June 7, 2012
What the Media Choose Not to Know about TrayvonBy Jack Cashill
Unnerved by an unspoken mix of political bias and racial queasiness, the major media have chosen to know as little about Trayvon Martin as they know about Barack Obama.
As a case in point, consider this boy vs. man fable spun by the New York Times' Charles Blow:
Blow was writing seven weeks after Trayvon's death. He had no excuse for missing the actual story. Worse, since he is a writer for the Times, his reporting has helped set the media tone worldwide
The media's willful ignorance was on display again this past week. In reporting this news of George Zimmerman's return to jail, more than a few media outlets showed the dangerously deceptive image of Trayvon as 11-year-old cherub. They did so in the assumption that the narrative was still theirs to control. It is not. The blogs, which have been doing the real detective work on this case, have long since taken control away from them.
The sites I have found most useful are the Daily Caller and theconservativetreehouse.com. What follows is largely culled from those sites and their independent contributors. By probing Trayon's background and parsing his social media chatter, they have put together a picture of a disturbed young man that begins to makes sense of the events that unfolded on that fateful rainy night of February 26.
Trayvon Martin is seen on the security video through the 7-11 window approaching the store from the direction of the Retreat at Twin Lakes. He had been staying there at the townhouse of his father's girlfriend, Brandy Green. In major media accounts, the helpful Trayvon ventured out in the rain in a mile-plus round trip to buy Brandy's 14-year-old son, Chad, some Skittles and Arizona Iced Tea. Not likely.
Trayvon, with his hoodie up, grabs two items from the shelves of 7-11. One is the Skittles. The other is Arizona Watermelon Fruit Juice Cocktail. The media avoid the name of the real drink -- possibly because of the racial implications of the word "watermelon," but possibly to avoid probing the real reason for Trayon's trip.
Trayvon, in fact, had become a devotee of the druggy concoction known as "Lean," also known in southern hip-hop culture as "Sizzurp" and "Purple Drank." Lean consists of three basic ingredients -- codeine, a soft drink, and candy. If his Facebook postings are to be believed, Trayvon had been using Lean since at least June 2011.
On June 27, 2011, Trayvon asks a friend online, "unow a connect for codien?" He tells the friend that "robitussin nd soda" could make "some fire ass lean." He says, "I had it before" and that he wants "to make some more." On the night of February 26, if Brandy had some Robitussin at home, Trayvon had just bought the mixings for one "fire ass lean" cocktail.
Trayvon pays for his purchases. He then appears to point to an item behind the counter, but the clerk seems to reject that option. Trayvon turns from the counter with a couple of dollar bills still in his hand.
Trayvon leaves the 7-11, but we do not see him walk in front of the store window back towards Brandy's home.
Three squirrely young men enter the 7-11, all of them with their faces concealed in part or in full. The clerk had to have been nervous. One of the three (Curly) takes off his hat and shakes out his long, curly dark hair. He is likely either white or Hispanic, or, like Zimmerman, a "white Hispanic."
Curly appears to be holding the two bills Trayvon walked out with. He approaches the clerk and buys two cheap cigars from behind the counter and then a third one as an afterthought.
Curly is the first of three to exit. The others will follow in a minute.
Trayvon, turning as he walks, can be seen through the window heading back towards the Retreat at Twin Lakes and Brandy's house.
Zimmerman calls police while watching Trayvon near the gated community's clubhouse, less than a half-mile from the 7-11. According to "Dee-Dee," the girl Trayvon was periodically talking to on his cell phone, he was ducking in out of the rain. She also said he put his hoodie up for the same reason. In fact, though, Trayvon had his hoodie up inside the 7-11, and he was walking in the rain when Zimmerman spotted him. The walk to this point should have taken 10 minutes.
It took 40 minutes. Some background may help explain why. Earlier that same month, Trayvon had been caught at school holding a bag with marijuana residue and a marijuana pipe. He was suspended for the third time that school year, this time for ten days. Trayvon may have been dealing as well. As one online friend had communicated earlier, "Damn were u at a nigger need a plant."
Trayvon was partial to "blunts," street slang for cannabis rolled with the tobacco-leaf wrapper from an inexpensive cigar called a "blunt." As a tribute after his death, one friend posted online a photo of a homemade badge honoring Trayvon positioned next to a blunt.
