Saturday, April 28, 2012

You only thought lynching was a thing of the past

Thomas Sowell writes:

 Whatever the ultimate outcome of the case against George Zimmerman for his shooting of Trayvon Martin, what has happened already is enough to turn the stomach of anyone who believes in either truth or justice.
An amazing proportion of the media has given us a painful demonstration of the thinking — and lack of thinking — that prevailed back in the days of the old Jim Crow South, where complexion counted more than facts in determining how people were treated.

One of the first things presented in the media was a transcript of a conversation between George Zimmerman and a police dispatcher. The last line in most of the transcripts shown on TV was that of the police dispatcher telling Zimmerman not to continue following Trayvon Martin.

That became the basis of many media criticisms of Zimmerman for continuing to follow him. Only later did I see a transcript of that conversation on the Sean Hannity program that included Zimmerman’s reply to the police dispatcher: “Okay.”

That reply removed the only basis for assuming that Zimmerman did in fact continue to follow Trayvon Martin. At this point, neither I nor the people who assumed that he continued to follow the teenager have any basis in fact for believing that he did or didn’t.

Why was that reply edited out by so many in the media? Because too many people in the media see their role as filtering and slanting the news to fit their own vision of the world. The issue is not one of being “fair” to “both sides” but, more fundamentally, of being honest with their audience.

NBC News carried the editing even further, removing one of the police dispatcher’s questions, to which Zimmerman was responding, in order to feed the vision of Zimmerman as a racist.

In the same vein were the repeated references to Zimmerman as a “white Hispanic.” Zimmerman is half-white. So is Barack Obama. But does anyone refer to Obama as a “white African”?

All these verbal games grow out of the notion that complexion tells you who is to be blamed and who is not. It is a dangerous game because race is no game. If the tragic history of the old Jim Crow South in this country is not enough to show that, the history of racial and ethnic tragedies is written in blood in countries around the world. Millions have lost their lives because they looked different, talked differently, or belonged to a different religion.

In the midst of the Florida tragedy, there was a book published with the unwieldy title, No Matter What . . . They’ll Call This Book Racist. Obviously it was written well before the shooting in Florida, but its message — that there is rampant hypocrisy and irrationality in public discussions of race — could not have been better timed.

Author Harry Stein, a self-described “reformed white liberal,” raised by parents who were even further to the left, exposes the illogic and outright fraudulence that lies behind so much of what is said about race in the media, in politics, and in our educational institutions. He asks a very fundamental question: “Why, even after the Duke University rape fiasco, does the media continue to give credence to every charge of racism?”

Harry Stein credits Shelby Steele’s book White Guilt with opening his eyes to one of the sources of many counterproductive things said and done about race today — namely, guilt about what was done to blacks and other minorities in the past.

Let us talk sense, like adults. Nothing that is done to George Zimmerman — justly or unjustly — will unlynch a single black man who was tortured and killed in the Jim Crow South for a crime he didn’t commit.

Letting hoodlums get away with hoodlumism today does not undo a single injustice of the past. It is not even a favor to the hoodlums, for many of whom this is just the first step on a path that leads to the penitentiary, and maybe to the execution chamber.

Winston Churchill said, “If the past sits in judgment on the present, the future will be lost.” He wasn’t talking about racial issues, but what he said applies especially where race is involved.

Some may wonder why I am spending more time on this subject than the upcoming presidential election.  The short answer is that I identify with Mr. Zimmerman.

Like him I choose to carry a firearm for self-protection and can see myself in his place because under the same set of circumstances I would have done the same thing that he did.

If I were knocked to the ground and someone were sitting on me slamming my head into the concrete you had damn well better believe that I would shoot the son of a bitch.

What is happening in Florida is a terrible tragedy and I don't mean the death of Trayvon Martin.  The tragedy in Martin's case was that he chose to identify with hoodlum culture in his dress, his speech and his actions.  After that decision was made his future in either a prison cell or a slab at the morgue became if not written in stone at least a very likely possibility. 

No the tragedy I am referring to is the railroading of an innocent man, George Zimmerman, for the crime of choosing to be the one who survived a violent encounter one rainy night in Sanford, Florida.

If Zimmerman had not been armed he would be dead and Trayvon Martin would be sitting in a prison cell awaiting trial for murder and the media - outside of the local TV and newspapers - would not have the slightest interest in the matter. 

Race hustling maggots like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson would not have slithered into the area to decry the gang-chic culture that tells young blacks that the way to be cool and authentic is to mimic the behavior, speech and dress of the violent gutter thug.

The mainstream media would not have flooded the area and engaged in a campaign of outright lies to make Zimmerman look more sympathetic (by among other things publishing a picture of him as a twelve-year-old boy rather than a current photograph) and Martin look more guilty.

The President of the United States would not have poured gasoline on the fire by issuing a statement in which he attempted to establish a personal emotional connection to the late Mr. Zimmerman or saying something like, "If I had a son I would do all in my power to keep him from turning out like Trayvon".

No, if Trayvon Martin had completed his intention of murdering George Zimmerman on that wet night in Sanford the overwhelming majority of us would have never heard his name.

But George Zimmerman had a gun and the will to use it to preserve his life and so we all know his name and that of the young man whom he was forced to shoot.

The race maggots like Jackson and Sharpton and Obama are gorging themselves right alongside the sharks of the mainstream media on the wreckage of a good man's life and reputation.  A good man has committed the unpardonable sin of defending himself against a politically protected attacker and has placed himself in the cross-hairs of a corrupt politically motivated prosecutor as the governor and billion dollar tourist dependent business interests like Disney and Miami hotel operators cheer her on and call for the political/media lynching of an innocent man.

In George Zimmerman's place I would have done the same thing as he did and so I see the lynch mob coming after him as a threat to me as well.