proof someone was leaking
      the Serino FBI interview to Jackson because it took place on March 3, 2012.

      Unfortunately for all involved in conspiracy theories, this is based on a typo in the FBI transcript, which states the interview took place on March 3, 2012. It did not take place until April 4, 2012, three weeks after Jackson is quoted using Serino's exact description of Zimmerman.

      My point is that it is very possible that all the bad information coming from team Crump first sprang from the mouth of Chris Serino regardless of who is responsible for it getting from mouth S to Team C.

      Delete
    5. PPP,

      But *why* does she feel that the hoodie should be a symbol? I know she says, "[i]t was merely an image of a piece of clothing worn by a young man who was wrongfully killed." So why didn't she change it to a picture of the shoes he was wearing at the time, if it was only to show that she was sad? You think that's a ridiculous notion? That's my point. The symbol of the hoodie has more depth than she is willing to admit. When one reads between the lines like that, especially when it is quite obvious, you use the phrase "seems to believe."

      Delete
    6. Woopsie. Forgot the link for TalkLeft, Bob's definitive go to source for all things
      in Hoodieville.

      http://www.talkleft.com/story/2012/7/13/52419/3858/crimenews/Zimmerman-Investigator-felt-Peer-Pressure-to-Charge

      PPP

      Delete
    7. Double Woopsie. My date about the typo has a typo. TalkLeft puts the interview date as March 3, 2012, because the transcript states that is when it took place. I said it was April 4, 2012. The interview took place on April 3, 2012. Mine was a typo. The FBI transcriber missed by a whole month.

      Bobfans will hang me for this. I know, however, Bob himself will soon demand a correction from TalkLeft.

      PPP

      Delete
    8. "When one reads between the lines like that, especially when it is quite obvious, you use the phrase 'seems to believe.'"

      Or . . . when you want to insert your narrative when it is not only usupported by a single thing the woman wrote, but directly contradicted when she states her reason clearly, you speculate about what she "seems to believe."



      Delete
    9. She quit her job because she wanted to put that picture of a hoodie up. But you believe everything she wrote without question. Actions speak louder than words, except when the words fit your narrative.

      Delete
    10. What menacing behavior does Zimmerman describe?

      <quote>
      Zimmerman: Somethings wrong with him. Yup, he's coming to check me out, he's got something in his hands, I don't know what his deal is.

      Dispatcher: Just let me know if he does anything ok?

      Zimmerman: How long until you get an officer over here?
      </quote>

      Delete
    11. deceasedrodent, please.

      Your quotes come after Zimmerman had driven
      past the skittles and watermelon tea addled junkie thug and called the cops. That was behavior after he already aroused enough suspicion to alert a veteran neighborhood watch commander like George Z. to stop his patrol and put him under survellance while
      calling for back up.

      Here is the exact description from Zimmerman:

      Zimmerman: Hey we've had some break-ins in my neighborhood, and there's a
      real suspicious guy, uh, [near] Retreat View Circle, um, the best address I can
      give you is 111 Retreat View Circle. This guy looks like he's up to no good, or
      he's on drugs or something. It's raining and he's just walking around, looking
      about.

      Dispatcher: OK, and this guy is he white, black, or Hispanic?
      Zimmerman: He looks black."

      Now, of course what happened by the time your quotes occur could be behavior on Martin's part due to being placed under surveillance by a guy in an unmarked pick up truck sitting in the dark in the rain.

      PPP

      Delete
    12. P^3,

      Whaddaya want from me? You decided that scare quotes were appropriate around "menacing" because you don't think Zimmerman ever reported menacing behavior. But he did -- a guy with something wrong with him advancing with something in his hands.

      Would a reasonable person have thought that Martin was menacing? I don't know, but you didn't ask that. Now you want to know whether Martin's actions could have been prompted by Zimmerman's. Sure, they both could have felt threatened. But you didn't ask that originally either. You just wanted to know what Zimmerman reported.

      I told you. Sorry if it doesn't fit your narrative.

      Delete
    13. PPP, I told you it was like arguing with the Koch brothers about climate change.

      Incidentally, my recollection of the whole "hoodie" thing is that it was not invented by Crump, but told by the right-wing noise machine as "proof" that Trayvon was dressed like a gang member, and thus would draw the suspicion of any person just by walking down the sidewalk.

      Who can forget Geraldo's classic, "Blame the hoodie!" rant?

      Delete
    14. Wouldn't that make it even more race-baiting and calculated of the larger media to have linked that to George Zimmerman (on trial for his freedom) and run with it?

      Delete
    15. Bob is convinced that Zimmerman didn't consider race or the hoodie because Zimmerman didn't immediately mention these factors to the dispatcher when he called. I'm beginning to wonder whether Zimmerman actually called the dispatcher at all that night. You sure Zimmerman didn't actually call the local university and report seeing a lost graduate student? Also, Bob is a mind reader.

