A Pulse Roundtable Discussion

July 23, 2013   / by Ashley Hudlow  / Categories :

After reading the previous blog by our fearless leader and HBIC, Monica, the team was left with very mixed emotions. Some of us felt that a corporate business blog is not the right forum to hold political, religious, or sexual orientation type of conversation.  The standard and expected ‘let’s stick to what we do best’ response.  Some of us were part of the making of a Trayvon Martin video that we were enlisted to create by the Cotchery Foundation, which you can see here (and please tell us what you think!).  So it seemed relevant at least to our past work to those team members who were involved.  Others were vehement that it is a hot topic and one they did not even want to touch upon with each other.  Some agreed with some of the HBIC’s response in sentiment. Mixed emotions are expected, I guess, as it is such a loaded topic.

But the post is live, so before we move onto the next logo, or website, or project, we did want as a team and a dysfunctional family coming from many cultures, backgrounds, and experiences, to share all of the takes on it from those who were interested in the news and had an opinion.  Sometimes the best part of being a creative is exploring topics, playing devil’s advocate, and having healthy debates (or playing “would you rather?” but that is probably better suited for another unprofessional blog post in future. LOL).  Clearly, we have nothing better to do all day in the pit of desks (aka the magic design forest) than talk shit.

In this case, it did lead to some interesting conversations and thought provoking questions and responses from the team.  At least, as creative intellectuals and free thinkers many of us are open to hearing other points of views. So we wanted to give you a snapshot of how the “idiotsavants” broke down their points of views when we polled some answers. But like Monica said, her post did not speak for all of us. So JUST in case to ensure you can’t hold it against us, the names of the team will be hidden or fake unless otherwise requested.  End of the day, although we have to talk about something as we sit here with each other all day long, doodling and tinkering behind computers, none of us want to be judged by our Monday office conversations.  (Friday maybe, but definitely not Mondays!)

Here are questions we asked and some of the team’s answers:

Was this case about racism?

“I think this was reverse racism. If Zimmerman was black, we never would have heard about this case in the news, let alone having all the media attention that it did.”

“Indirectly, yes this case was about racism. Because if it was anyone else under the hoodie I don’t think things would have escalated as quickly as it did.”

“Maybe the reason Trayvon was approached, and I could see how things escalated quickly. When I was 17 I would have talked mad shit to a wannabe cop if he approached me about something. It really stupid that Zimmerman got out of his car, got into it with this kid and then had to kill him.” (Note from the Author: If you knew who said this, you would believe it.  This one is always ready for a rumble.)

“I’m going to cut Zimmerman … some slack because I don’t know enough information about the case. Had the case not been a national story, I believe racism would not have played a factor.  The pundits and experts on all the 24 hour news channels made it into a racism story.”

“Not sure, didn’t get a chance to watch the trial.” (Note from the Author: This punk ass thinks we don’t know that he’s really on Facebook for 2-3 hours a day at work. Nice way to evade the question though.)

“Yes. I think that if Trayvon Martin was white person without a hood, Zimmerman would have had no suspicions.”

“Yes and no.  Yes in the sense that Zimmerman profiled a black teen as a crook. Then went to be vigilante and ended up killing [Trayvon]…who was just on his way home. No in the sense that throughout the trial, there was no…racism to be found.  No one testified mentioning or hinting at racism.  I want to believe so badly that the jury based their decision on the evidence at hand. Sadly there wasn’t enough evidence besides what Zimmerman had to say.  Of course, there was not enough evidence to prove Trayvon innocent because he died. And a dead man tells no stories. Fact remains Zimmerman killed a boy, and there was some racism…”

“I don’t think this case was about racism. It was about race. Had the races been flipped, I don’t think there would’ve been much of a case for a black Zimmerman.”

“I’ve heard people say that if the case were about a black person killing a white person, he would’ve been found guilty. I tend to agree with that. If that means this case is about racism, then yes.”

“I do not believe that case was about racism, but actually about a murder and whether or not the defendant was guilty of doing so intentionally.  It’s sad that even still, today, the color of the two people involved is what made the case seem about racism.  The other thing is that since one is dead, we can only go on one side of the story, which isn’t fair to many people, or the parties involved.”

Is this case about gun control?

