Jacob England suspected a black man of murdering his father. So he recruited his buddy, Alvin Watts, to kill random African Americans who just happened to be available to be shot. Had he suspected a white man of the crime, one assumes he and Alvin would’ve driven around Tulsa, Oklahoma, shooting random white people.
George Zimmerman suspected black teenagers of burglarizing several homes in his complex. He “knew” black hoodlums wore hoodies, presumably to make it easier for Neighborhood Watch volunteers to identify them. So he followed a black teenager in a hoodie and shot him. Zimmerman insists his actions weren’t racially motivated. He’s an equal opportunity killer.
Gun nuts worry that these deaths will give guns a bad name. They remind us that guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Still, as Eddie Izzard points out, the guns seem to help.
Some who want to defend Zimmerman try to deflect anger over the killing by reminding us that young, male, urban African Americans are killing each other at a disturbing rate, disturbing, we are asked to believe, even for those who would like to see most black Americans deported or jailed or worse. Those currently waving this flag of animus have never offered any solutions to the problem of black on black crime. They only ask us to view it as justifying white on black murder.
How did simple-minded folk get control of our country? Because they have control, make no mistake. The Supreme Court doesn’t comprehend the first principle of holding high office: The appearance of wrongdoing is equivalent to wrongdoing itself. Chief Justice Roberts stupidly—yes, stupidly—asserts that the Justices have integrity and that should be good enough for us. The folks who control Congress are barely literate. And this isn’t a new phenomenon. After September 11, 2001, Congress passed the Patriot Act, a bill containing 1016 sections and countless subsections—in record time. It was signed into law October 26.
If you believe those fools actually read that mega-document, you should contact me regarding a bridge I’d like to sell you. Simple solutions abound. Give the rich more money and tax the middle class to ensure a healthy economy. Starve government to increase freedom. Lay off people to save money in order to put money into establishing full employment. And the list goes on.
But the topic by which the fatal flaw in our thinking becomes most obvious to me is racism.
Only a handful of Americans admit to being racist. Actually, even America’s national socialists claim they aren’t racist. They’re civil rights workers, defending the rights of white people that have been so neglected throughout our history. But note the following statistic.
A mere 11% of white Americans feel certain that George Zimmerman acted illegally. And the Internet swarms with assertions that Trayvon Martin attacked Zimmerman, entitling the older man to shoot.
When we interrogate potential jurors, we ask them if they’ve read about the case and if they’ve formed an opinion. In this way we too often impanel the least alert and the most non-curious citizens we’ve got.
I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to be judged by anyone who knew nothing about the Trayvon Martin case but what they’d heard on Fox “News.”
The irony of the public’s response to this killing is that the people who scream loudest about the “rush to judgment” are hiding a more developed position on the case than the majority of people who feel outraged by the failure of the police to immediately arrest someone who had been told to stop following the person he subsequently shot to death. And that’s why we have a mere 11% of whites confident that Zimmerman did what he shouldn’t have done.
Whites often claim that African Americans are too sensitive on the subject of race, that black people frequently “play the race card,” as if dealing with racism on a daily basis were a board game. I reject that assertion. If anything, African Americans are far too benevolent on the subject of race. Nearly a third of them aren’t sure Zimmerman acted from a racial motive.
The shooting of Trayvon Martin was a racist act. How do I know that? Unlike white liberals, I am uninterested in the subjectivity of George Zimmerman. I probably have a pretty good take on it anyway, but even so I don’t particularly care what he feels. Whether his best friend is black. Whether he’s Hispanic.
Whenever a black person is assaulted by or insulted by a white person, white liberals make this the central question: What was in the mind of the white person? In a society where statistics show endemic racial bias (to put it euphemistically), the reality is that actions by whites speak louder than motives.
The court that decided Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896 in favor of segregated public facilities ruled on the basis that whites who didn’t want to sit with blacks shouldn’t be forced to do so. In other words, for an all-white Supreme Court the central issue was the subjectivity of white passengers, not the feelings of black passengers barred from privileged railcars. If the accommodations were equal, which of course they were not, that should be sufficient for black Americans. This inclination to focus on what whites feel as they insult and assault black citizens continues into the 21st century.
Trayvon Martin is dead because George Zimmerman assumed he was a criminal. Zimmerman could make that assumption with impunity in Florida and elsewhere because of racism. In other words, racism killed Martin.
And that—not Zimmerman’s psychology—lies at the center of this horrible case. And that is why concern for Zimmerman’s motives is misplaced, just as the assertion of Stand Your Ground seems to flow in one direction only.
What we ultimately do to Zimmerman—and I am inclined to believe he will walk—matters little. What needs to be addressed are all the George Zimmermans waiting for their moment in the sun at the expense of all the Trayvon Martins tomorrow.
Thank you, NRA.