Teenager madness!

FRIDAY, JULY 19, 2013

In search of what made Dzhokhar tick: Why did Dzhokhar Tsarnaev do the things he apparently did?

We can’t tell you that. But we were surprised by the lack of imagination from Digby. She posted a set of speculations by Michael Shaw.

The list of speculations strikes us as weirdly limited:
SHAW (7/18/13): Rather than write off these people as evil and “other,” what distinguishes us as a civilized society is the attempt to understand who and why...I mean, why did someone as personable as Dzhokhar Tsarnaev go over to the dark side? Is it such an act of humanity just to realize it’s not a one-word answer, especially if that word is “Islam?” Is there no relevance to the implosion of the Tsarnaev family, that crazy hostile mother and the residual weight of Jahar’s relationship with his terror of a brother? (Before dispensing with the cover as completely gratuitous, by the way, it’s worth noting it does legitimately exploit the sympathy Jahar engendering on the lam based on speculation he might have been under his brother’s power.)
Shaw asks this: “Why did someone as personable as Dzhokhar Tsarnaev go over to the dark side?” He lists several speculations—and fails to include the explanation Dzhokhar himself has provided.

Everyone reported the explanation when it appeared! Scott Pelley spoke with John Miller on the CBS Evening News:
PELLEY (5/16/13): One month after the bombings at the Boston Marathon, we have learned more about the motive from the sole surviving suspect. You’ll recall that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was hiding in a boat the night that he was captured. Well, it turns out while he was in there, it appears he was doing some writing. John Miller broke this story for us today and he’s here now with details. John.

MILLER: This was inside the boat. He was hiding. There was no piece of paper. So apparently thinking he was going to die—remember, multiple gunshot wounds, he was bleeding—he began to write on the wall inside the cabin that he knew his brother Tamerlan was dead, that he did not mourn his brother, that his brother was now a martyr on the way to paradise, that he expected he would soon join him, that the bombings were in retribution for U.S. actions against Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan, and that the victims at the Boston marathon were collateral damage in that war like so many others that were hurt in the battlefields overseas, that if you attacked one Muslim, you attack all Muslims. So it was a bit of a manifesto.

PELLEY: Written at the moment that he believed he could very well be dying.

MILLER: That’s right.

PELLEY: Retaliation for Iraq and Afghanistan?

MILLER: Exactly.
In our view, it would be very stupid to do what he apparently did for the reasons he seems to have stated. Then too, a bunch of young homegrown Americans engaged in violence in reaction to the war in Vietnam.

In our view, that was very stupid too. But young people sometimes do things which are extremely stupid. In 1997,one of those young people, all grown up, was honored as Chicago’s “citizen of the year.”

At some sites, people are very brave with a widely-approved tribal script. Such people are bold in groups.

Even those people are too afraid to list what Dzhokhar actually wrote as one of the possible explanations for the things he did.


  1. While the actual justifications given by Jahar should of course always be noted when talking about why he did it, I don't think it's out of bounds to suggest there may be other (psychological, relationship, etc) reasons beyond what he laid out in his manifesto that contributed.

    1. Definitely. Same as anything.

      But pretending it's not worth considering "the reason" could be what was stated is rather lame -- but par for the course when it's stated that it was some official US policy that was "the reason."

      As far as "the war in Vietnam" goes, Mr. Somerby, I'm going to go on thinking that it was our war against the people of Vietnam that was the great crime, and that the (acknowledged) stupidity of (some of the) young people who quite rightly opposed it pales into insignificance in comparison...

    2. ***warning***thefollowingcommenthasbeendeemedunpatrioticbyallmyauntsJuly 20, 2013 at 12:07 AM

      my theory is that the rs article sensationalism is another psyop effort inculcating the idea that this guy was an independent actor when in fact he was just a pawn in what was another false flag attack using the chechen brothers in order to further inculcate fear into the general public to justify further very lucrative security-state measures at home and wars abroad.

    3. unrelated but important...July 20, 2013 at 12:26 AM

      orange is yucky and most of my aunts probably would have agreed and at least one probably wouldnt have. thats all.

