There’s A Reason Why Lady Justice Wears A Blindfold

Before February of 2012, the vast majority of us had never heard of Trayvon Martin nor George Zimmerman. They were nothing to us. They did not occupy any part of our hearts or minds. I do not love George Zimmerman and I did not love Trayvon Martin. They were but two of millions of souls you and I will never come into contact with nor spend one moment considering in our daily lives. Then, that fateful night happened.

A local story became a national concern when allegations of racism and profiling were brought to the spotlight. Suddenly, the President of the United States would say something as biased as, “If I had a son he would look like Trayvon.” This, the president of ALL of the United States stoking the already heating up flames of division in the country. Once again, when given a golden opportunity to lead, he divided. Not long afterwards, my second favorite team, the Miami Heat players took a picture with them all wearing hoodies. They were showing solidarity with the young man killed that night as if it were a foregone conclusion what had taken place.

I’d said this from the moment I read enough of the information in this case. I called for Zimmerman to be prosecuted from day one. This angered a lot of my listeners. As quickly as the president and the Heat and Sharpton and the New Black Panther Party pounced to say Martin was killed for being Black, many of my listeners were claiming Zimmerman’s innocence because he was legally carrying a gun. While the media took the side of Martin by only showing pictures of a smiling 12 year old, many were backing Zimmerman by calling Martin a “thug” or “thief.” In fact, many sent me a picture of the rap artist, “The Game” with tattooed face and neck claiming the picture was really 17-year old Martin before his death. People took sides quickly. I just wanted the facts to come out. The best way to do that? Unpopular as it was, I stood firm and pushed to have it go before a judge and decided by a jury.

I know some of you reading will say I have this perspective because I’m not Black and I enjoy some sort of “White Privilege.” Reality is, I am color blind. I always have been. I don’t have to prove that to you.. it’s how I live. I’ve looked at this case and have come to some common sense-based, logical reasonable conclusions. Both men, Martin and Zimmerman, are guilty of misidentifying the other. Martin had every right to be in that neighborhood. He had every right to buy something to drink and some candy. He had every right to wear a hoodie and talk on his cell phone. He did nothing wrong. Zimmerman had every right to be in his truck. He had every right to observe what was going on in his neighborhood. He had every right to call the police when he saw someone he didn’t recognize in his neighborhood. He had every right to get out of his truck.

Martin made the mistake of thinking Zimmerman was someone up to no good and Zimmerman made the mistake of thinking Martin was up to no good. I’m betting had Martin known Zimmerman was neighborhood watch and Zimmerman that Martin belonged there, none of this would have happened.

Nobody has argued that Zimmerman actually chased and physically caught Martin that night. NOBODY. They said he “followed” or “stalked” or “chased” but NEVER physically chased and ran down Martin. That would be ridiculous. Zimmerman 5’8″ and 200 pounds, Martin 5’11″ 155-160 and a decade younger — do you really think he chased him down and physically caught him? Or is it more likely that after Zimmerman turned around and walked back to his truck, Martin came to him and wanted to know what his problem was? Did anyone in this case say anything about Zimmerman starting the physical confrontation? That’s what this case was really about. Who physically attacked whom? They were both mistaken. They both made bad decisions. But, who started the physical confrontation? If it was Zimmerman, he should have been convicted. The evidence did not bear that out. The prosecution did not make that case. The defense’s case relied on the jury believing Martin threw the first blow. It was successful in proving that.

Put the blinders on. Forget that the media calls Zimmerman a “White Hispanic” or a man who “identifies himself as Hispanic” and that calls Martin “17 year old Trayvon,” or “Black teen Trayvon,” or “little Trayvon Martin.” If it went down as the defense said it did, then the verdict is correct no matter the race of those involved.

With that said, I truly believe Zimmerman should NOT have gotten out of the truck that night. I truly believe he should have followed IN his vehicle and waited until police got there. But, as much as Martin was allowed to walk down that street, so was Zimmerman. The dispatcher is not a police officer and can suggest he not follow but, he’s not breaking the law by not listening. Zimmerman was allowed to carry a gun as provided by the Constitution. It was not a stolen gun nor was he a convicted criminal not allowed to carry.

