I’m sure many of you have run into the above phrases and while spending time on social. In this post I recorded some thoughts AND reservations I have about those two phrases even though I understand the message of self preservation behind them. Click here to listen to this message. As usual I look forward to hearing (or reading) your thoughts on this topic. I also want to hear your thoughts on the take a knee stance in the NFL right now. I’m gonna post on this topic as well.
Found this on Facebook and thought I’d share it. Please share your thoughts on this subject in the comments section. Thank you. Have a blessed Friday…
This post is actually a research paper I wrote for a criminal class while in undergrad. It is about the “Stand Your Ground” law that has been under a great deal of public scrutiny since the death of Travon Martin in 2012.
On February 25, 2012 at approximately 7:09 pm, George Zimmerman called the Sanford, Florida police department to report “suspicious behavior” by Trayvon Martin. Mr. Zimmerman was advised by the police dispatcher to refrain from following Martin after telling the dispatcher that Martin had started running. Around the same time Trayvon Martin’s girlfriend called him on his cell phone (Surge, Robertson, & Alverez, 2012). They talked for approximately three minutes. In the course of their conversation, Martin informed his girlfriend that he spotted a strange man following him. She advised him to run and overheard him exchange words with George Zimmerman, overheard sounds of pushing, and then his headset went silent. After trying to call him back, she couldn’t reach him (Surge, Robertson, & Alverez, 2012). At approximately the same time, neighbors began to call 911 to report an altercation they overheard (and in some cases saw) between Martin and Zimmerman. By the time police arrived, the altercation was over and Martin was dead from a gun shot to the chest from Zimmerman’s gun (Stutzman, 2012). All of this, including the police taking George Zimmerman to the police station to question him, took place in less than three hours (Stutzman, 2012).
On August 1, 2010, Marissa Alexander’s husband became enraged after discovering text messages that she had written to her ex-husband and began strangling her (Hadad, 2012) (WJXT-TV, 2012). After getting loose from his grip, she ran to the garage intending to get in her truck and drive away. When she made it to the garage, she discovered that she forgot her keys in the house. Sensing that going back into the house would lead to another altercation, she grabbed her gun for protection. When she re-entered the house her husband threatened to kill her, so she shot a warning shot into the air to scare him. When he heard the shot, her husband took his two children and left. Her husband admitted, at the time, to having a history of violence against women. He admits to beating all of his five “baby mamas” and says that he once beat Alexander so bad that he put her in the hospital and wound up in jail. Even though no one was hurt or killed in this incident, Marissa Alexander now sits in jail and could face twenty years in prison (Hadad, 2012) (WJXT-TV, 2012).
The purpose of this research is not retry the above cases but examine a controversial piece of legislature that they have in common. Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law. Because of this law, George Zimmerman almost avoided arrest and trial for his part in the death in the death of Trayvon Martin. Marissa Alexander tried to use this law in her case to avoid prosecution, and the court threw it out in her case. Both of these incidents took place in the state of Florida.
Senate Bill 436 was signed into law in April of 2005 by Governor Jeb Bush. The law is meant to expand and explain the self-defense rights of citizen’s of the state of Florida against violent attackers (Wallace, 2006). “Stand Your Ground” laws state that a “person may use force in self-defense when there is a reasonable belief of a threat, without obligation to retreat first” (Jansen & Nugent-Borakove, 2007). Florida’s version of the law allows for deadly force in cases where the victim has reason to believe that his/her life is in danger (Jansen & Nugent-Borakove, 2007). Twenty-three of fifty states have enacted some sort of castle doctrine legislation from 2005 to 2008 (Boots, Bihari, & Elliot, 2009). Eleven states have considered castle doctrine legislation since 2005 but have yet to pass it (Boots, Bihari, & Elliot, 2009).
Castle doctrine, the formal name for “Stand Your Ground “laws, has its origins in English common law when a man’s home was considered to be his “castle” (Jansen & Nugent-Borakove, 2007). The whole idea was that home was considered to be a sanctuary from danger and each man has a right or duty to protect it. This doctrine gave men (and women) the right to use force, even deadly force; in order to make sure his “sanctuary” was (is) protected against intruders (Jansen & Nugent-Borakove, 2007). In 1914, Judge Benjamin N. Cardozo instituted the “no obligation to retreat” portion of the doctrine. According to research, castle doctrine seems to have ties to the Second Amendment “right to bear arms” (Boots, Bihari, & Elliot, 2009).
Florida’s expansion includes the right to use force anywhere the person has a right to be. And it forbids the arrest of any person the police determine to have acted in self-defense. This means that the police can make the decision, at the scene of the confrontation, that arrest isn’t necessary because the person acted in self-defense. The law also gives the person criminal or civil immunity and offers attorney’s fees, courts costs, and compensation for loss of income, and all expenses incurred by the person in defense of any civil action by the injured party or his family in the event of the his/her death. The law is not supposed to apply if the person is attempting to commit, committing, or escaping after committing a forcible felony or initially provokes the use of force against him/herself unless they’ve exhausted every reasonable means to escape danger other than the use of force which is likely to cause death or great harm to the assailant (Jansen & Nugent-Borakove, 2007). Or if “in good faith” they withdrew from physical contact with the assailant and made it clear to the assailant that they desire to withdraw and terminate the use of force (Jansen & Nugent-Borakove, 2007).
