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Ear to the Ground

President Speaks Up for Trayvon Martin

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Posted on Mar 23, 2012
cbsnews.com

It happened nearly a month ago, and his alleged killer has yet to be arrested, but Trayvon Martin’s cause made it to the White House on Friday, as President Obama took the time during a news conference in the Rose Garden to pay tribute to the slain Florida teen and reaffirm the call for justice.

Video of President Obama’s comments follows the excerpt below.  —KA

“Political Hotsheet” at CBS News:

Mr. Obama said he is glad the Justice Department is investigating the shooting and that Florida Gov. Rick Scott formed a task force in response to the incident as well. The president suggested he was sympathetic to suspicion that the shooting may have been racially motivated.

“You know, if I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon,” Mr. Obama said.

“All of us have to do some soul-searching to figure out how does something like this happen,” he continued. “And that means that we examine the laws and the context for what happened as well as the specifics of the incident.”

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A Bird in the Hand's avatar

By A Bird in the Hand, March 27, 2012 at 9:11 am Link to this comment

OOPS! The truth emerges..Kind of puts a monkey wrench in the Obama,NAACP,MSM ‘hoodie rage’ doesn’t it…
The truth has a way of doing that…

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IMax's avatar

By IMax, March 26, 2012 at 4:58 am Link to this comment

Surfboy,

I’ve not read Johnson but have heard him speak on several occasions.  I’m aware of his view of the imperial U.S. and look forward to discussing his ideas.

Thank you again for the open, patient, and thought-provoking conversation on race.

-

vector56,

Puppet governments that vote with the United States only 30% of the time?  How do we close that circle?

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vector56's avatar

By vector56, March 25, 2012 at 7:10 pm Link to this comment

“id you merely mean that the U N often supports what the US desires….then I would
agree with you. “

Yes heterochromatic that was my meaning.

IMax, many of the puppet regimes you listed owe their very existence to Uncle Sam. The so-called Arab League is a “joke”! Fake states run by mob bosses we keep in power where no one “votes”. Stop pretending the game isn’t rigged!

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IMax's avatar

By IMax, March 25, 2012 at 1:49 pm Link to this comment

I realize this is off-topic but I’m hoping to make a point about perceptions.  I would like to look at the facts as apposed vector’s media-driven “Western” perceptions of the United Nations and the world as a whole.  I believe far too many people, particularly Americans, believe the United States and it’s allies rule the globe.  I believe I can show over time how this is a fallacy that works in no one’s favor. 

As an aside: It’s important, I think, for all who believe in a Military Industrial Complex (MIC) to keep foremost in our minds that this includes - in no particular order- China, Russia, India, Britain,  N. Korea, France, Germany, Turkey, Czechoslovakia, Japan, Columbia and several minor players all vying for position and commerce within their spheres of influence.  Each working in accordance to their own best interests.  Often in direct opposition to the United States.


Countries Voting Most Often With the United States *

Palau - 96.5%
Micronesia - 94%
Israel - 91.8%
Nauru - 88%
Marshall Islands - 81%
Canada - 75.4%
United Kingdom - 74.2%
Australia - 73%
France - 71.4%
Czech Republic - 63.3%
Lithuania - 63.3%
Slovak Republic - 63.3%

Frequency that Arab States Vote
with the United States at the UN
*

Algeria - 30.4%
Bahrain - 32.4%
Bangladesh - 32.9%
Djibouti - 33.8%
Egypt - 31.4%
Iraq - 34.8%
Jordan - 33.8%
Kuwait - 33.3%
Lebanon - 32.4%
Libya - 31.4%
Mauritania - 32.4%
Morocco - 34.8%
Oman - 30.4%
Qatar - 32.4%
Saudi Arabia - 31.8%
Somalia - 28.8%
Sudan - 31.4%
Syria - 15.8%
Tunisia - 32.4%
United Arab Emirates - 32.4%

-

Right or wrong, it is particularly difficult to come to agreement in respect to Israel/PNA issues.  I use the following two votes purely to illustrate notable U.N. resolutions which the United Nations Security Council failed to agree on in 2010.

1. Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
A/Res/65/13 November 30 112-9(US)-54
Voting with the United States: Australia; Canada; Israel; Japan; Marshall Islands; Micronesia; Nauru; and Palau.
2. Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat
A/Res/65/14 November 30 110-9(US)-56
Voting with the United States: Australia; Canada; Israel; Marshall Islands; Micronesia; Nauru; New Zealand; and Palau.