I’m the father of four. I can’t imagine the agony Martin’s family and friends must be going through. I wish Trayvon Martin were alive today. In fact, if I had my way, I never would have heard of George Zimmerman nor Trayvon Martin. Emotions are running hot and people are screaming “Injustice.” Anyone physically attacked has the right to defend himself. Instead of further divide, why can’t the discussion going forward be about healing this country to the point that we don’t because of the color of our own skin make immediate assumptions about others because of the color of their skin — ON BOTH SIDES.

About Joe Pags

Radio/TV Talk Show Host - Nationally on The Weekend With Joe Pags, The Blaze Radio Network and on the Glenn Beck Program Locally in San Antonio, TX on 1200 WOAI and Denver, CO on 850/KOA
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43 Responses to There’s A Reason Why Lady Justice Wears A Blindfold

  1. Colleen Fitzgerald says:

    Well said! You said every single thing I have thought about this case and I actually said these same words to my hairdresser today…. I wish Trayvon Martin were alive today. In fact, if I had my way, I never would have heard of George Zimmerman nor Trayvon Martin.

    The whole incident is sad & the worst part is one person is dead & one person’s life is changed forever & no one wins. And, to me the attention this case got from the media infuriated me. There are other families out there who have lost loved ones to violence and we don’t hear a word about their grief. If the media is going to give attention to a case like this one then they should give attention to all those lives lost every single day thru violence & not pick & choose based on the races involved just to incite hate.

  2. infinite_jim says:

    It’s sad that Martin’s punishment for assault is death. He didn’t even get a jury of his peers. He didn’t even have the right to defend himself with a CHL, or better yet have the training of a CHL and the required temperament to pass. Zimmerman should have known his neighbors personally by at least knocking on everyone’s doors to identify himself if he was going to take the responsibility of being a neighborhood watch. It would have given Trayvon’s father a chance to save his son’s life in hindsight. Tragic all around… I don’t think you can dismiss folks powerless pleas of “injustice.” Laws will be challenged, new politicians elected, new bills passed, and we can all move on. Take care.

    • Reign_211 says:

      I totally agree. As a gun owner, Zimmerman had a greater responsibility. His actions led to the death of a child and he should have been held accountable. What this case has shown us is that there is no regard for a kids life, period. There was a case in NY with similarities, yet he was convicted. Zimmerman was told not to follow, he used poor judgement and resulted in the death. George Zimmerman is a danger to society with his thought process as a gun owner. Put your kids in Trayvon Martin’s situation, see how you sleep at night.

      • thorschariot says:

        first, my son wouldn’t attack someone for following them down the sidewalk. he would have called Zimmerman an asshole and then showed him where he lived. he wouldn’t have gotten up in his face and knocked him down and started pounding the shit out of him for “dissing”. it was an overreaction that led to his death just as much as any action Zimmerman took. if Trayvon hadn’t been a little punk “thug” this wouldn’t have happened, either.

        • joyce holmes says:

          thorschariat-you should be ashamed of what you posted here. Whether Trayvon was the worst human in the world, he was the one being followed. He didn’t know who this man was that was following him. Zimmerman is just as equally at fault. Trayvon is dead. Zimmerman lives

      • Rayniel Cruz says:

        So a neighborhood watchman has to know everyone in a neighborhood, even guests. The neighborhood watchman needs to be informed of everyone’s coming and going to keep people safe. From what I understand, Treyvon Martin was not visiting his father’s house, he was visiting his father’s Fiancee’s house. So in essence, he was a guest of a guest. Furthermore, I personally find it distasteful regarding Treyvon Martin as a kid. Yes he was a minor, but the picture they seem to be painting was of an 8 year old, not a 17 year old. I know some 17 year olds who could pass of as adults, and so it is very likely that George Zimmerman could have mistaken him as a young man in his twenties. In response to how would I feel if Treyvon Martin was my child, according to the character testimony and history of Treyvon Martin, I would be hurt but not surprised. The PUNK who was suspended from school because of violent behavior, and was had friends who beat up homeless people would have at some point bitten off more than he could chew. If Treyvon Martin got shot in a gang fight, this would not have gotten as much coverage as it has, even if that is
        more tragic.

