Politics & Policy

Zimmerman: Guilty of Not Being Black

Chicago has had 200 homicides this year, but the NAACP and the media don’t seem to care.

‘We are outraged and heartbroken over today’s verdict,” NAACP president Benjamin Jealous said in a statement moments after a jury of six women found George Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder and manslaughter.

That’s what it has come to for the NAACP. The Zimmerman case wasn’t about due process. It wasn’t about Trayvon Martin’s family having their day in court. The NAACP didn’t care about the trial, it wanted a conviction — and the law be damned. The facts be damned. Justice be damned.

And the NAACP isn’t finished with George Zimmerman. It now wants to deny him one of the most fundamental civil rights we as Americans possess — the right not to be tried a second time for the same crime. “We will pursue civil-rights charges with the Department of Justice,” Jealous added in the post-verdict statement.

So much for the civil rights of another minority. George Zimmerman just happens to be Hispanic. Or “white Hispanic,” as the New York Times described him.

The fact is, if George Zimmerman had been a black man, this case would never have been brought to trial. If George Zimmerman had been black, the NAACP and Al Sharpton would never have marched on Sanford, Fla., and demanded that the state take over the case.

The fact is, George Zimmerman was guilty in the NAACP’s eyes of not being black. That is why he was charged and prosecuted. A young black man was dead on the streets, and a non-black guy killed him. It had to be racism that caused his death. There was no other explanation, and justice had to be exacted.

That is mob justice, plain and simple. The same kind of mob justice blacks faced until so very recently in the South — and in much of the rest of America.

In what is perhaps the greatest book ever written on the subject of race, intolerance, justice, and mob justice, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird narrows in on the trial of a black man, Tom Robinson, falsely accused of rape by a white girl and her family. A white lawyer in town — Atticus Finch — takes Robinson’s case and does his best to prove the innocence of his client beyond a reasonable doubt.

“I am confident that you gentlemen will review, without passion, the evidence you have heard, and come to a decision, and restore this man to his family. In the name of God, do your duty,” Gregory Peck, playing Atticus in the movie version, urged the all-white jury in his closing statement.

It didn’t matter. They found Tom Robinson guilty of rape despite the evidence. He was guilty of being a black man.

Though a Florida jury viewed the evidence without passion and restored George Zimmerman to his family, the NAACP and many other black leaders don’t seem to care. To them, George Zimmerman was, is, and will forever be guilty of gunning down a man for no reason but the color of his skin.

All of this while young blacks are being gunned down every day in the streets of America’s cities by other young blacks. No one knows the names of all the innocent kids being killed by black gang members on the streets of Chicago and L.A. But the world knows Trayvon Martin’s.

No one knows the names of all of those black gunmen. But we know George Zimmerman’s.

And for one reason: The NAACP, the Reverend Al Sharpton, and complicit journalists decided to focus on this case as an example of the racism that terrorizes young black males.

As if the NAACP and Al Sharpton — not to mention ordinary African-Americans — really believed the biggest problem facing young black men is white guys, and white Hispanics, looking to kill them.

The sad fact is that the vast majority of black males who die by violence are killed by other black males, some by accident, but many intentionally. Where is the national attention on those cases? God knows, there are plenty to choose from.

A comprehensive study by the Justice Department in 2005 should have been a clarion call for the NAACP. It revealed that nearly half of the nation’s murder victims that year were black. Black people accounted for 13 percent of the total U.S. population in 2005, yet they were the victims of 49 percent of all the nation’s murders. And 93 percent of black murder victims were killed by other blacks. That’s 93 percent.

And here’s the most tragic statistic: The majority of those dead black males were between the ages of 17 and 29.

Why aren’t the national media — with the NAACP leading the charge — parked in Chicago right now covering the carnage on that city’s streets? Over the July 4 weekend, the Windy City logged its 200th homicide of the year. During the long weekend alone, 74 people were shot, and twelve of them were killed.

It isn’t just young black men who are the victims of senseless crime. On July 11, this horrible headline appeared on RedEye Chicago, which tracks the city’s grim crime stories: “Pregnant woman loses nearly full-term baby.” This was the lead:

A pregnant women lost her nearly full-term baby daughter after she was beaten by a group of people near her home in the Back of the Yards neighborhood, authorities said. The woman was walking in the 4800 block of South Laflin Street around 11 p.m. Monday when she was attacked by several women and a man, according to Police News Affairs Officer Jose Estrada. After the attack, the woman felt abdominal pain and went to Mount Sinai Hospital, where she delivered a stillborn baby girl the next day. The baby was pronounced dead at 2:44 p.m. The girl was 32 weeks along in development.

Talk about a case worth covering!

Here is another headline from RedEye that same day: “Mother of slain teen: What happened to my baby?” Here’s how that story started:

Two weeks have passed since a neighbor knocked on Nortasha Stingley’s door with the grim news: Her 19-year-old daughter Marissa had been gunned down just blocks from their Park Manor home. “I asked her, ‘Where’s Marissa at, where’s my baby?’” Stingley said, fighting back tears. “She said, ‘Marissa got shot,’ . . . ” Stingley said she talked to detectives later that day and hasn’t heard from them since. Now about two weeks later, she fears her daughter has been forgotten. “I have done everything in my power to keep my kids safe,” said Stingley, a single mother who also has two sons, 6 and 18. “This is the one time I couldn’t. I just want to know why. What happened to my baby?”

What happened to Marissa is that she was one of five passengers in a car that was attacked by an unknown black gunman. She was shot in the head, and another woman, a neighbor, was wounded in the hand. Three men, all under 21, were also shot, police reported.

Nortasha Stingley’s grief, like that of Trayvon Martin’s parents, is unimaginable. The grief of all of those mothers in Chicago who are burying their children — all of whom were too young to die — is a national catastrophe. One on which our media, and the NAACP, should be spending their time.

And they would be, if the gunmen were white.

Or white Hispanics.

— Lee Habeeb is the vice president of content at Salem Radio Network, which syndicates Bill Bennett, Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager, Michael Medved, and Hugh Hewitt. He lives in Oxford, Miss., with his wife, Valerie, and daughter, Reagan.

Lee HabeebLee Habeeb is an American talk-radio executive and producer. He has written columns for USA Today and the Washington Examiner, and is a columnist for Townhall.com and National Review.

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