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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 10:50 pm 
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I think some of what you may be seeing lavawitch with the kids you are working with may be learned helplessness. Like mo, I also thought some of the comments made can be perceived as being insensitive (and this is coming from a white woman).

I teach psychology for a living and can see how people may feel like they have little control over situations/events and may stop trying.

As per wikipedia:
"Learned helplessness can also be a motivational problem. Individuals who have failed at tasks in the past conclude erroneously that they are incapable of improving their performance. This might set children behind in academic subjects and dampen their social skills.

Children with learned helplessness typically fail academic subjects, and are less intrinsically motivated than others. They may use learned helplessness as an excuse or a shield to provide self-justification for school failure. Additionally, describing someone as having learned to be helpless can serve as a reason to avoid blaming him or her for the inconveniences experienced. In turn, the student will give up trying to gain respect or advancement through academic performance."

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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 10:50 pm 
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lavawitch wrote:
Part of my job is trying to help kids graduate; when I can't help them, it frustrates me. That frustration is not at them--it is because I feel inadequate to help them, and that is one of the most frustrating feelings I deal with on a daily basis and I feel that I have failed them, and I know that I am just another in the line of people who have failed them.


I think there is a lot to be said for being an ally. But that means not blaming the students for their "apathy" or for not pulling themselves up by their bootstraps and acting like rational adults, in a vacuum where they have no support etc. Instead, start looking with your colleagues at ways to help - maybe its setting up mentoring programs, maybe its taking the time to help poor and minority students, and being okay if they don't take you up on it.

I just think the first step in helping these kids is stopping the victim blaming and looking for real solutions where those in power can step up to support these kids, who aren't getting the support they need elsewhere. Even just being a voice for them in the face of all the voices blaming them.


And not to quibble, but:
lavawitch wrote:
I do think some of my comments are being misunderstood. I have not said there isn't racism in this case; clearly it is ludicrous to think otherwise.
lavawitch upthread wrote:
I really don't think there is any evidence right now one way or the other for this being a racially motivated shooting


And Tuxedocat, I'd include in the learned helplessness model, being told over and over again by sources outside of you that you cannot succeed. If your family is trying to set you up to just survive in a world where people like you are killed with few repercussions, if you feel dismissed and judged by everyone around you for the color of your skin (black offenders get jail time where whites often get probation or fines, black students are suspended for conduct that is just a reprimand for white students), you start to feel like the system is stacked against you, and that you can't win.

For some poor people of color, saying do your homework and escape this bad situation (again, not talking about changing it, just helping one or two escape), is like saying "play basketball and maybe you'll be the next Michael Jordan." Its not realistic to tell kids that their only hope is to be the anomaly that gets the scholarship and escapes. We need a system where all black youth can expect to be supported and that if they do the same work as white kids, get the same experience of success.

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Last edited by Tofulish on Sat Mar 24, 2012 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 10:59 pm 
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Here is more analysis of Zimmerman's 911 call where the racial slur seems pretty obvious what he said under his breath.

http://www.addictinginfo.org/2012/03/24 ... all-audio/

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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 11:12 pm 
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Tofulish: I was just talking about Zimmerman himself, not all of the response. The response has been nothing but racism. I did say that in my post, and have since the first I heard about this case.

Learned helplessness is definitely an issue with many of my students and the school culture sort of reinforces it. That is actually the focus of a school wide initiative this year. I am involved in mentoring and intervention programs at my school. We have some truly great program that I am happy to take part in. I have had several of my students turn 18 and drop out after doing so well, that I have really been super crushed lately. If my comments have made it seem as if I'm sitting back complaining that the kids aren't doing anything, that is the entirely wrong idea. The kids that have dropped out are kids Ive spent hours each week working with. To have them decide not to continue for two more months is really heartbreaking for me, and their familes. I dot know how to tell a crying mother that I cant help her son now beause he decided not to continue. It feels like Ive really failed them. I also work with GED students.

