[T]he March 3 killing of Bo Morrison, a 20-year-old from West Bend... came roughly a week after a neighborhood watch volunteer in Sanford, Fla., shot and killed Trayvon Martin, 17, in another disputed case of self-defense. Both young men were black and unarmed, which has ignited charges that the shootings were racially motivated.... At Tuesday’s event on Library Mall, organizer Dan Suarez of the International Socialist Organization called the two deaths “lynchings.”A "3-season porch" sounds more like enclosed room within the house than a typical area that you'd call a "back porch." I would have used the preposition "in," not "on." There was a strange, uninvited man inside the house. Why would you hold a rally, inflaming emotions, declaring he was "murdered because of the color of their skin," when he was a home intruder?
“They were murdered because of the color of their skin,” Suarez declared. “We have been taught in the United States to be afraid of young black men.”
Morrison was killed around 2 a.m. March 3 while hiding from police on the back porch of a house in Slinger. The homeowner — who had called police earlier to complain about loud noise from a party — found the young man on his darkened three-season porch.
Washington County District Attorney Mark Bensen declined to issue charges, finding the shooting met the criteria for self-defense under Wisconsin’s “castle doctrine” law, which took effect in December....
Morrison’s friend Christine Bohn, a UW-Madison student, told the crowd she was there when the parent who owned the garage where the young people were partying told them to leave to avoid police.It's very sad that Morrison made a bad decision and frightened a man in his own house, if that's what happened, but what is the basis for bandying this misfortune about as a racialized murder? Was the homeowner "afraid of young black men" or afraid of a home intruder? Everyone's afraid of home intruders!
“We were a group of kids who were forced to run to avoid underage drinking tickets,” said Bohn, 18. Bohn said Wisconsin self-defense law “unfortunately protected the wrong person that night.” She called the law “barbaric and inhumane” and said it encourages those who feel threatened to kill as a first reaction.
ADDED: Here's an item by "kazoo of the north" over at Daily Kos titled "Bo Morrison: Wisconsin's own Trayvon Martin." It begins:
People who have families in Wisconsin that go back more than 100 years have ancestral memories of surprising, uninvited, visitors. In the 1800's, the indigenous peoples of Wisconsin were known to walk into a house, warm themselves by the fire, and then leave. Fires in homes were viewed as communal property, which any cold person could use on their way to where they were going. They would not insult the owner of a fire by thinking inhospitable thoughts about them. Traditions go back to the French and Indian fur trading alliance. Traditions die.IN THE COMMENTS: David wrote:
I lived for over 20 years in Milwaukee, and that's how we survived. We would walk a block or two and duck into someone's house. Sometimes they had a fire, sometimes just the furnace was on. Twice in one year, there was a couple fucking in the living room. Of different houses. They never noticed us, and we just kept quiet and watched until we were warm enough.
We had no idea that this was a native American tradition. We thought the Germans had brought it with them from the Old Country. Sometimes (if they weren't fucking) the people in the house would talk to us. "How's the weather?" they would say. "Cold," we replied. But overall they just pointed to the fire and left us alone.
It all seemed so normal and civilized. Then I moved to Chicago and the first time I walked into someone's front hall, there was a 12 gage in my grille. The guy did not ask about the weather. He made me lie down and called the cops. Even though I am a white person!
It cost me $9000 in legal fees to get a probation and expungement for good behavior. The lawyer told me to say I was under the influence of some drugs (legal drugs of course.) He said if I told the judge that people in Wisconsin just walk into other peoples' houses in winter, the judge would have me up for perjury.
I wish I had known before that this was a native American thing. We can learn so much from their simple and thoughtful ways.