Progressive Arsonists on the March
By Matthew Vadum
Left-wing politicians and racial-grievance profiteers across America are now fanning the flames of racial discord, demanding that George Zimmerman endure a politically correct show trial at the federal level despite his acquittal.
Members of the professional Left can barely conceal their glee that Zimmerman was found not guilty of second-degree murder in the death of Trayvon Martin. This means they get to retain Zimmerman as a villain they can use to foment racial hatred, cause future civil disturbances, raise money through direct mail solicitations, and get out the vote for race-baiting Democrats.
Zimmerman was acquitted by a 6-member all-female jury late Saturday. A leader of the neighborhood watch program in crime-ridden Sanford, Fla., he encountered unarmed Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26, 2012. A physical confrontation followed in which Zimmerman, a Latino, shot Martin, a 17-year-old black youth, to death. Zimmerman claimed he needed to use deadly force to save his own life.
President Obama decided that the Zimmerman verdict was an opportune moment to press for gun control. “We should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence that claims too many lives across this country on a daily basis,” he said after the verdict. “We should ask ourselves, as individuals and as a society, how we can prevent future tragedies like this. As citizens, that’s a job for all of us. That’s the way to honor Trayvon Martin.”
Fishing for votes, Obama injected himself and racial politics into the Zimmerman case during the election cycle last year when he volunteered, “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.” Now he’s pretending he had nothing to do with all the race-based antagonism that he stirred up.
Left-wing thought leaders across the fruited plan are doing their best to exacerbate and exploit the potentially explosive racial tensions created by Obama’s meddling and the media’s saturation coverage of the Zimmerman case.
Racial arsonist extraordinaire Al Sharpton, whose race-baiting rants have gotten people killed, blasted the verdict as an “atrocity” and “a slap in the face to those that believe in justice in this country.” Fellow MSNBC personality Chris Hayes simply tweeted, “Goddamit.”
Sharpton played a major role in turning a local crime story into a national media obsession. He is now demanding the federal government lay civil rights charges against Zimmerman.
Jesse Jackson Sr. said on MSNBC yesterday that Zimmerman’s acquittal amounted to a “tremendous miscarriage of justice.” He berated the jury, noting that there were no men on it. “Trayvon was a black boy — there was no man, no black on the jury,” he said, adding, “so at least the idea of a jury of your peers was a stretch all the while.”
Jackson is obviously no lawyer. In America the Constitution guarantees the accused, not the victim, an impartial jury. A common notion taught in civics classes is that a jury is supposed to contain the peers of the accused, not the victim.
Last year Jackson said Martin’s death could be treated as a tragedy or it could spur a new movement. “How do we go from a moment to a movement that creates fundamental change?” Jackson told a church congregation. “If it’s a moment, we go home. If it’s a movement, we go to war.”
On CNN disgraced former Obama green jobs czar Van Jones, a self-described “rowdy black nationalist” and “communist,” wondered aloud, “Do I now have to dress my kid in a tuxedo so that he can go buy Skittles?” Incidentally, CNN has rewarded Jones’s radicalism and 9/11 trutherism by giving him a co-host spot on the upcoming revival of the show “Crossfire.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told “Meet the Press” Sunday that he welcomed federal prosecution of Zimmerman. “I think the Justice Department is going to take a look at this. You know, this isn’t over with and I think that’s good. That’s our system. It’s gotten better, not worse.”
Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), co-chairman of the neo-communist Congressional Progressive Caucus, said the verdict would inspire copycats. “You empower individual citizens to basically take the law into their own hands.”
Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-Pa.), also a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, lamented that the defendant should have been convicted of something: “What the jury is saying is, ‘Here’s George Zimmerman back, here’s his gun back and what he did was perfectly fine. And he’s coming to a neighborhood near you.”
But not all public figures have been trying to excite the mob.
Many have been conciliatory, exhorting blacks to stop killing each other, work to improve their communities, and to stop blaming white people for problems in their communities.
Although many black professional athletes expressed shock and indignation at the verdict on Twitter, the micro-blogging website, some appealed for calm.
American basketball player Sean May, who now plays for Paris-Levallois Basket in the Euroleague, tweeted “I hope enough people have #respect for the system to let it be and not cause unneeded violence.”
Damien Woody, a former offensive lineman and defensive end for several NFL teams, tweeted “I don’t wish harm to no man! Revenge won’t bring back Trayvon Martin.”
Donte’ Stallworth, a wide receiver for the Washington Redskins with a history of legal problems, tweeted “Instead of rage & anger, let’s direct that emotion towards a positive movement. Like education, poverty & black on black crime in the hood.” In 2009 Stallworth served 30 days in jail for DUI manslaughter after running over a pedestrian in Miami Beach, Fla. He reached a confidential financial settlement with the victim’s family.
But these voices calling for peace aren’t neutralizing the white-hot anger and resentment that the Left has helped to generate.