  2. Fervent religion or anti-religion or fervent any ideology with testosterone and encouragement or pressure from a macho older brother, father, or political mob are enough for almost any teen boy to do anything.

    1. Fervent anti-religion? Really? What high crime did a teen boy carry out in the name of that?

    2. The point is that young males will commit atrocities for any reason because of any of the above factors present. But if you need proof that anti-religious ideology doesn't cause people to commit atrocities and Stalin purges aren't as compelling for you as they are for sane people, here you go. There are more if you're inclined to seek them.


    3. Khmer Rouge Marcus?

    4. Um Satan worshippers would be religion, not anti-religion. Also Stalin did nothing in the name of lack-of-religion. Neither did the Khmer Rouge. If you think their atrocities were over others not having lack-of-religion, it might be time for the crazy house.

    5. Stalin did nothing in the way of anti-religion? Or the Khmer Rouge? What an ignoramus. It's OK, I'm sure your age accounts for it. Run along back to Reddit where youngsters angry at dad can rant about their newly discovered atheism and the utopian world we could have if there was no religion. imagine!

    6. Do tell us about Stalin and how he is misunderstood on religion, Marcus.

    7. Great use of facts. Really backed up your assertion. Stalin did nothing in the *name* of atheism. Morons just like to counter the crusades and all the other religious violence that has plagued mankind for centuries by crying "b-b-but Stalin! Mao! Pol Pot!" Hilariously pathetic.

      Good job trying to pigeonhole me though. It's ok though, I already judged you on your inability to understand the concept of typing a name for your comments.

    8. Anon 10:44pm - no idea if you're the same anon since you're too stupid to post with a name, but the assertion is yours - please cite one piece of evidence showing Stalin did what he did in the name of and in order to further atheism.

    9. What were murders of clergy and religious persons in the "*name*" of, Marcus?

    10. Don't bother. We all had these discussions in our Freshman dorms. Most of us grew up.

  3. Yes, young people do stupid things but they grow up and lament what they did. Because it was, well, stupid.

    Unfortunately, the person honored by the city of Chicago has never ackowledged his stupidity. Indeed, he's double down on it and said he'd do all of those stupid things all over again.

    Now that's stupid.

    1. Maybe he doesn't think he was stupid.

      As a young kid back then, those "stupid" guys helped raise my consciousness. Milquetoast protests never would have. So PR-wise alone, what they did was effective.

  4. I must be in another world. What was done was murder and destruction of lives with murder as the intent. No stupidity here, just murder by a murderer. Murder is what was done, I need know nothing else about the mass murderer and mass would-be murderer.

    1. Nice to know your revel in your ignorance.

    2. What was done was murder and the attempt at murdering any number of people. We are thinking of a murderer and attempted mass murderer, nothing more.

  5. A good case can be made that what the US did in Iraq and Afghanistan was for the benefit of Muslims. In both cases, the people were living under a dreadful government. The US devoted lives and money (far too much of each IMHO) to try to get a better government for the Muslims living in these countries. In Iraq, they seem to have succeeded (at too great a cost), at least for the time being.

    1. Regarding the last sentence, see http://nation.time.com/2011/06/22/what-the-iraqi-people-think-of-our-war-against-their-nation/

    2. Yeah David. Good luck with that.

      I always like my benefits with a side of drone strikes, rape, and mass killings.

    3. Monsters ALWAYS CLAIM the evil they do is for the benefit of those to whom they do it.

      W Bush's America in Iraq was little different from A Hitler's Germany in Czechoslovakia in this regard.

    4. Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia in order to annex it, take control over it and put into place a fascist government that would oppress the Czech people on his behalf.

      Bush invaded Iraq to remove a fascist government that had waged war on its neighbors, gassed its people, and oppressed the population. Instead of having an oppressive government, the Iraqi people would have a government of its own choosing.

      Hitler's act was one of oppression; Bush's acts was one of liberation.

      Other than that, your analogy is spot on.

    5. Anonymous on 7/20/13 @ 11:48A,

      A+ for revisionism; F for accuracy. Il Dunce invaded Iraq because Saddam had all those weapons of mass destruction that were such an immediate threat to US security. Your argument is the last resort to explain the neocon disaster that was the Bush adventure in Iraq: "So anyway Saddam was a bad guy."

