Sunday, April 01, 2012

The 21st Century's Emmett Till

Trayvon Martin and Emmett Till never met each other. They never will either - or at least not in this world. When Trayvon was born on February 5, 1995, Emmett (photo left) had been dead for almost forty years. He would have turned seventy-one this July 25th. He was a native of Chicago, Illinois who was visiting relatives in the Mississippi Delta region in the summer of 1955. Early one afternoon he had an exchange of words with a twenty-one year old white woman named Carolyn Bryant. To this day it is not certain what was said between them. What is certain is that several nights later on August 28, Bryant's husband Roy and his half-brother, J.W. Milam, dragged Emmett from his cousin's home and took him to a deserted barn. There they beat him, gouged out one of his eyes, and shot him in the head. Once finished with him, they dumped him - like so much trash - into the Tallahatchie River.

He was fourteen-years-old.

Three days later, his bloated, unrecognizable body was retrieved from the river. When his remains were returned to Chicago for burial, and in spite of the horrible mutilation of his facial features, his mother insisted on an open coffin funeral. She wanted the world to see what hate had done to her child.

No one ever went to prison for the murder of Emmett Till.

Well now! We've certainly progressed since then - I guess. But the recent murder of seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin has got me thinking about things I'd rather put out of my mind. Unfortunately I haven't that luxury. We all need to come face-to-face with some ugly realities about America.

Have we really progressed all that much since 1955? I'm almost certain that Trayvon Martin's mother and father would beg to differ. He was shot and killed for no good reason on the night of February 26. The boy (and remember, he was merely a boy) was a native of Miami. Lik
e Emmit Till, he was visiting family in a town where he was unaccustomed to the local...."etiquette of behavior" shall we say? In Trayvon's case the family he was visiting was his father. This time the town was Sanford, Florida which (according to the nice folks over at Mapquest) is exactly two-hundred-and-fifty miles due north of Miami.

In 1955 Emmett Till learned - the hard way - that while engaging a white woman in conversation might have been perfectly acceptable for a black kid in Chicago, it was considered (to put it as mildly as possible) "bad form" in Mississippi.

In 2012 Trayvon Martin learned - the hard way - that while wearing a "hoodie" was no big deal for a black kid in Miami, it could cost him his life in Sanford.

Ah, progress!

As in the case of Emmett Till, we're still not certain of the chain of events that led to the murder of Trayvon Martin. As might be expected, some eye-witnesses have started to contradict one another. Whatever the disputed accounts,
this much is beyond a shadow of a doubt: Super-cop-wannabe George Zimmerman saw the hoodie-wearing kid and perceived him to be an imminent threat to the peace and security of his neighborhood. Trayvon was guilty of WWB - Walking While Black. That was enough for George. When he told a 911 dispatcher that he was trailing the boy, he was informed in no uncertain terms that he shouldn't. And here is something else which is also beyond despute: George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin.

When a woman called 911 to report the altercation, on the tape someone can be heard in the background pleading for his life. Trayvon Martin's parents claim that it is the voice of their son that can be heard. George Zimmerman says that it is his voice.
Maybe he is telling the truth. Or could it be that he is unaware of the science of audio forensics? That, too, is a possibility. It will be crystal-clear whose voice it is soon enough.

The Al Sharptons and the Jesse Jacksons of this world are trying to make this case all about race. They shouldn't. I know in my heart that if Trayvon Martin had killed George Zimmerman - under the exact same circumstances - he would be walking free on this fine Sunday morn.

I'm sorry. I just made a twenty dollar bet with myself that I could write that last paragraph and keep a straight face. I lost. TEE-HEE-HEE! Please excuse me while I recover.


Here's something else that cannot be debated: Murder is legal in this doomed nation. I am referring to the nutty "Stand Your Ground" laws that have been enacted in twenty-three states. That's right, boys and girls! If you even "perceive" someone as being a threat to your physical well being, you can off the bastard right there on the spot! Just shoot 'im in cold blood and walk away free as a homicidal birdie! Ain't that a scream? And you wonder why some European tourism agencies give their clients a list of warnings about visiting this country? I need a fucking drink.

The Stand Your Ground laws came into existence for no other reason than the fact that the
National Rifle Association was able to bribe and threaten enough legislators in enough states to get them passed. It's almost as if these hideous bastards just can't get enough blood to spill on our streets. To make matters worse, the American people (the white ones anyway) have yet to stand up in mass outrage at what is happening. As long as the victims are disproportionately poor and (like Trayvon) black, why work oneself into a nasty snit over the carnage? Maybe what is needed to wake people up is an epidemic of middle class white kids being slaughtered. That'll change things pretty damned quick - you'd better believe it.

The NRA types love to jabber on about "freedom". Let me explain something to you: A people who live in paralyzed, mortal terror wondering when and where the next massacre of innocents will occur may be many things - no argument there. "Free" they are not. Let's just stop kidding ourselves here and now, okay?
Almost on cue, the right wing scream machine went into overdrive, trying to besmirch the character of Trayvon. The kid was a no-good troublemaker they say. The proof? He was once caught with an empty bag of marijuana. Really? Would someone please explain to me what constitutes an "empty" bag of grass? In the room across the hall from where I now sit there is an "empty" bag of hand grenades. My bank account is "empty" of fourteen million dollars. Please. They need to conjure up something a little more sinister than that in order to get my attention - as if anything could justify the cold-blooded murder of a seventeen-year-old-boy.

Back in the day, Geraldo Rivera was known as a "liberal". That was before FOX Noise began signing his paychecks a decade ago. Since then, he has climbed on board their weird train of propaganda and deception. He appears to be right at home there, too! Geraldo says that Trayvon was killed because of his attire. That could very well be the case. His solution? Black parents should forbid their children to wear hoodies. Forget the fact that they do serve a useful function by protecting kids from the cold and rain. Apparently Geraldo Rivera thinks that only white kids should wear them. At this moment John Lennon must be doing somersaults in his grave for no other reason than the fact that he used to associate with this jackass. Forget the drink, I could use some heroin right about now - in an empty bag of course.

