Although it has not gotten much attention yet, but the practice of using race as a factor in university admissions is not long for the world. When the Supreme Court hears and decides Fisher v. University of Texas later this fall (just in time to inject some racial invective into the General Election) the 5-4 decision striking down the Texas system will surprise exactly no one. Anthony Kennedy has dissented in every affirmative action case the Court has ever heard. His vote here is utterly predictable, especially given his dissents in Grutter/Gratz v. Bollinger, of which Fisher is essentially a replay. The decision in Fisher will affect the handful of states that have not passed laws banning race-based admissions. It turns out that it's pretty easy to get a state full of white people to support a ballot measure that eliminates affirmative action.

I have none of the typical White Guy hangups about affirmative action. Since around 2000, right before the Grutter and Gratz cases were jointly decided, there has been a seismic shift on the issue – not in public opinion, but in the legal logic used by universities to defend the practice. When AA was first institutionalized in the 1960s, its enumerated purpose was to redress historical grievances. After a few centuries of legal discrimination, segregation, and slavery, one could hardly expect that black students – and remember, we're talking about an era in which the schools were still segregated and some state universities had to be browbeat into admitting blacks – would immediately perform on par with white students who had received so many comparative advantages over the years. Although schools may no longer be de jure segregated, they remain mostly segregated nonetheless. So affirmative action-type programs have continued as the black/white(/Hispanic) gap in educational performance has lingered.

Eventually, perhaps out of fear that courts were becoming less favorable to the "righting historic wrongs" argument, academia began defending its practices on what we might call a Value of Diversity argument. That is, the university and the state have a compelling interest (as O'Connor's majority decision admitted in Grutter) in obtaining and providing "the educational benefits that flow from a diverse student body."

I have never put stock in the "Affirmative action is insulting to minorities" argument, seeing as how I have never heard it come from the mouth, pen, or keyboard of anyone who was not a white conservative. This, however, is not only a legally tenuous argument but one that rests on a remarkably insulting premise: that diversity has educational value, and, by implication, that white students will miss out on it if the university does not admit enough black and Hispanic students. There is no other way to read that, especially as explained in Grutter. This is a drastic change; rather than black students benefiting from programs designed to benefit them, it's the majority white students who benefit from having some Colored People around as scenery. The schools are saying, in a sense, that they need to admit blacks and Hispanics in order to provide some sort of Diversity Experience for whites.

I suppose we could have a philosophical debate about how the ends justify the means. That wouldn't be terribly convincing, and more importantly it ignores the reality of the impending Fisher decision. What happens afterward will be telling. Hopefully universities will reorient themselves toward a policy that tells black and Hispanic students, "We want you here," which is much different than, "We need you here." Fortunately, some states where the universities operate under bans on racial preference have already proven that it is possible to maintain elite programs that recruit and accept diverse student bodies without resorting to tactics that will irritate Samuel Alito. There is more to any college applicant than a test score, so I guess admissions boards will just have to do some actual work and read applications rather than simply sorting data in Excel spreadsheets.

55 thoughts on “SCENERY”

  • HoosierPoli says:

    "I have never put stock in the "Affirmative action is insulting to minorities" argument, seeing as how I have never heard it come from the mouth, pen, or keyboard of anyone who was not a white conservative"

    Clarence Thomas is a well-known proponent of that perspective; it stems from his perception that he was not respected at Harvard law because he was stained by affirmative action (as opposed to being an ideologue). He has made it his life's goal to benefit from affirmative action, and then ensure that no one else will ever be able to, apparently out of spite.

    Your conservative intellectuals at work, folks.

  • Middle Seaman says:

    Diversity does enrich everyone involved. The white stogies who listen to Mozart and Beethoven but never listened to John Lee Hooker and Woodie Guthrie are musically handicapped. People do bring with them their communities' culture, language, tunes and holidays. That enriches universities.

    FDR and MLK had many Jewish colleagues and assistant, but the US government didn't give Jews jobs until the late 1950s. Yale and Harvard did not accept Jews with few exception. The breaking of the religious wall not only diversifies the country, it made is easier for other minorities to follow in.

    The supreme court is full of reactionary fascists. Scalia is the don. Thomas is dead, Alito is evil and Kennedy is a right wing idiot. They may have the legal power, but morally are a bunch of terrorists that threaten our democracy and modern society. Them being against AA doesn't make it right or useful.

