From Obama to Trayvon Martin, the Consequences of Right Wing Race Baiting

In what can only be a nod to Palin-esque self-martyrdom, Fox News is using the Trayvon Martin shooting as a reason to claim liberals are going after the NRA, with their lower third reading:


According to Fox News, the story here is that the poor NRA is being targeted by horrible liberals who actually want the rule of law to prevail in this country. Way to miss the point, but then, Fox News can’t afford to get the point, because the fingers point at them.

Pro gun rights activists defending Zimmerman are clearly identifying themselves as a group that is against the rule of law; and rather, in support of vigilantism and societal chaos.

The presumption behind the Stand Your Ground law is ironically that the interests of the individual come before the interests of the state and the community at large, and ultimately that life is of less value than property. I say ironically because the alleged “pro-life” “Christian” NRA faction of the Republican Party supports these laws.

But even replete with these flaws, the law does not grant anyone the right to claim self-defense after they were the proven provoker. If anyone in this scenario is covered under the Stand Your Ground law, it is Trayvon Martin, and not George Zimmerman. Trayvon was the person being chased originally, as proven by the 911 tapes that the police had access to.

Let this be a warning to the gun fanatics and self-described “watch” citizens; no matter what your state law says, you do not have the right to shoot other citizens based upon the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, or any other prejudice that falls under hate crime laws.

For those who claim hate crime laws are unneeded, we go to Jackson, Mississippi where a white teenager pleaded guilty to killing a black adult by running him over with his truck after he and his buddies decided to go find a “black man to harass.” They drove to a town with a predominant black population, found this man, beat him, and then ran him over with their truck. The white teenager admitted that he and friends had done this before, but since they usually picked homeless or drunk black people to harass, they had gotten away with it.

The judge told this young man that there was no excuse for his prejudice after the young man said he was not raised to act in the way that he did. Just where did he get the idea that it was okay to “harass” (euphemism for beat and kill) black people for fun?

Jason and I discussed the relationship between Republican rhetoric aimed at the President and racial fear and hate tonight on Politicus Radio.

Listen here:

Listen to internet radio with Jason Easley on Blog Talk Radio

We are all supposed to pretend that the rabid rhetoric from Republicans hasn’t contributed to ginning up racial hatred in this country since the election of the first black President. Examples abound, and include but are shamefully not limited to:

Reports on Fox News about Obama’s ties to ’60s radical William Ayers, suggestions that the president “is fundamentally not American”, Fox’s Sean Hannity saying that Obama was tied to the “Chicago mob”, Glenn Beck saying Obama has a “deep-seated hatred” of white people and accusing Obama of satisfying his “desire For racial justice” via “intimidation, vilification, bullying”, Fox analyst and Republican candidate Newt Gingrich saying Obama exhibits”Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior”, Palin saying Obama pals around with terrorists, Rush Limbaugh’s “Barack the Magic Negro”, the entire Republican Party claiming Obama doesn’t love this country, the entire Republican Party questioning Obama’s Christianity, the Tea Party referring to the Muslim in the White House, Gingrich calling Obama the “food stamp president”, multiple episodes of Republican Party officials being caught sending blatantly racist emails, The Washington Times editorial “Obama: Whites need not apply”, the most recent “Don’t Renig” bumper stickers, and so many more.

While researching the Tea Party for his book Backlash, Will Bunch discovered:

That they were uneasy, if not terrified, by the arrival of an American president named Barack Hussein Obama — often because of the information they had learned about Obama from Fox News or from right-wing radio hosts such as Glenn Beck.

Just days ago, Glenn Beck’s The Blaze ran a story that suggested that we could not be sure that Trayvon Martin wasn’t an arsonist kidnapper, because his school said he was suspended once for tardiness. Translated into Right wing, this means he is really guilty of other reasons one might be suspended such as arson or kidnapping (talk about projection). Why exactly The Blaze feels the need to vilify Martin is unclear, except that in their word, the NRA’s legislation as pushed by ALEC must not be questioned, and so they reach for the blame the victim narrative they are so familiar with.

We’re supposed to be shamed by the Right’s defense of their free speech; just as so many were shamed when Bush invaded Iraq on a false premise. We’re supposed to be quiet about what we know to be true in our minds and hearts, and ignore the narrative told by a bloody trail of death and destruction.