The sales of "Skittles" have recently gone through the roof according to the New York Times. That's the brand of candy that Trayvon Martin had just purchased when he was shot and killed by George Zimmerman. In fact, he left his father's home that night for no other purpose than to buy the stuff at the convenience store around the corner. I plan on buying a bag of Skittles today. I need to know its quality. It would weigh on my mind a bit less if a loved one of mine die
d for an Almond Joy bar (which I love) than for a box of Good 'n' Plenty (which I can't stand). I hope for Trayvon's sake that it is the most delicious candy I've ever tasted.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Seven Storey Mountain
By Thomas Merton
"Blaming the Negro: this is not just a matter of rationalizing and verbalizing. It has become a strong emotional need of the white man. Blaming the the white a stronger sense of identity, or rather it protects an identity which is seriously threatened with pathological dissolution. It is by blaming the Negro that the white man tries to hold himself together...The Negro could really wreak havoc in white society by psychological warfare if he knew how to use it. Already the psychological weapon of nonviolence has proved effective as an attack on the white man's trumped-up image of himself as a righteous and Christian being."

- Thomas Merton, 1948

It just doesn't get much better than Merton. As someone once said, once you've been bitten by this guy, you're hooked. I know I am!

Here is a link to a piece I wrote back in the Autumn that is related to this nasty topic:

Was this a great country or what?

For more recent postings on this site please go to the link below:

"The Rant" by Tom Degan



At 10:35 AM, Blogger Leslie Parsley said...

It's not just the right-wingers. Even some former liberals, who now call themselves moderates, are protesting all the protests and reminding us that a man is presumed innocent until convicted. While this is true, based on the Stand Your Ground Law, which is the excuse the police gave for not holding Zimmerman, this whole tragic incident would have been swept under the rug.

The Orlando Sentinal hired two voice experts who say the pleas for help we hear on the 911 tape is not the voice of GZ. But they can't verify that it is Martin's.

While the righties like to point out Martin's missteps in his past, none of them violent, they completely ignore Zimmerman's past arrests - all three involving violence and he was ordered by the court to take anger management classes.

Love the Merton quote.

At 11:00 AM, Blogger Laina27 said...

Don't eat the "Skittles", Tom. You'll just get a headache from the artificial colors, flavors, and massive dose of sugar, at least, I that's what happened to me.

The shame is he was buying them for his brother, I read. Until the whites get involved again, like so many did to put an end to slavery, nothing will change. I used to think we'd just have to wait for all the old white guys to die off for things to get better. Unfortunately, the rednecks keep breeding and passing along their bigoted ways to their kids.

At 11:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Until the whites get involved again, like so many did to put an end to slavery, nothing will change" You mean get involved like the Civil War? The bloodiest war in our history. The war that liberals like to claim was not about slavery. Oh, that war. Like that was over 150 years ago. Not the War on Poverty that has cost how many billions and is still not won.

Look how far the heirs of former slaves have progressed vs. their cousins who have moved here from Africa in the last 65 years. And you want more white involvement?

Look how the majority of Black Americans treat a Black conservative. Why should whites get involved again? Isn't it time for Blacks to quit listening to Sharpton and Jackson and just maybe support the positions Bill Cosby set forth?

What Black Americans need to understand is change is an inside job, and just maybe, that change needs to start with them, instead of believing Sharpton/Jackson that their position in life is someone else s fault. Change begins with them, after 150 years, it needs to start now. Not when "the whites get involved again, like so many did to put an end to slavery".

At 12:11 PM, Anonymous James said...

Now that is some great writing! This is a topic we see eye to eye on Tom. It seems nobody on the right is talking about what should of or could of happened. It would not matter if Zimmerman is the biggest racist on earth if he was able to make some sort of sound judgements.

Following Martin at a discrete distance in his car until Martin entered a house would have been OK, although unnecessary.

Instead he made the most reckless and idiotic decision possible, to pursue and confront a stranger for no reason, carrying a loaded in his pocket or hand.

Several eye witnesses claim Martin was on his stomach laying on the ground when he was shot, this should be confirmed by ballistic forensics if true.

I am always amazed how every issue gets turned into a political Left- Right argument no matter what the scenario.

At 1:20 PM, Blogger Leslie Parsley said...

Latin27: "Unfortunately, the rednecks keep breeding and passing along their bigoted ways to their kids."

Yes they do as the comment by Anonymous proves. One just has to walk away shaking one's head in wonder that people can be so irnorant of history.

At 1:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You libs are too much. can't stop kissing that black hiney can you. It's very unbecomingaystope

At 1:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ONE black kid gets killed. ONE. and now blacks are crying their poor little thugs aren't safe around whites(conservatives ,of course). Now they have to dress their kids up in tuxedos just so they won't be viciously and ruthlessly snuffed out.When was the last time a black kid was the victim of a mean white conservative? Well that's easy, when is the last time Al sharpton made a spectacle.

At 2:14 PM, Blogger Fabianna said...

For the sake of not spilling a whole another cat out of the can - let´s assume George Zimmerman IS white and that he IS a racist. That is where the racism ends in this case. He will go to trial and will be convicted if a fairly chosen jury decides so. It has nothing to do with white privelege or his father having served as a Virginia magistrate (not a judge) or anything else. If anything all this pretrial hype will only favor Zimmerman and could lead to a mistrial. God forbid he get off on a technicality.

At 3:44 PM, Anonymous Invisable Friend said...

Mike Papantonio explains why Zimmerman will walk on the Stephanie Miller Show. It's on You Tube. Shameful!

At 3:55 PM, Anonymous Sally Sinden said...

Hi Tom,
Well written, well defined. It's things like this that make me ashamed to the a member of the same species.

I dunno...I think a reasonable solution would seem to be just to pick a state we don't use or like very much, gather up all the violent ignorant haters, take 99% of the GOP with them as their means of governance, and ship them all off to the chosen state, a sealed off place where there's no chance for escape...and just let them eat each other.

At 6:35 PM, Blogger Yellowstone said...

There's a lot to be said about this recklessness regarding "Shoot and ask questions later".

I have lived in Texas and seen men shot for stealing cattle. Also saw a white man get shot in the back on broad daylight for stealing a person's TV. In each case it was, by law, justified - nevertheless contemptible.

I lived in North Georgia and experienced the lasting effects Sundown Law - look that one up.

I now live about 50 miles east of this Martin tragedy. This Florida law "Stand your Ground" has a similar affect on the gun totters.

Just a few weeks ago two white guys got into a confrontation about a barking dog. The guy who owned the dog shot the complainer in his yard. Once in the front, FIVE times in the back! Yep, self-defense.

