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October 21, 2014

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letter to the editor:

Face facts about race in America

Being a black man, I’ve heard a lot of talk about the George Zimmerman case, but even before the verdict was announced, I felt the final analysis would be not guilty. Why? I will have to give you the simple facts.

When I was 12, my social studies teacher teared up when he read a simple fact: I had a 25 percent chance of being incarcerated or dead every year until I was 18. That meant I had a 150 percent chance against me. I was determined to beat the odds. By 18, I had gone through a lot. I had a 9 percent chance of getting a job, so I went through more than 120 interviews to overcome it.

By 18, I had two cars and excellent grades. Out of 1,000 friends, schoolmates, etc., only a few of us beat the odds. Hate, bias, stereotypes, etc., decimated us.

Mainly, spirituality saw us through it. In the Bible, it says Lucifer was the most beautiful being in all God’s creation. Lucifer hated God for not making him the same as God, and thus evil was born. Racism, hate and evil are all the same to me. As black men, we don’t ask for understanding, sympathy or even respect. We do ask that you accept the facts. We do.

For more than 400 years, it hasn’t changed, but as the Bible says: faith, hope and love. Above all, love.

It will eventually overcome.

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  1. Good for you Mark, glad you made it through a very tough period of life. It does appear however that other groups such as Hispanics, Muslims, LBGT and abortion-seeking women have eclipsed blacks as the media's favored groups these days. Why we're not discussing more openly the causes and remedies for lower than average black graduation rates, black on black crime and the high unemployment rate among blacks is baffling to me.

  2. When blacks were convicted at trials in the past because they were black, that was wrong and would be wrong today. To have convicted Zimmerman because he shot a black man would have been wrong, yesterday or today.

    We don't know who started this fight or who threw the first punch. No witnesses came forward and said they saw the fight start. Zimmerman had injuries consistent with a fight and claimed that Martin struck him, landed the first blow and had him on the ground. Martin could not give his side because he was dead.

    Given the evidence available and what wasn't available, the 'reasonable doubt' standard would argue that Zimmerman should not be convicted... and he wasn't. Had this not been portrayed as a white man murdering a black man by the media, this would have been an unremarkable case, routinely decided by the 'reasonable doubt' standard.

    Might Zimmerman be guilty of murder or manslaughter? Absolutely. Could that be proven beyond a 'reasonable doubt'? No, it couldn't. To convict would have been similar to taking very weak evidence against a black man in the 1950's and convicting him... not on the evidence, but because he was black.

    Racism is alive and we should fight it, but it must be left out of the criminal justice system, for blacks or anyone else.

    Michael

  3. The objective of the U.S. legal system is to accomplish two main goals: Truth and justice. It's rare that our legal system does both at the same time. Mostly, it [our legal system] provides one [truth] but not the other [justice]. Sometimes and tragically, as in the death of Trayvon Martin, it provides neither. When it does neither, it's a sad day for our country and all Americans.

    Carmine D

  4. Bradley and many others think Zimmerman should not have been acquitted. Bradley thinks Zimmerman was acquitted because his trial was in Florida.

    It amazes me that I have to point out that a change of venue would have been denied if requested. Why? Because it would not have been possible to prove a fair trial could not be had in Florida, because again, what Bradley thinks Florida is isn't really what Florida is today.

    To convict Zimmerman with the evidence available would have been like convicting him as an 'apology' for all the times blacks have been wrongfully convicted or wrongfully killed. It seems as if many, including Bradley, think this kind of 'exchange' or 'compensation' is fine. I wonder how they'd feel if we used this standard on one of their friends or relatives.

    I have sympathy for Martin and his family and I still don't 'know' what happened or whether Zimmerman told the truth. I do know this: While I understand the frustration felt by many over racial injustice, we cannot throw our legal system out the window in order to provide 'redress' for racial injustices, committed now or in the past. Doing so would be as unfair as the racial injustices of today and yesterday are and were.

    Michael

  5. I believe most of the stats SgtRock presents are correct... and tragic. However, he should also note that the non black population is in that same race and coming up from behind quite quickly.

    Our society is terribly screwed up and has its priorities ass backwards. He should also point out that both the Republican and Democrat parties have done very little to address the issues we have.

