Also on CNN Sunday, Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) said that “I think it’s right to ask the Justice Department to fully, fully pursue civil rights violation…to lead to a consquence of charges if necessary.” On the same show, Rep. Chakah Fattah (D-Penn.) particularly lamented the fact that George Zimmerman will get his gun back. And he was worried about the standard that the verdict will set: “If someone tells you not to follow a kid, then you follow him, and you get out of your car, and you shoot him and you kill him, then that’s okay.”
Texas Gov. Rick Perry was also on CNN, and was asked by host Candy Crowley about the Zimmerman verdict. Perry said that the killing of Martin was “without a doubt, a tragic event” but that “we have the best judicial system in the world and we respect it.” Perry also said that he thinks “our justice system is colorblind.” On the same show, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn said much of the same: “The American way is colorblind.”
Of course the deadly meeting last year between Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman had at its core a racial element. Of course its tragic result reminds us that the nation, in ways too many of our leaders refuse to acknowledge, is still riven by race. The story of Martin and Zimmerman is the story of crime and punishment in America, and of racial disparities in capital sentencing, and in marijuana prosecutions, and in countless other things. But it wasn’t Judge Debra Nelson’s job to conduct a seminar on race relations in 2013. It wasn’t her job to help America bridge its racial divide. It was her job to give Zimmerman a fair trial. And she did…
What the verdict says, to the astonishment of tens of millions of us, is that you can go looking for trouble in Florida, with a gun and a great deal of racial bias, and you can find that trouble, and you can act upon that trouble in a way that leaves a young man dead, and none of it guarantees that you will be convicted of a crime…
[W]hat comes next, surely, is a wrongful death civil action for money damages brought against Zimmerman by the Martin family. That means another case, and perhaps another trial, with evidentiary rules that are more relaxed than the ones we’ve just seen. And that means that a few years from now, after Martin v. Zimmerman is concluded, we’ll likely know more about what happened that night than we do today. That’s the good news. The bad news is that no matter how many times Zimmerman is hauled into court, we will never know the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about what happened that terrible night.
I think the message of this episode is unfortunate. By Florida law, in any violent confrontation ending in a disputed act of lethal self-defense, without eye-witnesses, the advantage goes to the living.
An intelligent, self-interested observer of this case, who happens to live in Florida, would not be wrong to do as George Zimmerman did–buy a gun, master the finer points of Florida self-defense law and then wait.
Circling back to the first point, it’s worth remembering that caused a national outcry was not the possibility of George Zimmerman being found innocent, but that there would be no trial at all. This case was really unique because of what happened with the Sanford police. If you doubt this, ask yourself if you know the name “Jordan Davis.” Then ask yourself how many protests and national media reports you’ve seen about him.
[T]his seems the perfect time to reflect on the media’s cynical and dishonest role in turning a local crime into a national obsession.
As you will see below, by hook and crook, the mainstream 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.
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.”
In-between, there has been an astonishing amount of malicious fraud and lies, all in an effort to serve a president, stir racial hatred, and influence the justice system.
MSNBC tried and convicted Zimmerman, executed him by firing squad, then propped the body up at the defense table so it could do it all over again. Host Lawrence O’Donnell said Zimmerman shot “a black teenager to death for having done absolutely nothing,” and opined that “I believe what we have here is evidence of a police cover-up.” At a rally, another of the network’s personalities, the Rev. Al Sharpton, compared the injustice done to Martin to the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ — and that may have been one of his cooler-headed moments…
Justice, in the sense of a deliberate, lawful judgment consistent with the facts, was never the driving passion of the Zimmerman-haters. They wanted a racial morality play. If Trayvon Martin had been shot by another black person, no one would have cared. Al Sharpton wouldn’t have made him a cause. Lawrence O’Donnell wouldn’t have batted an eyelash. No one outside his immediate family and friends would have ever known his name.
Trayvon Martin’s shooting was an ideologically useful tragedy, and so the vultures did their worst.
He will be free, if he chooses, to leave Seminole County, Florida. But one of his attorneys, Mark O’Mara, has said that Zimmerman is a marked man and lives in fear for his life.
In fact, during court proceedings, Zimmerman didn’t disclose where he had been residing for more than a year, and he dared to venture outdoors only when in disguise. Zimmerman also wore body armor.
“I believe his life is at risk, and I don’t say that for dramatic effect,” O’Mara said before the verdict. “There are a lot of people who think George killed Trayvon Martin for racial reasons, even though nothing supports that. And if they feel that anger enough, they could react violently.”
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) said Sunday that the Justice Department had a tough choice in deciding whether to bring federal civil rights charges against George Zimmerman…
“I know that investigation’s going on. As a former prosecutor, I know you wait until you see all the evidence,” Klobuchar said on ABC’s “This Week.”
“They’re going to have to make that decision. It’ll be a tough one.”
The NBC host asked, “And the president, does he have a role in speaking about it as he did after the shooting?”
“Yeah, of course,” said [Harry] Reid. “And I think the Justice Department’s 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.”
“This became a focus for a civil rights event,” O’Mara continued, “which again is a wonderful event to have. But they decided that George Zimmerman would the person who they were to blame and use as a creation of a civil rights violation, none of which was borne out by the facts. The facts that night was not borne out that he acted in a racial way. His history is a non racist.”
“If only those who decided to condemn Mr Zimmerman as quickly and as viciously as they did would have taken just a little bit of time to find out who it was they were condemning, it never would have happened,” O’Mara concluded. “And it certainly wouldn’t have happened if he was black, because those people who decided that they were going to make him the scapegoat would not have.”
Leaders at the nation’s oldest civil rights organization have spoken with senior members of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s team at the Justice Department about pursuing federal civil rights charges against George Zimmerman, NAACP president Ben Jealous said Sunday…
“We are glad what they began months back continues, which is a serious reviewing of everything that came out in this case, everything that was known before this case,” Jealous said…
“They will make a choice about whether or not they will pursue criminal civil rights charges. We are calling on them to do just that,” he said. “When you look at (Zimmerman’s) comments, when you look at his comments about young black men in that neighborhood, about how they felt specially targeted by him, there is reason to be concerned that race was a factor in why he targeted young Trayvon.”
“There will be a federal investigation, they will publicly discuss it, and there will not be charges filed,” Abrams said. “They can’t win in this case. They won’t win, and they know that.”
Click the image to watch.