  • Middle Seaman, where can I get more information about the US government and higher education excluding Jews? I know of individual Jews in some important positions(like Henry Morgenthau or Samuel Dickstein), but I would like to see some statistical data. I often lock horns with anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists and I'd love to have some statistical data to eviscerate their claims even further.

  • c u n d gulag says:

    Kennedy, Thomas, and Scalia, are all getting older.

    If you don't want to vote for Obama or Democrats in November, and want to sit the election out, or vote 3rd Party, for whatever reasons may have, take a careful look at the SC as it's currently constituted, and realize that if any of those 3 die or retire, they'll be replaced by a Republican President, and that (those) replacement(s) will be even further to the right.

    If there's one reason, and one reason alone, to vote for Obama and the Congressional Democrats, it's the Supreme Court.

  • "Hopefully universities will reorient themselves toward a policy that tells black and Hispanic students, 'We want you here,' which is much different than, 'We need you here.'"

    So true, although I often use this arguement when talking to people on the right about "Big Gubment Regulations": if people always did the right thing on their own then we wouldn't need these regulations…but they don't, so we do.

    Also, I feel that diversity does have educational value. At least when talking about making a well rounded person who can understand that different doesn't equal bad. For me, one of the most valuable learning experiences of being in the Army (don't worry, I'm still a Libral lol) was being put in situations where I had to work together with people that were nothing like me in terms of race, religion, or economic situation. I think that everyone misses out if they don't have an opportunity to work with people different from themselves…

  • Number Three says:

    This is actually one of those issues where it would really help if (conservative white) folks understood how state politics work, or their brethren did. There is simply no way that a flagship university like University of Michigan (to take an example) can allow itself to become lily white, or white and Asian. Why not? Well, the U of M relies on political (Democratic) allies for its funding, and many of those allies are African American. On the Hill, folks like John Conyers, who really does care about these sorts of things. (No university administrator wants to testify at that hearing, I can assure you.) In state government, the U of M administration cannot alienate its Democratic allies, a coalition that includes African American state legislators.

    I imagine the same is true in Texas (include Hispanic legislators).

    So forget the librul do-gooder motivations and equal protection. It doesn't matter what the Court holds, the flagship universities (and those are the ones that we are discussing, not second-rate regionals) will find ways to include minority students in the admissions pool. They really don't have a choice.

    What will happen is that the admissions process will become more opaque. If test scores make it impossible to comply with the holding, then test scores become less weighty in admissions. They will have to. Irony: the push for more 'meritocratic' admissions leads to less 'meritocracy'.

  • anotherbozo says:

    I second Ed's advocacy of maintaining the subjective criteria in college admissions (vs. statistical achievement, test scores and G.P.A.'s alone). More work for admissions committees, but politically it should insulate colleges from the reactionary arms of state legislatures or the SCOTUS troglodytes.

    My own experience dates back a few decades to teaching art history on an urban NYC campus. An outreach program of some kind brought black students from (southside?) Chicago into the Liberal Arts college. To say they weren't as prepared educationally as the local white undergrads would be an understatement, but their attitudes, their seriousness about learning, made the difference. College was like space travel for many—they never thought they'd experience it—and it focused them while many of their relatively privileged white counterparts stared glassy-eyed through a lot of my exhilarating lectures. One young black student's essay writing barely rose to the level of atrocious, but a few hours with me (whose background was in studio art, not English) and she improved 200%. She'd previously received what probably amounted to institutional neglect, and all she needed was some telescoped instruction. She had the smarts and the right attitude. Affirmative action? All depends on screening, motivation, faculty involvement… you know, the subjective factors. And, in those students' case, an administrator whose sole purpose was to shepherd them through their crucial first year…

    Probably those students' sense of purpose rubbed off on their white counterparts, though that would be even harder to assess objectively, so yeah, the whole college benefited from their presence.

  • It's relatively simple, from an admissions perspective, to focus on economic diversity and recruiting strong students from underperforming schools. That'll get you a very similar student mix without an explicit ethnicity target.

  • It's worth noting that as recently as the 1950s or even early 1960s, ethnic-whites like Scalia were not considered truly "white".

  • While I agree with the "whites need a diverse experience" line of thinking, I also think minority students benefit from a diversity experience. Since much of the country remains under de facto segregation, any experience – college, the military – that breaks down racial ignorance is beneficial to BOTH sides.

    I don't necessarily see it as "scenery" for white people.

  • @Major Kong

    A late friend of mine grew up in the 1940s and played in big bands and jazz bands out of the Philadelphia, PA area. He was a great tenor sax player.