 “Of course this case is about gun control. Everyone can have a gun, either the bad or the good guys. It can be an old woman who has a gun to defend herself or a very dangerous terrorist.” (Note to Author: When asked if this idiotsavant owned a gun or was a good or bad guy, the response was, “You are on a need to know basis. And trust me, you don’t want to know.”  Well…ummm..okay. )

“Or lack of control? Not only are guns legal to own, but many states allow people to carry firearms as long as they’re concealed.”

 “Yes, because potentially this case could have been about assault instead of murder. Guns kill people and for me that’s the bottom line. My friends father has a legal gun business that is run out of their home. We were shopping over the weekend. We had to stop by her house because someone left a loaded gun out on a dresser. DID YOU REALLY READ WHAT I JUST SAID??? THERE WAS A LOADED GUN OUT ON A DRESSER. WTF?!!! Scares the shit out of me.”

“Yes. Without the gun, this could have been just a random fight. Not sure who was right or wrong, but the gun made the difference.”

“Even though this case was about a death by a gun, I do not believe it was about gun control.  I believe if a person has the proper registration and papers , they should have the right to a gun.  The person just needs to be smart and know that there are always consequences.  How they use the gun is up to the individual. They must be careful and be ready for the consequences which can be accidents, time in prison, or even death.  I do sometimes believe we need the psychological OK in order for someone to bear arms, in order to avoid unnecessary tragedy.”

“This doesn’t have much to do with gun control. Zimmerman had a legal right to carry his firearm, and use it to defend himself. He was just a coward for using it when he started losing a fight…THE DUDE HAD A FUCKING GUN and they’re saying Trayvon was deadly with a sidewalk!?”

“No it is not.  This is a case of assholes going out trying to be vigilantes but ending up killing potential innocent people.  It was a gun in this case, but if it was a knife, then this would be a “knife control” case.  Gun control will not solve anything because people will always find a way to obtain a gun.  Above all, you can’t control assholes, if that was the case we’d have “asshole control” in this country which would include the likes of Zimmerman.”

“I’m indifferent to this topic as long as gun owners get proper paperwork and are responsible. I wouldn’t call Zimmerman ‘responsible’, but I wouldn’t say this case is about gun control.”

 

What are your thoughts on self-defense laws such as the ‘Stand Your Ground’ law?

 “I think you should use this law before getting killed…” (Note from the Author:  Let’s just say there was more than a tiny bit of sarcasm in this response.  Scratch that ‘tiny bit of’ and make it ‘loaded with’)

 “If we weren’t such assholes to each other, laws like this wouldn’t exist.”

“I think the law is fine. Those laws should exist for those people that are actually protecting themselves. But Zimmerman can’t use that as his excuse because he was the one chasing Trayvon Martin. He was told to stop chasing him and wait for the cops. But he did not. So it’s not fair for him to use that as his defense. “

“I don’t know what that means. But it sounds like something some stubborn dipshit made up.” (Note from author: Said in a way that only the modern day cynical Archie Bunker in the office would say.)

“They’re never good when coupled with laws that allow you to carry guns.”

“I believe the Stand Your Ground law was used inappropriately in this instance, but I believe it can serve a purpose.”

“It’s a widely misinterpreted law that is getting innocent people killed.”

It’s a dumb law and dumb excuse. Look at the Raul Rodriguez case. A person should just remove themselves from a situation they feel threatened in, instead of further provoking it.

 “This is one of the loopholes I mentioned in the question about the justice system. Here’s what I do know. I’m sure this law came about for a reason. And I’m sure it applied in the case that it was created for, however, I’m also sure that there is a very real flip side to this where someone somewhere is twisting this law to use to their benefit that absolutely shouldn’t be.”

“It’s really hard for me to give an opinion on this when I myself have never been in a situation like this. Overall, there are two sides to every story. Unfortunately the other half of the story was killed. I don’t think we will ever know the truth. I think everyone should use their common sense when walking in certain neighborhoods and speaking to people. How you present yourself is how you will be judged. Sad to say, we are all judged by appearances. I also believe that yes we all have a right to self-defense, but it goes back to common sense. Use your head to really think situations through. Would this 17 year old boy have done anything to you if you did not pursue him?”

“I do agree with self-defense laws such as the “Stand your Ground” law, because there can always be a chance when the professionals, such as police officers, cannot be at the right time and place.  I believe people should have a right to protect themselves when no one else can because despite everything you have the right to live and be free, and if someone is trying to take that from you, you should do everything you can to protect yourself or the ones you love.”