    In the end, it's like the old song 'one voice' by Barry Manilow. It's got to start with one voice, one person deciding to do what's right instead of what's easy. We didn't get to where we are in a tidal wave. It happened one person at a time and that's the way we have to find our way back home...if we can.

    Michael

  6. Mr. Wells,

    I respect your efforts and your viewpoint, but I, along with most of your fellow citizens, categorically reject your statement: "Hate, bias, stereotypes, etc., decimated us."

    Please revisit your comment and apply facts, logic & reason. I am certain you will arrive at a different conclusion.

    Regards,
    Purgatory

  7. Growing up in N.Y. in the 40s and 50s in a all Italian neighborhood it was common to live and work with other Italians.It was the same for the Irish, the Germans, Polish, Jewish people,and all other groups of people.We all had our own area we lived in and did not socialize with others on a grand scale. It was also very common to never date or mix with other nationalities,and when someone did they no longer were considered to be a part of the their own family.I do remember how bad it was for black people back then who were not excepted by most other groups of people.They had it the worst of any people in our country.

    This has all changed since the sixties with the civil rights movement and from dedicated men like Dr.Martin Luther King Jr. and many others,who had to fight and also died in helping their people obtain equal rights. This was and is a battle that still continues today,but things are getting better for black folks. If you don't believe it, just go to any public school function and see for yourself how first,second and third graders all playing and getting along with one another with no signs of prejudice anywhere. None of us will ever know how it felt to grow up as a black person back then.

  8. So Wells has overcome adversity. I applaud him, but who among us hasn't? The answer? Parasites who blame everyone and everything else for their own failures such as dropping out of school, having or creating babies as teens, using "recreational" stimulants, feeling "entitled," etc. Yes, there is "discrimination" and other obstacles put before us, but it's up to the individual to put them aside and focus on what he or she wants to accomplish. Whining, wailing and blaming others for your own shortcomings is counter productive and wastes both time and energy that could be used in a positive manner. Wake up to the fact that you are responsible for your own life and very few others give a rats-ass as to whether you succeed or fail.

  9. Future - "6700 young black were killed in 2012 - 91% black on black murder. WHY NO PUBLIC OUT CRY"

    There has been an outcry, you haven't been listening!

  10. Bradley,

    Is your study published?

  11. I used to say and still believe that many Blacks don't know much about real racism--I grew up off an Indian reservation. I can understand Mr. Wells and sympathize but the Native Americans have it much worse. That doesn't make it OK to treat Blacks poorly. It takes ALL sides to participate. I can recite instances where I have gone out of my way to help a minority individual and been slapped by the individual. I've worked with and had many minority friends--more so than WASP companions. I can recite how I've hired, promoted, worked with minority individuals. And yet, some posters here read one sentence of my post and rant and rave accusing racism.

  12. My point in the above post is that what APPEARS to be discriminatory might not be in many, many instances. And do we have to find your mother to explain to you that many, most, all people have moments to lifetimes when they treat others very poorly--without race being a factor at all.

  13. AG took an oath to ENFORCE OUR LAWS, not to expand his interpretation of the constitution and various laws. He has failed miserably at enforcing our laws. Ditto for O. And we would listen to either about another "fine point" in their re-interpretation of something that is NOT law?

  14. BCHAP and Last Throes:

    You obivously paid no attention to the case. The evidence wasnt there to support a manslaughter conviction, must less 2nd degree murder.

    There is absolutely no evidence that George Zimmerman (with a black grandmother) was biased against blacks. His neighborhood, like him, was 50 percent non white. In one year there were 400 calls to Sanford PD from that one neighborhood. When GZ was asked the color of the suspicious person in the neighborhood, he replied that he didn't know. He took part in a protest AGAINST SPD for beating a homeless black man.

    The local authorities declined to prosecute since there was no evidence; it wasn't until Sharpton and Holder got involved that FL apointed a special prosecutor, who overreached. Even the FBI investigation couldn't find any evidence that GZ was racist.

    Much to the chagrin of the professionally agrieved, the trial worked exactly as it should, and not as the political show trial that MSNBC, Sharpton and their ilk wanted.

  15. Roberta,

    I commend you for trying, but you are labeled a Conservative by many that write here and unfortunately for many of those same people, Conservative = racist.