The culprit remained out of jail for a few days - but is still innocent until proven guilty.

This entire issue is not necessarily about race. The issue really is about allowing these idiots the opportunity to kill another person.

I wish was so simple as to say eliminate firearms - but they'd end up knifing each other - or whatever means available.

This is about rampant idiocy.

At 6:43 PM, Blogger charles moore said...

Tom, one of your best and most thoughtful writings yet. Congratulations!

I grew up in South Georgia in the 50s when it was very segregated, racist, bigoted and filled with hate. And let me tell you that even to a middle class, white kid, there is nothing more frightening than a Saturday afternoon rally of the Ku Klux Klan in their white sheets on the courthouse square spewing lies and hatred of the blacks.

Fortunately I was lucky enough to get the hell out of the south and the red necked assholes that lived there. At one point I had thought and hoped that perhaps as a nation we were becoming more open minded, tolerant, and yes, intelligent. Sadly, that is not the case and if anything we are going backwards.

Laina27, yes, the old white guys are dying off, but only to be replaced with younger ones who are just as close minded and bigoted.

At 9:33 AM, Anonymous boltok said...

How exactly would you respond:

Your on watch on your quiet street. Someone you don't recognize is strolling around you neighbor's properties in the dark.

You call 911. They tell you not to do anything. Nonetheless you tell this person to move along, given recent robberies on your street.

The questionable individual turns and comes up to you. Stands in your face. Says, "What did you say white (hispanic) boy." "What are you going to do?" "You trying to steal my skittles?"

You say, "No,I'm just watching the street"

Skittles then punches you in the face. Jumps on you. Attempts to lift and smash your head into the ground repeatedly.

You, a proponent of the 2nd ammendment, have 9mm with a bullet in the slide.

Tell me you would sit there and take a beating like a good white m(hispanic democrat) boy.

How do you feel about white people that get carjacked in Newark, NJ? Is that a hate crime?

At 9:56 AM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Here's the problem with that scenario, boltok: That is the story that is being given by George Zimmerman. There are no eyewitnesses who saw any of the events you mention. Trayvon Martin, by all accounts, had no history of violent behavior. And he was a slight kid who would have thought twice about taking on the hulking Georgie. Also, according to police photographs, Zimmerman had no visible facial injuries.

Also, if his account is to be believed (and I do not believe a word of it) all he had to do is point the gun at the kid and he would have desisted. Trayvon did not deserve to die.

I'm just sayin'.

At 10:09 AM, Blogger Harley A. said...

"There are no eyewitnesses who saw any of the events you mention"

Then why do you come to all the conclusions you do and already proclaim Martin as the next Emmett Till?

And, why are you posting 5 year old photos? Or, why post photos at all, since, of course, the photos don't REALLY mean anything.

And, do you REALLY understand the Florida law? Based on your comments, I'm not sure you do.

Look, if Zimmerman is guilty, he's guilty and I hope he is convicted. Given that, what is your purpose in this post? I don't get it.

At 10:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boltok and Harley A, pillars of wisdom and profound thoughts. Nothing to say but they can't resist weighing in.

At 10:54 AM, Blogger Harley A. said...

Anon -

What are you talking about? I DID have something to say - go back and reread. You, on the other hand had NOTHING to say.

Try making some sense before posting. It helps.

At 11:09 AM, Anonymous boltok said...

I lived in a dorm in college that was half black. Had MANY black friends. Trayvon VERY much reminds me of a guy that was all smiles, good looking, but would trash your room and threaten like a gangster if given the chance.

NO_LIMIT_TRAYVON is a clone. My 6th sense tells me so.

Given you're peaceful nature you would not have pulled the gun until you had to. You would have shot him dead.

You will know even less given how the NBC and the rest of the media adjust their evidence.

At 11:41 AM, Blogger Just the Facts! said...

"Murder is legal in this doomed nation. "
Is your issue in this post the 2nd Amendment or racism?

All statistics show that more blacks are killed by other blacks than are killed by whites.
If after a trial, GZ is found guilty of murder, then he should be treated as such. But to use this tragic case as the foundation of restricting the 2nd Amendment and claiming racism in American is the same as it was in 1955 is a stretch.

If the 2nd Amendment is the problem, then maybe the place to start changing it is in Black communities, where Black on Black violence is at critical mass?

Would you agree to see if that would work?

At 12:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just the Facts, if you want to talk about the 2nd amendment and racism, who is it that talks about a 2nd amendment solution to Obama. blacks or whites?

At 12:54 PM, Blogger De_Bill said...

As a resident of Florida, Trayvon Martin was also entitled to "stand his ground" and defend himself from the creepy guy following him, even when he speeded up to get some distance between them.

George Zimmerman decided to follow him, and instigate the confrontation SOLELY because Martin was young, black, and wearing a hoodie in the rain, definitely a death penalty offense. Despite the request of the 911 operator, Zimmerman was perfectly within his rights to continue to observe Trayvon, but he had no business confronting him in initiating contact in any way.

When you are carrying a gun, a reasonable person avoids conflict except when it's absolutely necessary.

Zimmerman on the on the other hand, decided "Neighborhood Watch" meant pursuing people and confronting them.

At 1:38 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

How can one not get the distinct impression that the "blame the black kid for getting shot" conservatives are racists?

Now watch them call liberals the real racists.

At 2:30 PM, Anonymous Mo Rage said...

Good, breaking news on the situation:

Florida shooter will turn himself in if charged: lawyer


At 4:25 PM, Blogger Just the Facts! said...

DD, you would like to see "how can one not get the distinct impression that the "blame the black kid for getting shot" conservatives are racists?

Now watch them call liberals the real racists."

You could do that if the majority of Black Americans were murdered by White Americans. But that is not what is happening. Almost 100% of Black Americans who are murdered were killed by fellow Black Americans. Where is the same liberal out rage of that? Why are Sharpton and Jackson not marching and holding rally's to end that bloodbath? Why isn't your blog talking about the blood bath of black on black crime instead of your focus on your so called Conservative hate?
Why does Tom have a posting on his blog about the Beatles, and this murder, but not once does he bring up the issue of black on black murders?
Why didn't Pres. Obama say the thousands of young back men who are murdered by other blacks look like his son if he had one?

None of what I have said is trying to over this murder in FL. I just want to know how come it is the center piece of well meaning liberals' while the black on black blood bath continues with one is not even noted?

