The Zimmerman case is the poster child for all that is wrong and destructive with racial politics in America. The left has been trying to make this into a race hate crime, something which it never was. Nor was this case about Florida's Stand Your Ground law, something never raised as a defense at trial. This has been about racial politics from start to finish - facts be damned.
The race machine - and the left which is fully invested in it - has built up a pile of myths surrounding this case, none of which stood the test of evidence at trial. They painted Treyvon Martin as an innocent angel who did nothing wrong while demonizing a white man (actually a mixed race hispanic, white and black, but let's not confuse the issues with facts) who supposedly hunted Trayvon down, accosted him and then killed him for no reason but racial animus. No one more so than the nation's worst race baiter, Al Sharpton (a man actually responsible for murder) has led the charge:
As to the facts and law presented at trial, it is clear that both Zimmerman and Martin had every right to be where they were on the night of the shooting. What Trayvon Martin did not have a right to do was begin pummelling Zimmerman. What Zimmerman had a right to do was act in self defense if he reasonably believed himself in danger of serious harm. Listen to those screams on the 9-11 tape and it is apparent that the person screaming felt himself in extremis. Since we know that Martin was on top, pummelling Zimmerman, it follows logically that it was Zimmerman making those panicked screams for help. [Update: One of the jurors has just in confirmed the above as the basis for the jury verdict] This from Protein Wisdom:
Anyone with half-a-brain who actually watched the trial cannot come away without knowing that it was Trayvon’s own behavior that led to his death. It was the behavior embodied in his “creepy-ass cracker” remark, his braggadocio attitude about street-fighting and his problems with authority that had him bounced to his father’s home that ultimately killed him, not George Zimmerman. . . .
So when Martin circled back to teach the “creepy-ass cracker” a lesson in respect by punching George in the nose, then beating his head against the concrete for 40 seconds while George screamed for help, then it was Trayvon, not George, that ended his own life.
George never did anything illegal, though those that want the
sheepcivilians to “shelter in place” in their homes at night, tried to use this show trial to reinforce the meme that The State will take care of you, don’t you dare try it on your own. . . .
The race machine, epitomized by Sharpton, wants desperately to milk this incident for all of the black rage and white liberal guilt that its worth, irregardless of the facts. And for their part, many on the left, including Obama, want to use this as an excuse for limiting access to guns. Obama actually has a foot in both camps, calling not only for gun control - apparently irrespective of whether Zimmerman used his gun in a legitimate act of self defense - but also called on the nation to "honor" Treyvon Martin, certainly suggesting that Martin was the innocent in this matter.
The last thing any on the left, from Obama on down, want is to have someone point out that this case is, more than anything, an indictment of the black subculture that promotes violence and criminality. For instance, Tristan Breaux, the recently elected 25 year old head of the Norfolk NAACP wrote the following on his Facebook Page:
"I wonder why it is that we are always willing to say someone who clearly had a shaky past, was the victim," Breaux asked . . . referring to Trayvon Martin. . . .
The post went on to ask if people are blinded to why Trayvon was staying with his dad and why he wasn't at home at at time of the shooting.
For his intellectual honesty, the left has turned on Breaux and are now calling for his ouster. And Mr. Breaux is not the only voice of honesty - rapper Lupe Fiasco can also likely expect a backlash one would imagine for his non-conformist remarks in the wake of the trial.
As to the legacy of this case, the attorney who runs the site Talk Left gives a good summation:
. . . [T]he legacy of this case will be that the media never gets it right, and worse, that a group of lawyers, with the aid of a public relations team, who had a financial stake in the outcome of pending and anticipated civil litigation, were allowed to commandeer control of Florida's criminal justice system, in pursuit of a divisive, personal agenda.
Their transformation of a tragic but spontaneous shooting into the crime of the century, and their relentless demonization of the person they deemed responsible, not for a tragic killing, but for "cold-blooded murder," has called into question the political motives and ethics of the officials serving in the Executive branch of Florida's government, ruined the career of other public officials, turned the lives of the Zimmerman family, who are as innocent as their grieving clients, into a nightmare, and along the way, set back any chance of a rational discussion of the very cause they were promoting, probably for years. . . .
The NAACP is now calling for Holder's Justice Department to file civil rights charges against Zimmerman. The big problem for this is that none of the evidence, including that unearthed during an FBI investigation, showed any hint of racial animus in George Zimmerman's past. But then again, this is not about facts, its about myths and political power. This is doing a grave injustice not merely to our nation and to the Zimmerman family, but most tragically to the black community. This is saying that there are no problems in the incredibly dysfunctional lower strata of black society, but rather that it is all a function of racism. No one sums up the myths of this case or the specious argument more so than the NYT editorial board in their op-ed of yesterday:
. . . While Mr. Zimmerman’s conviction might have provided an emotional catharsis, we would still be a country plagued by racism, which persists in ever more insidious forms despite the Supreme Court’s sanguine assessment that “things have changed dramatically,” as it said in last month’s ruling striking down the heart of the Voting Rights Act. (The Justice Department is right to continue its investigation into whether Mr. Zimmerman may still be prosecuted under federal civil rights laws.)
The jury reached its verdict after having been asked to consider Mr. Zimmerman’s actions in light of Florida’s now-notorious Stand Your Ground statute. Under that law, versions of which are on the books in two dozen states, a person may use deadly force if he or she “reasonably believes” it is necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm — a low bar that the prosecutors in this case fought in vain to overcome.
These laws sound intuitive: who would argue that you may not protect yourself against great harm? But of course, the concept of “reasonable belief” is transformed into something deadly dangerous when firearms are involved. And when the Stand Your Ground laws intersect with lax concealed-carry laws, it works essentially to self-deputize anyone with a Kel-Tec 9 millimeter and a grudge.
