The case of Trayvon Martin has captivated an entire nation; rallies and marches in his name are popping up all across the country. Everyone is putting their hoodies up, the item of clothing Trayvon was wearing when he was shot and killed on February 26th in Sanford, Fl.
One of the main media outlets that have been covering Trayvon’s case from the beginning is Cenk Uygur and his Young Turks team.
We had a chance to talk with Cenk, host of The Young Turks on Current TV who expressed his thoughts on Trayvon’s case and what needs to be done to stop something like this from ever happening again.
This case has exploded, what was your initial reaction when you first heard about Trayvon Martin?
You go back and watch the first video we did on it, on March 8th, and I was instantly beyond outraged.
I couldn’t believe the story. It’s interesting to me that it takes people a lot of details for them to get as worked up as we did on day one, because I guess a lot of people don’t want to believe the racism.
They think, ‘Well you know, maybe it could’ve been this or maybe it could’ve been that,’ and to us it was clear on the first day if the shooter was black and the victim was white, there’s no way in the world it would’ve gone down like that.
With the rallies and marches going on across the country, how do you see this ending?
On April 10th when the grand jury makes their decision, what do you expect will happen?
I guess I expect that George Zimmerman will be indicted, arrested, and tried. If that doesn’t happen, my mind will be blown.
I think this case is getting out of the hands of the locals, who for whatever reason clearly have a bias towards George Zimmerman. I sort of conclude that part of that has to do with race, or maybe a bias against Trayvon Martin. You can tell, in every detail of the case it oozes out.
They do a toxicology test on the victim, but not on the suspect. Come on, they do a background check on the victim, but not the suspect. I wonder why? So you have to get an answer from those locals who are massively biased, and then at some point if there’s any real justice, not only will we try Zimmerman, but we will also fire that police chief, fire that guy who originally conducted the investigation, and told the witnesses, ‘Oh no you didn’t hear the kid screaming, you heard Zimmerman screaming.’ Why the hell did he do that? I think the answer is obvious. Maybe that guy should also be fired.
What do you think about the “Stand Your Ground” law, 22 states currently follow it. Do you think after Trayvon’s murder, this law will be repealed in Florida, and eventually across the country?
There’s two things about that. First, the fact that “Stand Your Ground” is relevant in this case is a misnomer.
I don’t think it’s relevant. “Stand Your Ground” doesn’t mean you go chase after someone and shoot them in their chest.
I think Zimmerman, based on the facts we know, appears to be guilty, no matter what the law is in Florida, so I don’t like people using that as an excuse for Zimmerman.
The second part of it is, “Stand Your Ground” is absurd. It encourages vigilantism. It encourages people to shoot others.
The justifiable homicide rate in Florida has tripled since “Stand Your Ground” has come in, and those aren’t necessarily just the viable homicides.
There’s homicides where somebody shoots somebody because, ‘Hey I got a gun, and I can’t wait to use it,’ and then the cops let them walk. If Florida and other states keep going in this direction, they’re asking for a world of hurt. Everybody’s going to take justice into their own hands.
I find it interesting about the language that’s going on, “Self-defense” and “Justifiable homicide.” Those two things seem like they’re correlated, or they seem parallel. What do you think about the language “Justifiable homicide” and “Self-defense”?
There’s two parts to that too. One is, it seems like everybody is trying to find an excuse for Zimmerman.
I’ll tell you why — By the way, don’t get me wrong, a great majority of the country is on our side — Part of the reason the media people are trying to find excuses is because they have to feel that they have to be “neutral” and balanced on every issue, which drives me crazy.
It’s OK to say, ‘Hey somebody did something wrong here’ and the other guy was the victim. It’s OK! But no, they have to use words like “Justifiable homicide” and “Self-defense.” It’s better. It’s a crime. I get worked up.
The thing that I keep coming back to is according to reports, Zimmerman is about 260 pounds and Trayvon Martin was 140 pounds. I’m trying to in my mind think what would the situation have to be for me, because I’m also about 230 pounds, to feel threatened enough by a 140 pound teenager that I would have to take out a gun, and shoot him in the chest. I can’t conceive of that scenario.
Even if somehow you got punched, or whatever it was after you chased the kid that you’d have to be such a coward that you’d pull out a gun and shoot that poor kid who only weighs 140 pounds, is inconceivable to me. The fact that they use words like “Justifiable homicide” and “Self-defense” drives me crazy.
As soon as the cops in any case, say X, the media feel they have a need to defend X and give them at least 50 percent of the story, usually it’s 100 percent of the story or benefit of the doubt, but the cops can never be wrong.
The government can never be wrong. People in authority can never be wrong, so if a cop said that, ‘Oh, there must’ve been a really good reason.’ Yeah, sometimes, and sometimes it’s because the local cops are racist.
Of course, people hear that, their heads explode, if you make it that obvious. ‘Calling people racist is really tough.’ No! Shooting someone in the chest was really tough, and that’s what you have to call out.
It must be so scary to acknowledge the obvious racism in the country. It doesn’t mean everybody’s racist. It doesn’t mean a majority of white people are racist.
Are some people in the country racist? Of course, of course! The fact that the media is so reluctant to say that is maddening.
Here are two clips from the Young Turks show talking about the case of Trayvon Martin.
Cenk and GlobalGrind.com editor-in-chief Michael Skolnik both don hoodies to talk about the Million Hoodie March in New York to demand justice for the shooting of Trayvon Martin.