Trayvon Martin was an unarmed teenager walking home from a convenience store with Skittles and iced tea, when he was shot to death by a racist, profiling wannabe cop named George Zimmerman.
In the Big Media, which has relentlessly sought out the voices of those most incensed by the verdict in Sanford, Fla., that is how the Saga of Trayvon Martin is being told. And from listening to TV reports of the rage across black America, that is what is widely believed there.
But is that what happened? Well, not exactly.
Trayvon Martin was not shot while walking home.
He was shot after sucker-punching George Zimmerman, breaking his nose, knocking him down, jumping on top of him, beating him martial arts style and banging his head on a concrete walk, while Zimmerman screamed again and again, “Help me, help me.”
This is what George Zimmerman said happened.
It is what the sole eyewitness to the fight, John Good, says happened. It is what Sanford police believed.
It is what the defense proved beyond a reasonable doubt. It is what that jury of six women came to believe.
Why, then, do so many in the black community believe Trayvon was profiled and murdered, when even most of the analysts on the cable news shows were saying in the last days of the trial that the prosecution had failed completely to make its case?
Answer: Many had convicted George Zimmerman in their hearts before the trial began. Here, as this writer noted a year ago, are some of the voices that had declared Zimmerman guilty of murder before a witness had been called.
“Blacks are under attack,” railed Jesse Jackson. “Killing us is big business.” Trayvon was “shot down in cold blood by a vigilante … murdered and martyred.”
“A hate crime,” said Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif. Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., said Trayvon had been “executed.”
The Grio compared his killing to the lynching of Emmett Till in Mississippi in 1955. The New Black Panther Party put Zimmerman’s face on a “Wanted Dead or Alive” poster, called for 5,000 black men to run him down and said Trayvon had been “murdered in cold blood.”
Spike Lee twittered Zimmerman’s home address.
And President Obama? Did he calm the waters? Hardly. He signaled whose side he was on. “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon,” he said.
Not only did they all inflame the black community into believing a racist atrocity had occurred, others still do so, even after the weeks of testimony that raised far more than a reasonable doubt.
Moments after the verdict, Al Sharpton ranted, “This is an atrocity.” He went on to explain the moral outrage that the ladies of the jury had just committed.
“What this jury has done is establish a precedent that when you are young and fit a certain profile, you can be committing no crime, just bringing some Skittles and iced tea home to your brother, and be killed.”
Did the ladies of the jury really establish such a “precedent”?
The four-term mayor of Washington, D.C., Marion Barry, has now brought his healing touch to the proceedings.
The Zimmerman verdict was “awful,” he said, another example of “institutionalized racism.” But look to Marion to find a bright side.
“The good news is that Zimmerman will never be in peace. He won’t be able to get a job. He’ll have to go underground, travel incognito and never live in peace. That’s the good news for me.” Now a comment like that might befit a James Earl Ray. But George Zimmerman? Who turned this neighborhood watch fellow, well-liked by all in his community, into some racist monster?
The night of the verdict, Mark O’Mara gave America the answer.
George “didn’t know why he was turned into a monster,” O’Mara told the assembled journalists. “But quite honestly, you guys had a lot to do with it. You took a story that was fed to you, and you ran with it, and you ran right over him, and that was horrid to him.”
Like his partner, Don West, O’Mara exhibited moral courage in that post-verdict press conference, as did that jury of six women, who rejected the prosecution’s pleas to at least give them manslaughter or child abuse.
President Obama might now exhibit a little moral courage of his own, by directing his Justice Department to halt this scavenger hunt for a “hate crime.” If Sanford police and the FBI could not find a hate crime, and the prosecution could not prove racial profiling or malice, what reason is there to believe any such motive ever existed?
If Barack Obama and Eric Holder capitulate to Al Sharpton’s demand for “Plan B” and the NAACP’s demand for a second trial of George Zimmerman for a crime of which he has been acquitted, most Americans will come to believe this is no search for justice, but a drive for racial retribution and revenge. And they will be right.
End this persecution of George Zimmerman, Mr. President.
Shut it down.