Sunday, July 14, 2013


Creepy Ass Campos Adds His Particular Brand of Slime

I thought CU property law professor Paul Campos had given up his gig as an essay writer. He was dropped years ago by the Denver paper and I had very seldom seen his stuff on the web since. I used to comment on the silliest of his work, but even my liberal friends told me to knock it off because it was like shooting fish in a barrel (something I have actually never tried--I'm willing to bet it is difficult to kill fish underwater with a bullet, however, I digress). But Campos pops up again at Salon, the Marion Davies of webzines, with a particularly loathsome piece, titled: Zimmerman saga was all about race. Let's get to it.

Because it happened in America, the trial of George Zimmerman for shooting and killing Trayvon Martin was all about race.
What? If a Hispanic man, with a black grandparent, shot a black 17-year-old in, say, London, England, then the case would have been about self defense, but because of its location in America, it is only about race. You can't make up someone being this stupid. The case is primarily about self defense no matter where it took place.

And because it happened in America, the people who benefit politically from the same invidious forces that led both to Trayvon Martin’s killing, and the acquittal of his killer, will deny that race had anything to do with either the killing or the verdict.
What invidious forces? Who benefits from Trayvon Martin's killing? Who benefits from the proper verdict of not guilty? I don't deny race had anything to do with the tragedy but it didn't have much to do with it. Let's see if Campos supports with evidence his counter-intuitive first paragraph. Any bets he doesn't?

Suppose Trayvon Martin had been a 230-pound 30-year-old black man, with a loaded gun in his jacket. Suppose Zimmerman had been a 150-pound 17-year-old white kid, who was doing nothing more threatening than walking back from a convenience store to his father’s condo.

Zimmerman was 195-200 when he was arrested. Trayvon Martin was 158 at the time of his death, but why let facts get in the way of speculation about role reversals? Notice that the factual mistakes are towards making Zimmerman more menacing and Trayvon Martin less. But that's not evidence of bias or sloppy reporting. I too have a speculation about role reversals but I'll save it.

Suppose Martin had stalked Zimmerman in his car, until Zimmerman became afraid and tried to elude him. Suppose Martin had gotten out of his car and pursued Zimmerman. Suppose this led to some sort of altercation in which the big scary black man ended up with a bloody nose and some scratches on the back of his head, and the scared skinny (and unarmed) white kid had ended up with a bullet in his heart.

Stalked? George Zimmerman was a neighborhood watch member in a community which had had 8 burglaries (one a home invasion) in 14 months. Stalked? Nothing biased about that choice of word. Tried to elude? According to Rachel Jeantel, who was not the most reliable of witnesses, Trayvon ran from the creepy ass cracker towards his father's fiance's home about a football field away and was almost there. We know from the police recordings of phone calls that nearly 4 minutes passed between Zimmerman reporting Trayvon was running away and Ms. Lauer calling 911 to report a confrontation which took place near where Zimmerman had stopped as soon as the dispatcher said he didn't need to follow further. Is that trying to elude or is that coming back to confront the "scary" cracker? And was it just a bloody nose? The picture at the scene before medical help shows a displaced fracture of the nose to my untrained eyes.

How do you suppose the big scary black man’s claim of “self-defense” would have gone over with a jury made up almost entirely of white women?

Probably just as well as Zimmerman's did. So Paul Campos talks primarily about the race of everyone involved and then claims the story is all about race. Hmmm. Only the racists keep track of the color of the persons involved. We non-racists just judge people on their conduct, not their skin color.

Here's my what-if: Let's say Trayvon Martin had stopped raining down punches on George Zimmerman when the only eyewitness to the fight, John Good, told him to stop, would he have been charged with assault (in the juvenile system)? If you say yes, then why were murder charges brought against someone defending himself from an assault by a stranger. If you say no, then it would appear that the young man's race would have had some protective effect to criminal charges and Campos' role reversal, actually race reversal, becomes less clear and compelling than he seems to think.