      Delete
    16. It's amazing how Martin made it all the way to the 7-11 and back without anyone else noticing how menacing he was acting. It took eagle-eye George to detect the imminent threat that a boy walking down the street in the rain posed to his community. Because as we all know no one ever walks around in the rain especially at 7 pm. On top of that he was looking around. How dare he look around in George's community. Was he walking in circles or in the direction of the home he was staying at? Was it a torrential downpour or a light intermittent sprinkling? But Bob knows for sure, the boy's race was never a factor in the mind of George Zimmerman.

      Delete
    17. drodent, I apologize missing your response.
      I didn't decide to put quotations around the
      word "menacing" as scare anything. I did it because I was quoting Bob's description
      of Zimmerman's statement to the police about Martin's behavior. The word was Somerby's invention (we all know what invention means, don't we...to create).

      I believe Bob used the adjectives "suspicious and menacing" in front of "behavior" the way Maureen Dowd
      used the term "mother of two" in front of her McCray quote. What did Bob call that? Positioning a factoid? Except in Dowd's case she invented. or reinvented the quote. In Bob's case, he invented part of the factoid. Zimmerman reported nothing which could be described as "menacing" happening to the dispatcher prior to his call or in the initial stages, as my quote of Zimmerman's call indicates. If something meancing happened, it was after Zimmerman already had him under enough suspicion to have called the police line already for looking like he was "up to no good, or he's on drugs or something. Just walking around, looking about." He also reported him looking black and wearing a hoodie, facts which he clearly observed, because he promptly reported them when asked. Which of those do you think Bob justifiably calls "menacing"?

      Walking around? Up to no good? Looking about? On drugs or something? Wearing a hoodie? Or being black? Because he described nothing else about Martin that prompted him to park his truck and call the cops.

      PPP

      Delete
    18. P^3,

      How could you fail to hang on my every word? I'll accept your apology if you promise never to do that again.

      In return, I'll apologize for misreading your verbatim quote marks. In my defense, they look the same as scare quotes on my terminal.

      The context of Bob's characterization is the hoodie. Bob says that Zimmerman didn't call the police because of what Martin wore, but because of what he said Martin did. I agree that Zimmerman didn't report anything menacing as the prompt for his call to 911 or in the first part of his discussion with the dispatcher. But he did after he saw Martin staring at him, which happened (as Bob wrote) "as he spoke with the Sanford police." The whole point is that throughout Zimmerman's phone conversation, he never mentions the hoodie until he's prompted, and that's only for the purpose of identification.

      There's no evidence that Zimmerman called 911 because Martin was acting menacingly, but that's not what Bob claimed. There's no reliable evidence that a reasonable person would have interpreted Martin's behavior as menacing after he and Zimmerman made eye contact. All we have is Zimmerman's word for that, but I don't see any sense in denying that's what Zimmerman reported, reasonable or no. Especially since the matter is peripheral to the role of the hoodie, which is, after all, the hobbyhorse that Bob is riding.

      Delete
  6. Poo-poo takes yet another dump on the blog.

    Crump didn't start the hoodie meme (he just relentlessly flogged it long after he had hard the tapes).

    Howard did not say she embraced the mythology behind the hoodie symbol (she merely bemoaned the fact that Zimmerman WRONGFULLY shot and killed Martin).

    Do trolls leave all sense of logic and dignity at the door, or are they people who were born without them?

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    Replies
    1. Dump on the blog? Moi? I am merely pointing out that the author of the blog keeps creating caca while in the act of deploring defecation.
      You want me to say it nicer: He's a Nattering Nabob of Narrativism.

      Delete
    2. Well, you're a pud-pounding preening prevaricator of prattling poppycock.

      And of that you are proud.

      Delete
    3. Actually Cecelia, you have yet to refute a single thing I have ever said in my critiques of the head critic. You are the one feasting on fiction fed from Bob, which explains why your comebacks are based on genital grabbing and the tired troll charges
      which have been around ever since Al invented the Internet.

      PPP

      Delete
    4. Ah another wash on the spin cycle. Round and round you go!

      Putting aside your slight spin on what the evil mastermind CRUMP! (insert villainous theme music here) didn't start, of course Howard didn't say she "embraced the mythology..". She quite clearly stated what she believed.
      Somerby is the one who is dubiously claiming that she "seems" to believe that gz found tm suspicious because he was wearing a hoodie and blamed it on evil CRUMP! (insert villainous theme music). Take it up with him

      Delete
    5. Cecelia, wrap your brain around this:

      If these words of yours are true:

      "Howard did not say she embraced the mythology behind the hoodie symbol . . . "

      Then what is the basis for these words of Somerby:

      "Howard seems to believe that Zimmerman found Martin suspicious because he was wearing a hoodie."