      Il Dunce's act was one of unleashing. Is that what you call "liberation"?

      That the Hitler analogy is dumb doesn't make your analysis any smarter

    6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    7. The AUMF introduced by the White House and passed by Congress included a dozen reasons to remove Saddam from power. This included the repression of the Iraqi people and its violation of the 1991 ceasefire agreement after the Gulf War.

      It is true, of course, that the WMD issue was the main justification given. But offering a main justification doesn't preclude other justifications.

      As to my accuracy: Do you deny that Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia in order to annex it and install a fascist government? Do you deny that one of the reasons the Bush Administration and Congress used to remove Saddam from power was to end his repression? Do you deny that Iraq has a freely-elected government? Do you deny that Czechoslovakia did not get a free government when Hitler invaded?

      The Iraqi people now live under a government of their consent, chosen by them. It's certainly not a perfect government; but it's a government that no longer slaughters its people by the tens of thousands like it did under the Baathist fascist.

      I think removing fascist from power is a good thing. You can disagree of course.

      My history is 100% accurate and the facts are irrefutable.

    8. Anonymous on 7/20/13 @ 7:15P,

      "My history is 100% accurate and the facts are irrefutable." Bwahahahahahahaha. Thanks for introducing a little levity in a serious subject. Really, much appreciated. And a nice touch about that freely-elected, not-quite-perfect government in Iraq. Helluva job, Bushie!

      I have nothing but contempt for members of Congress who voted for war knowing they were being lied to by known liars, but it's time for those who clamored for a war they botched to stop hiding behind those cowards and the technicalities of the AUMF. They manipulated the intelligence to play up a non-existent threat, and delivered the disaster that it was and is.

      Own that, and stop telling me Saddam was a bad guy and so am I for supporting fascists in power everywhere.

      And since apparently your reading for comprehension is no better than your grasp of history, I think the Hitler-Czecho comparison is dumb.

    9. I'll note that you haven't refuted a single point that I have made. Not a one.

      As to your "contempt for liars who knew they were being lied to":

      Not a single member of Congress - the House or the Senate - claimed that Iraq had no WMD and that the claims were a lie. Some were against the authorization to use force but NONE said that Iraq had no WMD. Not a single one. None said they were being lied to.

      This includes Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden and John Kerry who all stated on the Senate floor that Iraq had WMD.

      Moreover, not one single analyst anywhere in the intelligence agencies of the US government leaked to the press that this was a lie. Not one single member of the various staffs - intelligence advisers, military advisers - of any member of Congress or any committee said that the claim was a lie.

      Every single major government in the world - the British, the French, the Germans, the Italians, the Spanish, the Canadian, the Russian - all said that Iraq had WMD.

      So, according to you, all 535 members of Congress, all the intelligence analysts throughout the US government, all the military and national security staffers on the various committees and advisers to various senators, and all of these governments went along with this, as you call it, a lie.

      No they didn't.

      Finally, nowhere did I claim that you supported fascists. If you assumed that, I apologize.

      But the rest of the posts stand.

    10. Of course, the politicians who voted for the war don't stand up en masse and claim they'd been hoodwinked. But we now know the intelligence had been jiggered -- from the aluminum tubes that couldn't be used in centrifuges to the nonexistent Saudi connection to the phony Niger Uranium buy to vans that were supposed to be mobile chemical warfare labs to the mushroom cloud over Chicago. And the intelligence failures didn't stop with the disastrous decision to go to war. There was a time-line measured in weeks, a budget set at a pittance and the "we'll be greeted as liberators" and the judgment that Iraqi national feeling would trump sectarian allegiance and the a little rioting is a good way to let off steam on the way to democracy.

      The result is the disaster that ensued, and the one that everybody has to live with, except of course, for those who died in it.