But of course this is America, which means that the scary figure in this story is the skinny unarmed teenager, because in America pretty much any black male over the age of 12 in this sort of situation is going to be presumed  to be the ”aggressor,” the “thug” – in short,” the real criminal,” until he’s proved innocent, which he won’t be, even if he’s now a dead, still unarmed teenager.

Zimmerman did not presume Trayvon was an aggressor, thug or the real criminal. He had a reason to wonder about his actions, however, wandering around in the rain, not running through it back to shelter, for example. Zimmerman was also concerned that Trayvon was looking around and seemed on drugs (Trayvon did have some THC in his system). None of what Zimmerman reported to the dispatcher as suspicious was race related; all of it was action which Zimmerman found strange and suspicious. Campos ignores that and pretends that Trayvon was as pure as the driven snow (wrong metaphor?) but was black and therefore the racist "white Hispanic" suspected him with no other evidence but skin color. If you ignore all the evidence of actions and only look at race, then all you see is race. Racists do this. Campos is doing it here.

And his killer is a grown man who provokes a fight with an otherwise harmless kid, starts losing it, and then shoots the kid dead.

Where is the evidence that Zimmerman provoked the fight. By looking at him? By being in the common area of the community in which he lived? By trying to see where he was running to report it to police as he was supposed to do? There is not the slightest hint that Zimmerman caused Trayvon to hit him in the nose and then jump on him. No evidence of it at all. And Campos states this as if it were an established fact. What a deceitful writer he is. He puts himself in the figurative barrel by his false assertions and seriously wanting analysis. And harmless kid? On top of Zimmerman raining down blows in MMA "ground and pound" style. Breaking Zimmerman's nose and putting two splits in his scalp from blunt force trauma? Not as harmless as a normal person might think the word 'harmless' implies.

Because this is America, pointing out that a black boy can be shot with impunity by a more or less white man because many white Americans are terrified by black boys and men is called “playing the race card.”

Playing the race card is generally thought to be calling your opponent in a debate a racist in order to stop the debate and make your opponent shut up. Anyone who breaks a person's nose and then jumps on them and starts to rain down blows MMA style, no matter what his skin color, is risking death if the guy he's attacking is armed. This saga is all about self defense. Race is merely incidental here. And "by a more or less white man"? (Emphasis added). Mother of God, what is Campos talking about? Is the President more or less a white man? Is Campos a fan of the Democrats' "one drop rule" and hierarchy of blackness; and the more modern notion that if one is not black then one is white, at least for purposes of playing the race card? That is a telling bit of writing there. Since Trayvon has more black genes than Zimmerman, Zimmerman is white. More racist claptrap from Campos.

The race card is what the people who benefit politically from the fact that many white Americans are terrified by black boys and men call any reference to the fact that race continues to play an overwhelmingly important, and overwhelmingly invidious, role in American culture in general. And in the criminal justice system in particular.

Wrong again. What many Americans, of any color, are afraid of is to be a victim of crime, no matter what is the skin color of the perpetrator. The sad fact is that young American black men perpetrate more violent crime per capita than any other race. Like Trayvon did here (and died for it, tragically). Racists like to call it racial profiling but it is more often rational profiling given the crime statistics. Race is not an overwhelming influence in our day to day lives (although race seems to be very important to Mr. Campos), and it's not invidious if we're merely going with the odds, the crime stats, when we don't know the intentions of the young man approaching us on the street. I worked with a lot of black men I admired a lot when I was a prosecutor and part of the "racist" criminal justice system. I guess the black prosecutors, investigators and police I worked with were basing their perceptions and decision on invidious discrimination based on skin color too. Campos is a racist fool to believe that or that only the whites in the criminal justice system were racists. He's merely a mainstream Democrat to believe that most Americans are racists.

Trayvon Martin was stalked by George Zimmerman because he was black. Trayvon Martin is dead because he was black. George Zimmerman was acquitted of killing Trayvon Martin because the boy Zimmerman killed was black.