The problem seems to be that a lot of cases where defendants that use “Stand Your Ground” laws were cases where the defendant was advised by police dispatchers not to confront the suspect (Horn vs. State) (Boots, Bihari, & Elliot, 2009), or shoot at people who are a threat to them selves or others (Montanez vs. State)(Wallace, 2006), or shoot at people who haven’t threatened them and really mean them no harm at all and wanted to ask them a question (Quaggin vs. State) (Jansen & Nugent-Borakove, 2007). One major concern is that the laws don’t really deter criminal behavior and might increase vigilantism. One study found that justified homicide is on the rise since 2005 (Boots, Bihari, & Elliot, 2009) showing a slight increase from 2003 to 2007. Justified homicides involving a firearm (the weapon of choice in most “Stand Your Ground” cases) have also increased steadily since 2005 with 75% to 82% of justified homicides involving the use of a firearm (Boots, Bihari, & Elliot, 2009). An interesting fact is Florida was the first state to enact new castle doctrine laws in response to NRA lobbying in 2005 (Boots, Bihari, & Elliot, 2009).
At first glance, castle doctrine law reads like a good law for those who are actually defending their lives. Researchers are currently examining whether or not the expansions to castle doctrine law are of any benefit to domestic violence victims (like Marissa Alexander) and only one study deals with this matter (Jansen & Nugent-Borakove, 2007). And according to that study, there seemed to be no direct benefit to women who live with their batterers (Jansen & Nugent-Borakove, 2007). The complication seems to stem from whether or not a woman’s response to her attacker is reasonable and the study indicated the law seemed to ignore the dynamics of ongoing abuse (Jansen & Nugent-Borakove, 2007).
The effects on community policing have already been seen with both Trayvon Martin’s case and that of Marissa Alexander in that it seems open old wounds of racial injustice and concerns about uneven application of the law, especially along racial and class lines.
Boots, D. P., Bihari, J., & Elliot, E. (2009). The State of the Castle: An Overview of Recent Trends in State Castle Doctrine. Criminal Justice Review, 515-535.
Hadad, C. (2012, April 24). “Stand Your Ground” law under scruntiny in Domestic Violence Case. CNN.com, pp. 1-2.
Jansen, S., & Nugent-Borakove, M. (2007). Expansions to the Castle Doctrine: Implications for Policy and Practice. National District Attorneys Association (pp. 3-23). Alexandria,Va.: National District Attorneys Association.
Kuo, V. (2012, March 15). Fatal shooting of Florida teen turned over to State Attorney. CNN.com, pp. 1-2.
Stutzman, R. (2012, April 2). Trayvon Martin facts vs. Rumors. Orlando Sentinel, pp. 1-3.
Surge, D. B., Robertson, C., & Alverez, L. (2012, April 1). Race, Tragedy and Outrage Collide After a Shot in Florida. New York Times, pp. 1-7.
Wallace, P. A. (2006, Fall). Stand Your Ground: New Challenges for Forensic Psychologists. The Forensic Examiner, pp. 37-41.
WJXT-TV. (2012, April). As Supporters Rally, Woman Asks for New Trial . MSN.com, p. 1.
If you haven’t had the above conversation with a man, you probably know someone who has. And although you don’t necessarily have to be a mistress to have this conversation, it certainly adds clarity to a situation. What clarity? You’re probably asking. I’ll tell you what clarity. It’s the realization that when you make up your mind to be truly honest with yourself, you wind up admitting that your current romantic situation just isn’t as fulfilling as you would like it to be. In other words, it ain’t cutting it. When you come to this realization, the above confrontation may take place.
You probably recognize the characters in the above clip from the TV series “Scandal”. To give a little bit of background, the black woman I this clip is a political “fixer” who has been involved in an ongoing affair in an incumbent president (the white guy in the clip). The two had been apart for a time and despite her attempts to resist, started hooking back up again. Although the two actually are in love with one another, our heroine has realized that she can’t continue to live with their relationship like it is. The president, like most presidents, is married. In fact he’s involved in what I call a “political marriage”. A marriage that isn’t necessarily based on mutual love, respect, and trust, but on the career aspirations of both the wife and husband (his desire for power and her desire to be married to a powerful man).
Now our heroine is not the stereotypical mistress in that she’s not financially dependent on her lover, in fact she’s the kind of woman who a lot people who never suspect as “mistress” material. In fact she’s probably the new face of mistresses (career minded, educated, and upwardly mobile). A more realistic portrait of what side chicks actually are (women).
At the risk of sounding like I’m condoning sleeping with other women’s husbands (I’m not), I’ve had to tell a lot of women that all women are not after other women’s husbands, but “trip over” them on their way to their own. Which doesn’t mean I don’t hold women accountable for their indiscretions with married men, but it’s pretty hard to trip over a man who isn’t in your way. One thing I give this side chick credit for is recognizing that she wasn’t happy in this situation and having the guts to be ready to end it. Kill it and put it out of its misery already. And refusing to come back while it remains unchanged. No demanding he leave his wife (which happened in this case), just good old fashioned it ain’t working so I must bounce, whether we reconcile or not.
