What hath Trayvon Wrought?

I was not planning on writing about the Martin-Zimmerman saga again.  For one thing, I just wasn’t that into it.  I had the normal amount of public interest in the story, and since it was a local one, it’s always interesting to watch your local area mischaracterized by the national press.  But it wasn’t an obsession for me and I thought my previous post would be my last take on the subject.

Al Sharpton

Al Sharpton (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But post verdict, the issue refused to die.  My twitter feed, my Facebook news feed, my web forums, and my television news are all filled with the results of the post verdict world, and it is not pretty.  The MSM is insisting that this is racial issue, with Trayvon now elevated into the exalted ranks of civil rights martyrs such as Emmitt Till and James Chaney.  The New York Times, which basically functions as the editor to every newspaper and TV newsroom in the country, has declared it a racial issue.  So by the preponderance of noise, if not reason or evidence; it’s a racial issue.

And what made George Zimmerman the 21st Century Bull Connor and George Wallace combined?

He mentored black children in the neighborhood;

He tried to raise awareness of police ignoring the beating of a black man;

He took a black girl to the prom;

He had a black business partner;

He was a registered Democrat and Obama supporter;

and was part black himself.

So George Zimmerman, who told family members he supported Obama for President because he wanted to end the Presidency as a club for white men, found himself declared a white man, and a racist one to boot, even being slandered by innuendo by the very President he supported.  Of course, someone could have an item or two off of that check list and still be a racist, but all of them, with no actual proof otherwise?

Considering that there are actual racial crimes that occur on a regular basis, what made the press champion this phony racial issue?

I think it’s all due to Al Sharpton, the most powerful media influence in America.  The fact that he is so powerful is fairly amazing.  He hosts a low rated show on a low rated network, but was able to galvanize a nation into following his racial witch hunt all the way to Sanford, Florida.  And why did Sharpton pick that case, when there is an abundance of real racial cases to choose from?

That requires knowing a little something of Sharpton’s history, and as someone who has been a Sharpton follower since the Tawana Brawley debacle, Sharpton has created quite a reputation as a fraud and huckster, and an anti Semitic one as well.

So I think, and let me emphasize that this is just speculation, that Sharpton’s interest was piqued when he heard the name Zimmerman.  I think Sharpton intended to create Crown Heights all over again. Of course, even though Zimmerman turned out not to be Jewish, he apparently could still stand in for white, and he was presented as such, leading the New York Times to include the term “White Hispanic” in its style book;  apparently with a picture of George Zimmerman by the phrase.

So Sharpton, along with MSM, set up a fake racial issue, and have promulgated it fairly successfully for the past year, with really no effective counter narrative.  They’ve managed to increase racial division in this country and seem to intend on continuing it as long as possible. For liberal whites, it serves as a vehicle to drive their agenda, which is increased gun control and elimination of legal protections for self defense.  And what do Black people get out of this?  Anger, hurt, and distrust of their fellow Americans.

Not a great bargain in my opinion.

And the biggest outrage of them all?  The Justice Department is setting up an email address to receive tips to assist in the George Zimmerman investigation.  Now, given that the criminal trial is already over, what “tips” could the Justice Department be seeking?  Why, to charge Zimmerman with Federal Civil Rights violations. And to do that,  they need evidence that Zimmerman is racist.  So if Zimmerman used the N-word in Middle School, he could find himself indicted for felony charges.

So the entire weight of the Federal government is going after one guy to see if he told a racist joke at any point in his life.  If he did, it better be one about gringos.

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L’affaire Zimmerman

Now that the verdict is in, I feel I need to take responsibility and admit I was wrong.  When the name Zimmerman first became a household word in March of last year, I correctly predicted that Zimmerman would be indicted, however I also felt, up until last night, that he would be convicted.  So I was surprised to  see “Not Guilty” on Drudge.  Given that I’ve had a pretty good track record in outguessing the experts, I have to concede that even a stopped expert can be right twice a day.  Although the “system” seemed to work in a judicial sense, justice was never the purpose of the trial; it was intended to be a revolutionary court that would find Zimmerman guilty of racism in the first degree.