It has been a bad year so far for gun control. But if anything, cases like this should be as troubling as the mass killings that always prompt a national outcry and promises of legislative remedy. We were heartened that President Obama, in his statement after the verdict was issued, took the opportunity to denounce once again “the tide of gun violence” sweeping the country.
In the end, what is most frightening is that there are so many people with guns who are like George Zimmerman. Fear and racism may never be fully eliminated by legislative or judicial order, but neither should our laws allow and even facilitate their most deadly expression. Trayvon Martin was an unarmed boy walking home from the convenience store. If only Florida could give him back his life as easily as it is giving back George Zimmerman’s gun.
The NYT is hardly the only outlet keeping up the myths, and indeed, are positively staid in comparison to Salon's Edward Wyckoff Williams who writes that the trial was part of the "new Jim Crow," that calls
The nation’s sociopolitical consciousness remains plagued by a three-fifths compromise that devalues the lives of black people in general, and black boys and men in particular. . . .
For African-Americans this is not new. The paradox of being implicitly excluded from the guarantee of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness has been reiterated and reinforced by public policy and social malaise for centuries. President Barack Obama is not immune — as he’s become the target of incessant “white rage”: race-baiting attacks, prejudice and bias even prior to his election. The Republican Party and its neo-Confederate Tea Party wing has been committed to invalidating his political and legislative legacy as much as the Zimmerman jury invalidated the civil rights of Trayvon. The disparate precedent set, therefore, becomes all the more insulting when we’re told to simply shut up and bear it. . . .
What words written here can suffice to argue on behalf of an innocent dead child, as his murderer walks free — absolved by the system that failed to hold him responsible from the very beginning? The very logic that precipitated Trayvon’s death and rendered jurisprudence to justify his killing reflects the misguided principles at the heart of Zimmerman’s defense: that this black boy had no right to live. . . .
And that's not even the most outrageous example of this political myth of victimization and rampant white-conservative racism. The worst comes from The Guardian, where Gary Younge wrote over a picture of then 12 year old Treyvon that it is now "Open season on black boys after a verdict like this."
The race machine is in overdrive and there not going to let this one go so long as they see the possibility for political and monetary gain. Al Sharpton, who demanded not merely the arrest of Zimmerman but his conviction, will be "mobilizing" protests in 100 cities . . . to pressure the Justice Department into taking legal action against George Zimmerman." And the animals are out, with death threats against Zimmerman and other "crackers." These are people fed on a steady diet of victimization and the myth that we are still in (Democratic controlled) 1950's Selma. It is obscene.
But the settling of accounts on this is far from just on the side of the race baiters. The parents of Trayvon Martin are considering a civil case against Zimmerman - and that is the one where all of the unvarnished truth will come out. What will be on trial in such a proceeding is not merely Zimmerman, but also Trayon Martin. All of the evidence kept out of the criminal trial will likely be admissible in a civil trial, and from just what is out in the public domain today, it would likely paint the picture of a young man with impaired judgement, uncontrollable by his mother and caught up in the black subculture of violence. Zimmerman, for his part, plans to sue NBC - and hopefully others - for their role in demonizing him.
And then there is the Special Prosecutor in this case, Angela Corey. One could argue that her decision to bring suit in this case - even for second degree murder - was within the outer boundaries of her discretion. But what is beyond argument is the way she handled this trial, including the withholding of key evidence and the termination of a whistleblower who brought her actions to the attention of the defense attorneys. She needs to be fired and subject to a civil suit for these acts.
Lastly, to add on a personal note, I am so tired of this horseshit it is beyond belief. I am deeply conservative, as are many, but hardly all, of my friends. I firmly believe in equality for all and that neither racism nor race baiting have any place in this country. And indeed, I know of no one among my friends, nor in the larger circle of those on the right, who believes in anything else. I resent the hell out of being labeled a racist by the left because I refuse to kow tow to their use of the race card or because I think their policies a complete failure. I am apoplectic with Sharpton and his ilk doing their best to gin up rage in the black community for their own power and wealth while doing nothing to fix the real problems in at least a large strata of black society. At the heart of those problems is, as David Goldman writes at PJM, "the breakdown of the black family" and all that means for criminality, jobs and education - something apparent ever since Democrat Daniel Patrick Moynihan raised it in his 1965 report "The Negro Family: The Case for National Action." As Goldman concludes at PJM:
Why have civil rights organizations and black clergy wagered their reputations on the Zimmerman case? It is hard to avoid the conclusion that the issues that really concern African-Americans simply are too painful to discuss. Five years after the ultimate boost to self-esteem — the election of the first black president — things are getting worse faster. If black leaders — from Barack Obama and Eric Holder on down — can’t talk about the real problems, the prospects for the future are frightening indeed.
Goldman is right. The race baiters need to be called to account every bit as much as actual racists. And the race card, something that has done so much to harm our nation, needs to be put in the dust bin of history.
In conclusion, this from Martin Luther King, quoted in today's WSJ by Jason Riley:
"Do you know that Negroes are 10 percent of the population of St. Louis and are responsible for 58% of its crimes? We've got to face that. And we've got to do something about our moral standards," Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. told a congregation in 1961. "We know that there are many things wrong in the white world, but there are many things wrong in the black world, too. We can't keep on blaming the white man. There are things we must do for ourselves."
The problems of actual racism in our society have greatly receded since MLK's remarks. But clearly, the problems raised by MLK have not - least of all by the race baiting industry exploiting the tragedy of Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman.