And William Saletan Slate articulates it:
The problem at the core of this case wasn’t race or guns. The problem was assumption, misperception, and overreaction. And that cycle hasn’t ended with the verdict. It has escalated.
I almost joined the frenzy. Yesterday I was going to write that Zimmerman pursued Martin against police instructions and illustrated the perils of racial profiling. But I hadn’t followed the case in detail. So I sat down and watched the closing arguments: nearly seven hours of video in which the prosecution and defense went point by point through the evidence as it had been hashed out at the trial. Based on what I learned from the videos, I did some further reading.
It turned out I had been wrong about many things. The initial portrait of Zimmerman as a racist wasn’t just exaggerated. It was completely unsubstantiated. It’s a case study in how the same kind of bias that causes racism can cause unwarranted allegations of racism. Some of the people Zimmerman had reported as suspicious were black men, so he was a racist. Members of his family seemed racist, so he was a racist. Everybody knew he was a racist, so his recorded words were misheard as racial slurs, proving again that he was a racist.
His summary is very on point. This entire shameful episode has been both media and politically driven. It has never been about justice. Never. It has been an attempt at a high-tech lynching, based on rumor, innuendo, false reporting, political pressure and misrepresentation.
Shameful doesn’t even begin to describe it. And now, as Saletan points out, the same groups who caused this travesty to reach the point of a trial, have now doubled down on getting George Zimmerman in other ways despite an outright acquittal on all charges related to the killing of Trayvon Martin.
Saletan makes the point that the case was more about a series of mistakes leading to a confrontation that should have never happened and, on Martin’s side an attack that was unwarranted. As hard as the usual suspects have tried to make it about race and racism, their attempts have failed at every turn. The facts simply don’t support the premise at all.
And the overreaction continues as ill-informed groups riot (more to grab a TV at Wal-Mart in some cases than to protest the verdict) egged on by a media who has all but excused rioters for their action by subtly sending the message that the Zimmerman acquittal justifies their actions.
Meanwhile, the overreactive beat goes on:
The grievance industrial complex is pushing the Department of Justice to prosecute Zimmerman for bias-motivated killing, based on evidence that didn’t even support a conviction for unpremeditated killing.
Truly amazing but not surprising.
We can only hope that someday sanity will again prevail in this great nation of ours.
It is America – not 100 different little ethnic and racial groups, all of which must be catered too. And this is another branch of the “fairness” argument that is just as bankrupt as the rest:
Verenice Gutierrez picks up on the subtle language of racism every day.
Take the peanut butter sandwich, a seemingly innocent example a teacher used in a lesson last school year.
“What about Somali or Hispanic students, who might not eat sandwiches?” says Gutierrez, principal at Harvey Scott K-8 School, a diverse school of 500 students in Northeast Portland’s Cully neighborhood.
“Another way would be to say: ‘Americans eat peanut butter and jelly, do you have anything like that?’ Let them tell you. Maybe they eat torta. Or pita.”
Guitierrez, along with all of Portland Public Schools’ principals, will start the new school year off this week by drilling in on the language of “Courageous Conversations,” the district-wide equity training being implemented in every building in phases during the past few years.
Through intensive staff trainings, frequent staff meetings, classroom observations and other initiatives, the premise is that if educators can understand their own “white privilege,” then they can change their teaching practices to boost minority students’ performance.
Last Wednesday, the first day of the school year for staff, for example, the first item of business for teachers at Scott School was to have a Courageous Conversation — to examine a news article and discuss the “white privilege” it conveys.
PB&J is about unthinking “white privilege”? Really? And because some Somali kid or Hispanic student, who chose to come here, may have never had one, others should think of what they’re eating in racial terms?
And then, let’s make them as separate from the rest of us as we can by highlighting the fact that they may never have seen such a thing (when in fact, if they’ve been going to school for more than a day, they’ve likely had PB&J in the school lunch room).
If America is a melting pot, not a salad bowl, then why should there be any problem discussing something that is fairly basic to American culture? Did the Somali kid come here to be a Somali or an American?
And what has a PB&J sandwich to do with “white privilege”? Do American’s of Hispanic decent not eat them? African-Amerians? Asian-Americans? Of course they do.
What has it to do with just “whites?”
This is the sort of nonsense that divides people into little insular groups that identify with their ethnicity or race before they identify more broadly as Americans. It is precisely the opposite of the idea of cultural assimilation that has made this country one of the strongest and most diverse in the world. It is a step backward, in fact multiple steps backwards.