      Delete
    6. Anon3:01pm, I'm paraphrasing Poo's argument.

      Howard obviously does seem to embrace the mythology of the hoodie or she would not have seen it as a symbol for Marin being "wrongfully" killed.

      What other reason would she have for thinking Zimmerman wrongly killed Martin (to the point of publicly showing her solidarity to the family) other than Zimmerman wrongly suspected Martin because of his race?

      Zim's gun misfired? Martin would have stopped at two head slams?
      A case of mistaken identity?

      Somerby is being MORE than fair by using the word "seems".

      His point on Serino first saying that Zimmerman followed Martin based on his hoodie, is specious too.

      Crump carried on with that long after he had heard the 911 tapes and he and others continue to suggest that Martin was a victim of racial profiling.

      Poo-poo can make all the specious points that he wants, and lord knows, he will. But don't attribute that sort of concrete argumentation...for a parody of Somerby.

      It's not. It's just part and parcel of Poo-poo's shitty trolling.

      Delete
    7. Actually, she pretty much DOES seem to believe that.

      Nevertheless, let us grant for argument's sake that she doesn't not believe that.

      It doesn't vitiate in the least Somerby's point:

      A whole lot of self-styled media liberals are willing to, do, and did, pimp bullshit falsities and hide actual facts from view in order to press a preferred storyline.

      That's what Poops et al don't like, and that's why they focus on the non-event of why specifically Howard used a hoodie screensaver.

      It's a distraction from what they can't deny. To repeat:

      A whole lot of self-styled media liberals are willing to, do, and did, pimp bullshit falsities and hide actual facts from view in order to press a preferred storyline.

      Delete
    8. It would seem that we all owe Gore a debt of gratitude, Poo-poo.

      If not for his contribution you might be ringing people's doorbells after dropping flaming bags of crap on their stoops.

      Delete
    9. "A whole lot of self-styled media liberals are willing to, do, and did, pimp bullshit falsities and hide actual facts from view in order to press a preferred storyline."

      And for that opinion you must be punished. For that heresy we call out the Poos.

      Delete
    10. Wow! Bob sure plays his tribe for fools.

      How often has he railed at the cheap trick of "mind-reading" motives they want to find without any basis or evidence to support it?

      Now I am sure to Somerby and his blind followers, there is absolutely no inconsistency there at all. But good lord almighty, he's been playing you for fools all week.

      And once again, I'm getting ashamed of myself for taking the bait. If it weren't for me -- and a couple of others who see through Somerby -- providing the "ying" to the Somerby Tribe's "yang", both this combox and this blog would be deader than it already is.


      Delete
    11. Anon 3:45,

      Hilarious ! Actually, yes let's just ignore what she actually said and insert your "seems" just like Somerby did and then go on to tell us that the linchpin of Somerby's latest tale is a just a little ole non-event that we can blissfully ignore and just ride along with Bob's latest version of his old narrative. Sorry to be a downer.

      Wheeeeee! What a ride! Feel better now?

      Delete
    12. Anon 4:18,

      I am not the Anon that you are laughing at, but can I guess you were of the opinion that Zimmerman's words should not be believed because it was obviously self-serving? This letter of Howard's is massively self-serving, martyr-style.

      You seem (haha) to be proud that you don't believe everything you read.

      Blind spot!

      Delete
    13. Anon 4:33,

      I see we have another passenger for the narrative train! Wheeeeee! Enjoy that? I'm sure it was more fun than your attempted deflection. Yes since you can't credibly refute the comments about Bob's failure here, lets insert an irrelevant gz question and attack the veracity of the women who quit her job.

      Wheeee! Boy this is fun!

      Delete
    14. "This letter of Howard's is massively self-serving, martyr-style."

      That could very well be true. Which is, of course, utterly irrelevant to the fact that nowhere in it does she say what Bob "seems" to think she said.

      Delete
    15. You are absolutely correct, Anon4:14pm.

      In an op-ed where Howard says that the president is uniquely qualified to discuss Martin having been wrongly killed, and had explained thst Martin's plight was not unique, the word "seems" (as in seems to have embraced the hoodie myth) would only be weasley to weasles.

      You guys certainly need each other, and all the sock puppets that you can pump out.

      Delete
    16. You are having fun, pretending that the simple act of not believing what she wrote does not allow one to disagree with your comments. No, that makes opposition to your position an "attack."

      Is it irrelevant to ask why should we believe her, while giving an analogous example from the larger story? Your whole thesis is based on believing her words, and closing your eyes to her actions.

      You are protecting a narrative here, too, you know. So your child-like exclamations of ridicule is misplaced.


