If you ask George Zimmerman's defenders, you'll find that the man who shot and killed unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin allegedly in self defense, cannot be a racist, apparently uses "goon" as a term of affection, and he feels really bad about this whole thing.
"George had no intention of taking anyone's life. He cried for days after," said Joe Oliver, a family friend of George Zimmerman who spoke with ABC News' David Muir and Olivia Katrandjian, who also talked to Zimmerman's lawyer Craig Sonner. Of late, Sonner has reaffirmed Zimmerman's claim of "self defense" explaining that Martin had broken Zimmerman's nose--Sonner also mentioned this injury appearance on CNN last week. Sonner is also tasked with trying to put as much distance between Zimmerman and the word "racist," which is hard to do when your client pursued an unarmed black teenager against a 911 dispatcher's command, possibly used the racist term "coons" during that 911 call, and that unarmed black teenager ends up shot dead.
Sonner argues Zimmerman isn't a racist, pointing out that he and his wife mentored two black children for free and that they never used the racial slurs around the children's mother. And about Zimmerman's alleged use of the slur "fucking coons" during the 911 call (it's pretty hard to tell, but Mother Jones has the full 911 call and it appears at 2:15)? Well, Oliver says it's the word "goon", which is, in his mind, totally different. "I heard 'goon' and talking to my teenage daughter, apparently goon is a term of endearment in high school these days," he said. But doesn't the word "fucking" kind of negate any endearment? Anyways, Oliver goes on to add:
"He wasn't talking to Trayvon when that comment was made. He was speaking a generality in that this suspicious person was someone who he – lumped in -- as always getting away -- goon, coon. I mean, the bottom line, he thought he needed to keep an eye on this individual for whatever reason."
As Zimmerman's defense ramps up, there's also a disturbing meme being passed around which involves a "fake" Trayvon Martin. As the The Daily Kos points out, there are e-mails circulating false photos of Martin (right, screencap of one of those e-mails). Kos points out, they aren't the same person--but they have the same name and the image on the right is lifted from another Trayvon Martin's Facebook page (according to Kos, this is the real Trayvon Martin page). Think Progress warned of photos hoaxes as well:
WARNING: There are lots of FAKE Trayvon Martin pictures circulating around the internet by those seeking to smear him. #justice4trayvon— ThinkProgress (@thinkprogress) March 25, 2012