The George Zimmerman trial is over, but Trayvonmania continues. President Obama, who’d previously said that if he’d had a son, he’d look like Trayvon, last week went further, saying that the unarmed black kid shot dead in 2012 “could have been me 35 years ago.” And over the weekend “Justice for Trayvon” rallies were held in cities across America.
These provocations from both the black President and thousands of black Americans were just too much for rightbloggers, who reiterated that if there was any racism in this country, it was suffered by them at the hands of the black overclass.
In his speech Obama’s reminded his fellow citizens that “there are very few African-American men in this country who haven’t had the experience… of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on the doors of cars” and other such indignities.
“Now, this isn’t to say that the African-American community is naive about the fact that African-American young men are disproportionately involved in the criminal justice system,” added Obama, “that they are disproportionately both victims and perpetrators of violence.” Nonetheless he acknowledged the “frustrations” felt by black folks.
Obama counseled demonstrators to stay nonviolent; recommended law enforcement work to “reduce the kind of mistrust in the system that sometimes currently exists,” and that the government look at laws — implicitly including Florida’s Stand Your Ground statute — to see if “they may encourage the kinds of altercations and confrontations and tragedies that we saw in the Florida case…” etc.
In other words, it was as mild and conciliatory a statement as a sane person would want under the circumstances. In fact, some commentators thought it didn’t go far enough; Tavis Smiley, who ain’t exactly H. Rap Brown, called it “weak as pre-sweetened Kool-Aid.”
Rightbloggers, on the other hand, reacted as if it were a black version of Enoch Powell’s “Rivers of Blood” speech, because it acknowledged something they absolutely refuse to accept: That white people have some advantages over black people in America.
(NB: It should be mentioned up front, to avoid confusion, that all rightbloggers speaking on the case accepted Zimmerman’s story that Martin struck him first as a settled fact, and some even took the theorizing to that effect of witness Rachel Jeantel, whom they had mocked and reviled during the trail, as evidence thereof.)
“President Trayvon Obama – Never Let A Good Crisis Go To Waste – Divisive Obama Injects Himself To Insure Racial Tensions Explode,” headlined The Conservative Treehouse. “OBAMA CONTINUES RACIAL ZIMMERMAN NARRATIVE WHILE HISPANICS TARGETED” said Ben Shapiro of Breitbart.com. “He cheered for emotionalism and for the perspective that insists it is always about race,” said Jennifer Rubin at the Washington Post. “The Divider & Narcissist in Chief Barack Obama … Trayvon Martin Could Have Been Me (VIDEO & Transcript) … Obama Fans the Flames of Racism,” howled Scared Monkeys. “…Sorry, but Obama is a poor excuse of a president and a poor excuse of a human being. All he can do is attack his own racism and past to Trayvon Martin like a leach.”
Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit cried, “Good Grief.. Barack Obama: If You Lock Your Car Doors… You Must Be Racist.” “Martin was the aggressor. Is Obama trying to suggest otherwise?” said Nice Deb. (See, we told you.) “Michael Savage gives a Negro caller a piece of his mind,” cheered Ozzie Saffa. “…And before people go on about him being a Jew, he’s just about the only Jewish person I’ve ever heard who is a Jew realist.”
(Speaking of rightbloggers who aren’t even pretending anymore, Howard Portnoy of Liberty Unyielding said Obama was just “making excuses” for black criminals like that unarmed kid who got shot to death, and “the fact that the maker of the excuses is himself partly of white lineage makes the remarks inexcusable.”)
Many of the brethren seemed never to have heard of this “racism” thing at all. “It’s unbelievable that the President of the United States has stood up and said that the result would have been different if a white teenager had been shot,” said apparent shut-in Chris Carrington at The Daily Sheeple.
Or if they had heard of it, it was as something black people did: “Yeah this is what I’d like to have discussed some,” said Ace of Spades: “the black racism of an unthinking, reflexive idea of black solidarity and getting vengeance on the white man… you’re not even allowed to mention the specter of black racism — or, if racism isn’t the right word, black racial solidarity…” (This is a classic example of the Rightblogger First Amendment Fallacy, whereby they think the Bill of Rights, in addition to allowing them to say stuff like this, also protects them from being laughed at for it.)
William Teach thought it was all just an excuse for a Big Gummint Gun Grab. “Democrats like Obama,” he said, “want to take the notion of self defense away from citizens (but not for themselves, of course).” What — Democrats get to have guns and Republicans don’t? Sweet!