    He told me that he used to tease his fellow musicians in one former band where all of the players (except him) had names that ended in vowels that he was "the only White guy in the band."


  • "I guess admissions boards will just have to do some actual work and read applications rather than simply sorting data in Excel spreadsheets."

    Oh, man, that's good! You trying out new material on us before you take it onstage, Ed?

  • Monkey Business says:

    The problem with Affirmative Action is that is addresses a symptom, not the disease. If I may, the purpose of Affirmative Action is to compel colleges and universities to admit a certain number of black and hispanic undergraduates. These individuals may, under certain circumstances, have lower academic qualifications than white students that would otherwise be admitted.

    Now, why is it that black and hispanic students would have lower academic qualifications than white students, and need assistance to attend college?

    It's because blacks and hispanics comprise the majority of the lower middle class to poor income brackets. Moreover, they frequently reside in inner city school districts that are overcrowded, underfunded, and have an immensely difficult time attracting the best, or even really good, teachers.

    A good educational system can lift entire communities out of poverty, but we as a society have made it a point to destroy public education in this country. Individuals with college degrees make more money, live longer, and their children have more opportunities. It's the bedrock of class mobility.

    Unfortunately, because of the way that public education is funded in this country, good luck trying to convince a bunch of rich white people in the suburbs and exurbs that their property taxes need to go up so a poor black or hispanic child in the inner city can have a better education and life.

  • I'm with Aaron Weber on this: recruit economic diversity, which is de facto also racial diversity at this moment in time. I went to a private university as an undergrad, and by far the most problematic thing was not white privilege per se, but privilege writ large. This problem was extended to international students: enormously wealthy scions from India and Singapore who could immediately identify who "their people" were.

    And let's give Ed a little credit here: he isn't saying that diversity for diversity's sake is bad, or that the "scenery for white people" aspect doesn't have merit. He's saying the problem is that this is how university admissions offices are thinking of "diversity candidates" (and where "diversity" always implies skin color and little else). They are mere objects, and not assets as students, in and of themselves.

    I think the silver lining here, as Ed implies, is that if universities are legitimately committed to diversity, they'll do some real recruiting, instead of just taking snapshots of a bunch of people of different colors laughing in front of some idyllic campus location for their brochures.

  • It's 7 years old, but Jonathan Kozol's The Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America showed that schools are actually more racially segregated than they were before 'the end of segregation'. At the time I looked through IL and primarily Chicago elementary and High schools and it was frightening to see the number of 97%+ white/asian majority schools or 97%+ black/hispanic schools. Even a 80/20 mix seems impossible to achieve in all but the most diverse schools. Personally I have a problem with this and think that the whole slavery thing might have play a significant part in diversity in education and the quality of US education. I also think that legislatures should have the power to do something about this (shocking, I know). Oh, and fuck Texas – they need to secede already. Their shit ass education system is already 49th/50th prior to this latest shit.

    California eliminated race in college admissions in 1996. I didn't look up what happened today, but my recollection is that the 'top' schools fairly quickly lost diversity and mid-range schools became whiter as well. Good time to read up on this.
    The website collegeprowler has diversity ratings on a grade scale. Here are their ratings for some CA colleges and their white/asian/hispanic/black percentages with the white/asian population in parenthesis.

    UC Santa Barbara – B – 51/17/21/3 (68)
    UC LA – A- – 34/38/15/4 (72)
    USC – A – 45/22/13/5 (67)
    UC Davis B+ – 34/41/13/3 (75)
    US San Diego – B+ – 27/47/12/2 (74)
    Stanford – A+ – 35/21/11/9 (56)
    UC Berkeley – A- – 31/41/12/4 (72)

    Is this sufficient diversity in a state that in the 2010 census had a state wide racial breakdown of 58/13/38/6 (71)? (yes, this goes over 100%…it's the Hispanic/White zen diagram) It's actually "better" than I expected, but each school has a 'unknown' listing from 8~15% so it may be considerably worse.

    Affirmative Action has always been pretty simple to me:
    “…the evil system of colonialism and imperialism arose and throve with the enslavement of Negroes and the trade in Negroes, and it will surely come to its end with the complete emancipation of the Black people.”
    ― Mao Tse-tung

    We're not there yet so there should be laws that seek redress.

