Saturday, September 28, 2019

The Trayvon Martin Hoax

Holy crap.
I'm nearly finished with the book, and it really is unbelievable. Or, rather: it's extremely believable, unfortunately. But amazing.
   This is not a terribly well-written book, but that doesn't matter.
   And a lot of its conclusions were right there on the surface of things--I'd like to note that, despite some flack I got over it, and my own self-doubts: my final, settled view of the case was right. Martin did jump Zimmerman, and Zimmerman did act in self-defense. Trayvon's parents lied about many things, but their lies crumble under even minor scrutiny. The media lied in order to spin the story into their Preferred Narrative 1b: Completely innocent black person murdered by evil whitey because and only because he was black. (Matt Gutman seems to have been on the leading edge of that initiative.) It simply isn't what happened--and not even close. The fact that this fairly clear-cut case of justified self-defense was turned by the media into a Patent Instance Of Preferred Narrative 1b is horrifying.
   Of course there's all the semi-easily-available information that the media worked to suppress: the illicit use of years-old pictures of Martin to make him look like a harmless child, his heavy drug use, penchant for fighting, attempts to purchase handguns, and his stealing. And, of course, the characterization of Zimmerman as white rather than Hispanic--Zimmerman himself notes that he was almost named 'Jorge' rather than 'George,' and that, if he had been, he doubts the trumped-up case against him would have been pressed.
   But the real revelation in the book is that the main witness for the prosecution was not who she said she was. Trayvon's semi-gf, Diamond Eugene, who was on the phone with him during the last minutes of his life, was never deposed and never testified at trial...because another girl, Rachel Jeantal, pretended to be her. Unless Gilbert is flat-out lying about a whole lot of easily disproven things--e.g. DNA tests--he really has uncovered an astonishing case of witness fraud.
   And it seems rather difficult to argue with his contention that the prosecutors knew this--they not only knew that Jeantal was not Eugene, they coached her up to pretend that she was. As Gilbert notes, the story was right there for the taking. Why, one wonders, did the news media with all its resources, not figure it out?
   I'm not sure about Gilbert's contention that the Trayvon hoax was a watershed event in recent race relations, setting the stage for Ferguson, and for the Ferguson effect that's been so tragic for black urban communities in particular...but I'm not sure it's wrong, either.
   Maybe Gilbert's wrong about everything...but it doesn't sound that way. Funny that the non-right-wing media is silent about these revelations, no? It seems incredible that this book and documentary could simply be ignored. Presumably if the media could refute it, they'd be tripping all over themselves to do so. The drawing of the relevant conclusion is left as an exercise for the reader...
   (To be painfully clear: I don't have any stake in this. If Gilbert is wrong, I'd be happy to find that out.)


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