George Zimmerman

George Zimmerman (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

The ironic thing is that like most revolutionary courts, eventually they turn on, and eat, their own.  Zimmerman was an Obama supporter, and was as much a wanna-be community organizer as a wanna-be cop.  Just like Paula Deen, an Obama supporter, found herself voted most buttery racist in America.  So now, Deen is the symbol of genteel Southern racism and Zimmerman is now the number one creepy ass racist cracker in the country.

This was never a case about doughy neighborhood watchman who shot a teenager in the heart and claimed self defense, this has always been a case a Black kid shot by Hispanic guy who was standing in for White.  Race has been the only aspect of this case that made it a national story.  It’s colored (yes, pun intended of course) the view of the two actors in our little racial drama.  There was St. Skittles, the honor student who was viciously attacked by a cop wanna-be, who was angry that these “assholes, they always get away.”  Or, there was Community Activist George Zimmerman, who cared about his community and tried to get justice from the Sanford Police Department after they tried to cover up the beating of a black man who found himself threatened one rainy night by no_limit_nigga, a thug wanna-be who jumped Zimmerman, knocked him down, and told him that, you’re gonna die tonight.”

At this point in the narrative, it’s customary to ask rhetorically, which is true?  Both?  Neither?  Actually it doesn’t matter.  Since this is strictly a racial issue, you pick a side and adopt their arguments.   You don’t need to worry about the truth, that’s already been picked out for you.  And if revolutionary courts don’t do the job, then on to Holder’s Justice Department to once again inflict double jeopardy on a new defendant.  Between a Justice Department civil rights investigation, and civil suit, Zimmerman’s trial isn’t over, the trials of George Zimmerman are just beginning.

To you, Tom Wolfe, who correctly predicted the template of racial “justice!”

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Policing the Racists

The political blogosphere was both atwitter and Twitter over the firing of John Derbyshire from National Review this weekend.  Not for nothing though.  Derbyshire posted a column last Thursday on the Taki’s Magazine website called, “The Talk: Nonblack version.”  Due to the Trayvon Martin shooting hysteria, much has been made of The Talk in the national media.  The Talk, as defined by the New York Times (where I go to find out what being black in America is like) is, “the one that has nothing to do with sex, and everything to do with what it means to be a black teenager in a country with a history of regarding young black men as a threat. The talk about standing up straight, dressing the part, keeping your hands in sight at all times and never, ever letting your anger get the best of you.

That’s not bad advice for anyone, particularly when dealing with law enforcement, but that sort of talking to is totally unlike Derbyshire’s version; which consists of “guidance” to his children.  A sample of such advice consists of:

(10a) Avoid concentrations of blacks not all known to you personally.

John Derbyshire

John Derbyshire (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(10b) Stay out of heavily black neighborhoods.

(10c) If planning a trip to a beach or amusement park at some date, find out whether it is likely to be swamped with blacks on that date (neglect of that one got me the closest I have ever gotten to death by gunshot).

(10d) Do not attend events likely to draw a lot of blacks.

If you want to read the whole thing, you can go to the website, but I think you get the idea, but the one that particularly bothered me was this:

Only one black in six is more intelligent than the average white; five whites out of six are more intelligent than the average black.

By the most standard definitions of racism, that’s racist.

On the face of it, Derbyshire was probably conflating IQ with intelligence, a mistake that is its own whole area of social commentary.  Although the IQ/Intelligence topic is worth reviewing, it’s not necessary to read Derbyshire’s mean spiritedness in this piece.  This wasn’t meant as a joke or parody, Derbyshire was being serious.  In probably the only bit of actual reporting ever done by the website Think Progress, they actually contacted Derbyshire to check if he meant it as some kind of parody.  Rather than taking the opportunity to back off of his harsh column, he double downed on it, “I’d call it social commentary.”  More to the point, Derbyshire wasn’t hiding from the accusation of being a racist, he admitted it.

Given that, I would say National Review had no choice.  NR editor Rich Lowery posted a comment disavowing Derbyshire’s piece Friday night and by Saturday posted another comment letting him go from the magazine staff.  Lowery gave a pretty clear eyed reason:

“His latest provocation, in a webzine, lurches from the politically incorrect to the nasty and indefensible. We never would have published it, but the main reason that people noticed it is that it is by a National Review writer. Derb is effectively using our name to get more oxygen for views with which we’d never associate ourselves otherwise. So there has to be a parting of the ways.”