Looking at the averages we see how the United Nations is far from a reliable “tool” of the West.  In fact it’s a rarity to see the U.N. agree on global matters.  It is so rare that we can use those occasions, regarding Iran, Syria, N. Korea or pre and post Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, for example, to gauge the universality of several global issues.

Do “Western civilizations” clash with others?  Do other civilizations clash with the West?  Of course.  We are, after all, human-beings. 

-

*United Nations Security Council
**  I take no position on these votes.

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By heterochromatic, March 25, 2012 at 1:15 pm Link to this comment

vec—- i guess that I didn’t quite understand what you meant by tool…. I thought
that you meant something without the capacity of inclination to act other thanas
the master desires….. thus my “always”....


id you merely mean that the U N often supports what the US desires….then I would
agree with you.

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vector56's avatar

By vector56, March 25, 2012 at 11:56 am Link to this comment

“Vector56 has the habit of assuming far too much.”

At times, I can be a little “uppity”, but my facts are usually somewhere in the ball park.

Consider all those UN resolutions and sanctions cranked out one after the other as a pretense for us to invade or bomb oil rich countries; Iraq, Libya and Iran. You don’t see the IAEA busting Israel’s balls to get in there and take a “look see” at their nuclear facilities. The million people killed in Iraq, hear any talk about “crimes against humanity”? Even one such as you must take notice of how only our enemies and the ones who lose get charge war crimes.

Spare me your condescending double speak; the UN is a “tool” of the rich and powerful in the US and other Western Empires. Sorry, but I am “doubling down” on this one!

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IMax's avatar

By IMax, March 25, 2012 at 11:36 am Link to this comment

I made clear my belief that race played a factor in the Zimmerman/Martin travesty, although I have yet to prove it.  Vector56 has the habit of assuming far too much.  Including the taped 911 call.  Some people hear the racial slut and some do not. - Inconclusive.  I need more.

-

80% of votes within the United Nations favor U.S. wishes?  For anyone interested in looking that up they’ll see that that statistic is not even close. 

The arrogance in believing the United Nations is a tool of the U.S. is both sad and unfortunate.

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vector56's avatar

By vector56, March 25, 2012 at 10:03 am Link to this comment

My statement was:

“The UN is a “tool” that does and says what it is told!”

heterochromatic’s Statement/question;

“if the UN was a tool that always does what it’s
told, then it’s kinda perplexing how the knuckleheads
on the right want to pull out of the UN as THEY see it as a tool of the anti-Americans.”

Notice the word “always” inserted into the above statement.

About 80% of the time the UN carries out the will of the US and other Western Countries. China and Russia being suckered into NAFTA also fall in line “most” of the time to protect their own economic interest.

As far as the Republican’s “fake outrage” toward the UN; I liken it to their facade of resistance to Obama’s “Pay Roll Tax Holiday” to cut funding to Social Security. This was an old Heritage foundation idea dreamed up in the basement of the Heritage Foundation that the right could not sell to the public. As long as a Democratic president is pushing their policies, they will “play along”.   

To IMax’s point of racism not being a factor in the death old 17 year old Martin, listen to the voice recording:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGuctYqCDvo


One of the many problems I encountered on FDL and the Kos was that I would constantly encounter White Males (I assume you two are White males) that go out of their way to suppress any discussion of “race”. Whenever I would bring up the subject they would quickly declare, “there you go again with that race shit!” It was ok to talk about “class” and social injustice, but “race” was only allowed to be brought up within very narrow parameters (usually subjects related to MLK).

So, Imax, yes, here I go again with that “race shit”.  Sorry, White males don’t get to hide their heads in the sand and pretend that racism in America has been “fixed” because Obama is president. Between you and I, there is a part of me that is still not sure that Obama is not going to pull off that “Brown face” rubber mask to reveal Dick Cheney underneath.

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IMax's avatar

By IMax, March 25, 2012 at 7:46 am Link to this comment

vector56,

I heard the 911 call and have seen the transcript.  I neither saw nor heard the word “coon”. Can you direct me to better information so that I may evaluate the claim?

The U.N., China and Russia included, simply does what they’re told?  If you locate a Chinese or Russian diplomat or head-of-state which will agree with you please share that here.

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By heterochromatic, March 25, 2012 at 7:40 am Link to this comment

vec——if the UN was a tool that always does what it’s
told, then it’s kinda perplexing how the knuckleheads
on the right want to pull out of the UN as THEY see it
as a tool of the anti-Americans.

and it’s also perplexing why have to use our veto….
or can not command the other Security Council members
to go along with our proposals.

