The Question of Zimmerman’s So-Called “Wimpiness”

This entry is part 2 of 5 in the seriesRACE AND THE KILLING OF TRAYVON MARTIN

DividedHouseUS

 

As George Zimmerman, now 120 pounds heavier than he was on the fateful evening of February 26,2012, appears in court, some might be inclined to forget his former stature and physical activities.

The former mixed martial arts [MMA] trainee is by no means a helpless individual who just happened upon a mammoth figure. Trayvon Martin was not Ray Lewis or, for that matter, Stanley “Tookie” Williams. Trayvon was tipping 150 pounds and a very slender young man from all accounts.

Zimmerman’s current bulge, for all we know, might be a skillful elements of his defense. He can change his physique, but creating a wimpiness image is a completely different matter.

In light of this emerging “wimp” narrative advanced by Zimmerman’s legal team, one might ask this question,  “If the guy on-trial for murder in the death of  Trayvon Martin is now being cast as an out-of-shape wimp, was he a wimp in 2005 when, as Wikipedia recalls,

 He was charged with assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest,
after shoving an officer while a friend of Zimmerman’s
was being questioned about underage drinking?

 

 

An Msnbc.com investigation into the matter revealed that Zimmerman was arrested and charged for two third-degree felonies — “resisting officer with violence” and “battery of law enforcement officer.” The charges were later reduced to “resisting officer without violence” and then waived when Zimmerman entered an alcohol education program. 

This is relevant in a sense that the wimpy guy the public is now to perceive as a part of accepting Zimmerman’s account of the struggle with Trayvon, that individual is a myth created out of prosecution convenience.

I know some pretty tough characters that have knocked out guys in prison. But I don’t very many who would go around pushing or beating on a police officer. 

Let’s get this right…

georgezimmerman_reenactment

A fit George Zimmerman days after the shooting, re-enacting his version of the events. Photo: Public Domain. (Click for details)

We are to believe Zimmerman would not have started a fight with a teenager, but he would put his hands on an officer carrying and trained in the use of a police revolver and billy club.  Further, we are to believe that Trayvon overpowered Zimmerman. And we are to dismiss, as mistaken, eye witness testimonies that placed Zimmerman over Trayvon.

So, what makes the idea of a police officer assaulter being wimpy and not a match for a much lighter black male?

Answer — images of physically imposing black men. An image that operates on a thread of history from Jack Johnson to Mike Tyson. Trayvon takes on the monster burden that suburbia perceives of black men standing on corners, dressed in white shirts and jeans. The infamous hoodie worn by Trayvon on his final day on earth elicited this response of a menacing figure, deserving of suspicion.

The plausibility that Zimmerman’s account is true requires that we dismiss physical data points and superimpose these with racial images, prejudices, and fears. Likewise, a victim mentality of views chance encounters between blacks and whites as potentially threatening for the latter requires that we discount Zimmerman’s physical conditioning and MMA training. And this necessary helplessness must forget that that Zimmerman’s history included physically accosting an armed policeman.

Place yourself as a juror on a case where a grown man with MMA training is accused of murdering a 150-pound child after a physical altercation. What is the likelihood that you would accept a narrative that suggests that physically-active black man was helpless (and screaming frantically) at the hands of the younger and lighter white child.

Consider this with a sincere heart. While not impossible, the likelihood is very remote.

This, then, is a part of challenge justice has in the Zimmerman case and others like it.

Racism requires it to be so.  

 

 

 

 

 

Series Navigation<< Zimmerman’s Fatal Decision and the Unavoidable Reality of RaceDid Zimmerman Benefit from a Delayed Arrest? (videos) >>
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