Illinois just deputized 300,000 George Zimmermans.


I never get used to this stuff. I hope I never do.

I’m not surprised by it. I’ve seen too much. I know too many people.

Marched too often. Or maybe not enough.

Too many funerals.

The last couple of years I have written mainly about teaching, unions and pensions.   I get it that many readers of this blog follow me for that reason.

But this is not a one trick pony. Maybe some of the readers just ignore what I have to say about other social issues so that they can stay informed on pensions.

But I received quite a few comments this weekend about the Zimmerman verdict. Critical of me.

They went something like this: “You don’t know what happened that night. You weren’t there. The jury found reasonable doubt. It wasn’t about race.”

I posted a few of these comments and now I have stopped.

No more.

My answer would have been the same to all of them: Trayvon was innocent of any wrongdoing. Nobody suggests otherwise. He was stalked by George Zimmerman. Nobody suggests otherwise. In fact, Zimmerman was told by the police not to follow Trayvon. These are facts that we know. They are not disputed by anyone. Whatever happened during the confrontation, Zimmerman by his presence, precipitated it.  He believed that a Black teenager in a hoodie was up to no good. That  is what really happened that night. Nobody suggests otherwise. The jury’s verdict means that the mere presence of a Black teenager is reason enough to stalk, confront and kill. I know this.

An old friend, a Chicago cop,  messaged me:  If he would have been convicted, it wouldn’t have surprised me. However, the fact that he wasn’t convicted didn’t surprise me either. Do I feel that this attack was racially motivated? Perhaps. After all, Trayvon Martin was Black. But this goes deeper than that. Why was there a community watch? Was the “community” experiencing a rise in crime? Were the residents fearful of “undesirables” in the area? I know one thing, Zimmerman was asked to stand down and he didn’t. He is certainly guilty of being an idiot. He is at fault for starting the events that led to Trayvon’s death. Now that a concealed carry bill has been passed, we will see more people being shot needlessly. 

Yes, Illinois now has a concealed weapon law. 300,000 people are now deputized. 300,000 potential George Zimmermans.

I usually find the debates over what passes for gun control laws a fraud. Twenty children and six adults were murdered in a school in New Town, Connecticut and the most Obama could come up with is a federal law on background checks. And even that failed.

The passage of Illinois’ new concealed gun law was led by Rep. Brandon Phelps (D-Harrisburg). His uncle is David Phelps. The elder Phelps is famous for co-sponsoring the Marriage Protection Amendment when he served as a US Illinois representative.  As a Democratic congressman, David Phelps was anti-choice, pro-gun and anti-Gay rights.

Up until May of last year, Democrat Brandon Phelps was a member of American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

Rep. Phelps said he was “disgusted” by the Governor’s attempts to ban guns from bars.

However, you don’t find many Black teenagers in bars.

So, now in Illinois any George Zimmerman with a gun who claims he is on community watch can legally pack a piece in his belt, stalk a Black kid because he is wearing a hoodie. And if the kid reacts to being followed by a pistol-packing stranger… Well, we just witnessed the conclusion to that story.

It is not surprising that  laws to arm future George Zimmermans passed the Illinos legislature.

I know there are readers of this blog who may sincerely believe the murder of Trayvon Martin and the verdict were not about race.

Zimmerman’s defense team AND the prosecution claimed the case wasn’t about race.

I suppose they argue that it was really just about an armed vigilante, profiling, stalking and killing a Black teenager armed with Skittles.

But not about race.

No comments accepted.



The trial of George Zimmerman for the murder of Trayvon Martin will end today with a verdict. Or tomorrow. Or soon.

To me, the evidence is clear. But this is America and race is central to the trial as it is to most things societal. Will the jury of six women give the parents of Trayvon some peace? Some justice?

Make no bets when race is involved.

Paul Krugman’s column this morning addresses the issue of the myth of the absent white voter in the 2012 election and the prospects for what he calls “libertarian populism.”

Krugman dismisses the theory of the absent white voter by looking at the data.

We know that the facts have a Left-wing bias.

Enter libertarian populism. The idea here is that there exists a pool of disaffected working-class white voters who failed to turn out last year but can be mobilized again with the right kind of conservative economic program — and that this remobilization can restore the Republican Party’s electoral fortunes.

Krugman produces some facts:

Moreover, if you look at what the modern Republican Party actually stands for in practice, it’s clearly inimical to the interests of those downscale whites the party can supposedly win back. Neither a flat tax nor a return to the gold standard are actually on the table; but cuts in unemployment benefits, food stamps and Medicaid are. (To the extent that there was any substance to the Ryan plan, it mainly involved savage cuts in aid to the poor.) And while many nonwhite Americans depend on these safety-net programs, so do many less-well-off whites — the very voters libertarian populism is supposed to reach.

Specifically, more than 60 percent of those benefiting from unemployment insurance are white. Slightly less than half of food stamp beneficiaries are white, but in swing states the proportion is much higher. For example, in Ohio, 65 percent of households receiving food stamps are white. Nationally, 42 percent of Medicaid recipients are non-Hispanic whites, but, in Ohio, the number is 61 percent.


If the facts don’t support an austerity agenda, what will they fall back on. As they always do. Krugman doesn’t say.

I will.



Zimmerman pulled the trigger but did ALEC write the law?

The stand your ground law. Jeb Bush supported it. Zimmerman used it. Trayvon Martin died behind it. Did ALEC write it.

The question is popping up all over the internet.

Who is responsible for the stand your ground law in Florida?

We know that the National Rifle Association supported it.

Did ALEC write it?

ALEC is the American Legislative Exchange Council. They are funded by big money, Koch brothers money. And every piece of anti-labor, whether in Scott Walker’s Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio or Florida, all have ALEC’s stamp on it.

When Trayvon Martin was murdered by George Zimmerman in Florida, he said he was protected by Florida’s stand your ground law.

Jeb Bush supported it. Zimmerman used it. Trayvon Martin died behind it. Did ALEC write it?

“Minorities who wear hoodies just asking to be shot,” says Geraldo Rivera.

“The Greatest,” Muhammad Ali.

The Gawker:

Minorities Who Wear Hoodies Just Asking to be Shot, Says Geraldo Rivera.

This morning on Fox and Friends, an unusually stupid walrus named Geraldo Rivera offered “a different take” on the case of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black teenager gunned down in the street by a vigilante because he “looked suspicious.” Tell us your take, Geraldo:

I am urging the parents of black and Latino youngsters particularly to not let their children go out wearing hoodies. I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin’s death as George Zimmerman was.