“He is inciting instead of calming, which is what a leader does,” said — get this — Pamela Geller of Atlas Shrugs, who has spent the past ten years trying to inflame a global race war. “They picked the wrong case to exploit to their own racist ends, and still he and his thugocracy persist in spite of the facts. Stoking the flames. Stoking the failure. Stoking the lack of personal responsibility. Stoking the dissatisfaction… War. What else could be his endgame except to pit American against American?”
Believe it or not, that was not the frothiest part of Geller’s rant. She also accused Obama of “sedition,” and added, “his flapping tongue is too eager to publicly lynch George Zimmerman, but strangely silent on Banghazi… Obama’s flapping tongue is strangely silent on the failure of Trayvon Martin’s parents.” Now that’s how you do racial healing, Pamela Geller style: Tell off the dead kid’s parents!
Radio shouter Mark Levin said Obama was trying “to stoke what he believes, what he hopes — I’m saying the truth — will be fires, emotional, to pile on with [Al] Sharpton, pile on with all of them…” and then bit the head off a chicken.
neo-neocon, allegedly a trained therapist, distance-psychoanalyzed the President at Legal Insurrection. “Obama has already described the origins of at least some of his strong feelings about profiling” in the scene from Dreams from my Father where he learned his grandmother had racist feelings and felt “for the first time that I was utterly alone.” “Well, he’s not utterly alone now, is he?” said neo-neocon. “He has a bully pulpit to try to avenge the perceived psychological wounds of his childhood… Obama’s certainly not going to ground and pound Zimmerman, but he’ll use his formidable resources to perpetuate the idea that Zimmerman was a ‘typical white person’ who profiled Martin for being black.” neo-neoncon always knew those people, we mean this person couldn’t control himself! Professionally speaking, of course. Five cents, please.
“People are still stunned at how self-serving Barack Obama’s remarks were last year when he said that if he a had a son he would look like Trayvon Martin,” said Ulsterman, presumably meaning by “people” the guys with whom he drinks corn liquor under a big Confederate flag on hot summer days, dreaming of what might have been. “Now Obama raises the self-involvement even further, saying just today that ‘Trayvon could have been me.’ Unfreaking believable…” Ulsterman then showed a picture he captioned, “the young, half-white Barack Obama with his alleged White college girlfriend,” just so we’d know where his head was at.
Obama is of course only the black person these guys hate the most; the others they portrayed, as is traditional for them, as feckless criminals and criminals-in-waiting who for some reason think white people have it better than they do, and are perhaps — who knows where they got this idea — holding them back.
At National Review, Heather Mac Donald sniffed, “The idea that the criminal-justice system discriminates against blacks — and that this bias explains blacks’ disproportionate presence in custody — is a staple of civil-rights activism and of the academic Left. Every effort to prove it empirically, however, has come up short.” Funny, New York’s Stop-and-Frisk policy actually does overtly discriminate against blacks, and Heather Mac Donald vigorously and regularly defends the policy on those grounds (“the police can’t deploy their resources where people most need protection from violence — in minority neighborhoods — without producing racially disproportionate stops”). This is her position in the National Review article, too: “Trayvon Martin’s race could well have been a factor in Zimmerman’s initial suspicion of him. But that is because the known suspects in the recent pattern of burglaries in his neighborhood were black.” So really, why should any black person think himself exempt from patdowns from cops, or for that matter from armed vigilantes? And they have the nerve to complain about discrimination!
At The American Spectator, Jeffrey Lord said Zimmerman was the real victim of bigotry: Drawing on the newly-rehabilitated Rachel Jeantel’s theory that Martin felt Zimmerman might have a sexual interest in him, Lord said, “the really great unmentionable here is the wider problem of homophobia in the black community,” and cited some anti-gay bias crimes in which blacks were the perpetrators and a statement by noted black leader 50 Cent. Thus Martin striking Zimmerman, in whatever order it happened, “if Jeantel is telling the truth, is in fact a federal hate crime,” Lord deduced.
Now, Lord had previously shown his interest in gay rights mainly by denouncing gay marriage, as in his “GOP Elites and the Abolition of Marriage” essay, in which he said gays getting married would “wind up ending the institution of marriage itself” and lead to “polygamy… bigamy… adult incest, prostitution… [and] adultery.” Nonetheless he now professed concern for his gay brethren, and asked, “why is it that only Rush Limbaugh has the guts to talk about black homophobia and the controversial news that Trayvon Martin just might have been homophobic?… Rush is fearless in walking-the-walk while supposed black leaders like Eric Holder or the NAACP or the President of the United States can only talk-the-talk.” If only Lord can get black folks to accept Limbaugh’s leadership, it could spell salvation for both white people and the polygamy-enabling gays.