I have a lot to learn and understand, but on the issue of helping my population of students find successes, I am actively doing anything I can for them within my classroom and with colleagues through school support programs. If it sounds like I am not doing those things, that is entirely the wrong impression.

I am sorry that reaction to my posts derailed the thread, but I do appreciate the feedback because it is helpful.

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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 11:20 pm 
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Tofulish wrote:
And Tuxedocat, I'd include in the learned helplessness model, being told over and over again by sources outside of you that you cannot succeed. If your family is trying to set you up to just survive in a world where people like you are killed with few repercussions, if you feel dismissed and judged by everyone around you for the color of your skin (black offenders get jail time where whites often get probation or fines, black students are suspended for conduct that is just a reprimand for white students), you start to feel like the system is stacked against you, and that you can't win.

For some poor people of color, saying do your homework and escape this bad situation (again, not talking about changing it, just helping one or two escape), is like saying "play basketball and maybe you'll be the next Michael Jordan." Its not realistic to tell kids that their only hope is to be the anomaly that gets the scholarship and escapes. We need a system where all black youth can expect to be supported and that if they do the same work as white kids, get the same experience of success.


Thanks for this additional perspective Tofulish. 100% agree!

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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 11:23 pm 
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lavawitch wrote:
eta: I'm sorry that I'm struggling to articulate this properly, but I think the crux of my question with all of this is why is Zimmerman's motivation the big issue here? It is the police, the DA who decided the case wasn't chargeable who have been treating the case unfairly all along. Why isn't the loudest charge of racism being directed at them? Zimmerman had reasonable expectation of being able to get away with this shooting because of this. Another shooter has reasonable expectation of being able to get away with this. Now that it is obvious that charges should be filed, they still aren't? Why?

I think that people aren't just zooming in on the racist motivation but are asking many questions. The motivation is so important, though, for a few reasons. It shows a trend in Zimmerman's behavior, especially regarding the numerous 911 calls, which some may believe should have been a red flag. The same goes with him making his black neighbors feel uncomfortable in their own homes, and telling neighbors to be on the look out for suspicious black males. It shows a trend of racism. It's also important because it brings light to what it's like for people of color to simply try to live. No one should be accosted because of the color of their skin yet is happens on a daily basis, all over the country, to a horrendous degree. Sometimes, those of us who are more knowledgeable about many things find this obvious, but many people in this country believe that racism no longer exists or that it isn't very bad. This is a very clear case of racism, in my opinion, and it's bringing attention to an important cause, one which we should all try to quash (racism, that is). The other reason is that motivation is an important aspect in a trial. It shows that it wasn't self-defense and that he had a clear, racial motivation to murder this young boy. It wasn't out of self-defense, he wasn't protecting the neighborhood, he was just a racist who used his gun.

Another reason why it's such an important issue is because people keep trying to deny the racial motivation. As I wrote earlier to some of my friends, "It doesn't make you racist if you notice and acknowledge that race was a factor in something. Claiming that people who see what happened to Trayvon Martin as racially motivated and/or backed are racist, is a fallacy. Even though race is a social construct, it doesn't make you any less of a racist to pretend that you don't notice that others see race and act upon it, it doesn't make you any less racist to live in denial. It makes you pig headed. No offense to pigs." I'm not claiming that that's what you're saying but I am saying that this is what a lot of us are hearing and we're just trying to combat the denial. There's no gain in living in denial, this is something important that needs to be recognized and acknowledged. We can't fix a problem if we deny that the problem even exists. I honestly don't believe that this would even be a question if the races were reversed.

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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 11:28 pm 
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lavawitch wrote:
Learned helplessness is definitely an issue with many of my students and the school culture sort of reinforces it...
I am sorry that reaction to my posts derailed the thread, but I do appreciate the feedback because it is helpful.