Report this
vector56's avatar

By vector56, March 25, 2012 at 7:30 am Link to this comment

“According to the United Nations the U.S.‘s Millennium Challenge is estimated to have saved the lives of tens of millions of people on the African continent.  “

IMax, Bull Shit!  The UN is a “tool” that does and says what it is told!

Kinda sounds like you are doing just what you tried to “tag” me with; pushing your own agenda?

Open your mind and make the connection between the public, the Corporate Media and the Obama’s double standard when it comes to 17 year old Martin being gunned down in cold blood, and 16 year old Abdulrahman al-Awlaki being killed by drone. I can’t believe our compassion for “dead children” is so selective.

As far as Zimmerman being a racist; did you catch his “Coon’s always get away” statement before he shot Martin?

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IMax's avatar

By IMax, March 25, 2012 at 7:10 am Link to this comment

Is it safe to assume that if Trayvon Martin were Caucasian or Hispanic chances are he would be alive today?  Or do we assume the difference in skin color between Mr. Zimmerman and young Trayvon played a role?

I have my own opinion on the matter (that race may have play a role), however, so far that opinion is unsupported by any facts that I am aware of.

-

I believe equating Mr. Zimmerman’s actions with U.S. foreign policy is a reach.  It seems to me such an equivalency is an untenable attempt to prod and force one’s agenda into the situation.  According to the United Nations the U.S.‘s Millennium Challenge is estimated to have saved the lives of tens of millions of people on the African continent.  What does this say for the actions of Mr. Zimmerman?

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By heterochromatic, March 24, 2012 at 8:21 pm Link to this comment

hey vec thanks… and don’t think that you’re alone… i also was kicked off
firedoglake ...and that was when my son had his blog there…..


I couldn’t stand the Stalinism and vitriol of Jane Hamsher…...or her sordid attempt
at alliance with Grover Norquist….

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vector56's avatar

By vector56, March 24, 2012 at 6:54 pm Link to this comment

After saying this I will wash my mind out with soap, but I would like to disagree with my fellow “truthdiggers” when it comes to having heterochromatic kicked of this site. I have been kicked off Firegodlake and the Daily Kos because I made the mistake of “disagreeing” on more then a few occasions with the majority.

If decent is not tolerated here, how are we any different than our counter-parts on the right? Like it or not old heterochromatic represents about 50% of the population; at some point Liberals must “engage” them. “None of us are free, until all of us are free” (MLK).

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By bpawk, March 24, 2012 at 3:02 pm Link to this comment

This is a perfect opportunity for re-election seeking Obama to get in with the homeys again - blacks are pretty bitter about getting shafted by higher unemployment than white folks even with a black president - this should endear him to them.

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By heterochromatic, March 24, 2012 at 11:48 am Link to this comment

reasonable self-defense and the law of the street.

http://tinyurl.com/reasonable-defense

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vector56's avatar

By vector56, March 24, 2012 at 3:38 am Link to this comment

That’s it fellas, keep it “compartmentalizes”! Don’t have the “guts” to extrapolate; compare what is being done to Muslims by the NYPD, or Obama and Holder’s outright assassination programs. Keep it narrow and limited to a “Black v.s. White” thing.

Dr. King almost lost the support of many of his supporters when he had the courage and intellectual to look out side of his own struggle and compare it to what was being done to the people of Vietnam. Many Blacks and Whites in the corporate media came down on him “like a ton of bricks” for daring to suggest that their was a connection between the mistreatment and abuse of Blacks in America and the mass murder of millions in Vietnam. “None of us are free, until all of us are free” (MLK).

I have sought to make the same connection between the murder torture and incarceration of countless Muslim Men, Women and Children both here and abroad and racist murder of Trayvon Martin, but many here seem to far to comfortable looking at this as if it happen in a vacuum. 

When Nelson Mandela visited this country and was asked to compare the struggle in his country for freedom to the Black Civil rights movement here in America he took the advise of his “handlers” and declined comment. Unlike Dr. King, Mandela was an intellectual coward.

Connecting the racist murder of this 17 year old boy to the racist policies of the Bush and Obama administrations is vital to understanding the scope of what is really being done to “us” (humanity). If we allow them to “compartmentalize”  our oppression and not make these connections, they (“the powers that be”) will always win. “None of us are free, until all of us are free”.

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EmileZ's avatar

By EmileZ, March 23, 2012 at 6:13 pm Link to this comment

It is all about personal responsibility after all, at least that is what I tell myself, but mostly I don’t think about it.