Is it because to do so does not fit the liberal template?

At 4:56 PM, Blogger Harley A. said...

Don't worry, DD, the New Black Panthers are on the case...

At 6:46 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Just the Blacks-are-to-Blame,

There you go again.

You must have missed it. While you're busy pretending racism doesn’t exist in gun toting thugs, distracting from the topic, and blaming Blacks for everything, we liberals are always addressing issues relating to street crime.

While you're busy blaming Blacks for everything, liberals are asking for ways to put fewer, not more, concealed handguns on the street.

While you're busy blaming Blacks for everything, liberals are questioning the corporate off shoring of jobs and the corporatist failed war on drugs.

If keeping jobs in our country was a priority there would be less poverty and desperation and street crime. If we ended the failed war on drugs there would be less street crime, fewer people in prison and less tax money spent on the madness.

Corporate interests want off-shoring. Corporate interests want a war on drugs. Corporate interests profit from street crime, the drug war and off-shoring jobs.

There's your liberal outrage. You will continue to ignore it, of course. You’re much too busy blaming Blacks for everything.

Now why don't you go on and continue to blame Blacks for being the problem. It seems to make you feel good for some reason.

Not sure what your point is.

Cooper did a good job putting the attention seeking NBP wackos in their place. He pointed out the fact that the Martin family didn't approve of what they are doing.

They are fringe kooks, but you know that. Why do we even know of this small and insignificant group?

One thing for certain, racists and Right Wing fear mongers love using those guys to promote and project their own hate.

Although for the life of me, I have yet to become aware of any actual crime they committed.

But they look scary to racists and fearful ignorant whites.

Perhaps that is the point?

At 7:07 PM, Blogger Just the Facts! said...

"You’re much too busy blaming Blacks for everything." @DD

Wrong, I'm not blaming Blacks for anything. I'm blaming liberals like yourself, for not showing the same out rage over the daily black on black crime as you are showing over this one time white-Hispanic on black crime.

Liberals like yourself want to blame anyone/anything/any group but the person who committed the act.

The War on Poverty is entering it's 60th year, yet for all the money spent and the government programs enacted, your claim about liberal concern is laughable.
Gun control, how strict are the Washington D.C. gun laws? What is the murder rate by guns in Washington D.C. Does it compute?

DD you talk about deflection, what do you call your bringing up corporations as an issue on a post which is talking about murder and possible racism? Focus Dd, focus.

Is the Black on Black murder rate not fit the template, is that the reason?

You continue to be laughable DD.

At 7:56 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Just Blame-the-Blacks said,
Liberals like yourself want to blame anyone/anything/any group but the person who committed the act.

Right, by saying Martin was killed by Zimmerman, not another Black.

Sheesh. Pure wacked out cult indoctrination. Can anyone wonder why we can't reason with them?

Just Blame-the-Blacks also said, "Almost 100% of Black Americans who are murdered were killed by fellow Black Americans."

And then after blaming "almost 100%" on Blacks:

"I'm not blaming Blacks for anything."

What, including the war on poverty, as he loves to bring up, too?

This would be laughable, but it's way too much like debating a racist.

You see, 86% of white victims were killed by whites, and 94% of black victims were killed by blacks.
Most murders are within the same race.

But a racist would likely prefer us to think almost 100%, rather than closer to 90%, of black victims were killed by blacks.

Not that I'm accusing Just Blame-the-Blacks of being a racist.

No, sir, not at all. He only sounds like one.

At 10:46 PM, Blogger Harley A. said...

"Not sure what your point is."

Then I'll be glad to tell you. First of all, my point is that you're "blame the black kid for getting shot" conservatives mythology is being perpetuated by blogs like this one for the primary point of trying to paint conservatives as racist. And that isn't true. Such simple-minded equivocation won't fly with me, though it plays well with your crowd. It's the best you have - I realize that. But, it is pitiful nonetheless. You focus on mythological racist conservatives while there are clear hate groups all around you that you ignore and dismiss. Show some proof that conservatism and racism are in any way linked and I'll back off. You cannot because it isn't true.

As it stands, the liberal rhetoric that has been spewed over an incident that we don't even know the pertinent facts about yet has been nothing short of ridiculous. But, that's what I've come to expect.

That's my 4th post in this silly thread. I'm done. Even though I could explain to you why Cooper had the hate group on his program - it isn't for the reason most would assume. Maybe someone else will. I refuse to waste my time with this any further.

At 1:27 AM, Anonymous Modusoperandi said...

Harley A. "Then I'll be glad to tell you. First of all, my point is that you're 'blame the black kid for getting shot' conservatives mythology is being perpetuated by blogs like this one for the primary point of trying to paint conservatives as racist. And that isn't true."
20% of South Carolinian, 20% of GOP Alabamans and 46% of Mississipi GOP primary voters and "likely Republican voters" think mixed-race marriages should be illegal. That's a great big pool of white resentment.
Also…[deep breath]...Van Jones, Birtherism, Shirley Sherrod, ACORN, New Black Panthers, "food stamp president", "Kenyan anti-colonialism", the various voter suppression tactics (from Op Eagle Eye and voter caging up to the current imbruglia over voter ID), a (holy crap!) white supremacist panel at CPAC, Foxnews' commenters comments upon Whitney Houston's death", and now ""Good shot Zimmy" and much, much more. And that's just in the last few years (and, at that, for the most part off the top of my head and with a cursory, casual engoogling).
Just because Nixon and Atwater are dead doesn't mean the Southern Strategy died with them. (Nor, it should be noted, is it exclusively a Right thing. Anthony Weiner used it).

At 8:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@Harley: we know the pertinent facts. Kid's dead. Zimmerman killed him. Zimmerman's account of what happened not only sounds ludicrous, but gets increasingly dismantled by the day. That there's a mega-effort to make apologies for a known killer is an embarrassment and discredit to those conducting that effort. The rest of the absolute trivia on which Zimmerman apologists are fixated is not pertinent at all.

At 9:45 AM, Blogger Leslie Parsley said...

Don't forget the 911 recording where we can hear the police dispatcher tell GZ - very clearly - not to pursue Martin.

Neighborhood "Watch" means just that - "Watch."

Dave Kopel, NRA member and author of “Firearms Law & the Second Amendment,” thinks the Stand Your Ground Law doesn't even apply to GZ in this case.