People like Guitierrez should be ignored. They are the ones who continue to make race and ethnicity, i.e. “multiculturalism”, into the culturally divisive mess it has become. Here’s a fact that folks like Guitierrez won’t like: All cultures aren’t equal. And if one chooses to come here, then it is the American culture that they should learn. Not become some outpost of a culture they willingly fled.
America isn’t about how you did it in the old country. In fact, if it is anything it is about not doing it how you did it in the old country. We had a whole revolution based on that. You may have heard of it.
You’re not in the old country anymore. It is about this new country. And the way you learn about a new country is through cultural immersion. And that includes PB&J sandwiches without explanation or guilt.
Michael Barone notes something I’ve been watching happen over the past few months:
As Barack Obama’s lead over Mitt Romney in the polls narrows, and his presumed fundraising advantage seems about to become a disadvantage, it’s alibi time for some of his backers.
His problem, they say, is that some voters don’t like him because he’s black. Or they don’t like his policies because they don’t like having a black president.
Barone goes on to explain what that’s such a bankrupt excuse:
There’s an obvious problem with the racism alibi. Barack Obama has run for president before, and he won. Voters in 2008 knew he was black. Most of them voted for him. He carried 28 states and won 365 electoral votes.
Nationwide, he won 53 percent of the popular vote. That may not sound like a landslide, but it’s a higher percentage than any Democratic nominee except Andrew Jackson, Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson.
Democratic national conventions have selected nominees 45 times since 1832. In seven cases, they won more than 53 percent of the vote. In 37 cases, they won less.
That means President Obama won a larger percentage of the vote than Martin Van Buren, James K. Polk, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, Grover Cleveland, Woodrow Wilson, Harry Truman, John Kennedy, Jimmy Carter and (though you probably don’t want to bring this up in conversation with him) Bill Clinton.
Those are facts. Those that didn’t vote for him or support him, for whatever reason the last time, are even more unlikely to support him this time, given his record. If race was the reason for not voting for him in 2008, you’re probably going to find 99% of those type people in this bloc of voters in 2012 as well.
So if he loses, he’s going to lose because his support eroded among those who put him over the top the last time. Some aren’t going to vote for him this time and others are going to support the opposition candidate.
Is the left really going to try to sell that as a result of “racism”?
Yes. That is a developing theme. The fear, I suppose, is that the white guilt the race war lords have tried to instill and exploit for years has been assuaged by his election and thus can no longer be exploited for his re-election.
Thus the push to reestablish the meme.
It’s all over the place. Joy Behar and Janeane Garofalo provide a typical example.
How absurd has it gotten. Well, the Congressional Black Caucus is always a good place to go to figure that out:
Angela Rye, Executive Director of the Congressional Black Caucus, argued that President Obama has struggled during his first term due to racially-motivated opposition from conservatives who dislike having a black president.
"This is probably the toughest presidential term in my lifetime," Rye said during CSPAN’s Q&A yesterday. "I think that a lot of what the president has experienced is because he’s black. You know, whether it’s questioning his intellect or whether or not he’s Ivy League. It’s always either he’s not educated enough or he’s too educated; or he’s too black or he’s not black enough; he’s too Christian or not Christian enough. There are all these things where he has to walk this very fine line to even be successful."
She said that "a lot" of conservative opposition is racially-charged, citing the use of the word "cool" in an attack ad launched by Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS superPAC.
"There’s an ad, talking about [how] the president is too cool, [asking] is he too cool? And there’s this music that reminds me of, you know, some of the blaxploitation films from the 70s playing in the background, him with his sunglasses," Rye said. "And to me it was just very racially-charged. They weren’t asking if Bush was too cool, but, yet, people say that that’s the number one person they’d love to have a beer with. So, if that’s not cool I don’t know what is.
She added that "even ‘cool,’ the term ‘cool,’ could in some ways be deemed racial [in this instance]."
“Cool” is racist? Who knew? They’re essentially making this stuff up on the fly. Racism has become, for some, the tool of choice to stifle debate and muffle free speech. Don’t like what you’re hearing? Claim it’s racist and they’ll shut up. How “cool” is that?
By the way, speaking of “blaxploitation”, what would you deem this ad?
More examples of racially charged words you never knew about? Well, consult the ever knowledgeable Ed Shultz for the latest:
On his MSNBC program last night, Schultz referred to Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), someone Herman Cain would seriously consider as a running mate, as "the guy who used an old Southern, racist term when talking about defeating President Obama during the healthcare debate. Below is the offending statement:
DeMint (Audio, July 9, 2009): "If we’re able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo. It will break him."
