The left has never had much use for the facts in the Martin case. These days it seems all the same left-wing media types who were outraged by the Trayvon Martin story are now outraged that the right would raise a counter-narrative about the shooting of Chris Lane or the beating of Delbert Belton.
Toure says this is a “gross attempt to put Chris Lane on some kind of national scoreboard beside Trayvon and Jordan Davis and Oscar Grant, as if they’re all the same, as if this is all a gotcha game.”
Isn’t it amazing how those names–all of them black men killed by white (or white-Hispanic) men–roll of Toure’s tongue even as he claims no one is keeping score. Doesn’t it sounds an awful lot like he is keeping score? After all, he’s given us three cases of white on black interracial violence and zero cases of anything else. Are we not supposed to notice the pattern?
Toure assures us that the death of Chris Lane–a white man killed by bored teens, two of whom were black– isn’t the same sort of thing. Of course no case is ever exactly the same as any other so forget about Lane. Can Toure name any white victim of a black killer whose death is a racial injustice worthy of more national attention? Surely, given the number of questionable shootings, stabbings, muggings, beatings, etc. taking place in this country, Toure can come up with one name that does belong with the others he mentioned.
But of course Toure isn’t interested in highlighting cases in which blacks are victimizers rather than victims. He does not want Delbert Belton or Chris Lane to be part of that national conversation on race the left is always talking about. In Toure’s words, trying to introduce Chris Lane to that conversation “is signal jamming. Some of us are trying to talk about race in America and help the least fortunate and some are retorting with ‘You are the real racist’ in order to damage the conversation.”
This may come as a shock to Toure but there is more than one way to look at this. Many on the right are tired of being beaten about the head with accusations of racism based on cherry-picked cases, some of which (with the Martin case being the most egregious example) clearly do not back up the claims made for them.
In the same video clip (see below), Toure goes on to talk about how rare black on white crime really is. I assume he’s right on his figures. But of course, white on black crime is also extremely rare. Most murder is intra-racial in this country. So you simply can’t pick out three instances of white on black interracial violence, as Toure did, and then complain it’s cherry-picking if someone else puts forward an incident where the races of killer and victim have been reversed. Either this is not worth talking about or it is. If the right has a point it is this: We’re tired of you having this both ways. If we’re going to talk about this all the time, then once in a while we get to talk too.
And here’s where we get to the really dishonest claim being made by Toure and others, i.e. that outrage over the Martin case was primarily about the fact that George Zimmerman was not arrested. From the very beginning the left argued the Martin case was about racial profiling which led to a killing little different than the murder of Emmett Till. In other words a modern day lynching which took place for no reason other than that Martin was black. These ideas came directly from the family, aided by a media and even some Members of Congress.
Last March, Trayvon’s mother told the Today show “(Zimmerman) was reacting to the color of his skin.” Her attorney Benjamin Crump added “when are they going to arrest Zimmerman for killing this kid in cold blood? As we now know, Today show producers helpfully promoted the family’s point of view by carelessly editing the 911 call to make it seem as if Zimmerman was the one who brought up Martin’s race without being asked.
A few days later Martin’s mother gave an even more incendiary interview on Piers Morgan’s show in which she claimed “I believe that George Zimmerman hunted my son like an animal, tried todetain my son. My son tried to get away and because he could not detainmy son, an altercation ensued and my son was shot and killed.” Hunted. Wrongly detained. Killed. All because of the color of his skin. On the same show, family attorney Crump added that the police report saying otherwise was “a fabrication.”
Rep. Frederica Wilson took to the House floor and echoed the media narrative saying that Martin was “running for his life, he was screaming for help, fighting for his life and then he was murdered. Shot dead.” In an appearance with Martin’s mother, she said “Trayvon was hunted down like a rabid dog. He was shot in the street. He was racially profiled.”
Similarly, Rep. Corrine Brown did her part to further the narrative of racial outrage. She appeared on the Lawrence O’Donnell show and, after listening to part of the 911 audio, claimed “he [Zimmerman] clearly was the aggressor.” Rep. Brown refused to say whether she believed Zimmerman had used a racial epithet but allowed O’Donnell and his other guest to do so without contradiction. Similarly when host O’Donnell suggested that there was evidence of a police cover up in the case, Rep. Brown nodded and did not disagree.
Not to be outdone, Rep. Hank Johnson said that Martin was “executed for WWBNAGC, walking while black in a gated community.”
Had the story been true, the outrage would have been justified. But gradually the racially heated narrative being stoked by the left fell away and revealed the facts of the case. The DOJ investigated and found no evidence Zimmerman had ever displayed any racial animosity.
Those who watched the trial noted that the prosecutor’s witnesses all seemed to backfire. They had no compelling case to present, no credible alternative theory of the case. Rachel Jeantel, the state’s main witness, said after the verdict was reached that she believed Martin threw the first punch.
While the jury and the public felt appropriately sorry for Martin’s family it was clear to both that Zimmerman fired his gun in self defense. In other words, they found that in the moments before the shooting Martin was the aggressor. He was not stalked and murdered by a racist vigilante as we’d been told by the left. On the contrary, the only racial epithets we know for certain were used that night were used by Martin.
If all the outrage was really just about the lack of arrest and trial, the outrage should be over now. If justice for Trayvon meant a day in court, then justice has been served.
But of course Al Sharpton didn’t settle for Zimmerman getting his day in court, hecalled for 100 new rallies to whip up more outrage about the acquittal. The prosecutor who handed down the indictment called Zimmerman a “murderer” after the not guilty verdict. The left wanted a pound of racist flesh and if they can’t extract it from this case, they’ll move on to the next one without even admitting they got it wrong for most of a year.
There is an ongoing and civil debate on the right about whether or not it violates our principles to get involved in tit-for-tat with race-mongers like Toure. There are good people on both sides of the argument whose opinions I respect. Personally, I don’t think this sort of thing comes naturally to the right and so, for that reason alone, I don’t think this moment will last. (It may however recur like an antibody reaction to an infection once it has been triggered by a previous incident.)
As for this moment, the Chris Lane case may not be a racial outrage and the right really should be wary of making the same mistakes the left made. That said, we definitely don’t need any advice from the left’s professional race-mongers on sticking to the facts. Sorry, Toure, Sharpton, Salon, MSNBC, etc. We’ve all seen you in action over the last year. You’re in no position to offer advice.