      Delete
    17. ... are misplaced. Oops!

      Delete
    18. LOL! You Bobfan spinmeisters are still at it? We read what Bob wrote about Howard and his "seems" mind reading and then we read what Howard wrote. The conflict is clear. Sorry. You folks can try to muddy the waters with your dubious interpretations, irrelevant asides and overall whines but, it's over and you failed. Give it a rest.

      Delete
    19. Anonymous @10:57,

      Here's a hint: if you have to declare yourself the victor in a debate, then you're probably not, especially if you start out your declaration with "LOL!"

      For next time, here's a helpful guide for detecting mind reading:

      Mind reading:

      Howard believes that Zimmerman found Martin suspicious because he was wearing a hoodie.

      That's a declaration about someone else's mental state.

      Not mind reading:

      Howard seems [to me] to believe that Zimmerman found Martin suspicious because he was wearing a hoodie.

      That's a declaration about the author's mental state.

      TDH is fairly careful to keep the two straight. Which doesn't mean that his interpretation is correct. What seems to him a proper inference may not be what Howard intended to imply.

      It strikes TDH that Howard picked the hoodie as a symbol for the tragic event because it represents for her Zimmerman's mistaken judgment about the person he ended up killing. Given the ends that others have employed the garment, is this so unreasonable? On the other hand, Howard never gave such an explanation, so perhaps she merely chose the hoodie to identify Martin, and she might as well have used a bag of skittles. Not unreasonable either. We'd have to ask her.

      Absent that, you're right to say that TDH could be wrong. But he's not reporting anyone's mind but his own.

      Delete
    20. deadrat,

      Putting your haughty tude' aside, I'm sorry but that's kind of silly. We don't need to ask Howard anything because she told us quite explicitly why she chose the hoodie as a symbol. That's why Bob's "seems" is weak at best and your "shading" isn't much help for him.

      You can try and finesse it or explain it or rework it all you like as you did with your "it strikes TDH...." but, I'm not interested. So, thanks but no thanks. In the end, there's Bob's actual words and Howard's actual statements and the two don't match Bob's dubious interpretation.

      Also, of course you leave out that Bob used that "seems" connection to launch into one of his favorite routines...da, da, da....here comes evil mastermind CRUMP! (insert villainous theme music here) which as PPP has pointed out above has serious problems as well.

      Delete
    21. Anonymous @3:07P,

      If you don't like my attitude, you can just go fuck yourself. No, no, wait. That's not what I meant. I meant that I'm sorry for my offensive attitude, and I hope you'll accept this humble apology by giving me another chance. I promise to do better.

      Howard tells us *that* she chose the hoodie as a symbol, but she doesn't tell us why she chose that one over another. Reasonably so, as such an explanation would be peripheral to the point of her story. Dubious is in the eye of the beholder, I suppose. Given the uses that the infamous garment has been put to, I don't see TDH's inference as all that implausible. TDH's "seems" is a weaker statement than an outright attribution through mind reading, but the latter wouldn't be his style.

      If you don't find my assertions worth adopting, please see my abject apology at the top of this comment.

      The introduction to the evil Dr. Crump seems an independent issue. P^3 derides TDH's focus on Crump because Crump didn't originate the claims TDH says are bogus. But that's not what TDH is complaining about. His complaint is tthat Crump fueled the fires of misinformation, and P^3 is pretty much in agreement with that. TDH points to a piece by Crump that TDH calls "fact-challenged." Here's a portion

      <quote>
      Stand-your-ground laws were not enacted to allow aggressors the opportunity to get away with murdering an innocent person, although this is, unfortunately, what has happened. Law enforcement officers initially cited Florida’s stand-your-ground law in their refusal to arrest Trayvon’s killer, Zimmerman, in February 2012. In large part, this law permitted Trayvon’s killer to walk out of the courtroom and back into society.
      </quote>

      Let's see. SYG laws were written by the NRA and enacted by their dupes with the specific purpose of broadening the use of firearms by anyone, including aggressors. Zimmerman is not guilty of murder, and there is no evidence that makes Martin innocent, in the sense that he had no culpability in starting the altercation. Zimmerman was arrested, although he wasn't charged. SYG requires an affirmative defense, an opportunity Zimmerman declined, and the case was decided on the basis of reasonable doubt concerning lethal force used in self-defense.

      I can't see how "fact-challenged" doesn't apply.

      Delete
    22. deadrat,

      Well aren't you special! Blah, blah, blah...goodness you do go on and on. Bless your heart.

      "Howard tells us *that* she chose the hoodie as a symbol, but she doesn't tell us why she chose that one over another."

      But, nothing. Full stop. Your further assertions after your "reasonably so..." statement are not worth adopting but, there's no need to apologize for them in any form or fashion, sincerely or not. Again, I'm not interested so thanks but no thanks though please feel free to ramble on.