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EmileZ's avatar

By EmileZ, March 23, 2012 at 6:09 pm Link to this comment

No big deal… one in twenty black men in prison.

I have no problem with that.

We have got to get the economy back on track.

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EmileZ's avatar

By EmileZ, March 23, 2012 at 6:01 pm Link to this comment

If we let these one in twenty black men out of prison, they might take our jobs.

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By Maani, March 23, 2012 at 5:59 pm Link to this comment

Troy:

My sentiments exactly.

Peace.

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EmileZ's avatar

By EmileZ, March 23, 2012 at 5:49 pm Link to this comment

Yup, as of 2009 the incarceration rate of black males was almost 5% and that was not just people who have at some time been incarcerated, it was those currently incarcerated.

A staggering statistic that all too often gets completely ignored, which I suppose is only to be expected.

After all, no one gives a shit. It is just too depressing. And since no one gives a shit, why should you???

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vector56's avatar

By vector56, March 23, 2012 at 4:47 pm Link to this comment

Thanks guys for making the logical connection between Florida’s “Stand Your ground Law” and what Obama and Eric Holder announced that “anyone” (including US Citizens) can be killed by fiat if they are considered a threat.

Harry Reid when declared that all three of the US citizens killed by drone “were bad guys” and deserved to be killed!” Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, was 16 years old; a year younger than Trayvon Martin.

When will there be a “million hoodie march” for the thousand of young Muslim men who have been incarcerated, tortured and killed without charge or trial?

Seymour Hersh detailed the abuse and murder of Muslim Men, Women and Children in US custody.

http://www.democracynow.org/2004/5/3/seymour_hersh_u_s_knew_of


Remember Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM)? Many here would be quick to say, “he deserved what ever they did to him”; waterboarded 183 times until his mind turned to Jello.

“Two young sons of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the suspected mastermind of the September 11 attacks, are being used by the CIA to force their father to talk.”

Yousef al-Khalid, nine, and his brother, Abed al-Khalid, seven, were taken into custody in Pakistan last September when intelligence officers raided a flat in Karachi where their father had been hiding.

From a Post by Jim White (FDL):

“There will be no way to put this awful episode of torture behind us until we know where the children of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed are and if they have been mistreated while in US custody. As I pointed out this diary, two children of Aafia Siddiqui also are missing. ”

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/11/07/1033911/-The-Face-of-Evil

The CIA took a 7 and a 9 year old into “custody” and they have never been seen since? Are they dead? Were they tortured to make their father talk? No one seems to give a fuck enough to even ask any questions.

According to Seymour Hersh this not the first time children have been “disappeared” or abducted to make their parents talk; it would seem the CIA used this tactic in Iraq and in their “black Sites” many times.

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By Troy Davis, March 23, 2012 at 3:09 pm Link to this comment

@Gerard:

Ther truth is we are living in a mad world. Up is down, down is up, inside is out, outside is in, nothing makes any sense anymore.

America has murdered over 30 million people since WWII in wars [police actions] of aggression for natural resources.

Why should we would be surprised that 26 states have enacted what are essentially Stand Your Ground, laws that make a mockery out of justice.

It is a license to murder.  It is madness. The world has gone mad.

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EmileZ's avatar

By EmileZ, March 23, 2012 at 3:07 pm Link to this comment

I see a lot of likenings of this incident to our foreign policy, and such likenings may be entirely valid, and most likely well intentioned, but what about here???

How about the almost 5% of adult black males imprisoned???

There is a lot of fucked-up shit that goes along with that above statistic as well.

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By gerard, March 23, 2012 at 2:35 pm Link to this comment

To get to the bottom of what happened:
1. Zimmerman said he “felt threatened.”  Zimmerman got a deadly weapon and “stalked” and killed a person he feared.  There was no reason for that behavior—but it didn’t just “happen..”

2. Year after year, The US “feels threatened” by this or that foreign country and gets into wars using very deadly weapons, killing tens of thousands.. Every day of every hour, day after day, a huge “national security agency” “stalks” persons and agencies they “suspect” all over the world. None of it “just happens.”

See any similarities?  Until we recognize that our
national policies are a huge part of our local problems, nobody can expect change for the better.

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By RHONDA, March 23, 2012 at 1:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

How does this happen?  STUPID LAWS AND STUPID, HATEFUL
PEOPLE WITH GUNS…..

Meanwhile it’s been reported Zimmerman packed a U Haul
and left.  So let me add CORRUPT, COMPLICIT POLICE….

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