Did this nation learn nothing from its recent past? We must not be silenced into not calling things as we see them; to call their rhetoric out as incendiary is not the same thing as ginning up hatred, no matter how desperately they try to make that false equivocation. It’s called holding them accountable for their choices.

We have allowed this to go down the all too predictable path, resulting in an atmosphere that stokes fear and hatred of a race, opening the door to the deaths of innocents once again. No, the individual Republican leaders who use racist remarks are not responsible for the “lone gunman’s” actions, but they are responsible for creating a mood pregnant with eager violence and the legislation to excuse it.

They are responsible for catering to the worst in human nature for cynical political gain, and for pretending they don’t know why it’s dangerous to do so. From teenagers to the mentally ill, there are many people who absorb the rhetoric of hate and funnel it through their own disorders and limitations. Responsible leaders know this.

Words have consequences.

Oh, relax. Everything’s going to be okay. Things are always better when everyone is armed and dangerous, jacked up by hate talk and under the illusion that the Stand Your Ground law allows them to follow someone who was not committing any crime, shoot them, and avoid even being arrested.

23 Replies to “From Obama to Trayvon Martin, the Consequences of Right Wing Race Baiting”

  1. Ya know what foxnews? Forget DECENCY.

    Have you no sense of HUMANITY? At long last, have you left no sense of humanity?

  2. The Right’s defense of *their* free speech reminds me of one of the last statements I permitted my Ex-Friend from Hell to make to me: “You must love me unconditionally, and that includes not making conditions that I not make conditions”. Relations between adults don’t work that way: not among individuals, not among groups within a polity, and not among polities. Only pants-wetting infants and toddlers are let out of reciprocal obligations, and only slaves are bound to absolute allegiance with no reciprocal loyalty in return.

    What then? Are these right-wingers spoiled, tantrumy toddlers grown to adult size and power? Such was the diagnosis of the psychiatrist, Robert Lindner, six decades ago. And do they regard all dark-skinned people as slaves, from whom they have the right to demand unquestioning fealty while remaining unobligated to grant anything in return, not even respect for born life? The increasingly ugly rhetoric and uglier agenda they propound suggests it strongly. And what promise are they holding out, and to whom? To the white, Christian, males among the “little people”: don’t feel bad that we’re robbing you of your status, your jobs, your homes, or your hopes, for no matter how declassed you may become, we will give you whole groups of people you yourselves can oppress with impunity – the dark, the female, the “heretic”, the foreign, and those who were poor before you, a whole galaxy of “others” you can oppress and fool yourselves into thinking you’re one with “us”.

  3. Thank you for speaking out on this topic–one that is going to need much repetition in the coming months. Hateful rhetoric is not acceptable!

  4. I think the guns laws are too lax.
    This guy should not of had access to a gun.
    On the other hand, What if Tray would of whipped out a gun and put a cap in this mofo?
    Could you hear it now?
    Could you? Even if Tray plead he was using the “Stand down law”…?
    Uh huh…
    They would be burning crosses in Fl right now. Tray would not be walking free like assh*le zimmerman is.

  5. None. They have none. Trayvon Martin’s death – and those of others like him is a large part of what they have worked toward. They’re dancing with glee over this child’s murder.

  6. Hateful rhetoric has become so much a part of the landscape, it’s hard to see how we will rid ourselves of it. Certainly, it will require at least as much of a concerted effort as the right wing has made to weave it into the fabric of our society. Hope we’re up to the job because more people will die if we’re not. See “The Sin of Violence, In a Culture of Hate” at

  7. Excuse me. But I love my guns and I carry at least one everywhere I go. I am not a bigot. I have not been brainwashed by Beck or any other hate monger. Guns are not the issue in this tragedy. This was a hate crime. You can even hear Zimmerman call him a “fucking coon” under his breath on the 911 audio tapes. The original problem is that this wannabe cop loser half-ass neighborhood watchmen should have never been allowed to do what he was doing. The law should cover what neighborhood watch programs can and can’t do as well as what qualifications people that are involved have. This was a complete fail on multiple levels. But guns don’t chase people and attack them. guns don’t make decisions. that is ultimately what happened here. Some uneducated societal reject somehow obtained a weapon and used it improperly, that is no different than a drunk killing someone with a car, we don’t incarcerate the car, now do we? It is people that make decisions and it is people that should face the consequences. We all shouldn’t have to lose our rights, because someone is irresponsible with something dangerous.