"I think if you actually read what the law says, it doesn't apply in this situation. The stand-your-ground law is about when a person who is a victim of a violent attack, under what circumstances do they have a duty to retreat rather than take action to defend themselves? If Zimmerman is the aggressor in this case then he wasn't the victim. And since he wasn't the victim, he had no right to self-defense at all, and the issue of whether he should retreat or not wouldn't - has nothing to do with it."

At 12:32 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Easy guy. Although you seem quite defensive, and you did invoke the New Black Panthers for some reason...I'm not saying you are a racist.

Just Blame-the-Blacks and Mr. Boltok saying, "Trayvon VERY much reminds me of a guy that was all smiles, good looking, but would trash your room and threaten like a gangster if given the chance", are the ones I'm calling out.

That’s not “mythology”. It is right in front of our eyes.

And speaking of mythology, Are you suggesting there are no conservative racists? Do you agree with Limbaugh that, "It is the Left that is racist". That's the Right Wing indoctrination these days.

Damn right I'll call that crap out for what it is. Why don't you? Where’s the spokesman of liberalism, the guy the Democrats must never contradict, saying “It is the Right that is racist”?

When Kanye West said Bush doesn’t like black people, Liberals and Democrats called him out for that. Yes they did.

No equivalence, once again.

I would admit racial bigotry can be found in all races and within most political parties.

However, it is also well documented that authoritarian personalities are nearly all self-identified conservatives. And they don't believe we are all equal.

Just Google "authoritarian personality prejudice" to see what I'm talking about.

If the glove don't fit, I'll acquit. But that glove fits all too often.

At 7:18 PM, Anonymous Al Sharptoon said...

I want justice for Tawana Brawley in Himey Town!

I want justice for the Duke Lacrosse team dancer!

I want justice for Trayvon Martin and Emmett Till!

At 10:08 PM, Anonymous James said...

I was just reading an article on Salon how the supreme court passed a new law that allows the police to strip search every body, even if it is only over a parking ticket. Which is the case they ruled on. This seems a continuation of the No Protest law which will affect the OWs movement. They are wasting no time to make any sort of protesting come with a high price. Strip searching was not allowed except under certain circumstances, how many people will store guns or drugs in their colon any way.

This was as usual a 5 to 4 decision and you know who the 5 were. But the Obama admin was pushing hard for the law also and they are happy with the result. Imagine that, Obama working hand in hand with the 5 most Conservative judges in history.

At 7:41 AM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

James: "Imagine that, Obama working hand in hand with the 5 most Conservative judges in history."

It's no surprise, given that Obama's a corporatist, as are almost all of our legislators and, apparently, a majority of the Supreme Court.

We have one dominating party in this country now, operating under the guise of a two-party system. Until people realize this, the ruling elite will continue to rob this country of its treasure, its heritage, and will sweep the middle and working classes into the dustpan of history.

At 12:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"However, it is also well documented that authoritarian personalities are nearly all self-identified conservatives. And they don't believe we are all equal."

What a crock of dog crap, as always from DD!

Well documented, site those documents.

Don't believe we are equal??? Its the LIBERALS who don't believe this, hence their support for minority loans, minority entrance exams, minority hiring rules, and on and on. It's the LIBERALS want want to divide our country by race.

At 12:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

james, jefferson

Did Barack Obama sleep through his Harvard Law class on Marbury v. Madison, the 1803 case in which the U.S. Supreme Court first asserted its power to strike down unconstitutional laws? It turns out he must have been: The president is stunningly ignorant about constitutional law.

A reporter asked Obama a question following up on yesterday's comments: "Mr. President, you said yesterday that it would be 'unprecedented' for a Supreme Court to overturn laws passed by an elected Congress. But that is exactly what the court's done during its entire existence. If the court were to overturn the individual mandate, what would you do, or propose to do, for the 30 million people who wouldn't have health care after that ruling?"

At 4:06 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

I called it.

I wrote:

"How can one not get the distinct impression that the "blame the black kid for getting shot" conservatives are racists?

Now watch them call liberals the real racists."

Sure enough. The duped cultists are so predictable. Now the chickens come home to roost, just as I said.

It's the LIBERALS want want to divide our country by race

Spoken like a true authoritarian personality. If anyone Googled the documentation, as I suggested, they'd see where the "crock" really is.

But someone won’t do that.

Good little ditto-parrot. Well done. Now go drink some more Limbaugh/Beck koolade like a good authoritarian cult follower.

In a world where anonymous trolls have all the answers, Obama is "stunningly ignorant about constitutional law", and Rush Limbaugh is a renowned climate scientist, that koolade must be refreshing indeed.

At 5:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Did you not read the rest of the post supporting the case that liberals are the ones who do not want us to be equal?

If you want all to be equal, do you support affirmative action?

Did you forget to provide your claim being "well documented"?

Your claim that this post is "call(ing) liberals the real racists" is more than a stretch, as the term racist is not used once on the post. Nor is it even suggested, but what it does point out is liberalism wants to divide by race as supported by the example given.

BTW, for a man paid by my tax dollars, to watch other men behind bars all day as a prison guard are you not a "authoritarian personalities"?
As a prison guard do you support separation of the prisoners by race or do you support the forcing of different races to be cellmates?

At 5:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Send for the two traveling Reverends.

It was six against one.

Six juveniles -- the youngest 11, and the oldest 17 -- nearly boxed in Dallas Watts, a 78-year-old man from East Toledo.

Mr. Watts was on his way home from the nearby Gas Express Mart at Starr Avenue and White Street about 4:45 p.m. Saturday when the boys approached him.

One pointed at Mr. Watts and said, "take him down," the victim recounted in an interview Monday.

Mr. Watts, carrying home two small bags of pork rinds to dole out as treats to his three dachshunds, looked at the youth and said, "Why you picking on me?" Mr. Watts recalled. "Remember Trayvon. Why you picking on me?"

The boy, again, allegedly told his friends to "take him down."

Toledo police charged two children -- the 11-year-old and a 17-year-old -- with robbery, Sgt. Roy Kennedy said.

The boys on Monday were ordered held in detention at the Lucas County Juvenile Justice Center, prosecutor Lori Olender said.

The 17-year-old also faces a felonious assault charge from an unrelated shooting, Ms. Olender said. The teen allegedly shot Mark Bolling, 24, in the 600 block of Leonard Street in East Toledo on March 18.