This is really sad. Not stalked. Not because he was black. Not dead because he was black. Trayvon is dead because he chose to attack the creepy ass cracker he didn't like looking at him suspiciously. That's the sad fact the Trayvon apologists on MSNBC always leave out. And George Zimmerman was acquitted because he acted within the law, indeed, within our God given right to self defense, in not allowing Trayvon to cause him any further harm. Skin color had absolutely nothing to do with the verdict and Campos is an asshole to call the jurors here racists without the tiniest hint of the beginning of the mere thought of the possibility of any supporting evidence. To think it was all because of skin color is to close your eyes to nearly every single detail of testimony given under oath.

If you deny these things, you are either a liar or an idiot, or possibly both.

Hello, Pot? This is the Kettle. You're black. Campos thinks his analysis is beyond counter-argument and no dispute with him can be either sincere or logical. Anyone who disagrees with him is of bad character or limited intelligence or is both unreliable and unworthy of engagement. No possibility that someone disagrees on principled analysis to the contrary. The great and powerful Campos has spoken! What a douche.

Nothing above requires the conclusion that the jury’s verdict was wrong as a matter of law. Florida’s laws, in their majestic equality, extend to people of all races the right to engage in vigilante killing that eliminates the sole witness to that killing.  To point this out is neither a defense of those laws, nor a claim that they will in fact be applied equally.  In other words, to blame this jury in this situation is to miss the point.
We are a nation of laws, not men--if the verdict was correct as a matter of law, then it was correct. As I said above, the right to self defense is a God given right (necessarily included in the self evident right to "life" in the Declaration of Independence). Self defense is not mentioned in the Constitution, but then the framers went to a lot of trouble to write the 9th Amendment to point out that unalienable rights not enumerated in the previous 8 could still exist and those mentioned by name in those 8 should never be considered to be an exclusive list. The law of no state, including Florida, could take away our right to self defense and Florida's laws do not. To call any self defense statute a "right to engage in vigilante killing" is absurd, and beneath contempt. The, to Campos, racists white prosecutors in what he calls the corrupt and racist criminal justice system prosecute white men who claim to have shot some black man in self defense all the time; but of course, they only do it when there is some good evidence that the claim of self defense is false. (I prosecuted a black woman who claimed she shot a very drunk black man in self defense. I only got manslaughter and that was later overturned on appeal. That hurt.) It's not the fault of any supposed, continuing zeitgeist of racism in America (stemming almost exclusively from Democrats' racist actions and opinions both a hundred years before and after the Civil War) that the prosecution in the Zimmerman case had absolutely no evidence that Zimmerman did not act in self defense. The facts in the case from the testimony under oath of eye and ear witnesses all conclusively show that Zimmerman acted in self defense and that he is not guilty of any crime. End of story, unless of course you are a morally blind CU property law professor who is read less and less each year because his opinions and arguments are just not worth the time.

Sorry to have wasted any reader's time talking about his worthless opinions here; it's just the fish barrel metaphorical takedown is apparently enticing to me.


Paul Campos was dropped by the Post. Mike Litwin was dropped. Even David Harsanyi, whom I do not miss, was dropped. Why are we still afflicted with Mike Rosen?

Every time I think the Denver Post cannot possibly get worse, it proves me wrong.

The format used to make sense. World and national news in the first section; local news and business in the second; then sports; then comics and fluff in the fourth section.

Now it's local and business in the first but they will sneak in some national news just to make the whole thing incomprehensible.

The Post makes me miss the RMN, which, although a horrible rag, was journalism at its finest compared with the Post.

Afflicted. Whether you agree with Rosen or not, you can't even begin to compare his rational analysis to the hysterics of Litwin and Campos. I do miss Harsanyi but he's still writing.
Agree with you about the papers. The RMN was not in my opinion a "horrible rag" but it certainly failed. The Post should too. Dis band should disband, as Duke Ellington once said (or was it the Count?)

BTW, you're the liberal friend who brought up fish in a barrel regarding deconstructing Campos. You were certainly right about that.
This is great!
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