Videos of rioting in Miami began circulating quickly after last night’s not guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman murder trial. But there was no riot in Miami.
The conservative media were beating the riot drum all week. Fox News host Bill O’Reilly asked his guests if a not guilty verdict would trigger rioting. The conservative Washington Times polled its readers, and 74% said there would be riots. The self-styled National Liberty Foundation offered a how-to-survive the riots post that includes a potpourri of conspiracy theories about the Department of Justice, New Black Panther Party, and Russian troops being brought into the U.S. to put whites in FEMA camps. And at The Other McCain, Robert Stacy McCain made this boldly racist prediction:
— Robert Stacy McCain (@rsmccain) July 13, 2013
So it was hardly surprising that a video of a riot in Miami began circulating on Twitter within two hours after the verdict was announced last night.
Except there was no riot in Miami. The video was from the 2011 Stanley Cup Riot in Vancouver, Canada. The debunked video has since been deleted, but that probably won’t matter. After all, two store windows were broken in Oakland, prompting this reader response:
blacks are animals this wasn’t a big surprise that they riot
The last major racial riot occurred in Los Angeles after four police officers were acquitted in the brutal beating of Rodney King. That was 21 years ago. Since then, there have been several other racially-charged cases that might have provoked an outpouring of protest but did not. The police officers who murdered Sean Bell in a hail of 50 bullets were acquitted in 2008, and no riots ensued. The indictment of the officer that shot and killed Bronx teenager Ramarley Graham was tossed out earlier this year, even with footage of the police following him into his Bronx home. His mother didn’t call for riots. She made t-shirts to protest.
In some ways, the calls for order recapitulate what this case is all about – the assumption of violence on the part of the black community, and of black men. No one seems to be concerned about the possible violence of Zimmerman supporters if Zimmerman is convicted. To try to preemptively deter the black community from taking matters into their own hands should they feel justice has not been done is ironic considering that Zimmerman’s actions themselves were a kind of vigilantism – a violence above and beyond what many, including the prosecution and Martin’s family, feel was necessary.
Of course, George Zimmerman was a white Hispanic and the son of a former Virginia magistrate. His dad even wrote a book arguing that blacks are the real racists. In fact, writes Cornell law professor William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection, “this was a case that never should have been brought. It’s not too early to demand an inquiry into the prosecution of this case. Angela Corey should resign.”
So white people who kill black teenagers shouldn’t even go to court. Because blacks are violent … even if conservatives have use video of rioting (white) hockey fans in Vancouver to prove it.
But this trial wasn’t about race. Oh no….