Mr. Watts said one of the boys delivered a single blow to the back of his head during the incident Saturday, knocking the victim to the ground.

At one point, the victim recalled being lifted from the ground so one of the boys could "drop-kick" him in the chest.

One boy, he said, put his foot on the back of the victim's neck, with another shouting, "Kill him."

While Mr. Watts was down the boys kicked him, over and over, shouting, "[Get] that white [man]. This is for Trayvon ... Trayvon lives, white [man]. Kill that white [man]," according to a police report.

The boys fled when a man shouted at them, according to the report.

Mr. Watts said it's possible the assault was retribution for the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, who was fatally shot by George Zimmerman, a Neighborhood Watch captain in Sanford, Fla., on Feb. 26. Mr. Zimmerman has said he fired in self-defense and has not been charged with any crime.

For investigators, it's unclear whether the assault was motivated by an attempt to avenge the Martin youth's death or whether Mr. Watts' "Remember Trayvon" message was misinterpreted as threatening or racist.

"It's still up in the air who started the verbal confrontation," Sergeant Kennedy said, adding that stories given by the suspect and the victim conflict and the investigation is ongoing.

When asked about the Trayvon remarks, Mr. Watts said, "All I meant by saying 'remember Trayvon' is to remember what happened to him, don't duplicate it here," suggesting that he was minding his own business as he walked home.

"The only reason I mentioned Trayvon, that was my defense," Mr. Watts said. "Don't pick on me. I am not your enemy."

The assault occurred only a few hours after a peaceful rally, near the Thurgood Marshall Building, 420 E. Manhattan Blvd., to show support for the Martin family.

At his home Monday, Mr. Watts said he has never allowed weapons inside and that when his four children were growing up, they were not allowed to play "cops and robbers, to kill the Indians."

During the Vietnam War, Mr. Watts, who served in the military from 1950 to 1961, refused to let his boys play GI Joes.

There would be no more killing, he said.

But now, Mr. Watts says he plans to buy a gun and obtain a permit to carry it.

"What happened to me … down here on the corner, that changed my perspective on humanity," Mr. Watts said.

Contact Taylor Dungjen at:, 419-724-6054, or on Twitter @tdungjen_Blade.

At 6:26 PM, Anonymous Tyrone Witherspoons said...

right on Reverend Sharptoon!

that cracker who shot Trayvon has blueberry all over his face!

At 8:30 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Now they're just getting mean, along with showing their ignorance.

No surprise.

Since I predicted the racist trolls’ vile reaction and triggered their hateful projection, I won't respond to them. I won't stir them up, or recognize their hate any further.

Most of you probably don't need, or want, to see all this anger and hatred they display.

My apologies for leading them on, folks.

At 9:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You sound lonely. JG not around for your tag team posts? Of is it cause your poorly read blog is in the dumpster?

I bet it's the quite before the storm that will be released with liberal blogs attacking the courts. Watch this site and others for updates on this soon to start change.

At 6:38 PM, Anonymous Harry from Mass said...

"Now they're just getting mean, along with showing their ignorance.

No surprise."

No Dave Dubya, you are just upset that Tom Degan has beat you to a post of the latest liberal media manufactured hate or manufactured racist story.

At 8:20 PM, Blogger Chris said...

To me, it's just this simple.....when I heard the father talk, I understood why Zimmerman did what he did....racism is passed on from generation to generation....if he had not been raised a racist, Trayvon would still be alive....period.

At 8:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here it is the weekend. Taking bets now on what the subject of liberal blog sites will be by Monday.
Will it be

A. Obama vs. Supreme Court

B. Liberal policy is not to blame for:
1. high gas prices
2. high food prices
3. high taxes
C. Attack on who ever is leader of GOP for Pres.
D. What ever is in this weeks weekend surprise info dump.

At 4:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You forgot to include the "GOP's attack on women"!

At 5:43 PM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

Anonymous, how about Georgia's HB954, the "No abortions after 20 weeks (even if the fetus is stillborn)" Act, or any of the other bills (proposed and/or passed, like these) that have popped up since 2010, when the Official Party of Small Government® (I'm told), got the power necessary to focus laserlike on the economy.
Who knew the economy was hiding in the Nation's vaginas?

At 6:18 PM, Anonymous Jefferson's Guardian said...

I just want everyone here on "The Rant" to know how much I love Dave Dubya! Dave says he may leave his current significant other at the prison he works at for me! I love you Dave Dubya!

At 9:20 AM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Isn't it amazing how low Just the Facts! will stoop? Of course, which is no secret, he also masquerades as Tyrone Witherspoons, Al Sharptoon, Anonymous...on just this post...and now he's even using my online moniker in a feeble attempt to discredit and embarrass me. But the embarrassment I feel isn't for myself; it's for him.

He's a very sick perverted and twisted as they come. He'll attack and slander me, even when I'm not contributing to the commentary, on this and other blogs, because obviously he hates not only what I stand for, but he hates me as an individual. It's the same hate, I suspect, that he feels for the current sitting president, or even the hate he feels for the murder victim, Trayvon Martin; a hate so strong, and so vile, that it controls his life and eats away at his soul.

He's a victim of his own unacknowledged desires, but he won't allow himself to admit this, so he projects this hate upon others so that he doesn't have to hate himself. He's having a true identity crisis about who he is...what he is...and he knows this.

It eats at him every day.

At 9:32 AM, Anonymous Paul said...

Couldn't have said it better myself.

At 9:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like the original distorted and biased "facts" of this manufactured story for the liberal kool aid drinkers are coming to light:

NBC News is now reporting that in over seven calls to police George Zimmerman made between August 2011 and February 2012, none of the conversations with dispatchers show any signs of racism.

Don Cheadle, black actor and anti-genocide activist, mocked NBC News and accused the network of "bias" for their broadcast of an edited 911 tape portraying Trayvon Martin shooter George Zimmerman as a racist.

"Dear NBC News, Huh???" Cheadle tweeted along with a link to the story containing NBC's apology. "It was 'an error made in the production process that we deeply regret.' Really? 'Error?'" he added in a follow-up tweet. "Anybody out there know anything about editing?"

At 9:54 AM, Anonymous Paul said...