 

Do you think the justice system as is, works?

 The justice system did work in this case, the jurors followed the rule of law.  The problem is that Florida’s SYG law is insane and extremely inconsistent in its use.”

“No. The justice system chooses whom it applies laws and penalty to. It should be fairer and apply evenly to everyone. People have been wrongly condemned and killed…[we] discover later that they were actually not guilty.”

“The justice system succeeded and failed simultaneously. The system succeeded by allowing 2 parties to argue their cases in front of their peers. The justice system failed Trayvon Martin.”

“No. But it’s hard to blame the justice system in this particular case. There really is no clear evidence what really happened because he [Zimmerman] obviously killed the other witness.”

“Definitely not, not just for this case, but for many cases. There are too many clauses, workarounds, and holes in the law and how it [the law] applies to everyone. I do not think the law in general is applied to different races and classes the same across the board. By no means am I saying that just because you have lots of money do you get off scott-free or that if you are the poorest of the poor you automatically go to jail, but unfortunately that is possible in our society.”

“At times, no, because in certain cases where people are clearly guilty they are let free and not punished. Not sure. Maybe the justice system in Florida just sucks.”

“Nooooo. The system makes it so the prosecution has to prove ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ that Zimmerman committed murder. Yet a boy is dead, we know a man killed him, and [Zimmerman] is set free. There’s something wrong with that picture. But I think the jury made the correct verdict, based on that the facts and the law… The issue is that if jurors convicted with reasonable doubt, there would be far more innocent people in jail. Yeah, it allows possibly guilty people get acquitted. But at least innocent people don’t get jailed. But it’s just a f’d up system.”

“I actually still believe the justice system works today, even with its imperfections. But just like everything in life, nothing is perfect.  I believe the jury was trying to make a verdict based on facts, but it is hard to do when you only have one side of the story. “

“No.  The system relies on people whom are inherently flawed.  For a national case of this stature, people had formed their opinions far before it went to trial.  It would have been impossible to get unbiased jurors.”

“I stopped believing in this whole government system in general upon learning about all the wrong doings we did as a kid from history classes.  We can’t say we are a fair country when we are the same country who moved Native Americans from their own land to ‘reservations’, had a constitution that stated all men are created equal, yet we enslaved blacks, women had no equal rights until the mid 1900s, and gay people still aren’t as equal in our country’s eye.  No, it’s not the justice system but I’m pointing out the ‘morals’ of this country is pure shit. “

 

Do you think your children will be safe in tomorrow’s society?

 It’s never been safe and never will be.”

“There are always places where you are at the wrong moment, all around the world. But I think that my children will be safe.”

“While I want to believe the best in people, I really question raising children in the world today. I have a lot of mixed emotions on this subject. While issues of race and class have come quite a ways since I was a child, I still have reservations about the having a family down the line because I’m not sure we’ve come far enough as a society on those issues. Also, with the very real threat of terrorism- 9/11, Boston Bombing, Airplane Hijackings – I question all the time: do I want my children growing up afraid to be American? It’s just crazy! Gangs, Drug Cartels, Politics, the Economy, Religious Persecution, Hatred, Violence, Corrupt Cops & Judges, Child abuse, Rape, and being snatched off the street and held captive and raped and abused for 10 years in your own community! Nuclear Weapons, Murder, Greed, worshiping of celebs and sports stars, Paparazzi willing to do almost anything to get their photo/story… It just never ends. We seem to just start to come to terms with one of these issues and another issue blows up! Hurricane Sandy! Katrina, BP Oil Spill, Airplanes crashing, Global Warming… I could go on and on. It’s really a big decision to decide to have a family in the world that we live in.”  (Note from the Author: Mixed emotions indeed. When asked if they ALWAYS practiced safe sex to avoid baby making, their response was “No Comment” and a smile.  And you wonder why we call it idiotsavant logic.)

“It’s popular to believe that our society is quickly going down the drain when you look at the news.  I still have faith in humanity.  It’s the vocal minority who is ruining it for everyone.”

“I pray that they are. Fortunately, the more we as GenY and upcoming GenZ see all of these things, we’ll be so disgusted, humiliated and shamed by our past transgressions that we can all overcome these issues.”

“For the most part, yes.”