“Break” = racism. Of course Ed Shultz, “racism” authority, was also the guy who edited a tape by Governor Perry of Texas to make a perfectly innocent remark sound racist. He later apologized for it.
Chris Matthews is not averse to making the racism excuse, or at least, interviewing those who will:
MSNBC’s Chris Matthews asked former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown if House Chairman Darrell Issa’s treatment of Attorney General Eric Holder was "ethnic." Brown agreed, and Matthews said some Republicans "talk down to the president and his friends."
Because, you know, lying to Congress and the death of two federal agents as a result of a horrendous operation has nothing at all to do with Issa’s inquiry.
Finally there is this nonsensical “correlation is causation” study that the NYT saw fit to print.
Oh, yes, the racism charge is fully loaded and ready to be used, no question about it.
Obama’s possible failure to be re-elected couldn’t be because he’s been a dismal failure as president and a huge disappointment even to those who elected him could it?
Nope, it has to be because he’s black.
Back to Garafalo and Behar for a wrap up:
“And I don’t understand why so many people are reticent to discuss race in this country. We are not a post-racial society,” she added.
“No, not yet,” Behar said. “Not in our lifetime. There‘s no country in the world that’s post-racial yet, I don’t think.”
“Until the human condition changes, we won’t be,” she added …
Actually, it won’t change until some among us quit finding racism as the primary motive behind everything that happens when there are much more plausible reasons available. The fixation on racism comes from the left and is its fall back position whenever it encounters political or electoral reverses. It is convenient.
But racism is an excuse, not a reason. This goes back to the almost religious belief on the left that it isn’t their message (or performance) that is being rejected, so it must be something else. The means of message delivery must be deficient or the race of the messenger is causing a racist public to reject it.
It couldn’t be because he has been a terrible president or that the message sucks.
Nope, it has to be racism.
It is a good question. My guess, given the way I’ve watched the subject treated over the years, those who try would be labeled racists. The reason? Watch the video:
I ask because I have found the coverage of the Trayvon Martin shooting and death to be sensationalist and, many times, based in rumor later found to be incorrect.
Or, to put a finer point on it, the coverage of the case has been anything but objective and fact based.
For instance, the original reports that said the incident was a white on black killing. In fact, Zimmerman isn’t white. He’s Hispanic. ABC then published a video from the police station claiming there was no evidence of injury. A closer look revealed ample evidence of injury, but that meme had already traveled the world twice. MSNBC, not to be out done, made the claim that Zimmerman uttered a racial slur that was caught on the 911 tape. Again, when examined more closely, it appeared clear that it wasn’t a racial slur at all, but a comment on the weather.
Meanwhile, the race baiters, attracted to the killing like sharks to chum, had picked up on the story as presented by the media and converged on Sanford FL, the site of the killing, to seek “justice” for Trayvon Martin.
Well, apparently some of it was served yesterday … in Mobile, AL:
Mobile police need your help to catch a mob that beat Matthew Owens so badly that he’s in critical condition.
According to police, Owens fussed at some kids playing basketball in the middle of Delmar Drive about 8:30 Saturday night. They say the kids left and a group of adults returned, armed with everything but the kitchen sink.
Police tell News 5 the suspects used chairs, pipes and paint cans to beat Owens.
Owens’ sister, Ashley Parker, saw the attack. "It was the scariest thing I have ever witnessed." Parker says 20 people, all African American, attacked her brother on the front porch of his home, using "brass buckles, paint cans and anything they could get their hands on."
And, according to Ms. Parker, as they were leaving something else occurred:
What Parker says happened next could make the fallout from the brutal beating even worse. As the attackers walked away, leaving Owen bleeding on the ground, Parker says one of them said "Now that’s justice for Trayvon." Trayvon Martin is the unarmed teenager police say was shot and killed February 26 by neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida.
The left is fond of trying to blame the right for inciting incidents of violence. The Gabby Gifford shooting is the most recent example.
I have to wonder if the news media who sensationalized the Martin shooting and the race hustlers who inflamed the situation are willing to take the blame for this beating?
UPDATE: Ace points to two more beatings that appear to have been motivated by the Martin case.
If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand times – blacks can’t be "racists". Supposedly its because they "don’t have the power" to be racist. A key redefinition of a word that in reality has zip to do with who holds power. It’s an attitude. A belief in the superiority of one race over the other. But that’s now how many try to define it today.
So, given the new definition of racism, what former DC mayor and present DC Council person Marion Barry says here isn’t racist or racially motivated … got it? You can ask Al Sharpton, he’ll back him up.