    Michael

  16. Bruce Newman,

    Excellent post and on point. Zimmerman might be a racist, but there is nothing to prove that, or even suggest it, other than the fact that he followed a teenager that turned out to be black. I feel sorry for those that so badly 'want' Zimmerman to be a racist. Why would anyone 'want' that. This is a tragedy and nothing more. It's crime in a gated community, neighborhood watch, a man patrolling his community, a teenager who jumped a wall to take a shortcut home and two people's paths that intersected at a point in that community. Both parties could have made wiser choices but didn't and someone ended up dead.

    That's the extent of it. And yes, it is tragic.

    Michael

  17. I can appreciate how difficult it must be to be an African-American in this country. Most of us have enough challenges survivng in this society,even as whites. The element of being an African-American only increases that challenge. But one must ask the question,where would the African-American rather be--in Africa or America? The ancestors of present day African -Americans were ruthlessly
    uprooted from their tribes in Africa, where they were failiar and content, and brutally transported here to America by slave traders,where everything was radically different. Still one of man's most unjust and cruel acts in all of history.
    But that was then. This is now.

    One of the things that makes America great, however,was having the willingness to come to grips this evil in our midst ( slave trade and the ensuing slavery and bondage of African -Americans), and to have the political and moral will and courage to remove it. The greatest civil turmoil in American history was the nation's price to deal with it. I really deplore the notion of "white guilt" which results from pure fabrication and fantasy of white liberals. This nation has made abundant human sacrifices and invested vast amounts of its treasure (largely by whites,by the way) to remedy these original immoral and inhumane conditions,and advance the rights of African-Americans over the past century.The legacy problems today in the African-American community consisting of Government dependency,crime,drugs and abject poverty,can be traced in large part to the misleading, inept and outdated preconceptions of its current leaders like Jesse Jackson and Rev. Al Sharpton, who stir up racial animus, in addition to the Democratic Party which doles out almost endless taxpayer money from the Treasury to buy their votes, and this strategy has succeeded for the Democrats,although not for the African-American community. This the black leaders and the Democratic party have done instead of lifting up the African -American community,and encouraging and helping it to put the past behind. Contrary to what some posters have stated,in our history the Republicans have been much kinder to the African-American community than the Democrats. Abraham Lincoln was of course a Republican.

  18. Bob,

    Boy are you going to take fire for that comment. You intimated that black 'leaders' like Jackson and Sharpton are hustlers and hucksters rather than leaders. How dare you! You suggested that many (although not all) of the problems in the African American community are related to poverty, drug abuse, black on black crime, fatherless homes, poor education etc. How dare you! Then you compounded it all by saying that some of the many programs championed by many Progressives are actually harming African Americans rather than helping them. How dare you!

    You better get you shield up and get ready for the onslaught.

    Michael

  19. Bradley,

    I laughed when I read your comment. You don't really know me at all. You make assumptions that are not true; you generalize, usually incorrectly and you just insist on trying to fit a round peg into a preconceived square hole. I don't think Zimmerman should have been charged and I am glad he wasn't found guilty. His case should never had anything to do with the racism that still does exist in America. They are separate issues. I'm sorry you cannot see that.

    Michael

  20. Bradley,

    I just wrote a letter this morning to Brian Greenspun , where I advocated going to majority rule immediately in the Senate and House for all matters and all legislation. I would support that, starting today, even though I don't agree with President Obama or the Democrat controlled Senate on many issues and 2/3's of our government is controlled by the Democrats.

    You find me one Republican or Conservative or Tea Partier that would do that .... and then I might admit that I am what you think I am. Probably not though. I don't have to worry though, because you cannot find such a person.

    Michael

  21. Bradley,

    Please research your diatribes before you make them. You don't fully identify the source of the quote, but I am going to assume it is from:

    http://mpdc.dc.gov/sites/default/files/d...

    Please correct me if I am wrong. These are 'guidelines' for setting up a neighborhood watch program, not laws. They were prepared by the National Sheriff's Association through a grant provided by the DOJ. These guidelines do not have the force of law.

    My understanding is that Zimmerman had a valid permit to carry a gun. Do I think it was 'wise' to carry a gun in his neighborhood? No. Do I think he violated any laws? No.