      The introduction to the evil mastermind CRUMP! (insert villainous theme music here) is not an independent issue in this case, as it concerns this version of Bob's narrative but thanks for the irrelevant aside and rehash. I will give them all the consideration they deserve. From Bob:


      "Here’s what we were struck by in this story:

      Howard seems to believe that Zimmerman found Martin suspicious because he was wearing a hoodie. It isn’t surprising that she would think that. Within a few weeks of the killing, attorney Crump was aggressively peddling that idea."


      Yeah...that's a real independent issue. No, no wait, it's a very direct connection of his "seems" about Howard to evil mastermind CRUMP! (insert villainous theme music here). Now, since you asked so nicely for a second chance and promised to do better next time, I will happily grant you one! But please don't disappoint me again.

      Delete
    23. Anonymous @ 8:50P,

      Since I obviously live for your approval, I hope you realize what a relief it is that you've given me a second chance. Although I have to wonder why you bother given that the fact that I love the sound of my own voice is such a burden to you.

      I cringe at the thought you might not like what I write next, but, no, you don't get to dismiss coordinate clauses so that you can dismiss TDH's argument. TDH wants to know why Howard chose the symbol she did, and he has a theory about the answer. If you think he's wrong, that's fine. Sticking your fingers in your ears and shouting "LALALALALALA. I can't *hear* you." isn't much of a rebuttal.

      CRUMP!, the Musical is your straw man production. And very droll, too, I never miss a performance. If Howard was influenced by Crump, that apparently, wouldn't surprise TDH. But even if she wasn't, TDH still documents that he tells lies, what TDH calls "fact-free"" statements. That's what I mean by independent. Even if TDH is wrong about Howard, he's not wrong about Crump.

      In your standard fashion, you didn't find the time or take the effort to comment on that part of the TDH message, but it would be hard to deny its truth.

      Keeping my fingers crossed that you haven't been disappointed ....

      Delete
  7. There is no "race baiting" going on regarding the brutal murders of Chris Lane and Shorty Belton.

    Al Sharpton pimps a self-defense killing involving a non-racist (other than the deceased attacker) as a racial event.

    The right is reporting on actual cold-blooded murders of whites by black teen thugs, with evidence of racism already established.

    There is an actual existing epidemic of violent, grossly disproportionate black on white crime that permits whites to be concerned that it is "open season" on them should they decide to take a jog, attend their Eagles Lodge, or volunteer for the neighborhood watch.

    No such reality exists for blacks but that hasn't stopped Sharpton from trying to create one with Tawana Brawley, Duke LaCrosse, Zimmerman.

    Trayvon Martin was a violent thug in the same mold as those who murdered Shorty and Lane. There is no "racial" element to his killing and never was.

    George Zimmerman was not negligent in carrying his legal gun in a neighborhood plagued with crime by black teen thugs. He was SMART and lucky he had the foresight to do so. There is no reason to believe he would not have ended up dead like Shorty and Lane. Zimmerman is a hero because he stopped someone with the same murderous mentality as the thugs who perpetrated those crimes.





    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's no evidence that Martin was "a violent thug," and no evidence beyond Zimmerman's self-serving story about the start of their fight.

      Zimmerman has been determined to have no criminal liability in the death of Martin, and Florida law probably precludes as well his bearing any civil liability. That doesn't mean that he wasn't negligent in choosing to arm himself without the requisite training for dealing with confrontation.

      There is no evidence to believe that Zimmerman would have sustained any injuries that would have been likely to kill him. That doesn't mean that during the fight, he didn't have a reasonable fear of such injury.

      There is no evidence that Martin intended to kill Zimmerman.

      But thanks for your narrative.

      Delete
    2. No evidence Martin was a violent thug? Zimmerman was negligent in killing a violent thug who was in the process of brutally beating him? The Orwellian constructs and irrationality here are astounding.

      Delete
    3. So is this the thread where all the arguments about the case are going to be reargued for the umpteenth time?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous @2:57P,

      No fair assuming what you're asked to demonstrate. Zimmerman and Martin got into a fistfight, which Martin seemed to be winning until Zimmerman turned into a gunfight. We know they came face to face, and we know they got into a fight. Who started swinging and why is unknown.

      Zimmerman lost the fistfight part of the confrontation, in which he sustained minor injuries inconsistent with Martin "brutally" beating him.

      This is not to say that Zimmerman didn't reasonably fear for his life during the fight, and thus this is not to say he wasn't legally justified in using lethal force.

      The characterizations you use are simply your narrative of what happened, supplied free to us to fill in the gaps in the evidence.

