This Ruthless World

Adventures in absurdity

Trayvon Martin Was A Floozie

Udo Keppler, "A Good Beginning" (1899)I haven’t commented on the George Zimmerman verdict, because there isn’t much to say that hasn’t already been said by others more eloquently than I ever could. So not to beat a dead horse, I just want to briefly point out a detail that I haven’t seen discussed, but that I find very curious: the standard justifications that “impartial” people offer for killing Trayvon Martin are eerily similar to the arguments the same kind of people usually offer in defense of rape. Nay, they aren’t similar, they are exactly the same.

All the classic tropes are there:

1. “I am not trying to justify what happened, and it’s a horrible tragedy, BUT … listen to my point-by-point justification of what happened.”

2. The victim had it coming by virtue of how he/she was dressed.

3. The victim had the temerity to venture into a space normally reserved for a different kind of people, so it is understandable one of those other people reacted the way he did.

4. On several occasions prior to the incident, the victim had impure thoughts, so clearly he was a thug / she was a slut.

5. The victim did not always demonstrate the highest standards of moral virtue and purity, therefore he was a thug / she was a slut. However, the perpetrator’s own history of violent and/or rapey behavior is irrelevant here. He’s only human after all, cut him some slack. Just because he was actually violent a few times before (as opposed to just thinking or joking about violence) doesn’t mean he’s a violent person.

6. The insinuation that the perpetrator is a racist / misogynist is completely disproved by the fact that he was nice to an actual black person no less than three times in his life / has been in the vicinity of other women and didn’t attack them.

7. Even if the perpetrator was prejudiced against the group of which the victim was a member, that prejudice should be treated as its own excuse, rather than evidence of criminal intent.

8. Even had the victim been a virtual saint throughout his/her life, the perpetrator couldn’t be expected to know that, so the behavior of other young black men/ young women, real or imagined, explains (read: justifies) what the perpetrator did. The victim, therefore, exercised poor judgment by not going out of his/her way to quickly demonstrate that he/she wasn’t like your typical blacks/women.

9. The victim is at fault for sending “confusing signals” to the perpetrator. Because the perpetrator is only human and cannot be expected to show reason or understanding of anything.

10. The victim should not have been outside at night. Only thugs/sluts stroll outside at night.

11. The killing/rape isn’t something the perpetrator did, it’s something that happened. On its own. In large part due to the victim’s lack of judgment and moral perfection.

12. “As you can see from my brilliant arguments, this had absolutely nothing to do with race/gender.”

The crucial difference, of course, is that with regard to rape, there was a legislative watershed in the 1970’s and 1980’s that stripped such notions of any formal legal validity — although, of course, such notions still lurk in the private thoughts of jurors and explain the low conviction rate. When it comes to race, however, existing while black in the wrong place at the wrong time is still a valid defense to any charges arising from killing a black man, at least in certain parts of the country. Of course, race isn’t explicitly written into the applicable statutes or the jury instructions; but they lend so much deference to perpetrators’ subjective state of mind, juries are permitted — nay, required — to consider whether the victim was asking for it with his dress, blacky black black blackness, and being a member of a group that has a poor reputation among those who make the rules.

Today’s lesson: don’t drive an SUV or have “thug music” playing in your car while being black (see, discussion of deference, above). Wanna bet Dunn’s defense attorneys are going to filet the victim for the “poor judgment” implicit in driving a luxury car — inappropriate to his social station — and having a taste in music that a middle-aged white man found threatening enough to use deadly force?

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14 thoughts on “Trayvon Martin Was A Floozie

  1. Pingback: Richard Cohen, Walter Williams, and lying with statistics | Fraser Sherman's Blog

  2. uglicoyote on said:

    Reblogged this on The Road.

  3. Oh, as a woman I have noticed the parallels. I have also noticed that the things that parents of black children feel compelled to tell them (dress conservatively, be deferential, don’t be in the wrong place at the wrong time, etc.) are very much like the things we tell our daughters (thus placing the all the onus of avoiding assault on the potential victims and not on the potential perpetrators).

  4. Pingback: Cue Mr. Nietzsche? | herlander-walking

  5. This is soooo true. I never realised the similarities. The law should protect victims of this horror from being treated as thought it was their fault. NO-ONE deserves rape/murder and if the law doesn’t plainly see that, then it must be changed

  6. Thanks for this analysis showing how racism and sexism are tolerated, so easily accepted, dismissed and encouraged in society. I’m from Australia and this comparison applies to society and institutions there too.