The thing is you keep bringing up personal anecdotes and while you feel like they may be relevant I don't think they add much to the discussion. You say that you know what it's like to be written off due to mental diagnosis, but that is quite a stretch to equate that to a person of color's experience. Sure I've had problems but injecting myself into a discussion about race isn't helpful or productive. In fact I think it's a bit condescending and self-centered to do so. Also by referring to yourself as what I think you said was a self fish bisque with a polyanna attitude sets up a weird dynamic in this thread. I can read all the theory I want, be an activist and stay up to date on current events but I don't think I can or will ever be able to fully understand the black experience. I think it's been well established that this is a racial motivated crime and I don't understand why the burden of proof is on the ppk to convince you of that. That being said you've got tons to say and add to a great many threads.


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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 11:33 pm 
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Lavawitch, I know you are a super teacher, who goes above and beyond to help kids. And I don't mean to call you out, just to point out that victim-blaming isn't going to help.

Yes, it sucks that you can't save all these kids, no matter how hard you try, but being an ally means keeping on making the effort for all kids, and not writing them off as apathetic.

Who knows what their path will be, but at least they'll have had one person who believed in them.

As far as being an ally, I am not black, and I know I won't ever understand the experience, no matter how much I see it or hear from my friends, I'm always going to be outside the experience itself. But allies have their own power because they are sometimes listened to where the power minority isn't. So as an ally, I listen to people in the black community, I speak up where I can. Even just refusing to tolerate people dismissing black youths or calling for change can help shift the discourse. But I hear you. I wish I could do more, but none of us can fix this alone, it has to be addressed and treated as a priority by the society.

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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 11:56 pm 
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It is helpful to point out victim blaming because I think it is super easy to do without realizing.

If I need called out, call me out. Sometimes there is a time to shut up and learn. Obviously how I am seeing some of these issues is a case in point. The more I understand, the more effective I will be as a teacher (and a person).

I don't write off any of my students, ever.

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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 12:01 am 
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Something that I find helpful to keep in mind is that no matter how high you might rise, no matter how many accomplishments you have under your belt, no matter how hard you work or what you do, you are still presumed guilty if you are black.

So, really doesn't matter if Treyvon was dressed a certain way, walked a certain way, looked at certain things, made a certain grade in school, or talked a certain way. It really doesn't matter. And I am so frustrated, angry, sad, and overwhelmed. This is a symptom of such an enormous problem. And I'm heartbroken knowing that this has happened many times before and will most likely happen again.

I see the light at the end of all of this, but it is frustratingly dim right now.

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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 5:00 am 
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Tofulish wrote:
And finally,
to chas
Black man shoots white man, claims justification under Stand Your Ground.

Trevor Dooley (71), says he shot 41-year-old David James because he thought James was going to kill him. He’s using a statute in Florida known as the Stand Your Ground law to try and get the charges against him dropped. It all started on a neighborhood basketball court in a suburb of Tampa. The two men got into an altercation over a teenager skateboarding on the court. Dooley was shouting at the teenager to get off the court, and James intervened. After a struggle, Dooley shot James once in the heart.

It is going to be interesting to see if Stand Your Ground protects black shooters who have white victims.


That case got a lot of attention. It was horrible .His 8 year old daughter was a witness. Stand your ground was brought up when it happened - almost 2 years ago. You can read about it in the local news here: http://www.tampabay.com/news/publicsafe ... 124311.ece or here http://www2.tbo.com/news/brandon/2010/s ... -ar-27791/

Basically, Dooley brought a gun to chase a kid off a basketball court. It's really far, far from what happened in the recent case.
Quote:
Neighbors say James, 41, was defending the skateboarders, telling a man who lives across the street there was no sign to prohibit them from skateboarding on the courts.

"I see a sign," the assailant replied as he pulled a gun, neighbors said


I blame gated communities and the paranoia against outsiders and the obsession with the rules that they seem to encourage.