Others just — well, here: “Yeah, well, that old racial shuck and jive only works so long, and then you gotta come up wit sumpin else. Just 20 percent of whites chalk up differential outcomes to racism, so the left’s shakedown artists better step up their game, mf’s. Yo, Al Sharpton, you wit me brother?!!” said Donald Douglas of American Power.
“I’m not here to retry this case,” said PJ Media’s Bill Whittle in a video, but he did, and decided that “Trayvon Martin was not the child portrayed on the People magazine cover or in the hoodie,” describing him instead as “violent and highly sexualized” and claiming that Martin was “waiting for Zimmerman” the night he was shot, which is a new one on us. Whittle ended up yelling that Zimmerman — the guy who got away with killing an unarmed black kid — was the one being lynched, and that “there’s no journalism at the New York Times!” and telling us to get our news from The Conservative Treehouse instead. Then he told us how shocked and disgusted he was that all those Martin supporters were citing Martin Luther King, which is kind of a watershed moment in real-racist bullshit.
As the planned demonstrations came up, many of the brethren predicted race war, just as they had right after the verdict. “With Saturday’s spate of protests across the country organized by Al Sharpton,” said Ben Shapiro, “the unfortunate possibility of significant violence by protesters against Hispanics rears its ugly head.” “Obama Splashes Gasoline on Trayvon Violence,” said Moonbattery. “By whipping up mobs that are already out of control… Obama appears to be setting up a row of dominos that will inevitably fall when one of the sociopathic punks he so openly identifies with attacks someone with a gun who defends himself.”
Alas for them, the formal Martin demonstrations that took place this weekend in dozens of cities were mostly peaceful; even the bloodthirsty blog Fire Andrea Mitchell couldn’t find enough violence to maintain their hard-on. Not that they didn’t try. For example, they reported from San Bernadino, “thugs attack an innocent police horse“; they described a minor incident in Stockton (which the local paper described as “one man was arrested Saturday after demonstrators disregarded police instructions to stay out of the streets”) as a “riot“; and, hearing that there were four people shot in Brooklyn last weekend, speculated, “there also happened to be one of Obama/Al Sharpton’s Trayvon Martin protests going on in Brooklyn. So is the shooting related to it? The media will hide the facts, so it’s not known yet.” They might have first looked at a map showing how large Brooklyn is, but instead added, “Keeping ginning up these race riots you race hustlers.” These guys get Ooga Booga extra credit!
Ann Althouse made her own valiant effort in the world of pure imagination: She read about one demonstrator who “came to the rally remembering her 14-year old brother who she said was killed by a police officer several decades ago,” per the Chicago Tribune. The demonstrator said, “We need solutions; we need something concrete; we need change,” Althouse chirped, “We need something concrete… Speaking of concrete, does anyone at these rallies mention that Martin bashed Zimmerman’s head on the concrete?” Althouse is a professor of law.
Other rightbloggers tried to wave away the demonstrations, but always with some snarling that betrayed their bewilderment and hurt. “My sense is that the ‘Justice for Trayvon’ rallies that were held in various cities today didn’t amount to much,” snorted John Hinderaker at Power Line. “The salient point is that the people who sponsored the ‘Justice for Trayvon’ rallies are the same tired leftists who have organized all the other protests in recent years… As always, leftists are trying to capitalize on others’ tragedies to advance their worn-out agenda.”
“TRAYVON MARTIN PROTEST LEADERS REVEALED” hollered Aaron Klein of WorldNetDaily. Dream Defenders, he reported “was spawned by activists employed by a who’s who of the race-hijacking radical left.” These organizations included the union SEIU — ‘scuse us, the “socialist-oriented SEIU” (because unions, right?), the now defunct but forever-alive-in-rightblogger-hearts ACORN, and “a litany of George Soros-funded organizations” including — prepare to tremble in your boots — the United States Student Association. Plus one of the organizers worked for The American Prospect! Amazingly, the article didn’t mention Saul Alinsky, though they did sneak in Bill Ayers at the end; it’s sort of WorldNetDaily’s signature move.
