The Racist Truth of "Stand-Your-Ground"

It isn't whites who benefit most from "stand-your-ground" laws.

The sad story of Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman's fatal encounter has been told many times, mostly infested with media lies and lefty spin.  Others have written plenty of articles debunking all kinds of myths, but possibly the most persistent lie is that Zimmerman's actions in defending himself against Trayvon's attack provided an example of a "stand-your-ground" law in action.

The legal doctrine of "stand-your-ground" gives a citizen the right to defend himself when attacked, without requiring him to run away.  Its legal opposite, found in most politically liberal states and cities, is the "duty to retreat."  This means that, even if you're attacked by a criminal, you'll go to jail if you defend yourself against him if there was some possibility for you to run away instead, even if you have to leave your own home.

To free Americans, this principle seems preposterous on its face.  How far do you have to retreat?  Do you have to wait until you've actually been cornered and literally cannot retreat before you're allowed to harm your attacker?  Does this mean that thugs can drive you from your own home and steal everything in it, and you're not allowed to try to stop them?  What about if there's another innocent involved who can't flee - do you have to run away and leave your children to their fate?

In reaction to these obvious questions, the more conservative states have enacted various clarifications of when and whether you must retreat.  The well-known "castle doctrine", for example, says that a man's home is his castle and he's allowed to defend it by whatever means he deems best.

"Castle doctrine" law led to a famous case where a Texan shot dead two crooks who were burglarizing his neighbor.  He felt that had to take action bimself because the police didn't deem his call for help a high priority.  He gunned the thugs down while on the phone with an objecting but otherwise unhelpful 911 operator.  A grand jury found him innocent of any crime, despite protests led by the dead felon's fiance.

In George Zimmerman's case, he wasn't at home so he had no castle to defend.  Neither was he in any position to stand his ground: he was lying on the ground with Trayvon on top of him slamming his head into the cement.  His case was one of pure self-defense, nothing else.

Racism, But Which Way?

The left nevertheless is obsessed with the bogeyman of "stand-your-ground," particularly lefty elements which specialize in racial grievance.  A number of celebrities have announced boycotts of Florida and other states with these laws until they're repealed, usually adding some racially-tinged gripe to the press release.

From the signs carried at protests, one might assume that gun freedoms are of most use to racist whites who use their excessive weaponry to gun down innocent blacks.  That's precisely what most of the commentary around the Zimmerman trial would have us think.

However, the stunning truth is totally different.  Is "stand-your-ground" a license for whitey to hunt people who're "walking while black"?  No: buried on the last page of an otherwise standard grievance-mongering article in the Christian Science Monitor is this eyebrow-raising fact:

Data show that black defendants have a high success rate in invoking stand your ground in black-on-black violence. In fact, if all cases are taken into account, black defendants have a higher success rate in claiming stand your ground than do white defendants, and they attempt to claim stand your ground at higher rates.

The facts are that "stand your ground" laws benefit innocent black citizens more than they benefit whites.  In fact, "stand your ground" laws are more useful to black citizens than they are for whites: blacks use the laws as a defense more frequently, and it's more likely to work for them.

In other words, "stand your ground" laws discriminate in favor of black people.

Protect The Innocent, Uphold The Law!

A moment's thought will reveal why, but apparently the leftist media can't even spare that moment.  America as a whole is not particularly racially integrated.  Most black criminals live near other black people just as most white criminals live near other whites.  Most criminals prey on people who're nearby - thus, the victims of black crime are most commonly other black people.

A gun is no respecter of persons.  A gun doesn't care who is holding it or who it's being aimed at.  Having a gun is just as useful to a law-abiding black person as it is to a person who's white, Asian, or anything else.

The proof is in: The right to bear arms is the opposite of racism.  The Right to Keep and Bear Arms helps minorities defend themselves against racism, violence, and both at the same time, and has for a hundred years:

Gun rights and civil rights scholars find common cause in a 1921 Detroit murder trial.

That year, a French-educated black doctor named Ossian Sweet moved into a white neighborhood, only to be confronted by a white mob of more than 300 people. When the menacing mob began to agitate and throw rocks, Sweet and a compatriot opened fire from a second-floor window, injuring one man and killing another.

Called out of retirement to defend Sweet, famed defense attorney Clarence Darrow made an impassioned argument to an all-white jury, suggesting they admit their biases in order to ignore them.

The jury found Sweet not guilty.

Dr. Sweet had a right to defend his home from a mob regardless of "stand your ground."  Mr. Zimmerman had a right to defend his life regardless of "stand your ground."  Innocents of all colors have the right to defend their person, property, and loved ones.  Thanks to the far-sighted wisdom of America's founders, they can actually exercise that right and do so.

The only question remaining is: why do the mainstream media, the Racist Reverends, and the rest of the race-baiters so hate black people that they want to strip them of this right which protects them above all others?  That's racism most foul, and we condemn it!

Read other articles by Hobbes or other articles on Law.
Reader Comments

From the above cited article:
"Yet it is that perception, more than the reality, that makes stand-your-ground laws vulnerable to racial bias, say others. The fact that jurors deemed Zimmerman justified in standing his ground – but not Trayvon – points to subtle prejudices, they suggest."

I would also just like to add that this statement is specious. There is no reason to believe that if the result had been reversed that Trayvon wouldn't have been been able to claim stand your ground. After all he was facing an armed person. It is impossible for anyone to know who started the aggression at this point. From what I know of the case I would say that "beyond a reasonable doubt" would not have been reached in either case.

August 16, 2013 8:59 PM

Well, we now know what happens in our government when a black murders a white - nothing!

Jesse Jackson tweeted that senseless violence is "frowned upon." That's all. No marches, no Holder involvement, nothing from the president.

What message does this send?

The victim was from Australia. There are international implications. The state department is sorry it happened, nothing more.

August 22, 2013 7:31 AM

FINALLY, years after the study was commissioned, the report comes out, and you were right.

Stand Your Ground Laws Are Not Racist

Conveniently buried amidst the concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights recently released a report entitled Race Effects of Stand Your Ground Laws. The report was released a mere five and a half years after the hearing on the topic.

The hearing was prompted by the national firestorm surrounding the death of Trayvon Martin. The premise of the hearing was that Stand Your Ground (“SYG”) laws — which permit victims of assault to “stand their ground” rather than retreat from an assailant — have a racially disparate impact and effect. The presumption among progressives was that white-on-black homicides (i.e., a white assault victim defending himself pursuant to SYG laws against a black assailant, resulting in the latter’s death) were more likely to be deemed justified than black-on-white homicides (a black assault victim defending himself pursuant to SYG laws against a white assailant, resulting in the latter’s death). Therefore, SYG laws have a racially disparate impact. The insinuation, of course, was that this disparity was intentional.

The evidence, however, showed that in altercations similar to the Martin–Zimmerman fight — except that the assailant was white and the victim was black — 7.69 percent of homicides were deemed justified in non-SYG states, but 9.94 percent of homicides were deemed justified in SYG states. In other words, a black person defending himself against a white attacker is more likely to have his actions ruled justifiable in a SYG state than in a non-SYG state.

That’s contrary to the progressive/mainstream media Trayvon Martin narrative, perhaps explaining why the report was released more than five years after the hearing, under cover of a pandemic.

Yet another progressive myth dashed against the rocks of reality. But not before the falsehood has become embedded in the culture as fact.

May 4, 2020 9:15 PM
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