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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 8:32 am 
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The truth of the matter is if Trayvon had been a gang member, had been shouting profanities at the top of his lungs, had been doing something actually viewed as 'threatening', he still shouldn't have been shot. Although all I see is a very young man in his picture, obviously justice isn't color blind in this cases or many cases in America. I have a friend whose brother was shot and killed in a similar manner. The neighborhood I grew up in recently had a similar case where a young man was shot for no reason other than maybe being viewed as a gang member. Not doing anything out of the ordinary but viewed as a threat due to the color of his skin.

And I wasn't trying to say Geraldo was right, I figured possibly that he might have good intentions (although I generally think he is a whacko). It shouldn't matter the color of your skin, your race, your religion, etc but the sad fact is that the general population may view you as a threat somehow. I've seen it more with young hispanic men especially where they don't realize that their race can make them viewed as a threat.

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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:38 pm 
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The thing is, what are they supposed to do with that fact? Dress to the nines all the time, as if that would save them? I know a Metis woman who does that, and while it generally helps her with security not following her around stores, it doesn't save her from racism or colonialism. If you're a person who finds people of colour frightening, you're going to find them frightening whatever they're wearing.

Apparently Martin didn't have the receipt with him for the Skittles, so the apologists are saying that obviously means he was an aggressive thug who deserved it. Jesus Christ.

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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 12:05 am 
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Wait, what? People are analyzing whether or not he had a receipt? Do they carefully file away their stupid recipes for $2 purchases?

I throw mine out on the way out the door.

How the fork do people think up this stuff? My brain hurts.

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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 12:13 am 
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The thing to remember is that Trayvon Martin isn't an isolated case.

Here is the case of Ramarley Graham, 18 years old and unarmed, shot and killed in his bathroom by cops. http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?secti ... id=8549148

Quote:
Graham was unarmed when he was shot Feb. 2 by a drug enforcement officer who chased him into his Bronx house, shooting him in a bathroom. The officer and his sergeant are on desk duty while prosecutors investigate. It was the third time in a week that police had fatally shot a suspect.


The reason people are trying to find a reason why Trayvon and others *deserved* to die, is that it is hard to admit that we live in a racist society. If you're privileged, you don't see the unsafety and the racism that others live with every day, and its hard to believe that that stuff goes on every day, all around us. We prefer to believe that we solved homophobia by arresting Dharun Ravi and solved racism by electing a black president.

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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 12:50 am 
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Shy Mox wrote:
Apparently Martin didn't have the receipt with him for the Skittles, so the apologists are saying that obviously means he was an aggressive thug who deserved it. Jesus Christ.

Out of everything about this case that makes me angry, this probably takes the cake. Wow.

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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 1:23 am 
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Tofulish wrote:
We prefer to believe that we solved homophobia by arresting Dharun Ravi and solved racism by electing a black president.

Hell yes to this. I don't know why it surprises me when people say Obama is a testament to the end of racism in America, but it does. Every time I am shocked and sorta disappointed that anybody can be so clueless.

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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 6:24 am 
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Considering Obama has had more death threats than any other president, I'm not sure how he would be a testament to the end of racism.

And I can't believe someone would try to justify this kid's murder by some crazed vigilante. Again, IF he had stolen a $1 bag of skittles, that would justify someone chasing him down and shooting him?

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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 12:51 pm 
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mixmaster_mo wrote:
Tofulish wrote:
We prefer to believe that we solved homophobia by arresting Dharun Ravi and solved racism by electing a black president.

Hell yes to this. I don't know why it surprises me when people say Obama is a testament to the end of racism in America, but it does. Every time I am shocked and sorta disappointed that anybody can be so clueless.

Seriously! I hear it first hand in my family. My grandparents always refer to him as,"That Muslim in the White House."