Leaving an unsatisfactory relationship takes a great deal of courage that I wish more women possessed.
In His Name,
Sis Anjanette M. Potter
Next week I’ll be posting again to continue writing my series ” The Single Black Woman Conundrum”. Meanwhile, in keeping with my prominse to keep timely and newsworthy content, I’m postin this article from Christianity Today. Let me know what you think. Have a blessed weekend. Good News: Jesus Is Not Nice | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction.
Last week I asked the question “How Much of the Problem Is Us?” The topic was assigning people who don’t fit our list of superficial (swag/money/penis/looks) criteria to the “FRIEND ZONE”. And I ended with three questions. How much should you overlook just to say you’re in a relationship (or married)? How picky is too picky? And if you’re the friend, how long do you pine away wishing that the person would just give you a “CHANCE” to prove that you could be “the one?”
I coined a term a few years back called “deal breaker” (others have since “borrowed” it :-)). A deal breaker is a boundary line in relationships that if crossed, can mean you’re in deep sugar honey iced tea (break up territory). I coined the phrase to let a few male friends/associates know how serious some offenses are in a relationship and no she (his wife/girlfriend/baby mama/jump off/etc.) ain’t tripping because if he did the same to me I’d divorce/break up/move out/banish him to the couch too. The reason I’m giving all this background info is because 99.99% of the time if someone was banished to the FRIEND ZONE, they haven’t committed any serious offenses except having bad genes. So I ask again. How much of the problem IS us? I’m actually writing this posting several months later than I anticipated because the situation in my life that led me to write about this happened a while back. I was sitting around doing some self inventory and making a list of the qualities of my past boyfriends/lovers/jump offs/boy toys (yes women have jump offs) and what is was about them that I liked vs what it was about them that I didn’t like. I also decided to make a list of all the qualities I like about my platonic male friends vs what I didn’t like about them. And I found that the list of the ones I was romantically involved with was pretty close to the “friend” one. That’s how I arrived at the above question. US? Because when it’s all said and done only you can decide how much you’re willing to overlook in order to be in a relationship with someone.
Now to the question of pickyness. How picky is too picky? It depends on what you’re looking for. The more casual the relationship, the less picky you can afford to be. However, if your wish is like mine (you wanna mate for life). You need to be picky. Not castrating, leave a brother with SOME dignity. But, picky. Expecting him to have a sense of permanence and stability about himself (you know, steady income, a place of his own, if he’s living with mother it’s because she’s physically unable to care of herself ), is not being picky. It’s being smart. Even God’s word tells us to guard our hearts (Proverbs 4:23). Marriage is expected to last for LIFE.
If you perceive that you’ve been the one banished. Don’t wait. I’m not saying to go and jump into a relationship out of retaliation. But don’t wait. Live your life. Don’t spend one second in relationship limbo (I’ll explain about that term in a later post). Don’t be their rebound/jump off/other man/woman. And definitely stay out of bed with them. If they discover that you’re the one while you’re still available, cool. If not, it’s their loss. This is another Proverbsn 4:23 situation because when you’re what I call emotionally invested, it’s hard to make to logical decisions and while you’re waiting, time is passing. Be their friend, but, handle your emotional business. The steps of a good man are ordered BY GOD.
In His Name,
Sis Anjanette Potter
I’m going to write about a situation that most of us have found ourselves in at one time or another. Here’s the scenario, boy meets girl, boy likes girl, girl doesn’t like boy back (chemistry), dismisses boy’s romantic overtures and promptly banishes boy into, you guessed it, THE FRIEND ZONE!!! THE FRIEND ZONE is the place where perfectly good men who just didn’t have enough chemistry/swag/money/penis/you name it get sent when they don’t fit our superficial criteria of what kind of man we want. Many men hate the friend zone and I understand why (having been there a few times my own self ). Because really, who wants to be told that they’re not good enough to date you, then have to listen to all your relationship problems and on top of that have to give you advice and have to act like it doesn’t bother them that you’re with someone else. I’ve been on both sides of this coin, so I can speak with some authority from both sides of it. As the guilty party, should you sacrifice qualities that aren’t must haves, but for you make a relationship really nice to be in. And is it really fair to the offended party if you do? I don’t know about you, but, I’ve always been of the mind that BOTH parties in a relationship should mutually think that each other is the bees knees (translation: all that and a bag of chips). And I don’t want no one acting like they are doing me a favor by giving me a “CHANCE” to be in a relationship with them (as if?!?). On the other hand, do you really want to spend the rest of your life having to deal with the very things that made you turn them down in the first place? How much should you overlook just to say you’re in a relationship (or married). How picky is too picky? And if you’re the friend, how long do you pine away wishing that the person would just give you a “CHANCE” to prove that you could be “the one?” I decided to make this one a two parter (possibly a miniseries). I feel “led” to stay on this one for a minute.
In His Name,