    You and others need to recognize and accept the fact that it could not be proven, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Zimmerman was a racist, had malice toward Martin, started the fight, escalated the fight, or that he wasn't in fear for his life, as he claimed. Therefore, he could not be convicted.

    He made a poor decision to carry a gun and follow a person when told not to by police. Those are poor decisions, not law violations. Apparently, Martin made poor decisions that included scaling a wall to enter a gated community where he did not live or was visiting, possibly taking a belligerent attitude toward someone who was following him and not leaving the scene and going home when he possibly could have.

    It's all tragic, but under our laws, there was no conviction to be had here. You and all the others that are so angry should channel your anger into figuring out what laws you want changed and working to change them.

    Michael

  22. There is a good discussion on what role "stand you ground" played in the Zimmerman defense, and when it did, here: http://mediamatters.org/blog/2013/07/15/...

    The column includes a direct quote from the jury instructions as well as a copy of what typical jury instructions contained before Florida passed SYG in 2005.

  23. It's true that racist people are still in large numbers, but not all racist people are white. I have friends , co workers, and just people I know who are black and are more racist than any white people I know. Raciism is an ugly fact of life and it doesn't come into effect until we get older. If you put infants of black and white together they could care a less, as they get older they are more reluctant to play together, whether it be family up bringing or peer pressure it happens, and it always will.

  24. That appears to be quite a comment, you submitted at 5:10 a.m., MarcJeric32. But I read no more than the first two sentences. Why? BECAUSE THE SECOND ONE WAS TOTALLY WRONG!!! You claim "Nobody asked the question - what was that 6'-2" hoodded 17-year old gangsta-in-the making doing in that gated community where he got access by illegally jumping the fence?"

    It was widely broadcast from day one that he and his father were visiting his father's fiancee and her son at their townhome. And NOTHING about his "illegally" entering the community. And then couple all that with your racist assumption about "gangsta-in-the making."

    If your lead is so bad, why should I waste my time reading further?

  25. Racism is taught. Taught to young people by older people. Children of all colors and creeds get along just fine until an older person teaches them hatred, either by example or by just telling them that this one or that one is either inferior or evil. A classic example is Santa Claus. Every little kid believes in Santa Claus to the point of blind faith and following. An older child tells them Santa Claus is a fake and he/she is crushed but is now a non-believer. Same as black and white kids. They play and get along just fine until someone tells them that the other is evil. All the sudden the name calling starts. The rest is history.

  26. Three comments about the above discussion.

    1) Was Zimmerman guilty of unlawfully shooting Martin? NOT PROVEN beyond a reasonable doubt, so the jury had no choice but to rule "Not Guilty." (We need to add another possible verdict - "Not Proven.")

    2) Was Zimmerman innocent in the shooting? That's a whole different kettle of fish. In my opinion, NO WAY! He willfully instigated the whole thing by stalking Martin. It appears Martin was killed solely because he dared to stand HIS ground - and was succeeding at it, but with no witnesses. At least none who came forward. In the time-worn southernism, he was being "uppity."

    3) Regarding racism in the South. ALL that has changed is that the sharp points of southern racism have been worn off so they no longer show above the surface. Otherwise the old time racism is still there in all its "glory," floating just barely below the surface.

  27. Bradley,

    You twist like a pretzel trying to justify your view. The prison guard was employed by a state institution that had stated regulations. When he violated those regulations, he put himself in jeopardy.

    Zimmerman, by all accounts was not employed by a neighborhood watch organization. He was a volunteer. There was no state institution involved here nor were there any regulations he was governed by. The nearest you can even come to that is citing 'guidelines' offered by a police association.

    The two situations have very little in common, but you insist on twisting like a pretzel to make them the same.

    Look, I get it. You are angry because a guy with a gun that wasn't black shot and killed an unarmed black teenager. But there isn't enough evidence to convict the guy under the law. You can't just make up stuff and twist stuff to try to justify a conviction that the known evidence did not support.

    I sympathize with your anger and frustration, but again, instead of just arguing that we should do what seems 'just' to you, you should put your efforts behind changing the law in a way where Zimmerman, under the same circumstances would be able to be found guilty.

