Lately, I’ve been listening to NPR a lot. I began listening with the assumption that it’s fairly objective and less biased than the mainstream media. But the more I listen the less sure of that I am. Our local NPR station (WUWF-FM 88.1) airs a program called “Here and Now.” It originates from station WBUR, Boston’s NPR affiliate and it is hosted by a woman named Robin Young. On Monday’s show, she had on a guest, a black man named Rich Benjamin who is an author and “Op-Ed Contributor” to the New York Times newspaper.
Mr. Benjamin’s seemingly unbiased assertion is that “racism” did not kill Trayvon Martin, but that the "bunker mentality" of these gated communities was actually responsible. But we’ll get to that particular piece of bullshit in a bit. Early in the interview, Mr. Benjamin voiced his own bias toward George Zimmerman. Benjamin stated:
“In 2005 I was mugged by a black teenager…an armed black teenager. In my wildest dreams I could not imagine having shot that black teenager.”
What? Look, I don’t know about you or anyone else on the planet, but if I’m confronted by an armed person of any age or race and I'm in fear for my life, I absolutely, positively can imagine shooting said person. Absolutely. I’ll tell you what: You threaten my life with a gun while I’m carrying mine and if I get the opportunity I’ll shoot you dead and sleep like a baby later that night. Does this make me a racist or a vigilante or a killer? I don’t think so! It makes me a guy who refuses to lie down and be a victim, as is apparently acceptable to Mr. Benjamin.
We have an absolute right…and more than that, a responsibility to defend ourselves. And if “defending ourselves” means taking the life of another…well…you know, I don’t have a problem (moral, spiritual or legal) with that. Really. And it is astounding to me to hear a man…supposedly a man…who would accept the fact that he might be killed and yet who cannot even imagine in his “wildest dreams” shooting an armed man who’s threatening him with a gun. I’m, err, gobsmacked. I guess to Mr. Benjamin it is okay that his armed mugger will simply prance off to go mug, and possibly kill someone else. Yeah, way to go - good plan, Benjamin! What a friggin’ moron.
Benjamin goes on to talk about the Trayvon Martin shooting.
“…Now here George Zimmerman is, having shot an unarmed black teenager who never confronted him in the first place. It was George Zimmerman who initiated the first contact.”
WHOA, big fella! Radio host, Robin Young lets that piece of fictional bullshit go unchallenged. If you actually take the time and make the effort to listen to the 911 call that Zimmerman placed to the police, you would know that he first mentions that the person he’s watching (Trayvon Martin) is walking around the subdivision aimlessly, “just looking” at things…at night, in the rain…which Zimmerman considers suspicious given the number of burglaries/robberies in the area.
Zimmerman reports that the suspect begins looking/staring at him, but then begins walking away. Zimmerman gets out of his truck and follows on foot, which the police dispatcher advises against. But Zimmerman quickly reports that he’s lost sight of (Martin), opining that he’s heading for the back gate of the subdivision. He finishes the 911 call by coordinating with the dispatcher as to where he and the police officer will meet up. Zimmerman hangs up. Subsequent to that, Martin returns and they get into a confrontation that results in Martin’s death.
But it is absolutely wrong to say that Zimmerman “initiated” the first confrontation, because it is not on record. We simply do not know who confronted whom. Maybe it was Martin who came back, confronted Zimmerman and said, “Excuse me good sir, may I inquire as to the reason you seem to be following me? Is it that you intend to nick me box of Skittles?” I can easily see that happening. Zimmerman obviously did make it clear to both the police dispatcher (and to Martin) that he was watching/following the guy, but nothing more. According to what Zimmerman said on the 911 call, Martin ran and went out of sight.
People make a lot of assumptions about this case…STILL! People evidently have not listened to the 911 call Zimmerman made. Nor have they read any of the statements given by other residents of the “gated” subdivision (about which a big deal is being made). If they had, they would know that there is a WHOLE LOT OF STUFF that is either unknown or that has been misrepresented in the media.
NPR host Robin Young did a poor job of letting her guest come off like an authority and make statements which have not been established as fact.
I have been accused of prejudice in this case. I have been accused of “coming down on” the side of the "white" Zimmerman over the dead black kid. But that’s not correct. All I’m interested in is the truth.
Oh, and NPR? It’s just as full of shit as the “mainstream” media. Maybe more so.
NPR article HERE
You can listen to the entire interview HERE