      A jury decided that the state failed to prove that Zimmerman was criminally liable for Martin's death, and Florida law will likely preclude civil liability as well. I think anyone who chooses to exercise his right to walk around armed has a responsibility to train himself to handle confrontation and surprise. I think it's safe to say this is a responsibility that Zimmerman shirked. YMMV.

      Anonymous @3:02, Yes.

      Delete
    5. I think Zimmerman handled a confrontation and surprise just fine.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous @5:00P,

      Sorry, but when you escalate a fistfight into a homicide, it's pretty much the definition of not handling a confrontation "just fine."

      Disclaimer: this is not to say that having failed to defuse the situation, Zimmerman couldn't have reasonably feared for his life.

      Delete
    7. The idea that Zimmerman escalated the fight into a homicide is, HAS to be, a satirical remark.

      A thug started a fight and well before the shot was fired had escalated it beyond the point any sane person would fear the next blow would kill or seriously injure him, or disorient him enough that his attacker would use his own gun against him. Martin caused his own death.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous @11:42,

      Your narrative has taken you by the neck and shaken you until you can't think straight.

      It's bad enough that you have assumed Martin was a "thug" and that he started the fight. There is no reliable evidence as to who started the fight or whether the person who started it was legally justified in doing so. There is no evidence that the fight was so violent that any sane person would fear that the next blow would be fatal. We have no evidence that Martin knew Zimmerman was armed or that Zimmerman feared that his own gun would be used against him.

      We do know that a jury decided that there was reasonable doubt that a reasonable person had to conclude that lethal force was unnecessary.

      Statement of fact: At some point that night, Z and M stood face to face.

      Statement of fact: At some later point, the two got into a fistfight resulting in minor injuries to Z.

      Statement of fact: At some even later point, Z shot and killed M.

      Statement of fact: The person who returns a broken nose and two scalp lacerations with a fatal gunshot elevated the level of violence. By definition.

      The law in Florida does not base the legality of lethal force on a post hoc judgment about the injuries sustained by the killer. The law requires that a reasonable person believe, even if mistakenly, that his life is in danger. And further that the state prove otherwise beyond a reasonable doubt to sustain a charge of illegal homicide.

      There is no inconsistency in stating that Z escalated the violence at the end. He did. There's no inconsistency in also believing that Martin escalated the violence at the beginning. He may have. They both may have been legally justified.

      Delete
    9. 4 minutes is evidence

      Delete
    10. Anonymous @1:38P,

      4 minutes is evidence of 240 seconds. What more do you think it is?

      Delete
  8. I think Howard is better off without this job.

    She seems to be working with a bunch of speech squelching sissies.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely. And let's hope these "sissies" had to put in some extra long days doing Ms. Howard's work as well as their own.

      Delete
  9. he hoodie symbolizes the danger young black males experience at the hands of police and others,

    Here in the actual REAL world, the hoodie symbolizes innocent citizens' experience at the hands of marauding young black males.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Where I live a hoodie just means you've contacted malaria.

      Delete
  10. You say that Rush lies on a regular basis but have to go back 20 years for an example? Heh

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OK, how about the Rushbo claim that the cost of prescription contraceptives is proportional to the number of sexual encounters had by the woman taking the pills?

      Delete
    2. Deadrat, it works that way with men. Unless they recycle rubbers. Ewww!!! Are you saying wimmen can use the same pill twice?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous @5:59P,

      When Mommies and Daddies love each other very much, it turns out that they have different anatomies. I guess even when don't love each other at all. Or even when they're not Mommies and Daddies.

      Never mind. I'm saying that prescription contraceptives cost the same no matter how much sex the pill takers have. So Rushbo is lying when he says that other policy holders subsidize the overactive sex lives of those who fill those prescriptions provided by the insurance plan. Not to mention how much cheaper contraceptives are than pregnancies.

      I say Rushbo's lying because I'm guessing he knows these facts about Mommies and Daddies. I'm guessing you do too.

      Delete
    4. deadrat -- You would be right, if you considered only women who are sexually active and who are on birth control pills. However, here are some other possibilities.

      Women who are not sexually active at a given time might well not be taking birth control pills. So, their cost would be less than for women on the pill

      Morning-after pills would be used more by women who have more active sex lives.

      Women who have infrequent sex are probably less apt to be on birth control pills than women who have regular sex.

      Delete
    5. DAinCA,

      Just a little time-saving note for you: you can pretty much count on my being right when I'm having a discussion with you.

      The example I'm citing is Rush Limbaugh's tirade about Sandra Fluke, the law student whose supposedly over-active sex life would have raised the costs of the rest of the subscribers to her health plan. You know, when Rush suggested that it would be appropriate for her to post sex videos to repay all the extra cost she imposed.