The problem is so obvious, yet so complicated and bred into so many of us. Love all caring human beings if they act like one. If you want to try to act "tough" and portray that image then you do take that risk of someone believing you. Step up parents you're slacking and your communities are proving it. All the crying and racial bull is brought on by an image/choice of life that is asked for but when it becomes reality "oh no". The people I feel sorry for the most are the members of minority groups that are targets of unnecessary racial bias. Working stand up citizens actually trying to parent well and prepare their children to support themselves and become productive positive members of society. You are who you portray, you are who you hang around, you are what you choose to be. Black people kill each other EVERYDAY at an alarming rate, white people kill each other, latinos kill each other. This is not about race but hey it's the easiest avenue to go down and it has brought out the biggest bigots in the game... Sharpton, Jackson. So enjoy the turmoil in the news sheep instead of just doing the right thing and living a positive existence. Doing is much better than talking.

At 11:02 AM, Anonymous Al Sharptoon said...

Jefferson's Guardian,

I am NOT Just The Facts! You have blueberry stains all over your face just like the NBC people who have distorted the facts of the Trayvon story.

I still want justice for Trayvon like I wanted justice for Tawana Brawley!

It's knee slapping funny how you come up with the manufactured conclusion of hatred of people towards you. You, Dave Dubya, and John Myste are narcissistic individuals with long winded blah blah posts that tap dance around the facts and questions directed at you. I guess if I had only reached the social status of a prison guard or believed 9-11 was an inside job, I too would be a tap dancing narcissistic person trying to prove how smart I was to others in the blogging world.
Narcissists have such an elevated sense of self-worth that they value themselves as inherently better than others. Yet, they have a fragile self-esteem and cannot handle criticism, and will often try to compensate for this inner fragility by belittling or disparaging others in an attempt to validate their own self-worth. It is this sadistic tendency that is characteristic of narcissism as opposed to other psychological conditions affecting level of self-worth.

At 11:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone know where DD has been? Wonder if he he's been assigned to DEFECATION WATCH down at the old "salt mine"?
Nah, on second thought,he cant be there, that would require skill sets he doesn't have.

At 11:33 AM, Anonymous Harry Deitch said...

To Tommy D, Dave Dubya, and George Jefferson's Guardian:

The Tipping Point for the National Media?
By Jay Ambrose

Almost every Friday morning, a friend and I get together for strong coffee and bracing political discussion, and sometimes he will say journalists lie. No, I respond -- they make mistakes and their biases pop through their reporting, but it's not lying. What am I to argue now that we've learned about NBC News and the doctored tape?

On broadcasts to millions, NBC played a recording of a police officer's conversation with George Zimmerman the night he shot and killed unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla. Zimmerman was patrolling his neighborhood as a citizen, called the cops, and, according to NBC's version of the conversation, said he had been following someone who "looks like he is up to no good. He looks black."

That's not how the conversation actually went. Zimmerman said there was someone walking around looking "like he's up to no good, or he's on drugs or something," and the officer on the other end asked, "Is he black, white or Hispanic?" Zimmerman responded that the man looked black.

The unchanged tape is a thousand miles distant from the mangled one, and NBC has said it is sorry for "an error made in the production process." But that is evasive mumbo jumbo. The editing was not a technical issue of production. It was a substantive issue of content, and the "error" happened to fit a thesis of racist homicide while making the network look like a watchdog hero. It seems to me to have been error with a purpose.

Sadly, very, very sadly, this NBC incident is one of many possible examples of an outlandish, rules-be-damned rush to judgment in which reporters and commentators are playing the roles of crazed prosecutor, judge and jury not about to wait for evidence.

At 11:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

no doubt Tom D. will put up a new post soon to bury this one which is starting to look like another MSM fabrication like Dan Rathers.

my guess as to why there is not a new post already is that Tom is at FDR's Hyde Park again for the day hugging his statue.

At 11:55 AM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

In fact TD is very proud of this piece. That is why I am leaving it at the top of the page for solid week. There'll be a new one tomorrow.


At 12:21 PM, Anonymous boltok said...

You should file this piece with your rants on:
Tawanna Brawley
Orenthal James
Duke Lacrosse

Were you ranting back in the days of Tawanna. I think she was from your town.

At 12:23 PM, Blogger Just the Facts! said...

Thanks Tom for leaving this post up as long you have. During this time, the truth around the events of the death of Martin have come out and you have faced them fearlessly. From the edited tapes released by ABC to the firing of the long time nameless employee of NBC for their "modification" of videos, you have not altered your post but in fact have let the events unfold, as they should have to begin with.

Now about your next subject, I hope for your sake, it's not based on some half baked claim of racism event. But instead on something like the planned, for this spring, OWS uprising.

At 12:59 PM, Anonymous Harry Deitch said...

Tom D.

Can you give us a hint as to what your Rant will be tomorrow?-)

Some of us would like a head start on background checking the topic to point out any fabricated bias.

Someone has to fact check our MSM since day by day our nation's media is becoming more like the media of Hugo Chavez's dictatorship, especially when the regime in power is sinking like the Titanic.

I doubt you will Rant about anything good Obama has done since there is not a whole lot to talk about.

Obama's crown jewel ObamaCare looks like the Supreme Court will flush it down the toilet and if the same percent of people looking for work when Obama was first elected were looking for work today, the unemployment rate would be over 10 percent.

At 1:31 PM, Anonymous Peggy said...

I just want to thank Tom for sticking with this story for so long. In my opinion Tom's journalism is as good as anybody in the business. I wouldn't be surprised if Tom soon starts appearing as a commentator on one of the national Sunday morning talk shows.

At 2:01 PM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

A gal after my own heart. Thank you, Peggy!

Love and Peace,


At 2:01 PM, Anonymous Kenny said...

I recall a similar incident that almost ruined a man's life when the media believed he was the on who set off a bomb during the Atlanta Olympics many years ago and it has only gotten worse!! The media today is mainly interested in finding scandal, sensuality, controversy, and exploiting the public. Sadly, no more honorable "free press" in today's culture !!

At 4:43 PM, Anonymous Invisable Friend said...

Tom, Nice writing. Thank you. It sure is frothing up the loons. Class, or lack of, always shows through.

At 5:41 PM, Blogger Just the Facts! said...

Invisable Friend (is that the way you spell "Invisible" when you are an expert on nice writing?)

You want to see a lack of class? Go here.

At 8:38 PM, Anonymous Invisable Friend said...