  • I'm usually with Ed but I'm not sure he understands the planned sequence of events here. The goal is to implement all the parts of this sequence:

    a.) Make sure the black kids get a worse elementary/high school experience (property taxes stay in district, for example – anything else would be "unfair")

    b.) Use standardized tests with white cultural bias built-in to grade them.

    c.) Mandate that state schools decide admissions solely on the basis of those standardized tests; considering anything else would be "unfair".

    d.) Deny all financial aid for any of dozens of reasons, including even one conviction for drug possession, while maximizing law enforcement in low-income minority communities.

    Intended result: no black kids go to college.

    Most of those four points are already in place. If you think about it holistically, starting with the consideration of whether it is good or bad for the United States if no black kids go to college, and then work backwards from there, I think your views on particular areas may change.

  • The idea of American racism as a closed case stems from boomer self-importance.* The '60s left simply had no clue what a long, hard slog it would be, and the right is all too happy to consider all racial grievances redressed.

    *Present boomer company excluded, natch.

  • Two digressions:

    First, of interest to no one but lawyers, that O'Connor quote shows just how far the "compelling interest" prong of the strict scrutiny standard has been diluted. It used to mean just what it said—a governmental interest that was compelling, that is it compelled the government's hand, leaving no other reasonable choice, such as in the notorious Korematsu case when the Court reasoned that yes this was racial discrimination, but the nation's ability to win the war was at stake. (That the application in that case was so bad has not prevented the precedent from becoming a font of modern equal protection law.)

    As has been noted by two generations now of constitutional scholars, the more categories are found by the court to trigger strict scrutiny, the more pressure the Court will be under to find a supposed compelling interest. And so diversity in higher public education is now "compelling." I approve of the result, but one can still appreciate how gnarled the logic has become.

    Second, there is going to be a moment—and I would stake my entire bank account on this—in oral arguments when Roberts, Alito, or Scalia asks a sarcastic question about how the legacy of slavery could possibly have persisted for nearly a century and a half, how the persistence of race in the present must certainly be a figment of some ivory tower comparative studies tenure grab, and he will do it in a tone that very firmly suggests he has never even heard the name Trayvon Martin.

    And that's pretty much the moment I'm going to give up entirely on the future of this country.

  • @Pat

    I don't dispute your thoughts,, but I suggest that you remember the Duke Lacrosse Players case when you speak about Mr. Trayvon Martin.

    We have yet to determine that he is Emmett Till Redux

    The fat lady ain't even cleared her throat yet.


  • yes, the fun has only begun. the Righty whites now own all the Government offices needed to declare slavery's/segregation's bad effects done and redressed in full.

    watching those actions and the people who defend them is quite a lesson in hypocrisy and Orwellian doublespeak. not that i would expect otherwise from the right. admitting the errors of the past is heretical and will never be done.

    to watch the Righties bend and twist everything unbendable and untwistable to conform to their "facts" is always an exercise in proof of the devolution of the species. that is what Darwin got wrong. the species will kill itself rather than admit it made a mistake.

    the Alpha male will never admit to being wrong or making a mistake. simply not done if retaining power is desired. which is why repeating the same lies over and over and supporting the "Powers that Be" is the only thing the Reich wingers will do. and destroy those who dare to expose the "facts" they create. of course nowadays we have the same thing occuring to some degrees with the Obama followers. just different take on the same "empty" Orwellian power structures.

  • Having blacks around to benefit whites is just the flip side of Brown v Board, which included data that demonstrated that having whites around (i.e. being part of a an 'inclusive' culture) benefits blacks.
    The argument that 'diversity is good for the University' is a more universal reframing of why affirmative action is good for blacks and thus all of us in society, and not merely a dodge, methinks.

  • just to see Blacks as people like us has been the "taboo" our white society has reinforced since Slavery was used as means for White people to get Rich.

    after 400 some odd years of "getting over" on Blacks by Whites, the fears of blowback has always been the Southern Strategy the Republicans have successfully used to divide and conquer America and impose the Fascism called Corporatism, Citizens United and the Republican Coup d'etat of Bush vs. Gore.

    Blacks and Whites have a long way to go down the road to dealing with the present "Past". as i have heard, the Past is Never Past, the Past is still here NOW. of Course, Scalia, Alito, Roberts, and Uncle Thomas will never admit Errors of Judgment. so the Past continues to bubble up in the Present all over the place.

    and the present slogean of "Look Forward, Not Backward" is more of the same "pretensions" of
    "It's all Better Now."