  3. Wendell Biggs says:

    I agree completely with what you said . But I still don’t think Martin should have started beating on Zimmerman just because he was being observed or followed . I guess it doesn’t take much to set some people off and start swinging . I see a lot of that sort of attitude ( short temper and anger ) in the young population , even more so in the black youths . Much of what I see in the liberal media and some so called black leaders doesn’t help that. It’s even worse when politicians take sides in cases like this . This case is tragic enough without more anger and hatred being generated by bias media people that can’t accept a verdict . In the words of Rodney King ” Can’t we just get along “.

    • Mr W. says:

      Wendell Biggs:

      If a stranger is following you in the night, you will become defensive. Mase manufacturers reply upon this and sell millions of units per year. Its natural instinct. Be realistic and expect a young child, hell, a young ANYTHING (animals etc) to become frightened and defensive if being followed. Martin doesnt know the intentions of this man. And Martin called for help. Its on tape. Dont forget that.

      Nobody deserves to be killed in an altercation they did Not start. PERIOD.

      • Mr. W. can't argue correctly says:

        Mr. W, **YOU** are an excuse-maker!

        So, you are giving a pass to Trayvon Martin, and then you make the stretch that becoming defensive by Martin includes Trayvon Martin following Zimmerman back to his vehicle and assaulting him!?

        And, no, you **can’t** state that Martin called for help. Whatever is on tape about calling for help can’t be discerned.

        And, you continue to be an idiot. Trayvon Martin **is the one**
        who started the altercation by assaulting George Zimmerman.
        So, Mr. W., you are also a **LIAR**!

      • robert schmidt says:

        All Martin needed to do was walk to the apartment and the whole issue was be ended.

  4. The Wind says:

    Very well put. I posted this to a few NFL players that have lashed out on twitter. “You speak from emotions and NOT from facts. It’s people like you, that try to prosecute through the media, that taint trials such as this. If the news media, the POTUS and the racebaiters like A.S. would stop trying to pit one race against another, this country would be a better place. BTW – why aren’t you so vocal about all the black on black crime in Chicago? NOLA? ATL? Clean up your own house, then maybe your opinion will count!”

  5. Mike M says:

    Joe, as usual I agree with you about 99% of the way. You state that the case was about who started the fight. I disagree. It doesn’t matter who started the fight. All that matters is whether George Zimmerman felt his life was threatened at any point in that fight. If he feel his life was threatened, he was allowed to use deadly force. I don’t expect the HEAT or the POTUS or CNN to understand that, but I was hoping you would.

    • John says:

      I think what you’re missing here Mike is that Zimmerman left his house that evening feeling his life was threatened. That’s why he had a gun in the first place. In essence, you’re blaming Martin for something that already existed in Zimmerman’s head.

      • Richard Walter says:

        John you are sadly mistaken…………..Most CCW carriers do not feel threatened when they leave their home carrying. They carry because there are street thugs out there that will kill you for looking at them. Seems Trayvon was one of these. It would appear you have never been in the real world-Still living in Mom and Dad’s basement?

  6. Phil Ingber says:

    Well said! And I completely agree. However, its incredibly hard to lead a color-blind life. When you are a person of independent thought, examining each issue on its own merits, you are called racist if your opinion doesn’t agree with “them”. Todays definitions….. Conservative = Racist, Independent = Racist, pro-life = racist, etc etc etc.

    If you have truly pulled off a colorblind life and have been able to deal with the insults, then I envy you. As for me, I find it difficult.

  7. Ntoonz says:

    Many 17 year olds do stupid things. Hormones, puberty, the emergence of adulthood, lots of different factors lead teenagers to do things they shouldn’t do. Some of the things they do involve alcohol, some involve driving recklessly at high speeds, some involve picking fights, some involve jumping into things they haven’t checked out first, many of them involve a combination of things. And some teenagers are killed because of the things they choose to do. None of them deserve to die, and every instance is a tragic loss. You don’t have to make Trayvon Martin into a thug to understand that he might have done something inadvisable the night he was killed. You just have to remember that he was those teenagers who don’t think everything through.

