Sooner or later we'll find out whether or not Zimmerman is going to be charged with shooting Florida teenager Trayvon Martin. In the meantime, after weeks of watching the media tells Martin's side of the story (because, well, Martin isn't here to tell it himself), Zimmerman and his attorneys (with a little help from the Sanford PD) have been flooding the media with their own pro-Zimmerman accounts. And now, from an undisclosed location via a dial-up modem, Zimmerman's giving his own first person account. And by "account", I mean "PayPal".
George Zimmerman has created a Web site from hiding, offering one of his first public comments since he shot and killed Trayvon Martin last month.Here's Zimmerman's message from his website.
On therealgeorgezimmerman.com, Zimmerman, 28, writes: “I was involved in a life altering event which led me to become the subject of intense media coverage. As a result of the incident and subsequent media coverage, I have been forced to leave my home, my school, my employer, my family and ultimately, my entire life.”
The purpose of the Web site, he writes, is to raise money for his legal defense and living expenses.
The simple Web site contains links to “The Facts” and “My Race,” both of which include only a few famous quotes and a note that says he cannot discuss the case further. Zimmerman’s attorneys have said their client wants to share his story but is fearful for his safety and possible criminal charges.
The site also has a photo album, featuring two photos of graffiti written in support of Zimmerman, as well as a contacts page and PayPal tab for donations.
I am the real George Zimmerman,Let's be 100% clear here: Zimmerman is well within his right to put up this comically outdated website and shill for money. He isn't able to work right now, and I'm pretty sure that "I'm in the middle of an international news story" isn't an excuse that any mortgage company is going to accept. He still has to eat and pay bills. So yeah, he can ask for help, and I have little doubt that the legions of NRA members, John Birchers, and neo-Nazi groups are all lining up to make donations right about now. Assuming they know what PayPal is.
On Sunday February 26th, I was involved in a life altering event which led me to become the subject of intense media coverage. As a result of the incident and subsequent media coverage, I have been forced to leave my home, my school, my employer, my family and ultimately, my entire life. This website's sole purpose is to ensure my supporters they are receiving my full attention without any intermediaries.
It has come to my attention that some persons and/or entities have been collecting funds, thinly veiled as my “Defense Fund” or "Legal Fund". I cannot attest to the validity of these other websites as I have not received any funds collected, intended to support my family and I through this trying, tragic time.
I have created a Paypal account solely linked on this website as I would like to provide an avenue to thank my supporters personally and ensure that any funds provided are used only for living expenses and legal defense, in lieu of my forced inability to maintain employment. I will also personally, maintain accountability of all funds received. I reassure you, every donation is appreciated.
The really, really sick thing here is that Zimmerman has so much support via Conservative media and pro-gun camps that should he beat the rap here, this could actually be a come-up by the time all's said and done. Imagine the appearance fees he could demand to show up at gun shows? He could, in the end, actually get rich off this. Think I'm kidding? Google "Joe Horn".
Still, I can't help but wonder why Zimmerman didn't choose a more traditional method for raising money. Creating this Fisher Price™ My First HTML Web Page and painting yourself as a victim while showing zero sympathy (hell, zero mentions) to the real victim comes across as callous and insensitive to the family. Even worse is having your family members pen letters to Conservative blogs painting President Obama and Eric Holder as racist for not addressing the New Black Panther Party's threats against Zimmerman. Now that, my friends, is a losing proposition if there ever was one.
I won't be donating any money to George Zimmerman's PayPal commissary, but when the final tally comes in, I wouldn't be shocked to find out he's caked up. Good for him.
For Trayvon, not so much.
Question: Is Zimmerman well within his rights to shill for donations via the web? Is this "make me the victim" and "Eric Holder is racist" angle going to backfire? Is that a GeoCities web page?