Boycotting Florida
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July 22nd, 2013

Boycotting Florida

Discussion (30)¬

  1. Anonymous says:

    So apparently Lemont believes that being followed and asked a question justifies knocking someone to the ground and slamming their head against the concrete. He also believes that when someone much stronger than you is slamming your head into the concrete, you should just let them do it.

    • Darrin Bell says:

      And you apparently believe you were an eye witness to what happened that night.

      Look up the word "provoke." It doesn't mean what you apparently believe it means.

      • Anonymous says:

        Everything we saw in the trial implied that Zimmerman was being attacked by Martin and was well within his right to defend himself. If you're going to claim that you can't know what happened unless you're an eyewitness, how do you know that Martin didn't attack first?

        I also like that you think following someone counts as provocation. Does that mean I'd be in the right if I punched a black guy who was following me?

        • Darrin Bell says:

          Everything we saw in the trial was based on Zimmerman's account of the evening, and the lack of eye witnesses to dispute that account. You're choosing to take the killer at his word.

          And why do you confuse the concept of "provocation" with the concept of being "right"? Those are two unrelated concepts. If "a black guy" was stalking you the way Zimmerman stalked Martin, and you got angry about that and punched him, that would mean HE provoked a fight.

          …And how do I know "Martin didn't attack first?" I don't. But what on earth does that have to do with the fact that it was Zimmerman's decision to stalk him in the first place that provoked him to attack (if indeed he did)?

          Look up the definition of "provoke" and let that sink in before you answer.

          • Anonymous says:

            If you want to throw out everything that happened in court, how do you know what happened? Where are you getting your narrative of what happened that night?

            Also, assuming for the sake of argument that Zimmerman's narrative is 100% true, are you truly claiming that provoking someone justifies assaulting them? You still haven't answered my question, if someone provoked me, would I be in the right if I pinned him to the ground and repeatedly slammed his head against the concrete? Would the guy who was on the ground be justified in shooting me?

          • Darrin Bell says:

            That's the difference between me and you guys: I'm not offering a "narrative of what happened that night." My "narrative" begins and ends with what EVERYONE agreed on: Zimmerman stalked Martin in his truck, and Martin was pissed off about it. Zimmerman said as much in his account of what Martin said to him before punching him, and Martin's friend said as much in her account of their phone conversation. That is what's called a "provocation." Look up the definition of the word and stop bugging me about things I never wrote.

            This is the last time I'm going to tell you guys that saying Zimmerman "provoked" the fight and saying Martin was "justified" to punch him (if that's what happened) are two ENTIRELY DIFFERENT THINGS. Get that through your heads. Anything else you see in the cartoon is just YOU trying (and failing) to read between the lines .

            And about not answering your hypothetical, here's why: I tend not to answer irrelevant questions; and I have no patience for those of you who either don't understand what "provoked" means, or are intentionally conflating "provoked" with "justified" just because you want to completely absolve Zimmerman of ANY responsibility for what happened that night.

            Lastly, for those of you who keep repeating Zimmerman's account as if it were true: what happened in court did not prove that his account was true. What happened in court, to this jury, failed to prove that it was false beyond a reasonable doubt. If you don't understand that those are two fundamentally different concepts, well… that would also explain why you don't understand the difference between a provocation and a justification.

          • Anonymous says:

            You just can't talk without slipping in insults towards other people's intelligence, can you?

            Zimmerman does have some responsibility for what happened, if only because it wouldn't have happened if he wasn't there. But it's wrong to demonize him for his actions, especially with no proof. Even if you don't agree with me about what happened, you yourself admitted that the jury didn't think there was enough evidence to prove he acted in anything other than self defense.

            Since it's clear we're not going to get anywhere, can you at least agree with me, putting aside this case, that there is a difference between "laws making it okay to provoke a fight and then kill the other guy when you start to lose" and laws that enable you defend yourself without going to jail?