“We got to do something about these Asians coming in and opening up businesses and dirty shops,” Barry said in remarks first reported by WRC-TV. “They ought to go. I’m going to say that right now. But we need African-American businesspeople to be able to take their places, too.”
Celebrate diversity and racial healing, ya’ll.
I have to admit watching this “discussion” over the who, what, when, where and how of the shooting of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman with disgust. I refrained from commenting on it when it first hit the news because I have learned enough over the years to recognize stories where one needs to let it develop a bit for all the facts to come out.
Of course that didn’t at all stop the usual suspects from pouncing on what seemed a perfect story with which they could push their favorite racial themes (Jesse Jackson’s “Blacks are under attack” for instance) and for others to involve themselves in something that they really have no business involving themselves in.
It has laid bare the polarization within this country and how extreme it has become.
The story, if you’ve taken time to research it, is nothing like the cut and dried “whitey killed a black man because he was black” meme the race baiters are pushing. In fact, if you’ve bothered to research the story, it appears that race had little if anything to do with this tragedy. It is not a racial issue, even if it has been portrayed as such by the Al Sharptons, Jesse Jacksons and Louis Farrakhans of this world.
George Zimmerman, if anything, appears to have been an overzealous neighborhood watch person with a history of calling in suspicious activities he saw in his neighborhood. Treyvan Martin, who lived 250 miles away from that neighborhood, was apparently acting suspiciously (rummaging through garbage cans, etc.) when Zimmerman spotted him. I doubt that Zimmerman cared one whit what Martin’s skin color was at the time. Apparently somewhere during that time, a confrontation took place, a fight ensued and Zimmerman killed Martin with a shot to the chest.
A witness has come forward saying he saw Martin on top of Zimmerman punching him in the face. Martin, aged 17 and 6 foot 3, was not the innocent “child” the media has tried to portray. He was a probably bigger than Zimmerman and was on a 10 day suspension from school. Obviously that doesn’t justify killing him but it sheds a little different light on the situation.
I can’t get inside the heads of either of these people but is it reasonable to assume, given the situation, that Zimmerman might have feared for his life? Possibly. I don’t know – and neither does anyone else.
Does that justify the shooting. Again, I don’t know.
But of course all the race pimps do. Just ask them. And so they’ve essentially initiated a vendetta against George Zimmerman, who, by the way, isn’t white even though that assumption was immediately made by many given his name. Zimmerman’s mother is Peruvian and of Indian stock.
An example of the thoughtless incitement that is going on can be found with none other than Spike Lee who, uninformed jerk that he is, published Zimmerman’s address on Twitter. Numerous threats to Zimmerman have been published on Twitter as well. The New Black Panthers have put a $10,000 bounty on Zimmerman’s head. Louis Farrakhan tweeted that the “law of retribution may soon be applied”, a not-so-veiled threat against Zimmerman.
The irony, of course, is this is a typical lynch mob mentality being stirred up here. These are calls for violence outside the law.
No one is claiming that George Zimmerman isn’t at fault here. He may very well be. We don’t know yet. That’s for a court of his peers to decide. Certainly not a marginally informed and inflamed mob. If something happens to Zimmerman before his day in court, you can most likely look to the digital lynch mob for the source. I’ve always considered the racist white lynch mobs of the past to be one of the most horrific and disgusting manifestations of the racism of the past. I find what is happening now no less horrific or disgusting.
There’s also another reason this is on the national radar. And it has nothing to do with race. I’ll let my favorite leftist hack columnist at the New York Times lay it out for you:
Florida’s now-infamous Stand Your Ground law, which lets you shoot someone you consider threatening without facing arrest, let alone prosecution, sounds crazy — and it is. And it’s tempting to dismiss this law as the work of ignorant yahoos. But similar laws have been pushed across the nation, not by ignorant yahoos but by big corporations.
If you are inclined to want to see guns controlled or banned and citizens required to flee any sort of confrontation vs. defending themselves, Paul Krugman is right there with you and has the goods on this now “infamous” law.
Except, as usual, it is a mish-mash of half-truths and innuendo cobbled together to make you think that corporate America is actually the villain in all of this.
We talked about this case on the podcast last night. What is going on right now is all too predictable. And it again points out how polarized this country is. And it isn’t getting less polarized.
Final thought. As I recall, President Obama was supposed to be the “post-racial” President, or that was his claim. Yet he has inserted himself in two local incidents that I know of (the Skip Gates incident being the first) and inflamed the incidents with his remarks. That, my friends, is not leadership.