    We have thousands of rules, regulations, laws etc. that are routinely not followed or lead to outcomes we disagree with. I've always had the same philosophy: If we are going to have rules, regulations, laws that are not enforced or lead to outcomes we dislike (as with Zimmerman), we either need to rid ourselves of them or change them until we are happy with the results.

    What we 'cannot' do is enforce them when it is convenient and ignore them when it is convenient to do that. That is when you descend into anarchy.

    Michael

  28. Much of what El_Lobo says could be entirely accurate, but it could not be 'proven' because there were no witnesses except Zimmerman. El_Lobo also could be wrong but again, there were no witnesses besides Zimmerman, so it can't be proven El_Lobo is wrong either.

    That is the crux of this case. El_Lobo doesn't believe Zimmerman and believes an alternate set of events. Neither version can be proven. If I were on trial, I would not want someone on it who just decides my version of events is not credible and substitutes his own without evidence to support his version.

    Properly, and I suspect with some trepidation, this jury decided they could not credibly substitute an alternate version of events and discard Zimmerman's version without more evidence to support doing so. That evidence wasn't available so they did what they should have done.... find Zimmerman not guilty under the law.

    Michael

  29. SgtRock,

    By 'provoked', I think El_Lobo means 'followed'. That was the 'provocation' and as El_Lobo and others see it, that was justification for Martin to 'clean the clock' of Zimmerman. As they see it, Zimmerman, while having his 'clock cleaned' by Martin should have just stood there and taken his beating like a man, turned and ran, if he could, or fought back with his fists. They reject the idea that Zimmerman could have feared for his life and even if he did, he should have just left his gun holstered and 'hoped for the best'.

    Michael

  30. I just returned to read the posts. First ,Michael,you are right about being blasted for my post,but even Bradley was kind enough to call me a Republican. For that I am grateful and thankful, Bradley! You may even call me a "conservative Republican".Michael,more than any other any poster, you are always looking at everyone's point of view. Trying to be "fair and balanced" (just like Fox News). Seriously, you are most thoughtful and balanced in your reactions and thoughts. That for one I appreciate!

    Bob

  31. Bradley,

    I'll explain again, since you still don't get it. Zimmerman was tried in a criminal court, not the court of what you or I think is right or just. In that court, the infractions, results and punishments are quite severe. That's why the standard of proof of guilt is set quite high. Any one standing accused in such a court is usually glad the standard is set so high.

    Due to people with your views, a special prosecutor was appointed and then overcharged Zimmerman with 2nd degree murder to satisfy what they saw as public outrage. That not being egregious enough, the judge allowed a charge of manslaughter to be added after the trial started, probably due to the realization that the case had been overcharged.

    Due to the high bar in a criminal court case, the prosecution was unable to meet their burden of proving guilt on the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.

    People like you don't like the way this all works and want what you feel is 'justice', feeling it perfectly OK to ignore the 'law' and judge Zimmerman on what 'you' decide is right and just.

    I will just pray that they keep you and others with your distorted views off any juries.

    Good Night,

    Michael

  32. Mr. Casler 10:10. Thank you for the commiseration. I do not lose much sleep over misinformed posters--that low bp helps with the sleeping soundly. I am forever surprised when I'm accused of racism, bigotry. Anyone who has read more than a few of my posts ought to recall that I'm usually FOR the minority but with the reservations of a former LEO, a Veteran, a person who made-do because I had to work my way out of abuse and poverty.

  33. Bradley 5:51, you call Casler a conservative as if that were an insult? How do you define conservative? BTW, I suspect Mr. Casler is somewhat like me in his thinking--I don't ascribe to any party-line or encompassed thought pattern--you know I'm vehemently AGAINST WAR yet you seem to think that I have Republican leanings.

  34. I'm curious. What if Z was an off-duty cop assaulted by M? What if Z were in his home, say walked out his back door to find M in his yard, or called to him from inside his back door and M assaulted him?

  35. Bob,

    I appreciate your comments. I don't get much appreciation and for the Progressives here, if I so much as get within sniffing distance of a Conservative position, I am branded as the 'enemy'. It is pretty sad.

