Racing Past Justice


Like most of you, I was only dimly aware of the existence of George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin before last week. And like most of you, my familiarity with the two of them was limited to the bare bones of the case: Some guy shot and killed another guy who was wandering around inside a gated community, and the cops decided against pressing charges against the shooter because no evidence existed to counter his claim that he acted in self-defense. Figuring there was little more to the story—and considering Florida’s enactment of the “stand your ground” law which allows citizens to face down attackers with deadly force instead of running like scared bunnies—I didn’t give the case of Zimmerman and Martin much more attention.

And then, the Democrats—led by President Barack Obama—not only stepped into the fray; they stepped on a political land mine. As the usual vultures descended on Sanford, Fla., to turn what still appears to be a case of self-defense into a race war, something important disappeared behind the veil of liberal hate: justice.

I don’t know much about either Zimmerman or Martin. George Zimmerman, neighborhood watch captain and apparent newest target for hate groups like the Nation of Islam and the oddly ubiquitous New Black Panther Party, is a Hispanic man who may or may not have been acting in self-defense. Meanwhile, Trayvon Martin may or may not have attacked Zimmerman and precipitated his own demise. Zimmerman might be a loose-cannon type who ventured in search of blood and found it; or he might be an everyman hero who rid the planet of another dangerous predator. Martin might have been the next Clarence Thomas or Allen West; or he might have been the next Derek Bell or Al Sharpton. Unfortunately, the liberal swarm which has invaded the Sunshine State didn’t bother to find out before they rushed to judgment.

Now, instead of the measured response demanded by these same liberals when Troy Davis zeroed out at the tables, we’re treated to left wing blowhards—most of whom are whiter than Sunday at The Masters®—turning rhetorical cartwheels in an effort to make race the only discussion.

The self-serving attempts by some to insert race into this tragedy (and it IS a tragedy—for everyone involved) is particularly odious. A young black man is dead, killed by a Hispanic man who may or may not have been acting in self-defense. That’s ALWAYS terrible; for the shooter and the “shootee” alike. What everyone seems to forget when they turn these cases into public referenda is that both are PEOPLE; with families and friends.

Whether it’s vile parasites like MSNBC shock-talker Al Sharpton trying to make this into a black-white skirmish (which it can’t be, since Zimmerman is neither), buffoons like Geraldo Rivera somehow linking it to “hoodies” (which isn’t a far cry from “Of course she got raped; look at how she was dressed!”), the always-ridiculous New Black Panther Party placing a $10,000 dead or alive “bounty” on Zimmerman’s head (which introduces an interesting point: if the liberal concern in this case is about a lack of response by the justice system, then why do liberals remain silent on the lack of response by the justice system to terroristic threats from a known hate group?) or Obama guaranteeing race would overshadow right when he stated: “You know, if I had a son, he would look like Trayvon.”

Actually, if Obama had a son, I suspect he’d have bigger ears. But what the hell does that even mean? Does Obama mean to suggest that they would look alike because Martin was black (unlike the President, who is only 50 percent black)? Did the President of the United States just suggest that all black people look alike?

If George Zimmerman acted in self-defense, then Trayvon Martin’s race is inconsequential. And if Zimmerman is some idiot cowboy—well, that’s homicide—and we have remedies for that, too. As a good and wise friend of mine—who is not only a defense lawyer but also a committed Democrat suggested: “Let the law apply itself.”

-Ben Crystal

Personal Liberty

Ben Crystal

is a 1993 graduate of Davidson College and has burned the better part of the last two decades getting over the damage done by modern-day higher education. He now lives in Savannah, Ga., where he has hosted an award-winning radio talk show and been featured as a political analyst for television. Currently a principal at Saltymoss Productions—a media company specializing in concept television and campaign production, speechwriting and media strategy—Ben has written numerous articles on the subjects of municipal authoritarianism, the economic fallacy of sin taxes and analyses of congressional abuses of power.

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