Yesterday while I was continuing my Twitter questioning of Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, I did a quick review of her Twitter stream to see if she’s mentioned Tyrese Short, a 9 year old boy killed in a drive-by shooting in her district.
She still hasn’t. But she has time for this:
— Jamilah Nasheed (@JamNasheed) July 17, 2013
Fun fact: after asking her over and over again why she is silent on Tyrese, but marching for Trayvon, she blocked me:
So much for dialogue. (Click here to ask her why she blocked me.)
While she doesn’t have time to release a statement about Tyrese Short, she has plenty of time for Middle East Mad Libs and, oh yeah, Trayvon Martin. In fact, she had time to go the the KMOX studios and talk with Mark Reardon about the verdict. Here’s the interview: And here’s my initial reaction:
— Duane Lester (@Bodhi1) July 17, 2013
It’s really that bad.
Let’s go through it.
Organizing is Hard
Mark Reardon asks her why there isn’t more outrage when a little boy in St. Louis dies, but something like Trayvon’s death has Sharpton and Jackson et. al calling for nationwide protests. She replies:
Nasheed: “Mark, there are too many stories surrounding that particular incident. You know, you had stories that come out from individuals that basically said he dad was, uh, they accuse him of being a drug dealer. And they talk about the little kid being out at 3:30 am in the morning and basically saying, ‘Why did they have his son out at 3:30 am in the morning.'”
Reardon: “That’s a pretty good question, isn’t it?”
Nasheed: “And so when you get all of these different, you know, stories it’s very hard to unite people around that particular issue because they become desensitized because they’re used to drug dealers, uh, reaping havoc on a community. Not only on themselves, but people that are all around them.”
Nasheed: “So, it’s very difficult to bring everyone together under one umbrella and unify and rally against an issue like that vs. a Trayvon Martin, a little guy that decided he wanted to go to the 7-11 and get Skittles and a tea and go back home.”
Reardon: “But in the other case it’s a 9 year-old boy who wasn’t doing anything wrong and he gets dragged out of the house for whatever reason at three in the morning and gets gunned down in some cross-fire. That to me, that’s pretty tragic.”
Nasheed: “Absolutely. And I can truly say that we should be outraged by that. However, when you have all of the different stories that, that, that, that comes out about how it happened or why it happened, then individuals, it’s not one unified story, like the story of a Trayvon Martin, where individuals are saying the same thing, this is an innocent little kid, you know, no body put him in harm’s way, ah, unlike that. You have someone out there saying, ‘Oh his father put him in harm’s way. Should we be, should we rally against his father? Should we rally against the drug dealers? Should we rally against the fact that he wasn’t, that he should have been in at 3, he shouldn’t have been out at 3:30 in the morning?”
Reardon: “Maybe all those things.”
Basically, Nasheed is saying people aren’t protesting the death of Tyrese because it’s too hard to bring people together of it because nobody knows what they’re protesting.
We’re honestly to believe people won’t simply rally around the fact that a 9 year-old was shot and killed? Reardon nails it. You use the death of Tyrese as an umbrella to protest ALL THOSE THINGS!
Protest the gangs.
Protest the drug dealers.
Protest gun violence.
Protest bad parenting.
But you don’t say, “Awww, organizing is HARD! I guess Tyrese becomes just another statistic.”
The fact is, Tyrese deserves more outrage than Trayvon, because Tyrese was truly innocent. He played no part in his death, unlike Trayvon.
“That murder wasn’t wanted.”
Nasheed: “What should the rally be like vs. having the rally of a young man named Trayvon Martin who didn’t do anything, who didn’t want anything? Didn’t want the murder? That murder wasn’t wanted. He basically wanted to go home and I hear, I don’t know if the game was on that night. Wasn’t there a basket ball game on that night?”
Reardon: “I’m not sure.”
Nasheed: “Yeah, he wanted to go watch the basketball game is what I heard. And then you have this vigilante, this guy Zimmerman, who wants to be a police officer, stalking and following the young man and the young man probably stopped and said, ‘Why are you following me?'”
“That murder wasn’t wanted?”
I agree. Zimmerman didn’t want to kill Trayvon. Is she claiming the murder of Tyrese Short was wanted?
I’m sure the people in St. Louis who pulled the trigger wanted to murder someone, but it wasn’t Tyrese.
And Zimmerman wasn’t stalking Trayvon like a mountain lion stalks its prey.
What ever happened to “See something, say something?”
Zimmerman noticed someone suspicious, tried to get as much information for the police as he could and was headed back to his truck when Trayvon confronted him. There’s no “probably” there.
Zimmerman’s account was Trayvon attacked him. Zimmerman says Trayvon punched him in the face. Zimmerman had a broken nose.
The evidence presented in court showed that Trayvon was on top of Zimmerman, striking him. Zimmerman says Trayvon was pounding his head into the ground. He had cuts on the back of his head.
Zimmerman says he fired because he felt his life was in danger. The state couldn’t prove otherwise.
There’s no probably there. Those are the facts.
Trayvon and Zimmerman both both made bad decisions that led to a tragic result.
Tyrese was a victim. He played no role in his death.
Facts Matter, Just Not To Nasheed
Reardon: “Do you agree that there was a window of opportunity for Trayvon Martin to probably get out of that situation too? I’m not arguing that he was, that he should have been killed. This is a tragedy all around.”
Nasheed: “He could have got out of that situation, like this. When the police officer asked him not to follow, uh Zimmerman…”
Reardon: “Well, they didn’t ask him that.”
Nasheed: “They said, ‘Stop!'”
Reardon: “They said, ‘We don’t need you to do that.'”