    The Zimmerman trial re-action is an affirmation of much of what is wrong in America. People should be angry, but that anger should be directed at:

    people who pushed for the Sheriff to be fired, the appointment of a special prosecutor, the pressure on the police to arrest Zimmerman, the overcharging of the case by the special prosecutor, the judge that allowed a new charge in the middle of the trial, the media who tried so hard to make this a racial case and jumped to incorrect conclusions and several other things.

    The people who don't like the verdict should use that energy to decide how they want to change the laws and then work to change those laws. Until they do that, they should just shut up and accept that the jury was charged with finding guilt or innocence based on the 'law' and not what someone might feel is just or right.

    Michael

  36. There are a lot of what if's floating around.So here are a few more what if's.

    What if George Zimmerman had listened to the police dispatcher and stayed in his car until the police arrived ?

    What if George Zimmerman had left his gun at home, would he have approached Trayvon Martin without his gun ? I might add that Trayvon Martin was 5' 11" tall and 158 lbs. compared to George Zimmerman who was 5' 7" and 185 lbs.

    Did having a gun make George Zimmerman feel as though he was bigger then Trayvon Martin ? Did it also give him the confidence to challenge the younger and more fit teenager ?

    We will never know what actually happened on that night. But what we do know is that there are far more what if's being asked anything else.

  37. Michael:

    Terrific last post. I am in complete agreement with you. Anyone who has common sense would be also.

    Keep up your good work on here,and thanks for your contributions to an intelligent dialogue!

    Bob

  38. Comment removed by moderator. Off Topic

  39. "Neighborhood watch ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE ARMED,

    PERIOD!"

    Agree. So, I did some research awhile back on why Zimmerman was armed. As I recall, his neighborhood has several vicious dogs. He was attacked and bitten by one or more of them on several occasions. The police actually recommended to Zimmerman that he buy and keep a weapon on him for his watch duties. Having said that, and giving him a pass for doing so, Zimmerman in accordance with watch procedures, should not have exited his vehicle and followed Trayvon Martin. As the neighborhood captain, he should have known this better than anyone else. For that, he doesn't get a pass.

    Carmine D

  40. Comment removed by moderator. Refers to removed comments

  41. Bob,

    Again, thanks for the support. People are fickle. In the OJ trial, jurors came to a verdict not wholly on the facts, which showed a pretty strong likelihood that OJ committed the murders, but instead based on what they 'wanted' to believe. Many people were very unhappy with that verdict. In the Zimmerman case, the unhappy people 'wanted' this jury to do as the OJ jury did.... ignore the evidence and make a determination that Zimmerman was guilty because that is what they want to believe.

    Go figure....

    Michael

  42. "You don't really know me at all. You make assumptions that are not true; you generalize, usually incorrectly and you just insist on trying to fit a round peg into a preconceived square hole."

    A few hours before:

    "I commend you for trying, but you are labeled a Conservative by many that write here and unfortunately for many of those same people, Conservative = racist."

    Casler assumes he understands the mindset of those who comment when he doesn't, and generalizes this misinformed assumption into "conservative = racist."

    Casler's a victim of his own perception.

    Conservatives, as a group, cannot be labeled "racist." I will say that there is a portion of conservatives who seek to stoke white resentment. They label black people "thugs" and make thinly veiled references to Detroit or Chicago or "South Central." They claim to worry about "black-on-black crime" when "white-on-white crime" happens as proportionately. They throw out racially-charged terms like "anchor baby." They listen to Limbaugh using the n-word and cheer him on.

    We could also get into the tea party rallies and the caricatures of Obama as Muslim, or from Africa. when he is not. We could get into the numerous elected GOP officials who have been forced to apologize or even resign for sending racist emails.

    http://gawker.com/5889685/judge-sorry-fo...
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-...
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/04...
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/19...
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/07/24...
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/02/27...
    http://newscoma.com/2009/06/15/racist-an...

    Does "conservative" = "racist?" Of course not.

    Do conservatives have a problem with a pronounced, racist, hate-filled contingent within their ranks? Of course. It took me 2 - maybe 3 - minutes to find those links. One can just scroll up to RefNV's comments about BChap or Roslenda's comment history to see a trove of race baiting or hate-filled diatribes.

    Conservatives should stop denying the problem exists and work to make their party the "big tent" the claim it to be.

    But no. No one claimed that "conservative = racist," so that straw man claim by Casler is absurd.

    Go figure...