“When has society ever been safe in this country?  If you’re especially not white, it’s never really friendly to you.  I take that back: no one is safe in this society.  This case doesn’t need to reaffirm to me how society is not safe, I’ve seen and heard things all my life to know I’m not safe out there and neither are you or anyone else.”

“As long as I don’t live in Florida (Sorry if anyone here is from Florida). I don’t know to be honest. I worry about my own safety.”

“I have none. I’m a virgin.”  (Note from the author: Just to give context, the idiotsavant who answered this is as close to being a virgin as Monica is to being the Virgin Mary with her 4 kids.)

 

Is vigilantism ever a good idea?

 “Clearly not with so many idiots in society.”

 “I think this is good that people get involved and don’t just walk away. This is a great thing about the US from my point of view. I don’t feel that everywhere [in the world]. But some people can just be irresponsible. So don’t give them guns.”

 “Yes.  While I’m a strong proponent of the law and law enforcement, nothing is more important than keeping your home and loved ones safe.”

 “Not with the current justice system.”

“This is what happens when vigilantes go around. People die for no good reason.”

 Everyone loves superheroes, but I don’t believe vigilantism is a good idea.  I believe you are already doing your part in helping the professionals do their job when you notify them and give them information.  I don’t think it is a good idea to go out and try to do the job yourself. Because you are not trained for it, can make the situation worse and get yourself or another person killed.  But I do believe in helping someone if their life is in danger or they need help. Just be smart, and make sure you are not making the situation worse. And remember everything has consequences, such as putting your own life on the line.”

“Depends on the country. No for 1st world. Yes for 3rd world.”

 “Yes it is a good idea because you always need to defend yourself. Imagine that a housebreaker is hitting your wife/husband or children, you always want to defend them. Even if you kill him/her, you will have on your conscience that you had saved your family.”

“In the right situation, in the right time and place, yes I do believe taking matters into your own hands can be a positive thing. This case wasn’t one of those times. In this case a kid died. Someone’s son died. Someone’s friend died.  Dead. Forever. It’s difficult to wrap your mind around that. When you really start to think about it, there are so many different potential outcomes from Trayvon and Zimmerman’s confrontation. Unfortunately, the real outcome equated to loss of life.”

 

As previously mentioned in this post several members of our team were a part of the “Trayvon Martin Project”, because of their unique experience it seemed only fitting to get their take on the matter. Jason, one of the aforementioned members, took some time out of his busy day to answer some questions about his experience and the trial.

You worked on the Trayvon Martin Project. What was that like?

“It was definitely something that made you think. At the time, there had been so many unanswered questions about the situation, but we wanted to make a video to point out the fact that Trayvon was just a kid and that this could have happened to anyone’s kid.”

What were your thoughts during the time of that the project was made?

“ I definitely think it was wrong. But I don’t think my stance was as strong because there really wasn’t much information out on it.”

After?

“Now that I have kids, it puts things into a totally different perspective. It doesn’t change it in that I still believe the whole situation was wrong and Zimmerman should be punished for his actions. But now, it just makes it that much closer to home than it was before.”

Do you believe that this case transcends racism?  

I believe there was racism involved in this case indirectly. What I mean by this is that I think the jury decided that Zimmerman was not guilty largely in part of FL’s version of the “Stand Your Ground” law and the evidence that Trayvon was the aggressor. But there’s always that “what if” question that lingers after a decision like this was made – and that is “what if Trayvon was white?”. Would the outcome have been different with everything else that happened staying the same?

Is there anything else you feel needs to be said about this whole situation?

I think that after this particular case was decided with the not guilty verdict, it gets thrown into the pile of cases that only further proves that our justice system is all fucked up. With this “Stand Your Ground” law, does this mean that if I get into a bar fight and I feel my life is in danger, I get to kill the guy I’m arguing with and get away with it? The whole thing doesn’t make sense.

 

The Last Word…

It was a very interesting conversation and one that is not our typical light hearted fun banter.  But we think it was worth having and sharing.  It doesn’t matter if you’re white, black, Asian, or a giant dinosaur; everyone has a voice to be heard and thoughts worth listening too. And despite differing points of views, everyone at Pulse Creative believes that what has happened is a tragedy for everyone involved, both directly and indirectly.

 

If anyone wants to add their two cents, feel free.

On to the next hot topic aka another can of worms for next week….

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Pulse Creative Blog l Full-services marketing agency l Graphic Design l Website Design l Video Editing l NYC