  • So, this is only slightly related, but as I was reading the news coverage of George Zimmerman's arrest today, I noticed an opportunity of sorts. Now that so many news outlets use Facebook as their comment platform, many of the racists who post rants such as those detailing how Zimmerman is a "political prisoner" and Trayvon Martin was a "dope dealing, burglarizing, blinged-out thug" do so using their real names and pictures. And when you click through to their Facebook profiles, there's often years worth of similar public rants, pictures of their faces, lists of family members, or at very least, current employer info, schools and churches attended, etc.

    I'm thinking that their employers might like to know what they are posting likely on company time. Even if they are posting from home, I would bet that a large unified school district or a major electric company, for instance, wouldn't want a teacher or tech on staff who proudly makes such public statements. I haven't yet dropped those dimes, but it is a constant temptation.

    Does this make me a fascist thug who wields terroristic threats of shame and censorship in the same way that right-wingers often do, or do we all have these thoughts?

  • @BB: what the hey? By comparing Travon Martin's assassination with Duke University, you're claiming that Zimmerman was a drunk, entitled athlete who hired Martin to perform sex acts and then assaulted him? Your comparison doesn't work at all.

    Trayvon Martin was a teenage boy walking home from a convenience store with a bag of Skittles in his pocket, who was attacked and murdered for the crime of walking while black. Unlike Emmett Till, there's not even the faked evidence that he winked at a white woman; he was simply minding his own business walking down the sidewalk, talking on the phone to his girlfriend, when a jumped-up self-impotant loser with over-the-top racist fantasies decided to imitate the Klan and enact his own lynching to make up for his obvious shortcomings.

  • @anonymouse

    Somebody once said here that the "Right doesn't do nuance".

    The Duke case was a rush to judgment with template thinking by the Left. We got that here. You have even demonstrated that with your characterizations of Mr. Z.

    Emmett Till was a completely innocent young man who alerted White racists by his 'suspicious' actions and they killed him. We don't know if we got that here yet.

    Go suck a lemon.


  • Hey Bill, I suggest you start dropping those dimes like a slot machine paying out the jackpot. I can't tell you how pissed I get seeing all these people walking around pretending that America "fixed" racism a long time ago, and then in "private" posting rants like that. If they say it on a social networking site or blog, they ought to come right out with it. If you actually do what you suggested that would be an epic trolling. You might want to contact the folks at One People's Project about that.

  • (Christ, I know he's a troll; I shouldn't even indulge; why do I bother; oh to hell with it already.)

    Actually, Anonymouse, I think he was suggesting that George Zimmerman, like some number of lacrosse players at Duke, didn't rape a woman somewhere in the Raleigh-Durham area. And he's right!

    The problem is, he's wrong about everything else. bb in ga, you appear to have no idea what happened in this case. I'm suspicious you have little notion of what happened in the Duke lacrosse case, other than some dim notion that it comes from the bin of "things liberals got wrong." And you definitely have no idea—and this is where it gets truly bizarre—what happened in the Emmett Till case. Till wasn't murdered for acting "suspicious," you twit, he was murdered for talking to a white woman. (The apocryphal story that he whistled at her appears to have been added later, possibly during trial coverage.)

    Let's take a look at facts not even in dispute:

    1) Trayvon Martin, a black teenager, was walking home in a neighborhood in Sanford, Texas, carrying Skittles and an Arizona Ice Tea and wearing a hooded sweatshirt.
    2) One or more of the details in (1) caused George Zimmerman, a self-appointed neighborhood watchman, to become suspicious of Martin and report him to the police.
    3) During the telephone call in (2), Zimmerman uttered the words "fucking coons" and the police told Zimmerman not to follow Martin.
    4) Notwithstanding the police instruction in (3), Zimmerman took a loaded pistol and tracked Martin through Martin's home neighborhood. Martin, who was on the phone with his girlfriend at the time, noticed Zimmerman, became frightened, and announced his intention to walk quickly so as to elude Zimmerman.
    5) Zimmerman, still armed with his pistol, approached Martin.
    6) Zimmerman shot and killed Martin.

    Now, what you seem evidently too stupid to realize is, there is no colorable defense of George Zimmerman here. If not for the 6th Amendment and Florida's insane "stand your ground" law, this would be ripe for summary judgment, as no genuine issue of material fact exists. You can't argue lack of premeditation (he brought his gun), you can't argue Martin was the actual aggressor (he reported his fear and intent to escape on the phone), you can't argue mistake of fact or defense of an innocent third party.