  43. There are plenty of cow-patties to go around, everyone has stepped in one whether knowingly or not. When racism is talked about, why is it conceived to only mean Black Folk. There are many ways and many combinations of races in which racism is spread in America and all around the world for that matter.

    Every country has its demons, scapegoats, and even preferred assassinated character race. America has place a hardship on many races in the past, yet now some citizens are backed by our government in this marginalization of Hispanics.

    Blacks have never been rounded up and deported knowing full well their slave-working-visa were expired. Look race in America comes in many dimensions and it is not only limited to Blacks.

    The atrocities that Chinese, or Hawaiians' have endured at the hands of other races 1800, doesn't give them any privileges today, so why are we talking about racism as though it can only be Black.

    We all think allot of ourselves and have a high esteem, but there are many folks in darkrooms that plot ways to derail us or others like us. Life is full of challenges, some are our own shortcoming and some are of the kind we cringe about hopping never to be on the short-end of that stick.

  44. Calm it down, please, gentlemen.

    Please refer to the user agreement if you have any questions as to what constitutes inappropriate commentary.

    http://www.lasvegassun.com/about/useragr...

    Mostly, though, just don't say something here that you wouldn't say to someone's face.

  45. As long as Kevin participates in the same forum as -------- (I'll let Kevin fill in the blank), Kevin should not claim that nobody equates Republicans and Conservatives with racists. It's been done multiple times and if Kevin can't see it, that's his problem. Many people on the right are equally guilty in name calling and generalizations, although Kevin seems to have no problem recognizing those.

    Go figure...

    Michael

  46. Mark Wells says "When I was 12, my social studies teacher teared up when he read a simple fact: I had a 25 percent chance of being incarcerated or dead every year until I was 18. That meant I had a 150 percent chance against me. I was determined to beat the odds."
    and
    "By 18, I had two cars and excellent grades."

    Am I the only one to notice that Mark's good grades must not have been in math?

    Even if the statistic "25 percent chance per year" were accurate (it is not) at the end of 6 years that does not result in "a 150 percent chance against me"

  47. Per Teamster, 12:33 a.m.

    "Neighborhood watch ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE ARMED,

    PERIOD!

    Neighborhood watch are ONLY supposed to call
    police,"

    Very true - of formally organized neighborhood watches. Unfortunately, when USAonWatch.org, the umbrella organization for formal "Neighborhood Watch" programs, was asked, it replied that George Zimmerman was NOT a member of one of their groups. USAonWatch provides a variety of training materials, coordination with local police departments, a variety of formal training programs, and a variety of other services. Zimmerman was NOT acting in accord with their policies. (See report at http://thegrio.com/2012/03/21/zimmerman-... )

    There are, however, a variety of informal community watch organizations, some of which appear to be no more than vigilante groups that will accept ANY behaviour. Zimmerman may have been a member of one of these informal organizations.

    Note that, while the Neighborhood Watch logos are subject to trademarks held by National Sheriffs' Association, the name itself appears not to be a trademark - meaning anyone can use it for any purpose, while holding to any desired set of standards and/or organizational structure, or even none at all.

  48. Sorry, Mike, let me refresh your memory.

    You wrote:

    "I commend you for trying, but you are labeled a Conservative by many that write here and unfortunately for many of those same people, Conservative = racist."

    You're attacking "many (progressives) that write here" and making gross generalizations about what they believe. When you're finally called out on it, you punt and refuse to name names.

    Please, if you're going to make an accusation, have the fortitude to support your thesis.

    The sad reality is that you can't. Your comment cannot be justified because there's no foundation beneath it.

    Please, name the "many" (your word, twice) commenters here who believe that "conservative = racist" and quote them saying that. It seems you're taking the opinion of one and painting an entire group with that individual's opinion. So, please, name "many" names.

    You can't. It's your straw man, and it's exposed for everyone to see.

  49. Kevin,

    Name calling and generalizations are a staple of many letter writers here on both sides. I'm not going to name any names and you can pretend it doesn't happen if you like. People that write in are passionate, so the hyperbole is to be expected. I just blow off the name calling and generalizations that come my way, but I do point them out once in awhile, like I did with Bradley.