      In any case, given that health plans cover both delivery and treatment for the complications of pregnancy, any form of birth control is a winner for insurance companies.

      Delete
    6. deadrat, I basically agree with you that Limbaugh went way overboard regarding Sandra Fluke. However, there's a logical hole in your last paragraph. Your argument implicitly assumes that if birth control isn't covered by insurance, people won't use birth control at all.

      Delete
    7. DAinCA,

      What's the point in my posting little time-saving notes for you, if you won't pay attention to them?

      I'm not saying anything the extremity of about Rushbo's performance about Fluke. That's a given. I'm saying that his assumption that Fluke's sex life would drive up the costs of birth control is ignorant. The cost would be unrelated to the frequency with which she had sex.

      My second point explicitly assumes that insurance companies that pay for birth-control have lower payouts than those that don't. On average, if birth control is cheaply available, fewer expensive babies arrive on the scene.

      Delete
  11. Poo Poo Platter (On Slow Saturdays: Serving CeceliaMc)

    I've had a day to reflect on what Chief Bobfan, demonstrates in reaction to a beautiful op-ed piece written by Brenda Howard.

    Three statements from her, none involving her penchant for simple, if usually stale and repetitive personal insults, stand out.

    "(Howard) merely bemoaned the fact that Zimmerman WRONGFULLY shot and killed Martin."

    "Howard obviously does seem to embrace the mythology of the hoodie or she would not have seen it as a symbol for Marin being "wrongfully" killed."

    "In an op-ed where Howard says that the president is uniquely qualified to discuss Martin having been wrongly killed...."

    Bob Somerby deserves my applause for calling my attention to Howard's piece. Cecelia demonstrates every flaw Bob seems devoted to deploring in the press.

    Only once in her piece does Ms. Howard use a derivative of the word "wrong" as an adjective to describe the death of Trayvon Martin. Only one other time does she use any adjective at all. She calls his death "senseless."

    CeceliaMc uses wrongful or wrongly three times in separate comments, and in two out of three she either twists the context or flat out erroneously misconveys what Ms. Howard said.

    This fixation with "wrongful" leads me to the Boblike desire to ask some "seem" questions on a blog where so much space is devoted to the difference between words like "invented" and "created." Does Cecelia seem to think Martin's death was not wrong?

    Howard did not use any adjective to describe Zimmerman's act of killing Martin, so I'm not asking anyone to discuss justifiable homicide. Quote numbe 1 is not an issue. Howard also never said anything at all about Obama addressing the rightness or wrongness of the homicide. CMc made that up out of whole cloth, so I'm not asking other readers to weigh in on that third quote either.

    I'm asking what readers believe CeceliaMc seems to think regarding the only accurate use she made of Howard's actual words, which was in the second comment. Why would the word "wrongful" be singled out for quotation marks? Is it because another word would better describes Trayvon's death? What do readers think? Would "senseless," a word Howard used elsewhere, have been better and not proven Howard had adopted the mythology of the hoodie symbol. Is that what CMc "seems to be saying?" Or would "tragic" be best, creating an air of sympathy without implying guilt on anyone's part to those who have taken a tribal view of this case. Or is "rightful" killing best, a sentiment other readers have expressed in comments. Anything is possible. We just don't know.

    Oh, and I would hope CeceliaMc respects the process she has defended Bob using in this post and refrains from comment. Like Ms. Howard, her words have been written. It is up to us, the readers, to interpret what she "seems' to be thinking and what myths in this case she has adopted or tribe she identifies with.

    Bon appetit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies

    1. Brenda Hoard wrote:

      "Last month, when a jury found Zimmerman not guilty in Martin’s death, it wasn’t the end of the story. People young and old, black and white, took to the streets from coast to coast. For Zimmerman, too, much was not resolved; whatever you may think of him, he can’t be happy that he killed a young man on the cusp of adulthood, with dreams and goals and loving parents who presented the most graceful bearing of grief I’ve ever seen.

      I needed to do something. The Monday after the trial ended, I went to my job at a small doctor’s office and made my computer desktop wallpaper (which was not viewable to the public) an image of a hoodie. This image had sprung up on the Internet and social media as an expression of support for the Martin family. It is meant as an acknowledgement that this senseless death had not gone unnoticed."

      and

      "There was no room for discussion between him [her boss] and me or me and them. There would be no way to explain, to anyone who felt frightened or threatened by what I had done, that I wasn’t making some call to arms, or a black-power salute, or in fact trying to express any anger at all. It was merely an image of a piece of clothing worn by a young man who was wrongfully killed. By displaying it, I was simply saying that I was sad."


      The progression of Howard's thoughts was that Zimmerman was found not guilty, but it wasn't over. People took to the streets. Howard felt compelled to do something too. She put up a hoodie screensaver.