The rabble-rousing is working and so far violent incidents have been reported in Oakland and Los Angeles, Calif.
In Oakland, demonstrators set fires, smashed windows, burned the American flag, and committed vandalism. Graffiti declared “Kill Zimmerman” and “F*** the Police.”
No arrests have been reported in Oakland. This makes perfect sense. Oakland’s lunatic Democrat mayor, Jean Quan, openly supports the violent neo-communist Occupy Wall Street movement. In one infamous incident, Quan essentially apologized to Occupy Oakland activists for a police crackdown on illegal activity on public property.
Los Angeles police are reportedly on “full tactical alert” as they brace for more trouble.
Hundreds of demonstrators spilled on to Interstate 10 in South L.A., blocking traffic, KTLA-TV reports. The report described the march that preceded the freeway occupation as “a mostly peaceful demonstration was held along Crenshaw Boulevard earlier in the afternoon,” which means that the demonstration was in fact violent.
We learned from the mainstream media’s coverage of the incredibly violent Occupy Wall Street movement that “mostly peaceful” is journalist-speak for “there was leftist violence but we sympathize with the cause so we’re downplaying it.”
According to the Hollywood Reporter, some Los Angeles protesters carried signs saying “The whole system is racist.” Photos show that the signs were marked “PSL.org,” which stands for the Marxist-Leninist group, Party for Socialism and Liberation.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Sunday that a total absence of proof that Zimmerman harbored any racial animus whatsoever won’t prevent the federal agency from moving forward with its ongoing “hate crimes” investigation. The statement came even though the FBI already determined a year ago that race was not a factor in the incident that led to criminal charges against Zimmerman.
In an interview last year with FBI agents, Chris Serino, the Sanford Police Department detective who ran the Martin investigation, said he believed “Zimmerman’s actions were not based on Martin’s skin color.” A report indicated that Serino told the agents that Zimmerman was “overzealous” and had a “‘little hero complex,’” but was not “a racist.”
Bringing civil rights charges would be a ridiculous abuse of process, though probably a profit center for Democratic political consultants and media pundits. It would place the Zimmerman case in the same league as that of James Byrd Jr., a black Texas man who was cruelly murdered by white supremacists in 1998. Byrd’s vicious murder at the hands of actual racists put pressure on Congress to expand the reach of federal hate crimes legislation in 2009.
There have been few prosecutions and convictions under the law since it was modified. In Arkansas in 2011 Sean Popejoy and Frankie Maybee were convicted of federal hate crimes. Prosecutors say they ran a car full of Latino men off the road, causing the vehicle to crash and burn. The same year three men in New Mexico — Paul Beebe, Jesse Sanford, and William Hatch — were convicted of federal hate crimes after they branded the arm of a mentally disabled Navajo man with a swastika.
In a mind-numbing, scorched-earth, race-baiting campaign that has lasted more than a year, the Left has tried to blame Republican office holders, conservative activists, and right-leaning political commentators for Martin’s death. (Zimmerman himself is a registered Democrat.)
“[Republican politicians] reinforce and validate old stereotypes that associate the poor and welfare as criminal behavior with African-Americans and people of color, calling us lazy, undeserving recipients of public assistance. In the case of Trayvon, those festering stereotypes had lethal consequences,” said Democratic fundraiser Karen Finney.
This is boilerplate nonsense that affective leftists spout every day. Tedious stuff.
Yet the media kept repeating it.
As John Nolte opined at Breitbart News, over the past year the mainstream media amplified racial discord and turned “a local crime into a national obsession.”
The media “did everything in its still-potent power to not only push for the prosecution of Mr. Zimmerman (the police originally chose not to charge him) but also to gin up racial tensions where none needed to exist,” Nolte writes.
“It all started with the anchor of a major television network (Al Sharpton) inserting himself in the story to spread division and hate; it continued straight through to the closing days of the trial when another major news network, desperate to keep a fabricated racial narrative alive, propagated the portrayal of Zimmerman as part of a racial group that doesn’t exist — the ‘white Hispanic.”
The New York Times and NBC engaged in dishonest editing of things Zimmerman had said in order to make him appear to be a racist who hated African-Americans. CNN even fabricated a story, falsely accusing Zimmerman of using the racial epithet “coon.”
But as Reuters previously reported, there is nothing obviously racist about Zimmerman.
To the contrary, he “was raised in a racially integrated household and himself has black roots through an Afro-Peruvian great-grandfather – the father of the maternal grandmother who helped raise him.” In 2004 he went into business with a black friend, opening an insurance office. In 2010 and 2011, Zimmerman publicly demanded that two police officers who later ended up clearing him in the Martin case be disciplined for their involvement in the Dec. 4, 2010 beating of Sherman Ware, a homeless black man.
Martin’s family may yet file a wrongful death lawsuit in civil court against Zimmerman.
The outcome of the case would be far from a sure thing but the burden of proof would be much lower than the “reasonable doubt” standard used in criminal proceedings.