Nasheed: “Yes, well, uh, exactly. Don’t follow him. Okay?”
Reardon: “We don’t need you to do that. That’s, those were the exact words.”
Nasheed: “Well, not needing him to do that, he should have took heed, you know? He should have not followed the young man. Because if he didn’t follow Trayvon, then we wouldn’t be here talking about the death of Trayvon.”
George Zimmerman lost Trayvon. When the 911 dispatcher told him they didn’t need him to follow Trayvon, he said, “Ok.”
Zimmerman then headed back to his truck. Trayvon confronted him. Zimmerman says when he reached for his cell phone, Trayvon punched him in the face.
Again, he had a broken nose.
These are the facts of the case as we know them and as they were proven in court.
We can’t go on speculation.
And doesn’t Trayvon bear any responsibility?
He’s not completely innocent here. He did assault Zimmerman.
Or are we to believe Zimmerman broke his own nose?
Fact: Stevie Wonder is Blind
Reardon: “Did you hear, by any chance, I’m gonna play this a little bit later, did you hear what the one juror said to Anderson Cooper last night? And she was heart-broken, by the way. SHe said there were tears when they came back with the verdict. Do you think, let me ask you this question, do you think there was racism involved in this verdict?”
Nasheed: “Stevie Wonder can see that, and he’s blind. Of course.”
Is it because the jury was nearly all white?
Isn’t it racist to assume because the jury was white they allowed a guilty man to go free?
The state had the burden to proven Zimmerman guilty. They failed.
Maybe because the evidence showed he shot Trayvon in self-defense.
Claiming racism doesn’t prove racism.
If it does, then Nasheed is a racist for thinking the majority white jury let a guilty man go free based on his skin color.
Boom! Now she’s a racist.
Reardon: “You say, ‘Of course.” There’s no doubt there’s race involved in the verdict?”
Nasheed: “Oh absolutely. I mean, because, they cannot begin to sympathize. Here you have a young man, that wasn’t doing anything, and, and, the, the fact that there was no really, no evidence left behind, but Zimmerman’s statement. No one was there. Okay?”
No, it’s not okay.
It’s completely wrong.
Want some evidence left behind?
There’s some evidence.
How about the eye witnesses who said Trayvon was on top of Zimmerman doing some ground and pound action on his head?
How about the expert testimony that corroborated Zimmermans’ account, testimony based on evidence left behind?
Are they racists too?
How about the fact that Zimmerman is assumed innocent until PROVEN GUILTY?
The state has the burden to prove Zimmerman guilty. They didn’t.
Reardon: “Why are you convinced, and I’m very, I’m genuinely curious about this. Why are you convinced there was racial motivation involved in what happened?”
Nasheed: “I believe that simply because of the verdict. And, we’re talking about a premeditated manslaughter. That was manslaughter.”
I consulted several lawyers. There’s no such thing as “premeditated manslaughter.”
In fact, the definition of manslaughter rules out premeditation:
Manslaughter: manslaughter n. the unlawful killing of another person without premeditation or so-called “malice aforethought” (an evil intent prior to the killing). It is distinguished from murder (which brings greater penalties) by lack of any prior intention to kill anyone or create a deadly situation. There are two levels of manslaughter: voluntary and involuntary. Voluntary manslaughter includes killing in heat of passion or while committing a felony. Involuntary manslaughter occurs when a death is caused by a violation of a non-felony, such as reckless driving (called “vehicular manslaughter”).
Nasheed isn’t a legal scholar. She apparently doesn’t even know there was evidence presented in the court.
But we should totally believe her when she says it was racist because of the verdict, or something.
The Whole Juries Out of Touch
After listening to a clip from Anderson Cooper, Reardon asks her if the whole jury is just out of touch:
Nasheed: “They are totally out of touch.”
Reardon: “But they heard the evidence.”
Nasheed: “Based on what a man who’e alive told them. Not, I mean, you don’t have a lot of evidence here. You have a man that killed a young, ma-, a black man and the only person that can talk about it is him.”
Just plain wrong.
There was more than Zimmerman’s testimony, as I’ve already said.
But she’s not going to let facts get in her way.
Reardon: “There were witnessed though, that corroborated the part of the story, this is where she said they really got hung up is that, Trayvon Martin was on top of George Zimmerman and the witnesses corroborated that version of the story. So, they felt the self defense was justified because of that. So in other words, George Zimmerman was not on top of Trayvon Martin. It was the other way around.”
Nasheed: “I guarantee you this: if Zimmerman wouldn’t have had a gun, he wouldn’t have approached him.”
Reardon: “Well that’s probably true.”
Maybe, but here’s the rub: Zimmerman didn’t approach Trayvon. Trayvon approached him.
Also, it’s totally irrelevant. The fact was, witnesses saw Trayvon on top of Zimmerman.
That destroys Nasheed’s premise, so she just starts attacking Zimmerman’s character.
It’s clear Nasheed has a very limited grasp on the facts of this case. She’s not interested in dealing with facts.
She’s interested in promoting the idea that this whole event is slathered in racism.
The facts simply don’t fit that narrative. And Nasheed’s rambling, illogical answers to Reardon’s questions show how little interest she has in the facts.
And after twelve minutes and over two thousand words, there is one fact that remains more important than the rest: The murder of Tyrese Short deserves as much, if not more, attention from the people protesting the Zimmerman verdict.
Daily black children are killed in cities across America, and no one seems to care.
Tyrese Short was killed in Nasheed’s district, and she can’t even muster enough energy to acknowledge it in a tweet, let alone a press release.
One has to wonder why the death of one black youth takes so much precedence of the the tragic death of another.