      From my point of view, neocon chickenhawks and their apologists don't get to hide behind the people they duped, even if some of them were willing dupes. Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden and John Kerry voted to go to war because they claimed they thought Saddam had WMDs? Well, shame on them for trusting the guy who dismissed "Al Qaeda determined to strike within the US." This is the Animal House defense: they fucked up, they trusted us. But the buck doesn't stop with them. It stops with the people who should own the war and the way they sold it.

      Finally, my objections do not include a claim that you accused me of supporting fascists. My objection is to the smarmy rhetorical ploy that the Iraq disaster was motivated by the pure wish to rid the world of a fascist dictator. A goal that right-minded citizens support, but people like me, maybe not so much.

    11. The question isn't WHY did Germany attack Czechoslovakia? -- the question is why did they SAY they did it?

      The answer is they SAID they did it for the noblest of reasons. The same thing monsters always say.

      The same thing the monsters who attacked Iraq said.

  6. Yeah. I'll protest an immoral and illegal war and the war criminals who started it by blowing up a bunch of innocent people.

    Who is supposed to feel culpable for inflaming the tyrannical will of these protesters? The tyrants they are protesting? The rest of us?

    God protect us from tyrants.

  7. I wonder what horoscope writer penned Obama's talking points. One vague statement after another, allowing anyone of any view to read whatever they wanted into them.

    Ultimately he made excuses for Martin's behavior. Martin's parents appear intelligent enough to have taught him to stay in school and not to fight. Either they didn't and instead made excuses for themselves or for him, or his peers around him offered another message in the form of excuse-making that was more appealing and his parents were negligent in correcting the thinking and behavior that resulted.

    Either way, excuses created Martin's mindset that it was an acceptable thing to do to attack a stranger, and that if he chose to do it, "history" was to blame.

    Decisions on the part of excuse-makers to replace criminal charges with slaps on the wrist for his previous criminal behavior, all the way to the extent of covering them up as "graffiti," could have been the factor that created his mindset.

    Obama made more of the same excuses today, with not a word in his remarks about personal accountability.

    It's Zimmerman's fault. The gun law's fault. History's fault. Everyone's at fault except the person who chose to attack someone and beat his head into a sidewalk.

  8. Yes, it is obvious Obama's comments allow people of any view to read anything they want into them. That is why some people, who have a view of Obama such as yours, will read into those comments things that were not there, like the assertion that "ultimately he made excuses for Martin's behavior."

    I am glad to have the benefit of someone whose blog expertise reveals he knows not only the makeup of Trayvon Martin's mindset, but what created that mindset.
    You are a just a touch short of the ominiscient many worship as a Supreme Being. That certainly puts you a step above carnival mind readers and 1-800 clairvoyants.

    You have to be one of the most self centered pieces of ignorant hate I have encountered floating around these parts.

  9. I think Obama said that the Martin-Zimmerman situation was racial because African Americans bring to their understanding of that case a long racial history. He also said that black males are persecuted in this country by the suspicions of other, presumably white people. He said he doesn't think a politically organized conversation about this will do any good. I found it disappointing that Obama still doesn't see that he is the president of all of the people. I think he should have acknowledged Zimmerman's right to protect himself and the pain he and his family have experienced too.

    I found his remarks about the slights black men experience regularly to be insulting. Obama has never had the opportunity to see whether women clutch their purses tightly whenever any male, regardless of color, gets on an elevator with them. It has never occurred to him that it might not be racial. He has never had the opportunity to see that people lock their cars whenever anyone is loitering at an intersection, for example when homeless men are begging in the road divider, not just when a black man walks across the intersection toward their car. He has never had the opportunity to see that everyone gets followed around in a department store if they are young -- my sister and I have several times been followed in that way while shopping.

    On the other hand, he has also not had the opportunity to work behind a counter in a 7-11 and see the groups of kids who engage in organized shoplifting, never had his purse grabbed out of his hands while walking down a street, never been glared at while driving through a neighborhood, never heard the catcalls coming from groups of males loitering at a corner, never been called an ugly name by someone who didn't get the handout expected while begging at a corner, never been spit on for no reason, and so on. Because he has not had these experiences, he has no empathy for people who are not of his racial group and that is what underlies racism, in my opinion.