    What you and apparently every other conservative in this country (who for the first time in their lives—let's give them a hand—have an inkling of respect for the value of due process) can't quite seem to understand is that the only defense of George Zimmerman is the following:

    "George Zimmerman made an honest mistake in thinking Trayvon Martin was up to no good. Armed with a gun for his own protection, he approached Martin to investigate. When Martin noticed Zimmerman was armed, he became understandably alarmed and tried to fight back; Zimmerman, believing he was being attacked, fired his gun in self-defense and killed Martin. What happened was an unspeakable tragedy, and an innocent teenager died as a result of two misunderstandings. But every tragedy is not necessarily a crime, and Florida's 'stand your ground' law made George Zimmerman's actions, tragic as they were, legal."

    Do you get it yet, you numbskull? In order to defend George Zimmerman, you have to transfer all the blame to Florida's "stand your ground" law. As a matter of simple logic, there is no other outcome. But of course the point of this whole thing is you want both to defend Zimmerman's actions and the Florida law. So you cast about for an alternative argument that isn't there, saying this isn't like the Emmett Till case. Well, no shit, Sherlock. Your ignorance of that case is rather amazing, but even more amazingly it is matched by your inability to consider the logical implications of your own argument. If I weren't a card-carrying member of the ACLU, I'd be sympathetic to the argument that you be legally restrained from describing events of public concern to people, because you're pretty clearly a one-sided drain on the pool of shared human intelligence.

    I'm afraid I took the last lemon. So go suck a tailpipe, you cretin.

  • Sorry bb but I don't see in what reality a 250-pound, armed man in a vehicle is so intimidated by a skinny kid that he has to chase him down and start an altercation.

    It seems to me that he went looking for trouble.

  • (Christ, I know he's a troll; I shouldn't even indulge; why do I bother; oh to hell with it already.)

    Don't worry about it. The more bb talks, the more he continues to confirm what utter horse shit is the ideology he represents.

  • Also, I suspect you wasted a lot of time and perfectly good thought on that post. bb and his fellow neocons can't read and have no critical thinking ability.

  • I wouldn't class bb as a troll. Someone who keeps this place from being an echo chamber, definitely. It's good to have the occasional counter point thrown into the mix.

    As soon as Zimmerman disobeyed the 911 operator's instructions and started following Martin he looses his "self-defense" position. As for the allegation Martin "attacked" Zimmerman…
    Let's see, the law states all you need is to "perceive" a threat. So I'm a skinny kid, who's from a neighbourhood where people get beaten or killed daily (assumption, not necessarily fact). I'm of a minority group that historically encounters violence from within and from outside the community. Somebody starts following me in an SUV, and it's not a cop — they usually identify themselves. Eventually a much larger male corners and confronts me. I'm unarmed, every second counts and I *am $#|t scared* about what he may try…
    It appears that because Martin is black, he's *not* allowed to be protected by the same law that let Zimmerman walk free. Personally, if I'm walking along and you follow me and corner me, I'll come at you swinging!! The black kid is not entitled to defend himself, which means he's not guaranteed equal protection under the law.

  • All the Pissed at Me for my Lack of______:

    I am in no way defending Mr Zimmerman. I want the facts to be established in court before I condemn him as a murderer.

    I want that for each and every one of you too.

    Am I wrong in saying that mostly Left leaning people condemned the DL players before they had all the facts? Those young men were awarded some handsome financial judgments because of that mess.

    Are they "heroes" in my book? Not hardly. Spoiled and privileged JOCKS. I've been to school near those types.

    Rapists, not at all, so says the court.

    I am so sorry for my stupidity that there is no defense for Mr. Z. Why don't you just look him up and shoot him now and save us all the trouble of a trial?

    To speculate a little about the defense in this case. I think the SYG law defense might fail because it has been established that Mr. Z initially pursued Mr Martin.

    SYG is meant to prevent harassing prosecutions of people who are accosted in their own homes and shoot someone down w/o first retreating to the last resort. I've seen this happen a few times even here in GA.

    Miz Sarah: I'm not a neocon – I'm against prosecuting needless wars at great human expense.

    I'm sorry to say, the stereotyped image (on the Right) of the 'Angry Leftist' has certainly been supported by this outburst.

    I pray for your innards that you digest well and sleep at night.


  • @bb

    I don't recall insulting you, so I don't really want to be collateral damage here.

    I can even understand the motivation behind the Stand-Your-Ground law, I just think they can be so broadly interpreted to be "The guy with the gun is always right".

