He should have just run

Digby links to an interview with pro-gun activist Larry Pratt, who argues that once Trayvon Martin had knocked Zimmerman to the ground “he should have run”: Once he’d knocked Zimmerman down, he lost any sort of moral high ground or any rights under the “Stand your Ground” laws, so he should have run.
While it is, of course, impossible to prove a counterfactual, I don’t have the slighest doubt that if he’d run and Zimmerman had recovered his gun and shot him (given the man’s statement he was following Martin to make sure he didn’t get away, that seems possible, though not certain) we’d see the same guy explaining that if Martin had just stayed calm instead of running, nothing bad would have happened: Hell, why was he running if he was so all-fired innocent?
In a similar vein, Digby points out that gun advocates, in contrast to the usual response to a shooting, are not suggesting that if Martin had been carrying, he could have defended himself—although I agree with Digby that if he had shot back, the cops wouldn’t have any qualms charging him (whether or not it stuck).
It’s possible that if Martin had stood still and just yes-sirred and no-sirred and cringed, he might be okay (one of Zimmerman’s friends says Martin should just have been “upfront and truthful”—as if Zimmerman had some right to question him). But how was Martin to know that?
Santorum and Gingrich have another take on it: Obama’s statement that “if I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon Martin” is offensive, implying that it’s somehow worse than if a white kid got shot. No, not implying, stating it (Gingrich: “Is the president suggesting if it had been a white who had been shot, that would be OK because it wouldn’t look like him?”).
Answer: No, he’s not. He’s simply pointing out that the risk for a black kid is a lot higher. The risk of being found suspicious, of being shot by someone who assumes no black kid would be there if he wasn’t up to no good, the risk of being judged, sentenced and executed based entirely on stereotypes and fears.
This is what’s sometimes labeled reactionary colorblindness: To acknowledge racism, let alone suggest that minorities have distinctive problems that need distinctive solutions, requires treating races differently. Therefore, people who fight racism are the real racists, as this pundit asserts (he also argues that the “Stand Your Ground” law is irrelevant, even though the police and prosecutors are asserting it as a reason for not charging Zimmerman).
Call me crazy, but I think they’re full of it.

5 Comments

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5 responses to “He should have just run

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