            Also, completely unrelated to this discussion but I wanted to bring it up anyway, I just saw the ad for "Does the Afterlife have Skittles?" It makes it seem like you're using the media circus surround someone's death to promote your book, and that comes off as extremely skeezy.

          • Darrin Bell says:

            "You just can't talk without slipping in insults towards other people's intelligence, can you?"

            When those "other people" pretend (or demonstrate) over and over again that they don't know the difference between a provocation and a justification even after it's explained to them – and when they KEEP saying I wrote something that I did not write, even after that is explained to them… I have to question their intelligence.

            "But it's wrong to demonize him for his actions, especially with no proof."

            That's exactly what George Zimmerman did to Trayvon Martin. He assumed Martin was one of "these punks" who "keep getting away," even though there's no evidence to show he was anything but a teenager walking home to his father's house with snacks. Was he wrong to demonize him? Are the people who are calling him a "wannabe thug" wrong to demonize him, when there's no proof of that?

            Since it's clear we're not going to get anywhere, can you at least agree with me, putting aside this case, that there is a difference between "laws making it okay to provoke a fight and then kill the other guy when you start to lose" and laws that enable you defend yourself without going to jail?

            Yes, I agree with you on that. And that difference is the Stand Your Ground law vs. the traditional self defense laws.

            And for your information, that is the latest Candorville book; the book has been in that same spot all year (it wasn't thrown up to take advantage of any Media circus). Candorville is largely about current events, and the Trayvon Martin story is central to that book. Besides, you have some nerve pretending that you care about that person's death while you're online trying to gloss over his killer's culpability (he wasn't just "there." He was STALKING Martin).

  2. Slipstick says:


  3. steve says:

    Even if you were to grant that Zimmerman 'provoked' Treyvon, (and I don't,) it doesn't give Trevon the right to knock Zimmerman to the ground, and jump on top of him and beat his head into the concrete. Face it, Treyvon was a "thug-a-be" and his response to someone 'checking up' on his activities is typical to that mindset. (And as further proved by the information dug out of his cell phone.)

    He just got dead instead of being arrested for what could have been the murder of Zimmerman.

    • Darrin Bell says:

      Where were all these eye witnesses when the trial was going on? You guys could've saved the court a lot of time.

      • steve says:

        So I take it the that you haven't bothered to read the transcripts of the trial? You can ignore the facts, you just can't ignore the consequences of ignoring those facts..

        • Darrin Bell says:

          Nice slogan. Doesn't change the FACT that the events of that night were all set in motion the moment Zimmerman decided to stalk Trayvon Martin, provoking the fight. That is ALL this cartoon is saying about that night, and anything else you THINK it's saying is your own projection.

  4. aaaaaaaaaaaaaaa says:

    Okay, I'm looking at all the horrible rancor in these comments, and I think they aren't even about the trial. I think they're about two questions:

    Did Zimmerman provoke Martin?

    Does provoking someone justify assault?

    If it does, is it justified to use lethal force to defend yourself?

    • Darrin Bell says:

      In my opinion:


      (b) It depends. If Martin feared for HIS life, then yes. If Martin wasn't afraid for his life, then no (but he's dead by Zimmerman's hand, so he can't tell us his side of the story).

      (c) No. If you're the one who provoked the fight, then it's unjustifiable to escalate to lethal force, and you deserve to spend at least a little time in jail for setting the whole chain of events in motion. If you create the circumstances you find yourself in, you have to be held accountable for that. Otherwise, anyone who wants to kill ANYone can just pick a fight and then shoot them and claim self defense. That's one reason the "manslaughter" category exists, to deter that sort of thing.

  5. Steve says:

    The point is, this wasn't a 'good ol boy bar fight' where somebody calls you a blankety blank this and that, or disses your girlfriend, etc. and then you step off somewhere and fight until somebody either goes down or surrenders thus bringing a halt to the festivities. Generally, the participants wind up with bruises and broken noses and that is about it.