  7. Reblogged this on Writing Skin and commented:
    An insightful analysis of the parallels between the way racism and sexism are perpetuated and cease to be understood as prejudices within society and institutions. The post specifically examines the Trayvon Martin case in the US and looks at how violence is justified there against African Americans and women, comparing defences against murder and rape. I think the analysis can be applied more broadly to show how both racism and sexism are tolerated, accepted, encouraged, dismissed, and further entrenched within societies. The operations of power are the same in perpetuating racism and sexism: blame the victims, justify the actions of the perpetrator so that the offence becomes ‘understandable’ and no longer seen as unreasonable. It is no longer an offence and there is no prejudice in the act committed. Hence, racism and sexism cease to exist. As racism and sexism are made invisible, they become further entrenched. It is harder to fight something that is not recognised for what it is.

  8. Great analysis. I agree. Some women’s’ rights activist friends and I were discussing the striking similarities and our culture continues to reinforce the behaviors.

  9. Pingback: Prejudices made invisible | Writing Skin

  10. This is absolutely true! I never thought of the parallels before. Great article!

  11. Pingback: Trayvon Martin Was A Floozie | 999CHMDSHBOVSVRCH2013V

  12. “taste in music that a middle-aged white man found threatening enough to use deadly force?” He was a Hispanic man by the way.

    Obviously this is racism right? Just because the kid was African American and he wasn’t. It makes no sense because if an African American man shot and killed a white kid no one would ever know about it. I hope you have read this story before. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/australian-athlete-shot-bored-oklahoma-teens-felled-single-bullet-autopsy-article-1.1438202

    Why don’t you write a blog about this one buddy?

    • The kind of “gotcha” comment that I find most puzzling (okay, let’s not mince words here, I find comments like this idiotic) goes along the lines of “Why aren’t you writing about stuff I want you to write about, and keep writing about stuff YOU want to write about, as if this was your blog or something?” I mean, I get it that you saw the title of the post and came here thinking you’d get another validation for your beliefs that Trayvon Martin was a horrible person who deserved to be executed without a trial or an opportunity to present a defense to the crime of walking while black, and now you are all disappointed and angry that anyone would think otherwise, but come on: aren’t you being just a tad unreasonable here?

      Here is a suggestion, “buddy”: if you think something merits a discussion, or you have thoughts about some event or another, you are more than welcome to write about those things on your own blog. Incidentally, there have been some amazing advances in the study of black holes lately. Why aren’t you writing about that? Isn’t it important? Are you against science?

      You also exhibit the typical failure of logic that I see on the right again, and again, and again. So, three teens one of whom is black (if memory serves) and the other two are white shoot and kill a white man. And … your point is? How does that invalidate anything that I’ve said? Are you saying that this incident proves it’s okay to kill people for being black? That it’s okay to invoke race as a justification in a homicide case? That Zimmerman’s killing of Trayvon Martin was justified as a retribution against the future killing of Christopher Lane by three people one of whom happened to be of the same race as Martin? That somehow the fact that the criminal justice system is historically prejudiced against black people — both defendants AND victims — and continues to be thoroughly dominated by whites, is totally cancelled out by that homicide that you cited to? Or maybe you are saying, every time a black man is killed on the presumption that he is a “thug”, a completely unrelated, subsequent incident of a white man being killed should be allowed as a defense?

      If you want to convince me of anything, you need to present a coherent, cogent argument. Insinuating that random black people deserve to get gunned down because some other black people are bad only proves my point.

      Also: Michael Dunn is Hispanic? Do tell. He’s got an English/Gaelic name and looks perfectly Caucasian to me. Got a link to anything other than WorldNutDaily identifying him as “Hispanic”? Frankly, given that one of your brethren just yesterday beat up two men for conversing in Hebrew because he confused Hebrew with Spanish, I’m not surprised you’d characterize an obviously white guy as “Hispanic” if it’s politically expedient.

      • I didn’t mean to sound so hostile. I apologize and I’m not justifying any kind of killing at all. It is horrific what happened to Trayvon. Zimmerman should not have gone out and followed him. But people just automatically use the race card in time of need. The media and all other sources continuously try and crucify the white male because of what happened way in the past (Slavery). I just don’t understand why the Trayvon Martin case blew up. This kind of stuff happens every day but just because Trayvon happened to be African American we all the sudden have to come to his defense because it was “racial violence”. Including Obama coming out and saying, “He could have been my son”. No one knows what happened that day and no one knows the personalities of either person. People just go off what CNN or some other leftist news station tells them. Their is no proof that this confrontation was racist.

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