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Walking Back the Trayvon Martin Hysteria



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1) If one suggests that there may not be, at least as yet, enough evidence to overturn the initial police decision of not charging Mr. Zimmerman with a crime, then one is a de facto racist. 

In other words, the liberal position of letting all the evidence be reexamined in a dispassionate fashion is now illiberal. And the illiberal one of charging someone with a felony without established probable cause is liberal. But just arresting and charging a suspect to let a judge or jury post facto decide whether there was ever probable cause for such an arrest is neither liberal nor consistent with American jurisprudence.

2) It is clear now that the African-American civil-rights hierarchy is concerned largely with maintaining power and influence by promulgating the theme of unending white racism — and the need for its exclusive agency to find redress and reparations from that eternal fact. That is a serious charge, but one easy to substantiate — whether we compare the commensurate outrage accorded the Duke case, the Skip Gates mess, the Tawana Brawley hoax, or the present Trayvon Martin tragedy, with the veritable neglect about the carnage of young African-American males in our cities, or the deliberate distortion that white-on-black crime is an epidemic when, in fact, black-on-black crime is — in addition to the fact of vastly higher incidences of black-on-white crime.

And the professional grievance industry has achieved many of its aims. The latter common occurrences earn scant public attention; the former rare incidents, lurid hysteria. The disturbing truth is that to examine the black-on-black crime might raise uncomfortable inferences that such violence cannot be entirely explained by contemporary racism, and arises from issues as wide-ranging as illegitimacy, male parenting, literacy, education, family structure, disproportionate rates of criminality and drug use, misogyny in popular culture, etc. —  crises that often demand more than just government attention and funding. 

#more#If the Black Caucus or Black Panthers or Sharpton/Jackson industry can “prove” that Mr. Martin was “executed” or “assassinated” by a white oppressor due to his skin color alone and that this  outrage was covered up by a racist white establishment, then their presence is vital to curb such an “epidemic”; if the case has nothing to do with race, or if it proves a difficult and complex case of self-defense, then once again they are relegated to the hard, unheralded — and unpopular — work of addressing the root causes of inordinate black crime that earns few profits and little publicity.

3) If the media had erred in one or two case in either its emphases or its facts, or erred on both sides of what apparently has become an ideological divide over the case, few could complain. But from Day One, the media has tried to promulgate an unambiguous narrative of a diminutive African-American preteen model student executed by a white racist vigilante with a shady past, a narrative that the facts, at least as we know them thus far, does not substantiate: The usually printed photos of Mr. Martin did not reflect that he was 17 or 6′2″; there was no firm evidence that Mr. Zimmerman used a racial epithet in contrast to the firm evidence that NBC doctored a tape to suggest a racist motive on the part of the shooter; the rubric “white Hispanic” was used, although the media does not employ it elsewhere; the assertions that Mr. Zimmerman was lying about his injuries were not, as alleged, proved by the police video, but far more likely disproved by it; there is still no firm proof about which of the two in the fight called out for help; there is now firm proof of an altercation prior to the shooting; Mr. Zimmerman’s past does not quite fit the portrait of a white vigilante with racist tendencies; nor does Mr. Martin’s quite fit the initial picture of a model student — information about the two that is either irrelevant or germane, but not applicable to just one of the two involved in a fight; and so on.

4) In explosive matters of racial controversy, we can expect the president and the attorney general to be of either no help or to make things worse. President Obama fanned the flames in the 2008 Reverend Wright disclosures, the Pennsylvania primary, the Gates mess, and was utterly incoherent in the Martin matter; the attorney general has now weighed in so often on the question of race, and in such an inflammatory fashion (“cowards,” “my people,” accusations of congressional racism, etc.) that his only recourse is far wiser silence.

5) To suggest all of the above is to earn almost immediate condemnation as a racist, not because any of it is refutable, but because some do not wish to be reminded that so far the case on its merits has little to do with race, and is instead yet another fatal shooting where it is difficult to ascertain a proper charge — whether of murder/manslaughter or self-defense — a quandary repeated hundreds of times each year throughout the country with near-zero national public interest.

How sick we have become as a nation, when preferring not to prejudge a case until an inquiry reviews known evidence and searches for new information is considered racist; and wishing to inject race in order to do the opposite is not.



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