      Later, Howard leaves work rather than taking the hoodie down. She says it's not a symbol of black power, or of her anger, or a call to arms ( by which she could mean violent protests, since she's already expressed emotional solidarity to the people who "took to the streets" after the Zimmerman verdict).

      It SEEMS that Howard could feel that Martin's death was an injustice. That he was "wrongly" and "senselessly" killed unjustly. It SEEMS that she identified with the people who marched after the not guilty verdict, to the point where she incorporated the hoodie symbol and left her job over it.

      Although Howard defends herself against a straw man definition of what the hoodie means---black power, "a call to arms" (which must mean something more intense than her "taking to the streets--which did happen), it SEEMS she could be embracing the hoodie myth that Martin is dead because he was racially profiled.

      Poop, for you to argue that the word "seems" here is an example of "mind-reading" and "hypocrisy" and "weasel" on the part of Somerby or anyone else is just biscuit-eating disingenuous. Especially in the context of an op-Ed so carefully worded it could have been written by an attorney.

      Let me just say that I'm not surprised that you solicited assistance in responding to my post. tag-teaming is a proud troll tradition.

      It could never be enough that you proudly your shit platters. Now you must demand that everybody dig in.

      Delete
    2. You ever hear the old saying, "Things are not always what they seem"?

      You've already made your mind up about how this poor women was led down such a path to giving up her job by the vile Benjamin Crump and the evil lies he told about the hoodie.

      As I read it, Benjamin Crump didn't cross my mind at all. But for at least one blogger, that's the first thing he "seems" to think of as he "seems" to read it, then "seems" to advance his own narrative about this case one more time.

      Delete
    3. Gee CeceliaMc, if you were going to disregard my request that you let others play BOB with your written work, you could at least have answered the question. Instead you muddy it futher. I wasn't asking you for further interpretation of the thoughts and/or meaning of Brenda Howard.
      I was asking whether others sensed you felt Trayvon Martin's death was NOT wrong.

      If you were going to jump in, the least you could have done was shed light on the answer to the question raised by your correct quote and corrected the two instances where you distored Howard or totally invented things.

      Was the death of Tryavon Martin wrong?

      PPP

      Delete
  12. P^3,

    Why the fine parsing of CeceliaMc's comments, and why do we have to rely on readers to interpret her thinking? Ask her what you want to know.

    As far as I can tell, Howard doesn't post comments here, so it's a little harder to ask her. She's written what the hoodie isn't about, anger; and what the hoodie is about, sadness. She written that "It was merely an image of a piece of clothing worn by a young man who was wrongfully killed." Isn't it fair to ask why that image is a particularly apt one, especially in light of its use by others? Why not a bag of skittles?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well drodent, there can be only two possible answers to your question. Either I am a pud pulling troll, which seems to me to be the most intellectual response I can extract from the mind of CeceliaMc, or I am the one true Bobfan who wants the blogmaster and his loyal commentariat to live up to the standards he advances. Both are possible. We just don't know.

      PPP

      Delete
    2. No.

      Not wrong that I felt solitary with people marching in the streets after the Zimmerman verdict, and felt compelled to make a gesture too.

      Not wrong where I would leave a job rather than lose a controversial symbol.

      Not wrong that I would suggest that Zimmerman was lying or should not have defended himself with deadly force, as has been said here.

      No, I think Martin's death was tragic and unfortunate. Not wrong.

      Delete
    3. Actually, you're a troll, poo.

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

      Delete
    5. P^3,

      Thanks for giving me two possible answers to a question I didn't ask.

      Not everyone who stirs the shit pot is a troll, but I'm reserving judgment on the "pud pulling" part.

      TDH criticizes mind reading, but I don't think he requires the intellectual straight jacket of literal mindedness. Yes, Howard never explicitly says that she thinks Zimmerman targeted Martin because of the hoodie, perhaps because that point is tangential to her account of self martyrdom. But she has clothed her account with the symbolic garment that others have used to declare Zimmerman's motivations.

      ("Clothed her account" Ha! Pretty good in the metaphor department, dontchathink?)

      Why don't you think it's a fair inference that she adopted the hoodie as her rallying symbol in just that way? And since it's always possible that her choice was arbitrary, a tossup between it and a bag of skittles, why do you think inappropriate TDH's hedging use of "seems"?

      Delete
    6. Thanks. You've more than proven my point.

      PPP

      Delete
    7. Martin wasn't wrongfully killed.

      Delete
    8. Gee,drat. You jumped in between Cecelia and my response to her. My response to you was to your answer first question. I didn't bother to answer the Skittles question because I thought the trademark problem would be a tad too obvious. And of course race hustlers avoided it because of the all too obvious Drank connection.

      And, yes. Yours was good methaphor indeed.

      PPP

      Delete
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