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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 2:57 pm 
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I just read that Zimmerman reported (on the night that it happened) that Trayvon attacked him, bloodying his nose and smashing the back of his head into the ground numerous times. Then he shot Trayvon because he thought he was going to die. I wasn't there, but I doubt this story. Not the least of which has already been mentioned previously on this thread (the possible racist comment and numerous paranoid comments about Trayvon's "suspiciousness," the ridiculous number of police calls from Z since January, etc.). Even if this did happen (which I already said I doubt, especially considering the phone conversation Trayvon had with the 16 year old girl just b4), I still think Zimmerman is responsible for chasing after Trayvon when he was told not to. If you're really afraid of someone, you do NOT chase after them and then physically confront them!

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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:40 pm 
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Tofulish wrote:
And Newt Gingrich thinks that Obama's statements about the Travyon Martin shooting are disgraceful.

Quote:
Newt Gingrich called Obama's remarks about Trayvon Martin "disgraceful" in an interview with Sean Hannity, according to CBS/National Journal.

“It’s not a question of who that young man looked like. Any young American of any ethnic background should be safe, period. We should all be horrified no matter what the ethnic background," Gingrich said. "Is the President suggesting that if it had been a white who had been shot that would be ok because it didn’t look like him?"


http://www.politico.com/blogs/burns-hab ... 18518.html

How twisted do you have to be to get that from Obama's statement? Yes, lets pretend that race didn't play a role in the killing.

Although his point was forked up, there was some good stuff in there:
Quote:
Any young American of any ethnic background should be safe, period.


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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 8:04 pm 
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Whovian wrote:
I just read that Zimmerman reported (on the night that it happened) that Trayvon attacked him, bloodying his nose and smashing the back of his head into the ground numerous times. Then he shot Trayvon because he thought he was going to die. I wasn't there, but I doubt this story. Not the least of which has already been mentioned previously on this thread (the possible racist comment and numerous paranoid comments about Trayvon's "suspiciousness," the ridiculous number of police calls from Z since January, etc.). Even if this did happen (which I already said I doubt, especially considering the phone conversation Trayvon had with the 16 year old girl just b4), I still think Zimmerman is responsible for chasing after Trayvon when he was told not to. If you're really afraid of someone, you do NOT chase after them and then physically confront them!


Not only that, but if Zimmerman was harassing him and Martin fought back in self defense, wouldn't Martin be justified in killing Zimmerman and not the other way around? Zimmerman is the aggressor.

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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 8:09 pm 
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I don't think anyone is arguing that all Americans should be safe, but its a bit rich to say that the President thinks that shooting white kids is okay.

And the truth is that white teens aren't getting shot and killed at the same rate as black teens, and that white teens aren't being shot by people in authority who are supposed to keep them safe.

Quote:
In 2009, the homicide rate for black male teens was 53.4 per 100,000, more than 18 times higher than the rate for white male teens (2.9 per 100,000).

http://www.childtrendsdatabank.org/?q=node/319

Just because Gingrich says one thing that is true in an otherwise loathsome, racist, self-serving comment that twists the truth to smear Obama, doesn't mean that we should grant his statement any legitimacy.

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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 8:42 pm 
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I hate the way that people are trying to put Trayvon on trial, using his FB and twitter accounts. I really hope that the fact that he was suspended because his book bag contained residue of marijuana he doesn't make supporters back away from him.
http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/cutline/tra ... 03647.html

And in the most incredibly clumsy effort ever, Zimmerman's friends are saying that George has virtually lost his life too.

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 Post subject: Re: Teen shot in Florida, 911 calls released.
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 8:58 pm 
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Posts: 12174
Location: Dinosaur Stampede
Quote:
In an interview with ABC News on Sunday, Oliver denied Zimmerman used the racial slur "coon" on one of the 911 tapes following the shooting. "I heard 'goon,'" he said. "And talking to my teenage daughter, apparently 'goon' is a term of endearment in high school these days."


So, people commonly use "terms of endearment" when making distress calls to 911 about suspicious persons?

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