  8. “We all shouldn’t have to lose our rights, because someone is irresponsible with something dangerous.”

    Well Jared, we shouldn’t have to lose our LIFE, because someone is walking around with a gun.

  9. This whole story has been disturbing and tragic on some many levels. The thought of a defenseless kid being stalked and hunted down by a maniac racist bigot who’s itching to kill a person of color. We call it “walking while Black”. The sounds of this boy screaming for help before being silenced by the bullets that dramatically ended his life are gut wrenching. The 911 tapes from Zimmerman and the neighbor should be enough to arrest anyone and prove that this was not a “stand your ground situation”. The other blonde lady witness who declares the cries for help were from a young voice until they were silenced by the sound of bullets also suggest another situation. The fact that the police never notified the parents even though they had his cell phone. The parents had to report him missing before being contacted by the police. Drug testing was done on the victim but not Zimmerman. No evidence was taken from Zimmerman and I believe that includes his gun. Zimmerman is a free man to walk the streets to kill again and destroy someone else’s family and life. I do not understand. They have access to phone records that prove the teen was on his cell phone with his girlfriend. What more do you need to prove a crime was committed? Zimmerman was asked not to follow Trayvon. He stalked him anyway. There was a racial slur and the statement, “they always get away”. I just wonder how many times this has happened that we don’t know about because Black deaths are seldom investigated properly even in the North. There will be a huge spotlight and support on this one for a long time to come. These things happen and they happen all the time. I have a personal tragic history of the tragic deaths of loved ones who’s murders were not ever really investigated. One instance the cop said well he was reported missing and now he’s been found. Case closed. The other instance, the states attorney was heard saying it was costing the state too much money to try the case. I hope the spot light stays on this case until justice is served. I hope that Trayvon’s young life will mark the change in society and gun control laws that are really necessary to live safely in this country especially while hate is being breeded by the ignorant, the bigoted, the racists, the fanatics, and the power hungry extremists who claim they want less government as they take over all our human rights.

  10. No, we don’t incarcerate the car. But no one has tried to throw Zimmerman’s gun in jail either. We do take away the driver’s right to drive. But let’s look at the analogy another way. That drunk driver had a license. He had to study and take a test and prove that he was capable of handling the car with a certain level of competence. Why? Because, in the wrong hands, a car can become a deadly weapon. So why don’t gun owners have to have at least the same level of competence to own and handle something that is unequivocally a weapon? I have no right to take your guns from you. But I do have a right to expect a certain level of competence and responsibility from you in regards to my own safety. Your right to own a gun does not supersede my right to live in a safe environment.

  11. I am puzzled as to why Mr. Zimmerman has not come forward with any comments. I am starting to believe he was a avid right winger who was zealous in his Fox/Rush rightwing rhetoric and they are trying desperately to hid this info. Too bad some one can’t do research and find out if he is one of those right wing trolls who visit redstate, foxnation etc hate sites. Zimmerman must have some powerful friends or his Daddy does.

  12. It would be hilarious if somebody used this “stand your ground” law to punk Zimmerman onto their property and then kill him.

  13. So does my right to LIVE. I don’t live in a safe environment, and cannot afford to move. If they started the licensing crap here, the first god damned thing the politicians would do is charge a fee…

    Guess what… there goes my ability to defend myself. I’d have to choose between being able to put gas in my car and protecting myself (or food on the table or get medicines…). Yes, life is that tight for a LOT of people. There are a lot of poor people in this country… and if it wasn’t for our unique situation, I wouldn’t even have internet (much less TV or reliable phone).

    You’ve heard the parable about the camel and the tent… once the camel’s nose gets through the door, you are GOING to end up with a camel in your tent? That really applies here.

    If there was a way to do it without (1) running the risk of confiscation – something gun owners have feared because we remember the attitudes of the 70s, (2) making it difficult on the poor – fees and fines are notoriously regressive, and (3) come up with a way to make sure that people cannot change things later – letting the camel’s nose enter the tent as it were, then maybe I’d support the idea a bit more.