It seems altogether possible that Curly bought at least one of those cigars for the under-aged Trayvon and took those visible dollar bills as payment. Trayvon waited five minutes outside the 7-11 and did not leave until after Curly came out. In the 40 minutes before Zimmerman spotted him, Trayvon could have scraped the tobacco out of the cigar, replaced it with marijuana, and smoked his blunt.
"This guy looks like he's up to no good," Zimmerman tells the police. "Or he's on drugs or something. It's raining and he's just walking around, looking about." Trayvon was on drugs or had been recently. His autopsy showed the presence of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, in both his blood and his urine.
It is possible too that Trayvon was up to no good. "He's just staring, looking at all the houses," says Zimmerman. Trayvon had a history. On October 21, 2011, he received his second suspension that school year. A security guard at his school saw Trayvon writing "WTF" on a hallway locker. In looking through his bag for the marker, the guard found 12 pieces of jewelry, a watch, and a "burglary tool."
Zimmerman did the prudent thing by reporting Trayvon to the police. Ever since the Florida real estate bust, the Retreat at Twin Lakes had been troubled by vacancies, foreclosures, and renters of dubious repute. The community had suffered numerous break-ins and home invasions, the perpetrators of which were all young men, most of them black. "We report all suspicious persons & activities to the Sanford Police Department," reads the standard neighborhood watch sign at the community's gated entrance. If Trayvon did not fit the bill, no one did.
"He's coming towards me," Zimmerman tells the police about Trayvon, who is now walking towards his truck. He makes his first firm identification of Trayvon as "a black male." Adds Zimmerman, "He's coming to check me out. He's got something in his hands." Zimmerman sounds a little anxious: "Please, get an officer over here."
After Trayvon passes his truck, Zimmerman says, "Shit, he's running." He is heading towards "the back entrance," says Zimmerman. That entrance is in the same general direction as Brandy's townhouse. A question that goes unasked is why Trayvon was running.
When asked by the dispatcher, Zimmerman agrees not to follow Trayvon, and his heavy breathing ends. "He ran," says Zimmerman. Even if running slowly, Trayvon could have made it to Brandy's house in a half a minute. It was only 100 yards from the truck.
Zimmerman is hesitant to give out his address. "I don't know where this kid is." He looks around to see where Trayvon has gone, fails to spot him, terminates his call, and heads back to the truck.
7:14 - 7:16
These are the missing two minutes. After receiving a call from Dee-Dee, Trayvon has come back to confront Zimmerman. Their final confrontation takes place 70 yards from Brandy's townhouse and only 30 yards from Zimmerman's truck. No one hunted Trayvon down. Although he has kept the drink and candy on his person, Trayvon does not have a blunt with him.
According to the autopsy report, Trayvon was 5'11" tall and weighed 158 pounds, the "ideal healthy weight" at that height being 160 pounds. He was not the skinny little boy with the Skittles that half of America still believes him to be. He was at least three inches taller than Zimmerman and only about 20 pounds lighter.
His home life a wreck, his school life in disarray, Trayvon had fallen victim to urban America's lost boy culture.
This culture, which the media also choose not to see, has been shockingly destructive. Citing Bureau of Justice statistics, black economist Walter Williams in a recent column notes that "between 1976 and 2011, there were 279,384 black murder victims." Of these, Williams estimates that roughly "262,621 were murdered by other blacks."
Trayvon had "statistic" written all over him. In the past year or so, his social media sites showed a growing interest in drugs, in mixed martial arts-style street fighting, in a profoundly vulgar exploitation of "bitches."
Trayvon posed for one photo with raised middle fingers, another with wads of cash held in an out-stretched arm. One YouTube video shows him refereeing a fight club-style street fight. A cousin had recently tweeted him, "Yu ain't tell me yu swung on a bus driver," meaning, if true, that Trayvon had punched out a bus driver.
Zimmerman never saw the cute little boy that the TV audience did. He saw a full-grown man, a druggy, a wannabe street fighter, the tattooed, gold-grilled, self-dubbed "No_Limit_Nigga."
Media obfuscation may still work in the court of public opinion -- it got Obama elected in 2008 -- but it will not work in a court of law. The truth will out. When it does, the major media will lose a good chunk of whatever credibility they have left, and our nation may lose a good chunk of its urban real estate.