    We all use the labels such as Progressive, Conservative, Republican, Democrat, etc and we all have some definition in our minds as to what each label 'is'. I am wise enough to know that not every (insert any label you wish) is the same and holds the same views, but if I use a label, I generalize and so do others.

    What I try not to do is get so wrapped up in my position that I exaggerate, get personal, or wall paper an entire group as this or that. Have people that write in here equated Conservatives with Racists? Yes. Have others equated Progressives with communists or worse? Yes. If you can't see that without me naming the names and exactly when and where it was done, you're living on another planet.

    Michael

  50. Robert pointed out the facts about neighborhood watch organizations. Unlike Bradley, who argued that carrying a gun on neighborhood watch was a crime and that that there was a law against it and even named the organization the had the law in their manual, Robert researched and found that it was not a law but instead a guideline and that Zimmerman was not a member of the organization the created the guidelines.

    I know we'd all like to bolster our favored positions but it is always a good idea to check your facts before opening your mouth or starting to type.

    Michael

  51. "Name calling and generalizations are a staple of many letter writers here on both sides."

    Sorry, we're not talking about "many letter writers" here. We're talking about a specific accusation you made, in reference to "many writers" here on the Sun's site.

    In that accusation, you generalized a sentiment (that many progressives think that "conservative = racist") and then had the gall to attack others for generalizations.

    Now you are staking your entire claim on a single individual who you won't name, nor quote.

    Gotcha. You can't substantiate your claim. Transparent as a piece of glass, Mike.

    "What I try not to do is get so wrapped up in my position that I exaggerate, get personal, or wall paper an entire group as this or that."

    That's EXACTLY what you did, and exactly what you stand behind, Mike, when you generalized a group of writers here and claimed they think that "conservative = racist." Then you got personal by explicitly referencing one single person.

    You "wallpapered" an entire group of commenters as believing that "conservative = racist."

    Surely you understand how hypocritical that is.

  52. Kevin,

    I tend to be careful in what I say or write. I could have said 'all'. I could have said 'most' or 'a majority'. I said 'many', which is more than one and more than a few but less than 'all' or even 'most'. That's what I intended to say. That is not lumping 'everyone' together, but it is saying it is more than a 'few'. I understand you have a problem with this and want to make a point, which is just dandy, but frankly, I disagree and just really don't care how you look at it.

    Believe as you wish...

    Michael

  53. This by-line reads, Face facts about race in America, yet many comments are un-factual supposition, the kind only silver tongue devils write for the silver screen.

    The posting are nicely written fiction on par with a short story with only the names are real all else is creative writing.

    Some comments are even prefaced to give credibility, while experiences are nice to recall and help in making choices they are not in any way reason to entertain as facts without evidence.

    Oh, I could use this scenario and write it as I chose to make either party guilt without facts but to what end. This the real world and facts are required to show guilt. The double-jeopardy trial is over, STOP the insulting horse puk and quit blaming others for failed behavior.

  54. Teamster:

    Here's an excerpt:

    "Self Defense: Dog Attacks - Pepper Spray Doesn't Work On All Breeds

    By Bryan J Buckner

    Recently in Denver, Colorado two pit bulls were seen roaming near an elementary school. School officials called police who responded very quickly. One officer was charged by one of the pit bulls and actually attacked. Another officer used dog pepper spray on the pit bulls because they were acting so aggressively. That didn't work. So one of the pit bulls had to be shot and killed. The other one was taken into captivity."

    As I understand Teamster the dogs in the neighborhood were pit bulls. Hence, I presume, the police recommendation for Zimmerman to buy and carry a gun on his watch duties.

    Carmine D

  55. PeaceLuvNHappyness - "I know many will be upset at my analysis, but I just brought out facts that I know from experience, scientific evidence, and things in the case that jump out at me."
    and
    "Trayvon Martin being four or six houses from home had the right to turn around and stand his ground. If he wasn't a teenager, he would've had the right to turn around and shoot Mr. Zimmerman."

    And there's the problem with most of the comments on this case. Here's a person presenting what they call "facts" without having done the most basic research.

    There is no law, including Florida's "Stand Your Ground Law" that allows you to shoot a person on a public sidewalk just because you think they are following you. Any claim that "he would've had the right" is a blatant falsehood introduced for the sole purpose of propping up a false position.