    I am not going to apologize to threatening people because I wish to protect myself from them. If they are innocent, then I am safe and they can and should understand that even if they themselves are harmless others may not be. If they are guilty, I have the right to grab my purse, lock the car, cross the street, and do what I need to do to keep myself safe from them.

    1. It's just barely possible, Karen, that this isn't all about you. Maybe you are justified in what you do, but maybe black men get arrested or stopped on suspicion by the police, for instance, for no good reason other than skin color. Possibly you could listen to other people's experiences, they could listen to yours, and everyone could learn something.

    2. There is one group that has less freedom to walk down any street after dark than Trayvon did. It is young women. So, before you tell Karen she has it easy in life and should listen to other people's experiences, you should understand what is like to be less enfranchised than African Americans in this culture. Someday a hard-working, well-educated, experienced woman will have a chance to be elected president, even if running against an under-qualified African American man.

    3. Great post? I don't think I've read anything so confused since Mr. Braintree submitted his last comment.

      So, Karen, so you think that the President should have tossed a shout-out to the Zimmerman family for all their anguish after expressing condolences to the Martins on the death of their son. Perhaps something along the lines of "And to the Zimmerman family, George ultimately traded the life of another human being for a broken nose. What a bummer that the state thought there might be an issue of law. Gosh, but that trial must have been stressful for everybody concerned."

      I'll give you a few irony points, however, for your "disappointment" that the President doesn't see himself as the President of "all the people" in the light of the fact that over half of the opposition party in this country refuses to grant that he's even Constitutionally eligible to hold the office.

      On the other hand, I'll have to dock you a few points for being insulted by the President's expression of his own experience with racism when he's discussing the anger voiced by African-Americans over the Zimmerman trial. The logical conclusion of your argument is that the President can't speak to an issue of national concern unless he speaks to the issues of your concern. Or at least, not without being a racist or underlying racism. Or something.

      So by all means, grab your preconceptions, lock your mind, and cross whatever metaphorical divide that's required to keep yourself safe from understanding.

    4. "George ultimately traded the life of another human being for a broken nose."

      Seems to me Zimmerman traded his own life for Martin's. People do have the right to struggle for their own survival when threatened. That is what self-defense is. A jury considered all of the evidence and determined that his was self defense. Who are you to decide otherwise?

    5. I can't argue with what seems to you, but in the world outside your head, Zimmerman ended up with a broken nose and Martin ended up dead.

      That people have the right to struggle for their survival when threatened is true and uncontested. Florida law does not demand that we determine self-defense based on the outcome, not even self-defense via lethal force. The law requires that the person so defending himself in a fight not have provoked the fight and be in reasonable fear of death or severe injury. Even if his fear is mistaken.

      A jury considered all the evidence and decided that the state had failed to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt that the killing was unlawful. They were directed to reach that conclusion for several reasons, which included reasonable doubt about whether the killing was justified. This is different from determining self-defense, no matter what a juror said in an interview.

      If you think my statement is some commentary on the verdict, go back and read it again.

    6. The jury decided that there was reasonable doubt about whether the killing was 2nd degree murder and manslaughter, not whether it was justified. He was judged not guilty of either of those charges.

      Martin ended up dead because he attacked Zimmerman and Zimmerman shot him in self defense. Evidence of that was the broken nose. The Zimmerman family deserves some recognition of what they have gone through as the result of Martin's attack on their son, as does Zimmerman himself. Being defamed continuously by the press after having been acquitted does not approach justice and the president should not have been participating in this.

    7. Anonymous on 7/20/13 @ 7:34P,

      The jury decided there was reasonable doubt about the killing, and that might have included reasonable doubt about whether the killing was justified. Perhaps we're in violent agreement.

      Martin ended up dead because Zimmerman shot him in the heart during a struggle. Maybe that's what you meant and we're in violent agreement here as well. There's no reliable evidence that Martin struck Zimmerman immediately after they came face to face, and there's no reliable evidence that if he did, he did so illegally.