This wasn’t about political correctness, but about letting one writer’s racism contaminate the reputation of the National Review, and by extension, the conservative movement.  I think National Review did the right thing in letting Derbyshire go. One of the ways that William F. Buckley, founder of the magazine and probably the godfather of modern American conservatism, helped make conservatism a legitimate force in American politics again was by pushing out the conspiracy nuts and other cranks that contributed nothing to the movement but bad press.

Without Buckley and his cleaning up of conservatism, there would have been no Reagan, and Obama’s current (public) views would now be considered center right.

The left had a field day with Derbyshire’s appearance at CPAC. How much more of that crap does the right need to allow? It’s not as though the right controls the message, the left does since they control the media.   That’s why the left not only doesn’t need, but just doesn’t’ police their own.  They are immune from the kookiness of their fringe nuts.  It’s why the media will drumbeat their coverage of Republican birthers, even though birtherism originated with the pro-Hillary Democrats.  Meanwhile, during the Bush administration more than half of Democrats believed Bush was complicit in the 9/11 attacks, but since they also control the media, it never taints them.

Unfair or not, it’s the way it is so it falls on the right to be diligent in making sure that we police our racists and conspiracy theorists.  So Derbyshire can continue to write what he wants, where he wants, but just not under the banner of the National Review.

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Obamacare on Trial

I realize that at this moment in time, far more people are concerned about Trayvon Martin’s tweets or George Zimmerman’s facial injuries, but this week there was something far more important happening, with much longer lasting consequences

The United States Supreme Court, the highest c...

The United States Supreme Court, the highest court in the United States, in 2010. Top row (left to right): Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer, Associate Justice Samuel A. Alito, and Associate Justice Elena Kagan. Bottom row (left to right): Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, and Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

than anything that happens in Sanford’s Bonfire of the Vanities.  I’m talking about the oral arguments for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or as it’s more commonly known; Obamacare.

Not since the second Militia Act of 1792 has the Congress ordered citizens to purchase something.  In that case, it was a musket and accessories.  But that was under the President’s article 2 powers, not the commerce clause, so the Obamacare mandate to purchase health insurance is something brand new.  Unless you’re simply a statist who regards the State as superior to everything else in society, including the constitution, that’s a tough sell.  And Solicitor General Donald Verrilli showed that before the Supreme Court on Tuesday.

Verrilli has taken a lot of heat for his nervous stumbling and bumbling before the court, but I’m not sure if he had been composed, calm, and collected it would have made a difference.  He just didn’t have good arguments.  Particularly for questions that he must have known that he would be asked, as when Justice Kennedy asked about the limits of the commerce clause.  I don’t think even Joe Pesci from My Cousin Vinny could have saved this case.

I was particularly struck by the news coverage this week that the pundits, talking heads, and reporters simply accepted as a given that the four liberal judges would vote to uphold the law, no questions asked.  The debate seemed to roll around the idea that Justice Kennedy, the swing vote, could be persuaded to come down on the side of the law.  There was even some speculation that Chief Justice Roberts might put aside “politics” to vote to uphold.

Since of course to vote the law down is political, but to uphold the law would just be good jurisprudence!

But for the liberal judges there isn’t that sort of pressure.  No one is asking the liberal justices to “put aside politics.”  One of the benefits of being a liberal judge who believes in a living, breathing, constantly evolving constitution is that you don’t have to worry about the actual text of the constitution, or the intent of the founders.  A living constitution means never having to say you’re sorry.  Or, to put it another way, if the law feels good, do it.

Leave the cracking of books to the strict constructionist eggheads.

If the individual mandate goes down, it would be with a bit of irony, since President Obama originally opposed the mandate during the 2008 campaign, using some of the same arguments against Hillary that the President’s opponents are now using against him.

He should have stuck with his first instinct.

We’re not going to find out how this all plays out until later this summer when the court releases its decision even though the Justices likely voted on this issue today.  But I’m not afraid to go ahead and handicap the decision now.  My gut feeling is that the odds are better than even that the court will uphold the mandate.  I base that on the fact that the mandate has 4 automatic votes for.  So that means that only one vote is needed to be swayed among the other five Justices who actually have to study this case (unlike Ginsberg and Breyer, who will be windsurfing instead of reading law books).