    Oh… that’s right. You DO have to have such a license and training (even those of us who have lived safely with guns for decades) if you want to get a concealed weapon permit.

  14. Take a tip from a Southeastern Native American.

    Historically they’ve always wanted gun control – for minorities but not for them. They HAD gun control for us, back when our lands were confiscated. They had gun control until it became legal for us to just exist… it was even legal (on the books) to shoot us after dark (in Georgia or Alabama… I don’t remember which)!

    It’s all about control and the ability to abuse.

    There are sufficient laws in place now, and any more layers will remove protection from people who need it. What we DO need is to prosecute bastards like Zimmerman – expose them for what they are and then bury them in prison for the rest of their lives. Make a big example out of Zimmerman, and the other pig-wannabes will think twice about hurting someone just because they aren’t white.

    Minorities need to organize, and to fight the racism that is creeping out of the shadows (it NEVER was eliminated). We need to expose the calls for the elimination of things like affirmative action and quotas… I can tell you from my own experiences that they are really racist-driven and the reason is so they can deny employment to minorities. Most of all, we need to work together (and I’m speaking as much to my own people as anyone) – we’re in a common fight for freedom and civil rights.

  15. Based on all of the “police”-wannabes I’ve met in central Florida, you are probably absolutely correct.

    I have yet to meet one that wasn’t “Good Christian”, racist from the word go, homophobic, extremely conservative, and even having some sort of mental problem.

  16. What are you talking about? People both right and left wing are upset with a law that allows gunning down. They are upset with the NRA for sponsoring it. No one is saying that guns should be outlawed, just regulated. As in “a well regulated” militia. This guy should not have been a “neighborhood watch ‘captain'” or carrying a gun. He seemed to have mental health problem.You seem to be going off despite that it appears you agree.

  17. This has been the reality of life for blacks, and many others, in this country for all of my 50+ years. Some, like Zimmerman, are pro-life only when it comes to the unborn. Millions of others are “useless” human beings based only on external characteristics. Fox News and others in the MSM have given them a free pass by not being honest about the ways that different people are treated in this country. I, like Karen Finney, had to watch as my father was called “boy” by men who were not his equal in any way. But, it was okay for them to do it because my dad, being a black man, was perceived as a natural scapegoat for them to disparage. They’re doing the same thing to President Obama. His accomplishments and contributions to the nation don’t matter. The only thing that matters is that he is a black man who happens to be POTUS, and among these folks, that is a reason for shame–not only in America but in the international community, and any white man, even one of the GOP losers running for POTUS, would be an improvement. The opposition of some to the president is race-based, and for them to deny it while playing the race card is an insult to the intelligence of those of us who see it for what it is.

  18. It saddens me that America is filled with greed.. the death of this young man means nothing to many.. all because of racism and hate in their hearts..
    The actions and politicians reactions only show their level of ignorance..

    It will only be a matter of time before God does justice.. and reminds human kind who really is runing the show.. We are all God’s children and we are ALL EQUAL

    No one other than those who support the nonsense are at fault, as guilty and as ignorant.

    We the people.. what ever happened to By the People and For the People…

    Yeah.. maybe society needs to do some extra reading..

    Trayvon, may God help your soul rest in peace, and may God give your parents the strength they need to endure the pain of loosing you.. <3

  19. Unfortunately, Chantis, there is no god. We humans – you know, the People – will have to work out all by ourselves how to live in a just and peaceful society.

  20. Barack Obama’s election has brought to the surface a lot of racism and hatred that have always been simmering under the surface. Of course, demagogues like Sarah Palin, Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and others have stoked it and benefitted financially as a result. These bigots are the very people that the GOP

  21. While I do not agree in the least with GeneralLerong, at the same time, if we do not work for justice and seek it out (and try to root out injustice wherever it’s found), then we are not being true to what Christianity is about (not the ersatz “Good Christian” kind, but the real kind).

    Depending on God to fix everything is a cop-out and general laziness, plus it doesn’t take into account the realities of this world.

    Other than that, I too have prayers and thoughts for Trayvon and his family, and not only do I pray good can come of this evil, I also try to bring it about (if possible).

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