    Manslaughter has been applied in cases where a punch has been thrown that 'accidentally' kills someone by breaking their neck, causes internal injuries, etc. and one of the combatants dies. It doesn't matter that the fight was basically a bare hands boxing match, without lethal intention.


    It doesn't matter WHO started it, Treyvons' actions, (as observed by witnesses,) were CLEARLY designed to cause grievous bodily injury, and if his actions were not halted, could cause either permanent brain injury or the imminent death of WHOEVER he was beating on.

    Treyvon was a thug wannabe. A thug response is to beat the living crap out of whoever 'dissed' him. In this case, he got dead as a result. I would further wager that if he had sucker punched Zimmerman and then walked away, Trevon would probably be alive today. In jail or juvie, but alive.

    • Darrin Bell says:

      I hear you. Both of them made decisions that led to Martin’s death.

      But the thing is, you don’t KNOW that any of that happened the way you describe. You have only Zimmerman’s word for that. You’re inclined to believe Trayvon Martin was a “thug wannabe,” when in actuality only one of them had a documented history of aggression – and that was George Zimmerman.

      The witness I believe you’re referring to also testified that he exited the scene as soon as Martin started punching Zimmerman. So you seem to be relying on the word of Zimmerman’s defense team and their paid “expert” witness for your conclusion as to what kind of fight this was and what sort of damage it would’ve done to Zimmerman had it continued. I say you’re taking their word for it because the eye witness testimony was shaky and the forensic evidence taken from Martin’s body and clothes did not prove that Martin did any of that to Zimmerman in the way Zimmerman described.

      You’re also basing your conclusion that Martin was a wannabe thug who lashed out because he was being disrespected on Zimmerman’s account of the events. You don’t know that his account was true. You and I don’t know what was said between them. For all YOU know, Zimmerman showed him his gun. For all you know, maybe he didn’t but perhaps Martin glimpsed Zimmerman’s gun on his own and felt like HIS life was in danger. None of us will ever know what happened, but you’ve decided to accept Zimmerman’s account, even though it’s obviously a self-serving account of a man who had already shown a willingness to lie under oath (about his finances).

      The ONLY facts everyone can agree upon are that Zimmerman was following Martin in his truck, Martin knew Zimmerman was following him, and that led to their fight. And I have no idea why you guys are so invested in disputing that Zimmerman provoked Martin. Provoking a fight does not mean the fight was justified, it only means that your actions incited another person to anger, fear, or some other emotion that caused them to want to fight. Claiming that his stalking a stranger had nothing really to do with that stranger then fighting with him, seems illogical to me.

  6. Sue says:

    Mr. Bell, thank you for your well-articulated, civil responses. I continue to be saddened by this tragedy. I'm glad that you're reminding us that there is a side to this that we will never hear.

  7. jynksie says:

    Assumptions and presumptions and Monday morning quarterbacking at what we think happened, is doing nothing to help the bigger picture here.

    Both men, clearly distrustful of the other, led themselves to a place where the consequences of their actions left one of them dead. Both had culpability, but a 30 year old man vs. a 17 year old kid, in my mind, suggests that the 30 year old should have had the intellect to diffuse the escalation between them. A teenager being followed by an adult male who's not indicating to him why he's following him had to be, I would PRESUME, to be uncomfortable, unsettling and scary to a teenager.

    Unfortunately, the media runs the discussion on race relations. In one breath, they spend their nights telling you about minority crime in your urban areas, in the next breath telling you we have a race issue and that minorities are profiled unfairly. The media creates the perception, in my mind, by throwing out facts and statistics about minority violence in our communities, while leaving out whites role in the violence they involve themselves in. It's to long of an explanation of statistical examples to post on a comic strip comments section, but from a white persons perspective [mine] vs. the media's, there is a manufactured bias [by media] built into the system that seems to purposely prohibit racial harmony.