But if the mandate is overturned, I think it’s likely that most of the law will stand intact.  I figure the Justices will just throw this mess back to Congress to fix the creaking boat of Obamacare with a mandate sized hole in the bottom of it. The Congress, divided as it is, will be able to accomplish nothing.  At least until next year.  And what then happens to health reform will largely depend on which party does well in November.

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There’s a Lynch Mob Down South…

…and by down south, I mean Sanford Florida, which is south of me, about 10 minutes away.  So the Trayvon Martin issue was a local news item several weeks before it became an international one.  But the character of the tragedy has changed over time:

SANFORD, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) – Investigators with the Sanford Police Department are still trying to figure out exactly what happened during an altercation which resulted in a fatal shooting in the Twin Lakes area.   The shooting happened just after 7 p.m. Sunday evening on Twin Trees Lane.  A man who witnessed part of the altercation contacted authorities.

“The guy on the bottom, who had a red sweater on, was yelling to me, ‘Help! Help!’ and I told him to stop, and I was calling 911,” said the witness, who asked to be identified only by his first name, John.

John said he locked his patio door ran upstairs and heard at least one gun shot.

“And then, when I got upstairs and looked down, the guy who was on the top beating up the other guy, was the one laying in the grass, and I believe he was dead at that point.”

So in this eyewitness version, the attacker was the one who ended up dead, and Zimmerman was the one crying for help.  That leads me to think there is ample reason for the police to at least take seriously a possible self defense angle and it makes sense that the police would investigate this thoroughly before either making an arrest or closing the case. But as far as the mass media is concerned, there has only ever been one issue in this case: race.  Of course, this incident occurred almost a month ago.  And apparently it’s not nearly as good a story as the one that the media decided to run with. The news coverage this week has had quite a different flavor.  Over the top is more like it.

The big tent of this particular circus is MSNBC, (Leaning Leftward!).  Today hosting on the Martin Bashir Show, Karen Finney, frequent MSNBC guest, went into what seemed to be a prepared monologue in which she blamed both Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich for the climate that lead to Trayvon’s death. Morning Joe’s Mika Brzezinski went out of her way to blame the shooting on Rush Limbaugh.  Also on Thursday she stated that that if Zimmerman was bloodied and disheveled, he probably did it to himself.  Great police work there Mika!

The entire coverage of this incident has resembled much more peasants lighting their torches and sharpening their pitchforks than actual coverage.  Of course, there are motives.  Hysteria is a good sell, but the racial issue warps our attention away from facts to make this issue only about race.  For some on the MSNBC payroll, like Al Sharpton, racial rabble rousing is his career.  Even though he is responsible for more dead bodies than George Zimmerman, Sharpton can be expected to ride this to even more influence.

The basic facts of the case don’t seem to make this a racial issue, but everyone wants it to be.  However the basic facts no longer matter. Usually, the US has a fairly adequate, if by no means perfect, justice system.  However when it comes to race, everything goes out the window.  Race makes us lose our damn minds.  That’s why Casey Anthony can get a fair trial and get acquitted (even though we all know she did it), but the police who beat Rodney King were given a second trial in violation of constitutional protections against double jeopardy to make sure the second trial gave the “right” verdict.

This isn’t an attempt to excuse Zimmerman.  The minute he decided to follow Martin after the 911 dispatcher told him not to, he was in the wrong.  The problem with police wannabes like Zimmerman is that they do tend to attract police attention one way or the other.  Even if Martin later turned around and attacked Zimmerman for some unknown reason, the whole thing could have been avoided if Zimmerman had just sat in his car.  He didn’t and now a teenage boy is dead.

It would be easy to get on the bandwagon and demand Zimmerman’s head on a pike.  That is what all the cool kids are doing.  However I’m perfectly content to see what the investigation uncovers.  I’ve no desire to join the other villagers in burning down the windmill until we have more facts, instead of inaccurate ranting from MSNBC hosts.  Ultimately though, it may not matter what facts are uncovered.  We’ve moved beyond mere facts now.

Meanwhile, as Sanford has its own bonfire of the vanities, I expect Tim Wolfe will write the nonfiction version of this story. Another thing I’m sure of is that Zimmerman will be indicted for something; anything.

The mob demands it.

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