Referring to the “I Am Trayvon” slogan some supporters were using, Daniel Greenfield of FrontPageMag assured readers that “I Am Not Trayvon Martin,” because if he were shot and killed, “lacking the Black Skin Privilege that turns a death into an opportunity for race baiting, I would just be another statistic. There would be no rallies for me and no t-shirts with my name on it. No one would be talking about how they are me or aren’t me.” We can’t understand how white people survive day after day under that kind of oppression. Maybe Greenfield could have his skin darkened so he can enjoy some of that Black Skin Privilege. It worked for John Howard Griffin!
But a few pretended to be sympathetic, explaining to black people in a gentle, reasonable tone how stupid they were to get worked up about this dead kid.
At Legal Insurrection, Andrew Branca started his “Stand-Your-Ground: Gun Control Zombies Exploit Grieving Black Community” post by warming up the crowd with jokes about the demonstrators: “As the racialist wing of our body politic suffers through the Kubler-Ross seven stages of grief at the ‘Not Guilty’ verdict in the Zimmerman trial, we find that they are currently transitioning from the ‘Anger’ to ‘Bargaining’ stage.” Come on, folks, this got big laughs back at the klavern.
Later Branca offered an olive branch to whatever black people might be reading an Andrew Branca post: “First, it must be acknowledged that the grief and anger in the black community is real and genuine,” he consoled. “I’m not, of course, talking about the ring leaders who are fostering this grief and anger for their own personal benefit. I’m talking about the average black person on the streets who obtains most if not all of their information about these matters from those ring leaders and their willing enablers in the mainstream media.” See, he doesn’t think you black folks are evil, just ignorant! “The fault with this misplaced outrage of Zimmerman’s perfectly appropriate acquittal,” he went on, “lies not with the typical black person in the community, but rather with their racial leaders…” Keep talking, pal, you’re making friends by the minute.
At IJ Review, Kyle Becker tried to win hearts and minds with a slideshow called “Trayvon Martin: A Life and Tragic Death in Pictures.” People like valedictory slideshows, right? How about one that’s introduced like this:
“Trayvon Martin lived a tragic life and died an unfortunate death. Of all the thousands of murders of young black men every year, the media seized on one case of a ‘white Hispanic’ shooting a young black man, even after the former was allegedly assaulted, in order to make the point that America is still racist. Blacks are thus presumably in need of the left’s brand of ‘social justice’ to liberate them…”
Yeah, Buzzfeed can rest easy. Still, Becker tried to pitch it: Later in the intro, he said, seemingly sympathetically, “The picture of Trayvon Martin as a drug-addled ‘gangsta wannabe’ was spread by ‘right-wing media’ to show that he had to be guilty of picking on the upstanding citizen George Zimmerman.” See, he’s on your side, folks! But when you went through the slideshow, you found exactly those “spread by ‘right-wing media'” photos, with captions like these: “Trayvon Martin was involved in sports and appeared to be physically stronger than most of the media’s cherry-picked photos implied… Trayvon Martin seems to be a skinny runt in many mainstream media pictures. Obviously, the young man was developing some physique.” Bizarrely, a picture of Martin flipping the double bird was captioned, “Like many other teens, Trayvon liked to be flippant with his friends. Tragically, his health is somewhat in question here.”
And there was the usual stuff about how most black people are killed by black people, so why you crying? Investors Business Daily explained the high black murder rate in Chicago thus: “Chicago, like Illinois, is overtaxed and overregulated, a climate that attracts neither businesses nor people… Progressive liberalism does not teach the values of hard work and reaping the fruits of one’s labor. It gives men fish instead of teaching them how to fish… among blacks, 72% of births are to unmarried women. Yet President Obama focuses on gay marriages…”
The best of this lot was by Pat Fucking Buchanan (“Black America’s Real Problem Isn’t White Racism”), simply because it was Pat Fucking Buchanan. Really, it’s like having an essay on the Jews written by, oh, Pat Fucking Buchanan.
When Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake dedicated a song to Trayvon Martin at Yankee Stadium, tens of thousands of fans showed their appreciation by holding up lit cellphones, but NewsBusters’ Noel Sheppard seethed, “Much as Fox News’s Greta Van Susteren asked after Atlanta Falcons wide receiver tweeted a vile comment about the Zimmerman jurors last week, one has to wonder how much of the trial either of these geniuses actually watched.” One might be more inclined to wonder why Sheppard saw a song offered in tribute to a dead 17-year-old, the lyrics of which had nothing to do with the trial, and got so pissed. Maybe a black guy filling Yankee Stadium had something to do with it; come to think of it, Sheppard seems like he wouldn’t have liked Reggie Jackson, either.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 21, 2013