The other day I said:
The only reason we even know about this case is because some people decided out of their own bigitory that this must have been a racial killing. Basically, it was painted as a self-appointed white tea-party republican patrolling the streets. We now now that he was in fact not self-appointed, was not white, and is in fact a registered Democrat.
Well, it gets better.
He’s actually part black himself.
The 28-year-old insurance-fraud investigator comes from a deeply Catholic background and was taught in his early years to do right by those less fortunate. He was raised in a racially integrated household and himself has black roots through an Afro-Peruvian great-grandfather – the father of the maternal grandmother who helped raise him.
Some of those in the lynch mob have tried to paint his calls as being “obsessed with black men”. Well, that’s one way to paint the facts.
“Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. I’m black, OK?” the woman said, declining to be identified because she anticipated backlash due to her race. She leaned in to look a reporter directly in the eyes. “There were black boys robbing houses in this neighborhood,” she said. “That’s why George was suspicious of Trayvon Martin.”
It seems he went through a rough patch at one point.
In 2004, Zimmerman partnered with an African-American friend and opened up an Allstate insurance satellite office, Donnelly said.
Then came 2005, and a series of troubles. Zimmerman’s business failed, he was arrested, and he broke off an engagement with a woman who filed a restraining order against him.
That July, Zimmerman was charged with resisting arrest, violence, and battery of an officer after shoving an undercover alcohol-control agent who was arresting an under-age friend of Zimmerman’s at a bar. He avoided conviction by agreeing to participate in a pre-trial diversion program that included anger-management classes.
And that degree? Well, the coverage I’d heard suggested he was starting it. Actually, he’s pretty much finished it.
Zimmerman enrolled in Seminole State College in 2009, and in December 2011 he was permitted to participate in a school graduation ceremony, despite being a course credit shy of his associate’s degree in criminal justice. Zimmerman was completing that course credit when the shooting occurred.
The problem with crime in the area was not a trivial one either.
On August 3, Bertalan was at home with her infant son while her husband, Michael, was at work. She watched from a downstairs window, she said, as two black men repeatedly rang her doorbell and then entered through a sliding door at the back of the house. She ran upstairs, locked herself inside the boy’s bedroom, and called a police dispatcher, whispering frantically.
“I said, ‘What am I supposed to do? I hear them coming up the stairs!'” she told Reuters. Bertalan tried to coo her crying child into silence and armed herself with a pair of rusty scissors.
Police arrived just as the burglars – who had been trying to disconnect the couple’s television – fled out a back door. Shellie Zimmerman saw a black male teen running through her backyard and reported it to police.
After police left Bertalan, George Zimmerman arrived at the front door in a shirt and tie, she said. He gave her his contact numbers on an index card and invited her to visit his wife if she ever felt unsafe. He returned later and gave her a stronger lock to bolster the sliding door that had been forced open.
“He was so mellow and calm, very helpful and very, very sweet,” she said last week. “We didn’t really know George at first, but after the break-in we talked to him on a daily basis. People were freaked out. It wasn’t just George calling police … we were calling police at least once a week.”
In September, a group of neighbors including Zimmerman approached the homeowners association with their concerns, she said. Zimmerman was asked to head up a new neighborhood watch. He agreed.
I’m left wondering what the original source for many of the claims about Zimmerman is. Was it that the initial reporters talked to someone who had their facts wrong, or was it that someone simply started making stuff up and the press started printing it?