      For the little it's worth, I think that Zimmerman was overcharged by a politically-motivated prosecutor, and that Zimmerman and his family have been reason to be pained by a lazy and incompetent press. I'm not sure of the antecedent to the last word in your comment, but if it's the defamation of Zimmerman, then the President is no party to that. If it's the entire controversy, I note your opinion that the issue doesn't have national scope and that our highest elected official has no legitimate business to address constituencies that feel otherwise.

      The Zimmermans may well feel ill used, but my comment to Karen was that it's hard to avoid an echo of the grotesque in even-handedly offering condolences both to a family that mourns its dead and to the killer who's bearing up under some bad press.

    8. The killer who has to live with having killed someone, not just bad press. Or have you bought the line that GZ is a bloodthirsty monster? Even handed sympathies are just fine.

    9. Martin caused his own death, cost Mr. Zimmerman a great deal of personal pain in the form of 16 months of anxiety over a trial, threats, unjust vilification, and guilt any human feels over taking a life no matter how justified.

    10. Yes the president should have offered words to George Zimmerman and his family. The outcome of the struggle with a broken nose vs a lost life is not relevant in any way that would justify greater sympathy for the deceased over the living. In whart insane world does one view a violent attack necessitating self defense that way?

    11. The president should not have spoken of racism in the context of an ordinary case of self defense that had NOTHING to do with racism.

    12. Anonymous @ 8:32P You mean the killer who gets to live. And no, for the little it's worth I think GZ was a bumbling sad sack who panicked in a situation not entirely of his own making. There's no decent expression of "even-handed sympathies" when one person is dead and his killer has a broken nose.

      Anonymous @ 8:35P Sorry, but Zimmerman's bullet in Martin's heart was the proximate cause of Martin's death. I stand in awe of your ability to feel Zimmerman's guilt. Although I'm sure that's not an unreasonable narrative you've got, it's still narrative. Ask yourself whether the Martin family would trade places with the Zimmerman family in spite of all that bad publicity, and you should be able to figure out the grotesquerie of even-handedness.

      Anonymous @ 8:40P So equal sympathy for the two fighters' families? The outcome doesn't matter even though one fighter is dead and the other has a broken nose? In what insane world does one draw a conclusion about a violent attack absent any reliable evidence for one? Oh, yeah. The world of your narrative. Never mind.

      Anonymous @ 8:42P Let me guess: you're white, middle-class, and well-insulated from the day-to-day experience of racism. The President spoke of racism because of racism's relevance in the larger context of Martin's death. If you need any evidence for this, circumspice. For the little it's worth, I don't think Zimmerman was a racist or that he killed Martin out of any racial animus. And the President didn't say anything to the contrary.

    13. You can't think of a reason why it would be considered wrong that he gave the speech he did in the context of the Zimmerman verdict and not, say, on MLK bday or a gulty verdict in a case involving established racism?

    14. Anonymous @ 10:18,

      I can barely parse your question. Are you asking why the President didn't wait until the MLK holiday or until there was a conviction for a race-based hate crime?

    15. Yes, why give that kind of speech when it is entirely unrelated to the facts of the Zimmerman case, instead of offering those thoughts on a relevant occasion? Entirely improper because he was pushing the idea that race was involved beyond just the colors if the two involved, AND that an injustice occurred in the outcome. Sickeningly opportunistic and wrong.

    16. Anonymous @ 12:29A

      Now is the time because the occasion for the hurt and anger is now. Race is involved because a good number of people think that race is involved, because that's the way things play in their lives. If they're wrong about George Zimmerman -- and I think they are -- then they're mistaken about the particulars of this case. The hurt and distrust don't disappear because of that.

      You don't think an injustice occurred because a jury rendered a not-proven verdict. Well, that should settle things, eh? Who are these people who think there are larger issues? We gave 'em the MLK holiday, didn't we? Fuck them; they can just wait until you decide the time is "relevant." Maybe next January.

      Spare me your pious judgments.

    17. "If they're wrong about George Zimmerman -- and I think they are -- then they're mistaken about the particulars of this case. The hurt and distrust don't disappear because of that."

      Some of it will disappear because the case would not have been exploited further toward making that point. Sure, let Sharpton find ANOTHER case that does fit. But he didn't, did he? Why not? Could it be because none exist?

