There have been many criticisms of this article published by the Guardian following the announcement of the jury’s verdict in the Trayvon Martin trial. Some follow the article and others are on You Tell Us, from this post on. One such is:
An article that implicitly declares a legally exonerated killer guilty in a major national newspaper could be considered prejudicial in any upcoming civil suit against Zimmerman, if not libellous.
Gary didn’t use the word “alleged” once and dismissed the entire defence case.
But what now appears is not the original article which disappeared and was replaced with the statement – “This article has been taken down on 14 July 2013 pending investigation”. Comments that had been posted in response to it were deleted by the Guardian without any consultation with those who posted them.
Two tweets, one from Joseph Harker a fellow Guardian journalist, followed the original article, neither of which were contested.
The first related to Rodney King, the African-American construction worker who, while on parole for robbery, became nationally known after being beaten with excessive force by Los Angeles police officers. (wiki)
Joseph Harker wrote – “….sharp reminder of the Rodney King verdict in 92.” Is Joseph suggesting the Miami police were involved in killing Trayvon Martin?
Then Indra Persaud made a reference to the Stephen Lawrence case. “Trayvon Martin and Stephen Lawrence RIP. A must read article by @garyyounge from earlier this year.” My response on Twitter was – “Are you saying the Miami police did what the Met did to Stephen Lawrence and his family? Evidence please.”
There are many reasons why it is wrong, even insulting to the Lawrence family and friends to use his murder by a gang of white racists, to try to bolster the writer’s bruised ego.
Not surprisingly there was no response from Gary Younge, but maybe he’ll be hearing from the Miami Police who I suggest he won’t be able to ignore as easily as he can his followers on Comment is Free.
Update 1 (16 July)
The revised article has been open for comments for less than 30 hours and attracted 2684 of them before being closed.
Update 2 (16 July)
“There are lots of people documenting how thugs on twitter and facebook and other social media are making idiotic threats and uninformed condemnation. That is to be expected. But what is more serious is when people make unfounded comments on the official websites of major newspapers.
I see that idiot cunt Fripouille trotted out the “presumption of innocence” BS after I commented on Waddaya.I don’t give a shit who that one witness thinks was on top when he looked out his window. I don’t give a shit whose voice was heard screaming in the background on that 911 call. None of it would have happened if George Zimmerman hadn’t been a racist little prick, out to catch himself a “punk”.
I just hope that his lizard brain has enough humanity in it to eat himself up with guilt for the rest of his life.
To which the even more ignorant Sheffpixie chimes in with:
So to add to the shit they already have to deal with, what this verdict means is that the lives of young black men walking in the street are now at risk from anyone who thinks they are a threat.
Only by ignoring the fact that the overwhelming number of killings of young black men in the USA are carried out by – other young black men.
In 2011, For cases where the offender was known , out of 2,695 murders of blacks 193 were committed by whites (7%) and 2,447 were committed by blacks (91%).
Of 3,172 murders of whites 448 were committed by blacks (14%), and 2,630 (83%) by whites.
Of course the vast majority of Americans never kill anyone, but never let facts get in the way of a good rant on the Untrusted site or indeed in the Guardian.
Update 3 (16 July)
There are at least two independent sources for this report of which this is one:
“Before the Trayvon Martin shooting even took place, George Zimmerman was one of the few non-black people that helped protest the beating of a black homeless man by the son of a Sanford police officer that was left unpunished. The twist to this story is that George Zimmerman asked the NAACP in Sanford for help, but he was shot down, claiming they didn’t have the resources to help the homeless black man.
So without the help of the NAACP George Zimmerman printed his own fliers and distributed them at black churches in the area.”
Update 4 (16 July)
Ally Fogg received a “Guardian Pick” for this post on Comment is Free which among other things said:
“It’s not necessarily a racist jury delivering an incorrect judgment.”
Now is Ally saying that the jury was racist, or that it came to the wrong verdict, or both, or neither?
I notice and unusually for him, he failed to respond to any of the many challenges made in subsequent posts.
Update 5 (16 July)
I have changed the opening to reflect the origin of the remarks posted on Twitter.
Gary Younge says: – ” The piece will be back up shortly. Filed across time zones there were just a couple of queries that have been ironed out now I’ve woken up.”
So what was changed? This:
“The only reason the two interacted at all, physically or otherwise, is that Zimmerman believed it was his civic duty to apprehend an innocent teenager who caused suspicion by his existence alone.”
“It appears that the only reason the two interacted at all, physically or otherwise, is that Zimmerman believed it was his civic duty to apprehend an innocent teenager who caused suspicion by his existence alone.”
Although the absolute certainty of the former remains in the preceding sentence:
“There is no doubt about who the aggressor was here.”
But if there was and is no doubt, how did the prosecution team fail to convince the jury?
Update 6 (16 July)
“There are uncanny echoes of the politics of Stephen Lawrence case in the acquittal on Saturday in Florida of George Zimmerman.”
And what are these “echoes”?
“Like the Lawrence case, the Martin trial has attracted national scrutiny, “
Well that’s no surprise is it?
“As the Lawrence case has shown, the verdict and justice remain miles apart, sending out devastating messages that cannot be ignored.”
Stephen Lawrence was murdered by a gang of white racist thugs and while it may have taken nearly 20 years, in 2012, two of the gang were convicted and are currently serving long prison sentences.
From what we know about Stephen Lawrence – he was a student of technology and physics at the Blackheath Bluecoat School and English language and literature at Woolwich College, and hoping to become an architect. At the time of his murder he was waiting for a bus to take him home along with three witnesses.
It rather sullies his memory to use his name in this way.
Final words from CharlesPrestwich commenting on the editorial:
“Either the writer does not know the facts of the case in which case he is incompetent and should be removed from this position or he is intentionally misleading his readers in which case he should be sacked, in either case he, and those who allowed the article to appear, have once again disgraced and besmirched the good reputation this newspaper ought to have.”
Update 7 (20 July)
First we have Gary Younge with: –
“There is no doubt about who the aggressor was here. The only reason the two interacted at all, physically or otherwise, is that Zimmerman believed it was his civic duty to apprehend an innocent teenager who caused suspicion by his existence alone.”
Now we have Professor Patricia Williams reading the thoughts of the defendant, the jury and the police with: “Zimmerman was found not guilty because of a sequence of unquestioned habits of thought: from the prejudgments that clouded his vision on that dark and rainy night; to the Sanford police department’s casual reaction to the crime scene,….”
Have the Guardian’s writers given up rational thought and analysis and instead adopted clairvoyance?