MSNBC commentator Joy Reid told viewers that those supportive of the Florida jury’s acquittal of George Zimmerman remind her of the lynching mobs she’s seen in pictures from the 1920s. She denounced any sense of relief that Zimmerman was found innocent, regardless of whether he in fact was.
Reid criticized reactions from conservatives such as Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh to the verdict, which she described, as “rejoicing about the fact that somebody got acquitted of shooting and killing a teenager.” She compared their reactions to the way “smiling” lynchers felt after hanging a black man in the Jim Crow South.
“It was because, at the time, they thought, ‘We won,’ that was a victory,” she explained. “I used to wonder, ‘What kind of person could that be?’ Take that and transform it into the modern era.”
Reid continued that, “anyone who could rejoice in the death of a teenager, who could find that glorious and a victory, it makes you understand those people in those pictures are actual people.” She said that Coulter, Limbaugh, and others show “it is possible to have that much hatred and that much bile toward” Martin.
“If you think it’s glorious that [Martin's] killer got off, whether or not you agree with George Zimmerman’s claims of self-defense, there’s something wrong with you,” Reid concluded.
Reid’s comments were spurred by Coulter’s tweeting “Hallelujah” after the verdict was announced and Limbaugh saying the Left was having a “little temper tantrum” in its aftermath.
In the same segment, Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson said “the right flank” (which he chided as “the white flank”) was “taking absolute joy and literally dancing on the grave of Trayvon Martin” following the verdict.