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.
So much for "post-racial".
I’m sure you’ve been watching the goings on for the last few months – the race baiting, the Black Panther case – or lack thereof – the NAACP calling the Tea Party "racist" with little or no proof, the "journolist" appeal to call those on the right "racist" in order to blunt criticism of Obama and finally, the Shirley Sherrod case.
Essentially, both sides need to take a breath. But even with a breath, it is clear that there is nothing "post-racial" about the climate in this country. Ben Smith’s take:
The America of 2010 is dominated by racial images out of farce and parody, caricatures not seen since the glory days of Shaft. Fox News often stars a leather-clad New Black Panther, while MSNBC scours the tea party movement for racist elements, which one could probably find in any mass organization in America. Obama’s own, sole foray into the issue of race involved calling a police officer “stupid,” and regretting his own words. Conservative leaders and the NAACP, the venerable civil-rights group, recently engaged in a round of bitter name-calling that left both groups wounded and crying foul. Political correctness continues to reign in parts of the left, and now has a match in the belligerent grievance of conservatives demanding that hair-trigger allegations of racism be proven.
Yeah, heaven forbid that proof be demanded – in the past all it’s taken is yelling “racist” and the deed is done. Now suddenly, proof of the word is demanded? Outrageous.
But to the bigger point – if this is a ‘national conversation’ about race, I’d sure see it when we’re yelling at each other. The absurdity of all of this has gotten beyond amusing. It’s now destructive.
“I thought we were going to move beyond this,” said Abigail Thernstrom, a conservative historian of race and a Bush appointee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, who called the current racial climate “a catastrophe.”
“There’s a kind of heightened racial consciousness that’s very worrisome. It’s not good for us, it’s not good for the very fabric of American society,” she said, objecting in particular to the claims of racism against the tea party movement.
Yup – I think there were a lot of us who hoped we were beyond this. But for some, racism and race is big business. Take Jesse Jackson. In fact take Jesse Jackson recently on the LeBron James kerfuffle. It was he who made the comparison to plantation owners and slaves. Nothing the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers had said that remotely reminded anyone of someone talking about a “runaway slave” as Jackson portrayed it. But Jackson’s mind is focused on one area and one area only – everything is racial to him, even a business disagreement.
While there may be plenty to criticize in the way Dan Gilbert handled the situation and what he said about James, but to an impartial observer, it had nothing to do with race. It was a tantrum by an owner who felt this particular players hadn’t played up to his potential in the playoffs and blasted him. But “plantation owner” and “runaway slave”? Give me a freakin’ break.
One of the things I said would help sooth racial tensions was the passing of my parent’s generation – they may have been the “greatest generation” because of WWII, but there was a lot of bigotry within that generation as well (my parents being a very interesting exception). Now I’m of the opinion that a lot of this will begin to cool when the generation of race hustlers, like Jackson, and race baiters, like Al Sharpton, meet their reward.
It’s a pity really – this should be old news. We should be watching documentaries about this and shaking our heads sadly.
Instead, we have a new 21st century race war going on. And I believe much of the blame falls on the Obama administration and Holder’s DoJ.
Regardless though, it’s pitiful.
One phrase sure to stir outrage or at least discussion is what I’ve used for the title when referring to the issue of race. But I’m darned if it doesn’t best describe this quote from Jesse Jackson:
The Rev. Jesse Jackson on Wednesday night criticized Rep. Artur Davis (D-Ala.) for voting against the Democrats’ signature healthcare bill.
“We even have blacks voting against the healthcare bill,” Jackson said at a reception Wednesday night. “You can’t vote against healthcare and call yourself a black man.”
When you give race baiters like Jesse Jackson the opportunity to define what it means to be a “black man”, he then gets to define what it means to remain one. And that usually entails towing a particular party line of which he approves – not thinking for yourself, not doing your job (representing your constituency), not being your own person. You see if someone does any of that, as did Rep. Davis did, they threaten the dying power the race warriors hold – that of the legislative “bloc” based in race. The Sharptons and Jacksons of the world have built a career out of making everything about race. Like unions, they once had a purpose. Now, however, with their purpose fading and their time in the media’s light waning, they have to make more and more outrageous statements to get noticed.
I’ll be so happy when those who can’t see past their own skin color on every issue pass from the scene. Then, and only then, will real progress among and within the races be made. In the meantime, blacks certainly shouldn’t let someone like Jesse Jackson define what it is to be anything, much less a “black man”.
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