  8. Amy Jewell says:

    I think you’ve stated some fine points, however, I disagree with your opinion that George Zimmerman should have been charged. Maybe he should have, maybe he shouldn’t have. The 4th amendment of the Constitution protects against unreasonable search and seizure. The President making a biased, inflammatory statement, along with Al Sharpton and the likes, AND the city council in Sanford, FL all influenced the case and pushed for charges to be brought before the facts of the case could be fully investigated. How are the police investigators supposed to effectively do their job when they are receiving pressure (direct or implied) from as high up as the most powerful man on earth? If allowed to thoroughly investigate, they may have found probable cause for arrest. They may not have. The sad fact is we will never know.

  9. Tony Pradia says:

    Great analysis. Great commentary on a very difficult issue. Pag’s objectivity eventually drew me into the public debate as a call in guest. After some initial attempts to stereotype me we had a meaningful discussion. We agree on most points. I support the court’s decision. Having said that, I’ve been profiled, harassed, insulted, challenged because of my race. I certainly understand how Trayvon felt. Unfortunately, he lacked the maturity to restrain his desire for justice and suffer the injustice in silence. We no longer teach that to young black men because we are “equal”. But, my 18 year old son has had someone rack the slide on a shotgun to scare him when he knocked on a door in broad daylight as a part of a political campaign. Blacks are not the only ones who’ve been profiled, but being black … even today … still means there are a different set of rules. I wish it were different, but we’re not there yet. Again, thanks for the debate and for allowing me to express myself. I pray this will be the last time, but common sense tells me it won’t be.

  10. Stan says:

    The verdict must be accepted but my opinion is the injustice started immediately following the shooting. The police took zimmermans word and didn’t treat the scene or evidence in any way that question his story. It has been largely accepted that Trayvon punched him but truth is there is no evidence of that just zimmerman’s word. Yes his nose was broken but maybe trayvon would say that he elbowed him as zimmerman was trying to apprehend him before the police got there. We just don’t know but we do know know he is dead on his way home from the store. Killed by Zimmerman. As I said I don’t question the verdict but there was in my opinion an acceptance of a killers story and I believe you always have to at least question that story.

  11. LaKeisha Jackson says:

    We saw (via the cell phone transcript) that Martin asked Zimmerman “Why are you following me?”…to which Zimmerman replied “What are you doing here?”
    The saddest thing…to me…is that Trayvon would still be alive if he had simply answered the question. He had a perfectly good reason for being where he was. If he had just said something like “My father and I are visiting his girlfriend…she lives in that house right over there. I went to the store to get some snacks. See? Here they are right here! If you want to, come ask my father what we’re doing here.” Then I believe that Zimmerman would have left him alone.

  12. R. Sterling says:

    Media bias indeed. Pags, your rant is trite and narcissistic: “Unpopular as it was I stood firm.” “I’m colorblind”. Well slow applause and bully for you. This blog shows you do not think outside the elephant box. You write what is popular to the over 50 white people you call listeners.

  13. Jacqueline says:

    I’m not worried about Lady Liberty’s blindness when it comes to justice for I already know you cannot administer over that which you cannot see. My bigger concern is your blindness when it comes to the true state of race relations in this country. You are lucky that it takes little more than a thought and a microphone to do what you do. Impressive I must say but there is village desperately seeking you Pags. Please go home!

    • joepags says:

      Jacqueline — my favorite part of your comment is, there’s no meat to it. What you do is call me a village idiot and denigrate what I do for a living. Not one retort to what I wrote nor explanation as to why you disagree. Just an attack. That’s sad. Pags

    • robert schmidt says:

      Why the personel attack on Pags? Do you listen to to his show?
      The State did not have a case that they can win. They were forced to move forward with the trial.
      Now we have Department of Justice that bring a case against Zimmermen.

  14. Fred Martin says:

    By you filing charges you would have violated zimmermans civil rights as well and would be getting sued . No evidence to support charges.

  15. Buster Stone says:

    Isn’t it ironic that all of the people who insist on a colorblind society seem to be unable to get past color. Isn’t it also ironic that all of the people who complain about being stereotyped will always stereotype when they cannot debate facts and call others nasty demeaning names.