But then, he’s not a leader, and those of us who have actually been in leadership positions in our lives have known that from the beginning. Instead he has difficulty denying his liberal roots and not succumbing to their siren call.
He’s an agitator. And, as usual, he’s stepped in on something he should have stayed out of and made it far worse. Inserting himself has given impetus, cover and justification for the Frarrakhans, Lees, Jacksons, Sharptons and the New Black Panthers to do what they’re doing. Instead of calming the waters and talking about trusting the legal system and letting it do its work, he’s done exactly the opposite.
Congrats, Mr. Prez. If anything happens to Zimmerman, you’re on the hook too as far as I’m concerned.
Chanting “USA, USA, USA” at a high school game between two American high school teams is now a “racial slur”?
See if you can make sense out of this story … I can’t.
Seems the “right" not to be offended has surfaced again with the usual absurd results. Unless the “minority students” mentioned weren’t Americans.
And since when has “USA” been a “race”? Were the “minority students” Hispanic? That’s not a race either.
See if you can sort it out. These type stories give me a headache.
And from all people, the purveyor of more racial hatred than the KKK, Louis Farrakhan:
In a fiery lecture to thousands of followers of the Nation of Islam on Sunday in Chicago, Minister Louis Farrakhan warned that racial hatred could lead to attempts to assassinate President Barack Obama.
Farrakhan spent much of his oration decrying what he cast as Satan’s influence over racist forces in politics and society before asking a pointed rhetorical question: "Do you think they’re wicked enough to be plotting our brother’s assassination as we speak?"
Wow, there’s Satan again. And there’s the racial scare.
So who is he talking about? Oh wait, here it is:
Farrakhan drew a distinction between noble Jews and followers of "the synagogue of Satan," and he pointed to a recent incident in which the publisher of a Jewish magazine suggested Israeli security forces could help preserve Israel by killing Obama.
Got it. The Joooooooooosssss! Well the ignoble Jews anyway (i.e. anyone in or associated with Israel, a country which, apparently, actually rules the world and dominates our politics).
Our guy also addressed many other timely topics:
He spoke for more than three hours on a broad array of topics, excoriating U.S. foreign policy, suggesting that the 9/11attacks were a government-planned pretext for war in the Middle East, lamenting recent extreme weather and attacking mothers for serving their children food from McDonald’s. He also returned repeatedly to a topic that has attracted intense controversy in the past: the influence of Jews in politics and media.
Truther, warmist, and anti-Semitic with a swipe at Mickey D’s. A trifecta with a daily double thrown in.
Look, he’s an 78 year old kook. Got it. But trust me on this … it is a harbinger of things to come and a preview of accusations and tactics you’ll see in the near future. Perhaps not trotted out as blatantly as this and probably not blaming Israel or Jews (domestic right wing will do), but you can count on seeing racial scare tactics in the near future as Obama’s numbers, which are relatively high right now but nothing to brag about, begin to slip.
The usual suspects will begin the drumbeat of racism and attempt to divert the public’s attention from the real problem in this election – Obama’s dismal record.
Oh, and in honor of Black History month, an image from a series at All American Blogger where Duane Lester provides a historically correct lesson and reminder of the real history blacks should know but the left tries to avoid during this month:
Well, frankly, I’m not particularly sure. Of course we have RomneyCare and ObamaCare. And we have this, said in Chandler, Arizona by MItt Romney concerning taxes:
"I am going to lower rates across the board for all Americans by 20%. And in order to limit any impact on the deficit, because I do not want to add to the deficit, and also in order to make sure we continue to have progressivity as we’ve had in the past in our code, I’m going to limit the deductions and exemptions particularly for high income folks. And by the way, I want to make sure you understand that, for middle income families, the deductibility of home mortgage interest and charitable contributions will continue. But for high income folks, we are going to cut back on that, so we make sure the top 1% keeps paying the current share they’re paying or more."
Really? Because that’s right out of the Occupy Wall Street playbook. His campaign staff released a press release which stated, “"The principle of fairness must be preserved in federal tax and spending policy,"
Of course they don’t believe that at all or they wouldn’t be talking about “the top 1%” paying more. It has nothing to do with “fairness” as most people would define it.
This is what I talk about when I say that Republicans are as much a problem, if not more of a problem, than Democrats. Republicans like Romney compromise their principles for votes. This is a class warfare buy-in by him, even using the OWS/Democratic rhetoric.
If you wonder why Conservative Republican voters are less than enthusiastic about this field, Romney demonstrates it yet again.
Plastic, fantastic Mitt co-opt’s the left’s class warfare rhetoric and caves on taxes.