  • @Major Kong

    I'm too involved w/ my Real Life ™ right now to research it, but I assert w/o proof that as a demographic concealed carry permit holders are pretty righteous men and women coming in just about dead last for being perpetrators of ANY crime much less gun crimes.

    If Mr. Zimmerman is a ccp holder, he certainly is the very sad and notable exception.

    So, yeah, in the case of ccp holders we could say "The guy/girl with the gun is most likely right." based on performance.


  • @bb:The Duke case was a rush to judgment with template thinking by the Left. We got that here. You have even demonstrated that with your characterizations of Mr. Z.>>

    You mean the "mischaracterization" of the man with a record for domestic violence and fired for being a violent nut, who made 46 hysterical calls to 9-1-1 in one year because he was so offended (in one case) by the presence of a small child playing while black? The man who disobeyed instructions from 9-1-1 to not engage, that they had someone coming? The 250-pound bruiser who felt so "terrified" of a 140-pound beanpole o a teenager that he chased after him with a gun and shot him dead?

    I guess in right-wingnuttia, "mischaracterization" is another word for "reality".

  • xynzee:"The black kid is not entitled to defend himself, which means he's not guaranteed equal protection under the law."

    That's the cruz of BB's argument, isn't it? A huge, hulking bruiser of a man was so "terrified" of a skinny teenager with a pack of Skittles that he felt justified in disobeying instructions to stay back, and that's to be lauded. OTOH, a teenager just minding his own business has no right to defend himself against a crazed, gun-wielding thug if the teenager happens to be darker than a paper bag.

  • BB"Am I wrong in saying that mostly Left leaning people condemned the DL players before they had all the facts? "

    You mean the fact that entitled, drunken athletes felt entitled to hire and then sexually assault an exotic dancer because dark people aren't actually real people?

  • Sorry, for some reason that posted when I hit .

    To continue, it startles you that left-leaning people condemn physical and sexual assault? What, in your right-wingnut world, people darker than a paper bag deserve to be physically and sexually assaulted?

    So what does this have to do with a vicious thug assaulting a skinny young teen he'd never met?

  • I forgot to add: to what extent did Zimmerman's ability to carry contribute to this event? If he had been unarmed, would he have been more or less inclined to keep his distance (not confront)? Would he have been more or less inclined to follow instructions (not pursue)?

    So effectively bb, you're arguing for trial by judge and jury? Not by media?
    How unAmerican of you! If you're not careful you'll end up on West's "List" ;)

    Though how could anyone ever a receive a "fair trial" for such a high profile case is beyond me. Though his pursuit and confronting certainly takes it out of the "seeing something suspicious by the neighbour's car at 2am, go and investigate" category.

  • @bzbee

    If you are empowered by insulting someone you don't know, has no power over you, and has done you no harm….well, rock on!

    Mr Z could be the biggest turkey to ever trot. Most likely the stuff you cited is not admissible nor germane to a murder trial. Maybe a net lawyer can correct me here.

    We haven't established the last sentence of your main graph. We know Mr Z. shot Mr. M dead.

    Right now, you are makin' it up to fit your template. I don't know and you don't know.

    Maybe we will find out during the trial



  • @bzbee

    Uh..where U been?

    The DL players were cleared of those charges and won a big $ settlement over the slander/libel. Certainly, you can disagree w/ the verdict (I think OJ did it!) but you are acting like the trial never happened.

    Am I mis-characterizing your position?


  • @xynzee: I forgot to add: to what extent did Zimmerman's ability to carry contribute to this event? If he had been unarmed, would he have been more or less inclined to keep his distance (not confront)? Would he have been more or less inclined to follow instructions (not pursue)?

    Zimmerman seems like the typical right-wing lame-ass punk bully. Of course his 'bravery' is tied to his ability to shoot others with his gun. That gun made him feel like a big, big man. That gun was the replacement for his missing manhood.

  • Not BZBee, but bb, are you really such an idealogue that you deny that a bunch of entitled athletes hired a woman to dance for their amusement and then assault her? Wow. You really are locked into your received Talking Points, aren't you?

  • Aw, bb, did I hurt your widdle feelings?

    If you don't like being treated like a moron, I suggest you quit acting like one.

    Has it occurred to you that the reason why everyone's so riled up about this is because it has taken THIS LONG to finally get an arrest–and THAT only happened because of the publicity and everyone getting all riled up?

    You say that we shouldn't rush to judgment when we are so unclear about what exactly happened. Fine. BUT. The reason why we are so unclear on what exactly happened is because of the botching of the initial investigation, which I personally can only explain by thinking that the cops who were sent to the scene saw a dead black teenager and figured he was just so much sub-human garbage, no one would care about him anyway.

    At any rate, discussing and dissecting this issue on a message board doesn't do squat as far as what ultimately happens to Zimmerman. Bear in mind that Casey Anthony was acquitted, with some very compelling circumstantial evidence. As for the Duke University thing, I didn't follow that story so I can't comment.

  • @Sarah

    Yesh…I'm devastated.


    I don't expect you to hang on my every word, but please note in my 04/12 1:20 pm post.

    'Are they "heroes" in my book? Not hardly. Spoiled and privileged JOCKS. I've been to school near those types.' [referring to the DL players]

    Why are so many of y'all so hostile.

    It's a friggin' DISCUSSION board. Why don't you discuss instead of inveighing against anyone who doesn't hew to your line?

    I don't call people names. I state my case usually politely and you act like I'm a father stabbin' mother raper (Arlo where are you ?).

    I really hope y'all have some smiles in your lives – just dayyam…


  • Townsend Harris says:

    Monkey Business wished "good luck trying to convince a bunch of rich white people in the suburbs and exurbs that their property taxes need to go up so a poor black or hispanic child in the inner city can have a better education and life"

    New York (and maybe California) have "solved" that problem by creating more than one public higher education system. CUNY's a terrific bantustan compared to its better-funded sibling SUNY. Which is just the way Albany likes it.

  • Dunno either bb. Most of us appreciate your contributions.

    There's a big difference between a conservative and a conservatard.

    "The reason why we are so unclear on what exactly happened is because of the botching of the initial investigation, which I personally can only explain by thinking that the cops who were sent to the scene saw a dead black teenager and figured he was just so much sub-human garbage, no one would care about him anyway."

    Which is exactly why Zimmerman getting nailed won't move the discussion forward at all. He's just an expendable loser who's going to jail to placate the Masses' need for blood. Can Z get a fair trial? No matter the outcome, because it required such a mass protest and media frenzy, neither side will be satisfied. Acquit: it's because he's a white guy shooting a n**ger. Guilty: it's trial by media.

    We want the senior cops who made the decisions to not handle the death of a *teenager* correctly. We *want* the faceless men at ALEC who penned this legislation, introduced it and voted it in with their toes doing a dance-n-dangle.

    Until its seen as the senseless death of one of *our children*, Martin will just be another dead n**ger. Ed's final point that we *want* people from different backgrounds in our society is what we're aiming for.

  • @bb:"Why are so many of y'all so hostile. "

    Oh, I'm terribly sorry. Were your little fee-fee's huwt because you said outrageous things and were called on it? I know, conservatives think they have the right to say anything they want and then become all butt-hurt when reasonable people don't agree with them. Victimization is a profession with you guys, isn't it?

  • @Sarah "Has it occurred to you that the reason why everyone's so riled up about this is because it has taken THIS LONG to finally get an arrest–and THAT only happened because of the publicity and everyone getting all riled up?"

    Exactly. A wanna-be vigilante with a long history of domestic violence and problems with authority is found literally sitting on the body of a shot teenager, gun in hand, after he was specifically told NOT TO approach; that the authorities were coming to handle the "situation". Moreover, based on the cell records, we know this skinny teenager was walking home from a convenience store with a bag of skittlles, talking on the phone to his girlfriend, when he got the creepy feeling he was being pursued and decided to get home on the run.

    If anyone had the right to "stand his ground", it was the teenager who was being threatened by the big thug with a criminal history.

    Instead, he ended up dead, and his parents were not notified for three days despite the contact info in his cellphone.

    This travesty should concern anyone. Instead, BB jumped right in with the conservative talking points and began comparing a kid on his way home from the store with a pocketful of skittles to an exotic dancer and other outrageous fictions meant to paint the victim as the culprit and the obvious aggressor as lily-white and sainted.

  • @anon and the gang

    I sincerely hope y'all never get accused of anything serious.

    It is apparent we all don't fully know what we are talking about. I hope that changes.

    And for the record, I have used no talking points and have not defended Mr. Z other than to say that he needs to be tried blah blah blah.


  • Almost 50 years after President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act into law we are still debating the best way to change the hearts and minds of people and level the playing field.

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