  16. Valerie says:

    George Zimmerman is a supreme ass. He decided to go against the directions of the 911 operator and follow this kid. He followed him ON FOOT. He provoked the confrontation. His actions led to the death of Trayvon Martin. Should Trayvon Martin have identified himself and why he was there? Duh. Of course! But should he even have had to ask ask why someone ws following him? George Zimmerman deserved to get the crap beat out of him. He deserves……something. I am just not sure what. Murder? No. Manslaughter? Perhaps. But then maybe living with the knowledge that his choice led to a confrontation resulting In the death of a young man is punishment enough in this case. He will never be the same, nor will the Martin family. There are no winners in this case, including our nation which is more racially divided than ever before and I fear is a long way from any improvement.

  17. Kathy M says:

    I believe it was politicized by Obama (his comment, ‘If I had a son…..’) because he and his administration want to take our guns away. If he was really concerned about a Black child being shot/murdered – don’t you think we’d hear from him every day about how many Blacks are murdered in Chicago? But alas, he does not care about Blacks. IL/Chicago has very strict gun laws – illegal to carry in the state. So Obama can’t politicize the ‘race’ issue there – because that’s NOT the issue for him. THE issue is gun control.

    I live in WI – we hear about the Chicago killings every day in our news – but most states will not hear about it unless the media really cared about Black children being killed. So, the next time we hear Obama speak out – it will have something to do about gun control (but disguised as a racial issue).

  18. Wendell Biggs says:

    To make this about race is sad . I bet if Trayvon Martin was white Zimmerman would have acted the same way and nobody would have heard of the whole incident .

  19. You have written wise words here, sir.

  20. Preston says:

    Legally he was innocent, morally he was wrong. My main concern is this opens the door for stalker murderers. You can by law, stalk someone & start an altercation. Now after instigating the situation to a point where that person hits you…. shoot & kill them. Didn’t watch or care about the trial. Unfortunately had to listen to some of the breakdown after the trail as scare media equals ratings, finally stitched over to the Discovery Channel. Looks like Civil suit is upcoming which relies on more moral over law so hopefully a large settlement will deter other wannabe stalker/murderers from going crazy. I’m just glad my wife & I conceal carry ourselves. Sad situation and now life for Zimmerman.

  21. Beverly Ippoliti says:

    If George Zimmerman had stayed in his car and waited for the police like he was instructed, this would not have happened. Because of his adrenalin someone’s son is dead.

    • Pam says:

      If Trayvon Martin would have called 911 with his phone and reported a suspicious person instead of taking things into his own hands, he would be alive!

  22. Jacques N says:

    Will the NAACP pressure the DOJ to investigate every murder, regardless of race, since they all result in the loss of what they call the “most fundamental of civil rights – the right to life?” Will they pressure the DOJ to investigate the hate crime that occured two weeks ago in suburban Atlanta when 4 black guys beat a white man to death simply because the man was white?

    • preston says:

      I’m so tired of tit for tat excuses. There will always be a what about…. What is your resolution to the issue?? Or are you waiting on someone to say ‘what about the klan?’ then ‘what about the new black panthers’ ‘what about LULA’ ‘What about GLADD’. Come on really?? That will always be a never ending battle unless people STOP pointing fingers and start looking at themselves and what they bring to the table teaching our youth what’s the right thing to do. Zimmerman & Trayvon both failed miserable in that situation. None of the above groups can do anything about that. We must teach our youth thru example.

  23. Pam says:

    Well said, sir. People in the “limelight” should be requesting peace for both sides and go forward instead of using Trayvons name and picture for popularity votes. It’s 2013, not 1966. Both sides received a fair, legal chance for their side to be heard, and it was. Get a grip people. Trayvon had 2 choices, go home tell his dad and report a suspicious person, or go confront a person he knew nothing about. I think we all wish neither paths would have crossed.

  24. vicloo says:

    The right verdict was reached. I agree with everything Joe stated. My only question that was never answered in the trial, was why didn’t Martin simply go into his father’s girlfriend’s residence when he had at least one if not two opportunities. He was at the residence and for whatever reason chose not to open the door and go in which would have ended the whole episode. So there were bad decisions made by both of the parties involved. Praying for both of the families.