      Or let him find a case in which a white 17 year old was killed by a black man who killed him in self defense, and turned up with evidence of the same strength as evidence in Zimmerman's favor.

      We can speculate as to whether those cases exist. I would GUESS some have existed. But that in no way would prove anything but that black defendant's innocence, not Zimmerman's guilt. So the president would be arguing on the right side of the case AND addressing racial disparities.

      The rest of your bullshit is just that. Spare me your eagerness to use this case as a platform for your grievances even though it almost cost a man his freedom.

    18. Anonymous @ 12:21P

      The nation and particularly its black citizens are no doubt grateful that you've disappeared the hurt and anger. There, all better! Although you're undercut somewhat by your willingness to blame this all on Al Sharpton and so dismiss people who disagree with you as nothing but manipulated pawns.

      Let me assure you that this case isn't my "platform" and these aren't my "grievances." This case put a man on trial, and I'll have to rely on your powers of imagination that it "almost" cost him his freedom. This case also and certainly cost someone his life. Unlike you, I can keep two separate thoughts in my head, one, that the law operated properly; and two, that the disparity in outcome has hurt some of my fellow citizens for whom disparity is no stranger.

    19. Anonymous @ 1:52,

      I'm not sure what "justification" you think I'm making. There are people who are upset at the verdict, mostly because someone who ended up with no more than a broken nose decided it was necessary to kill the teenager who broke it. I'm not disputing that the law operated properly here, and the President isn't either. My complaint is about the positions that "those people" have no reasonable grounds for anger and distrust, that Al Sharpton and not their own experiences inform their feelings, and supposing they're entitled to a publicly-expressed opinion, they can just damn well wait until the MLK holiday for there to be a public discussion.

    20. That shit cray. That byzantine formulation behind your belief that a man who stood trial because of his color in a clear case of self defense, and who now after acquittal lives in hiding for fear of his life, should be subjected to a president's clear implication that there was something wrong with the verdict or, let's be honest, something wrong with the man's color. And NO mention of sympathy or concern for the man subjected to all this because of the choices of a thug. Cray.

    21. Anonymous @ 4:34P

      That shit narrative. Not to say borderline incoherent. The President stated quite clearly the not only did the state trial operate as it should, but that the state was the proper venue for the issue. He said nothing about the verdict or the defendant's skin color being "wrong."

      The story you tell yourself (and the rest of us) about Trayvon Martin being a thug nothwithstanding.

  10. Sure M paid a higher price than Z, but it was mostly his fault. M almost surely committed aggravated assault. Z committed no crime.

    Also, it's not clear that M's family paid a higher price than Z's family. M's family are heroes to much of America. Z's family are considered monsters by much of America. They've been living in hiding for a year and a half, and they continue to live in hiding, because they might be attacked if their address were known. And, even if you think George Zimmerman did something wrong, his family didn't.

    1. DAinCA,

      You live entirely in the world of your own opinion.

      There's no reliable evidence that Martin's death was his fault, let alone mostly his fault. We know that Zimmerman isn't criminally liable for the death.

      There's no reliable evidence that Martin assaulted Zimmerman. If his attack was provoked, then it was legal. In any case, Florida law excludes Martin's commission of aggravated assault, which requires a weapon.

      There's no reliable evidence that "much of America" has any opinion of Z's family, that they consider Z himself a monster, or that they think M's family are heroes.

    2. Anonymous @ 1:53P,

      That's your argument? That I'm stupid?

      OK, please explain the reliable evidence that Martin's death was his fault. If Zimmerman provoked the fight, then Zimmerman would be legally responsible. We have no evidence which one started the fight. If you have some, then it's a damn shame you didn't get in touch with the special prosecutor.

      Please explain how the evidence shows that Martin assaulted Zimmerman. There's evidence that Martin hit him, but no evidence to show that Martin wasn't justified in doing so.

      Please explain the evidence that Martin committed aggravated assault. That will require showing that Martin used a weapon.

      Please show us the polls that "much of America" considers Zimmerman or his family monsters or that they consider Martin's family heroes. Do you really think that many people even have any opinion of the families involved?