    Just one example. We blame minorities for draining our welfare system, yet 38.8% of whites and 39.8% of blacks are on it in this country, right now. However, we focus on the 39.8% of blacks. The stats show a stark similarity, but it's the minority population being blamed for draining our social programs. Why is that? Especially when that 39.8% of those using welfare in the minority community make up less than 15% of the population. Raw numbers prove, whites use welfare by a 3 to 1 margin.

    Media lays the foundation. A hoodie on me is an article of clothing because I am white. On a minority, it an indictment. We learn this from television shows, rap music video's and other media entities that portray minorities as doing more to harm our way of life than any other group. Yet, if you look at the raw statistics, we are about the same when it comes to those who engage in bad behavior and criminal intent. It frustrates me. We are more alike, than we are different. The media however, they have the ability to profit from the discourse, so the discussion is theirs to do what they want with it.

    Call me crazy, but that is where I see our problems.

  8. Ken Jannot says:

    Oy. As a white man, I'm sickened and disgusted by all the reaction by white people justifying the murder of an unarmed young black man. If the response of the police and prosecutors didn't already demonstrate the continued existence of a deeply ingrained, institutional racism, the vitriolic justification of this travesty of justice sure does.

  9. Jamie N. says:

    Thank you Mr. Bell. I scrolled down to add that South Carolina, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, and Texas also have alligators, but that only feeds Lemont's argument. And yours. Thank you for your keen wit and vast patience and tact. Please don't ever stop. The media needs more people like you in it.

  10. chayafradle says:

    Here is something NONE of you mentioned, and it was ignored in the court case. Zimmerman called the police. The police told him to stay still and do nothing and wait until the police came. He DISREGARDED their instructions and that began the incident, secondary to Zimmerman giving himself permission to act like a policeman, gun and all, in patrolling and then following Trevon. I think he just had nothing better to do with his time than follow a black KID. This was not "two men". Any child under 18 is taught to FEAR and AVOID any man following him, because that person may want to abduct or sexually assault him, and may be a pedophile. So, you white guys think about how SCARED Trevon must have been. Feelings are not facts, so hypotheticals about how Trevon felt were not allowed in the trial. We, however, as adults, know that a strange man following a child under 18 is weird, scary, and suspect. Forget the race card if you want. Think about possible perverts out to stalk their next victim. What you would tell your kids is to not get into their car, don't engage them, and if they ask you a question, scream, yell, fight back or do whatever you have to do to not be kidnapped or raped.
    Insulting Darrin or anyone who "takes Trevon's side" is rude. Just plain rude and demeaning. I, too, have to say OY, VAY about all the white guys who stick up for Zimmerman because the trial said he was acquitted. Just like in the O.J. trial, acquitted or found not guilty is totally different from whether or not the person did that thing. It only has to do with PROOF, and if there is not enough proof, the ONLY thing that can happen is they are CALLED not guilty. It doesn't mean it is true. Just means the best lawyer won his argument.

  11. chayafradle says:

    Also not mentioned in the blogs above is that ALLIGATORS are a metaphor, standing for creatures who creep, stalk, and then devour weaker creatures.

  12. chayafradle says:

    Let me dumb it down for those who will understand this analogy. Zimmerman was the school bully who kept picking on the little kid over and over and over, and when the little kid stuck up for himself, the bully killed him and cried that HE was the victim of the little kid. Is it more clear now?

  13. Even if Treyvon did attack first (thus “standing his ground” against someone following him with ill intent) it has always been that you are not allowed to give back more force than given during self-defense — until NOW, with “stand your ground” laws.

    Here’s my take on it:

  14. chayafradle says:

    Michael, I read your link. You are TERRIFIC. What a lawyer! Also, you have a great sense of humor! You said what I was trying to say, but much more clearly than I did, and with a WHOLE lot more humor! Loved Bugs Bunny cutting Florida away from the United States. Hahahahaha