  25. jeanne griffin says:

    I am curious, if Zimmerman was found guilty, would Hispanics have threatened to riot? I doubt it. When OJ Simpson was found innocent by that racially motivated jury years ago, did white people threaten to riot? No. I hate it that the slavery issue is so continually revived. Vile as it was, slavery was a cultural establishment in Africa at that time, where tribal warfare was still in practice on that continent. Slavery would never have gotten such a foothold in this country had not Africans been willing to sell other Africans to the slave ships. Slavery has been practiced by every culture that split off into tribes and fought other tribes. Every single person in the world likely has ancestors that practiced slavery. We are ALL a bunch of stinkers and need to stop blaming one another and get on with each of us trying to make our own little spot on the planet a better place. I am so sick of this victim mentality perpetuated by so called Progressives.

  26. Nancy Moral says:

    To Late to Apologize – A Declaration against Social Justice

    If you can, view the absolutely excellent satirical music video about the sentiment of the original colonies declaring their separation from England, and refusing to accept King George’s “apology.” Youtube – To Late to Appologize. A Declaration. They had just dumped tea into the Boston Harbor as a symbol. They rejected his definition of Social Justice! The poison of the Social Justice movement today has just been revealed in the recent Zimmerman trial (7/14/2013).

    I’ll compare King George with the “group” using Social Justice to make demands today. This group is Obama’s Justice Department’s paid protesters (it’s in the news), and followers; media outlets, and the so called “civil rights” leaders that are the paid socialist-racist instigators stoking crowds to acts of violence. Both King George, and this group were deliberate, violent, and over the top to the point that the tea must go into the harbor!

    Back then, as today the people pleaded with the king, sent offers of compromise back and forth for review, for relief, and a little understanding. They continued to pay taxes, and did everything to cooperate until….. (insert the words to the Declaration of Independence). To tie this into the Zimmerman case. No apology is acceptable by this aforementioned group for their behaviors. As this group points their finger at America, America needs to declare their Independence from them.

    I am so sorry for Ms. and Mr. Martin’s loss, but they had nothing to do with their son’s behavior, and can’t hold it against the other person who was defending their self! Zimmerman did nothing illegal. Nothing. Now, I hope all black, white, and green law abiding citizens with a firearm (held legally) will not be intimidated it they feel they are in eminent danger of having a felony perpetrated on them, such as being punched, and smacked down on concrete! .

    Media outlets, Justice Dept. paid protesters, and paid stokers that tried to inflame passions to riot just for political reasons, GO HOME.

  27. LCH says:

    I agree with most of what you said Pags but not with everything. The main lesson here is; “you should never attack someone who has a gun and if you don’t know they have a gun, assume that they do”. Had Martin not assaulted and attempted to murder Zimmerman, then Martin would be alive today.
    Now; about the 911 call Zimmerman made……
    He was already out of his vehicle when the dispatcher ‘SUGGESTED” that he not follow the person in question (Martin). And when the dispatcher said “we don’t need you to do that” after asking Zimmerman if he was following him, Zimmerman said “OK”. Then preceded to go back to his vehicle. There is no testimony or evidence that Zimmerman continued following him.
    Working as a watch person or a security guard, you do see and meet some unsavory characters. Zimmerman felt that Martin was suspicious because he was out in the rain, dark, with a hoodie on in Florida looking up at buildings; so he called 911. So, doing the duties of a watch person or a security guard, it is OK to follow someone from a safe distance to report back to 911 or any other entity that needs to know information.
    Zimmerman didn’t single him out because he was black, he merely felt he was up to no good and treated him as such. And it is possible, Zimmerman may have been correct in his assumption. We don’t know if Martin was up to no good or not. Martin did commit a crime that night and it was assault and attempted murder on Zimmerman. We know that Martin was the aggressor…. I have listened to the 911 call several times and CNN completely get the context of that call wrong. And so do many bloggers who listen to CNN.
    I work as a security guard and I have had to follow many times at a safe distance in order to report my claims to 911 dispatchers on several occasions. You can’t always report what you see staying in your vehicle if the person in question goes between buildings.

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