Mr. Facts, Thanks for the spell check. I know an Invisible, so I'll stay Invisable. I hope you don't mind. You should check some of your spelling by the way. Poor spelling and sentence structure at times.

The blog you mentioned, what does that have to do with no class? I guess you don't personally care for it?

At 9:07 AM, Blogger Sheria Reid said...

Tom, I appreciate your insight. You do an excellent job of putting the issues on the table and keeping them in perspective. I can't say the same for some of your readers.

I always find it fascinating the number of white people who hate Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson,. Reminds me of the early civil rights movement in the south when white southerners insisted that their Negroes were content until those outside agitators got them all riled up.

Sharpton and Jackson don't do anything except express the dissatisfaction and frustration felt by a lot of black people but I suppose it makes some people more comfortable to imagine that if it weren't for those agitators that all the black folks would be as happy as larks and appreciate the privilege of living in such a post racial paradise.

It would be nice if those of you who want to talk about black on black crime, and who are certain that Trayvon Martin must have done something that merited his execution by Zimmerman would actually take a little time, read a little history, and stop relying on half-truths and false statistics presented by right wing bombastic nut jobs like Beck and Limbaugh.

As someone pointed out, most murders are within one's race, 86% of whites are murdered by whites and 94% of blacks are indeed by blacks.

However, what really fascinates me as how you fabricate non-issues to distract from the established facts in this particular case--Zimmerman followed Martin because Zimmerman felt that he looked suspicious and like he was on drugs or something. Zimmerman was in a vehicle. He got out of his vehicle at some point and came close enough to Trayvon to get Trayvon's attention s he told his friend with whom he was on the phone that he was being followed. Another fact is two independent voice analysis experts have completed their tests and both independently concluded that the voice heard crying for help was not Zimmerman's. Indeed, on the recording, the voice is quieted immediately when a gunshot is fired. They haven't confirmed that the voice was Trayvon's because they don't have his voice available for comparison. Perhaps it was a passing stranger.

One of you insists that Tom would have shot Trayvon as well out of fear for his life. I don't think so. Nonetheless, there appear to be some of you who think that it is acceptable for an adult male to follow a teenage boy who is walking on a sidewalk in a residential neighborhood because that is an unusual thing to be doing. Funny that none of you righteous "I am not a racist" crew ever considers that perhaps Trayvon Martin was frightened by some guy following him and perhaps decided to stand his ground and ask Zimmerman, "Why are you following me." Under the same circumstances, I would have punched Zimmerman if I could because I would figure he was a stalker or some kind of pervert.

However, some of you apparently think that Trayvon should have nicely inquired of Zommerman, "How may I help you." If you have children, I hope that you give them better advice than to cooperate with any man who follows them down the street because he may be with the neighborhood watch.

Tom, I admire your patience. I don't suffer fools easily and I would say that you have a flock of fools who visit your blog simply to annoy, "...full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

At 1:50 PM, Blogger Just the Facts! said...

How dissatisfied are you and the two Reverands over the rate of black on black crime? How are you showing this dissatisfaction?
Who are you and the Reverands blaiming for the bloodbath caused by black on black crime?
As I do not see-any marching about this, I have to believe that black on black murder/crime doesn't bother you, only white Hispanic on black crime gets you upset.

At 2:57 PM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

Just the Facts! "As I do not see-any marching about this..."
Google "Black anti-violence march" or somesuch. They happen. Just not on Foxnews.

At 10:17 PM, Blogger Just the Facts! said...


So if I watch CNN, NBC,CBS,ABC, MSNBC, I'll see the two Reverands marching in protest of the high black on black crime and murder rate?

Sure I would.

At 1:19 AM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

Just the Facts!" "Modusoperandi So if I watch CNN, NBC,CBS,ABC, MSNBC, I'll see the two Reverands marching in protest of the high black on black crime and murder rate?"
You said "As I do not see-any marching about this" (emphasis mine). I replied, essentially, that you aren't looking. To illustrate, a search in google images for "african-american anti-violence march" comes up with one from 2008 as its third hit (emphasis mine), and that isn't even a good search term on the good side of google. A slightly better search (african-american anti "black on black" violence march) in the more appropriate News section of google comes up with this as its very first hit (emphasis still mine. Emphasis mine there, too). And the Daily Show recently ran a bit counter this very argument, including a long list of recent anti-black-on-black violence marches.
I mean, really, Anonymous, basing your argument on your own cloud of ignorance and making me do the work that you fail to do paints you in a really, really poor light.
And you reply by asking if two specific people, one known for being a civil rights advocate and the other for being a buffoonish cartoon of a civil rights advocate march in marches that aren't civil rights marches? They did march for Trayvon and the FBI is investigating to see if "george zimmerman violated trayvon martin's civil rights" (see the link now?).
Do you have any idea how to argue in good faith? You make it so very hard for me to. And I'm awesome. One time, I touched a mug that said "#1 Dad" and it morphed to simply say "#1". I know!

At 5:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The name of Trayvon Martin was invoked again Wednesday night in Gainesville during an attack by a group that police say stomped on a white man who was scuffling with a black robbery suspect on the Bo Diddley Community Plaza.

The robbery suspect, Carl Milton Babb, 50, had been released from prison earlier in the day after serving more than two years in prison for the same crime he is accused of committing Wednesday — snatching a purse from a woman near the downtown plaza.

According to a Gainesville Police Department arrest report, Babb approached a woman eating dinner at the Lunchbox on the plaza at about 8:50 p.m. and asked her for a light.

When she said she didn’t have one, Babb took off with her purse, which contained her $500 cellphone, according to the report.

The woman’s dinner companion and another person took off after Babb.

When her friend caught up with Babb, according to the police report, Babb punched him in the face and grabbed his hair, but he was able to keep Babb pinned down, according to the report.

The scene attracted a crowd, and a number of people on the plaza approached Babb and the Good Samaritan, who tried to explain that Babb had just stolen his friend’s purse.

GPD spokeswoman Cpl. Angelina Valuri said some members of the crowd shouted “Trayvon!” and that at least three of members of the crowd began stomping on the hands of the woman’s friend to force him to let go of Babb.

It was the second attack in the past week in Gainesville in which assailants yelled the first name of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black 17-year-old who was shot and killed by crime-watch volunteer George Zimmerman as the teen walked back to his father’s girlfriend’s apartment in Sanford on Feb. 26.


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