On July 13, Jay Smooth, who among many things does a hip-hop radio show in New York and occasional music commentary on NPR and is the son of an African American father and a white mother, got to the real problem of an acquittal for George Zimmerman for the killing of Trayvon Martin.
Via the Obama Diary, Smooth tweeted, “The fundamental danger of an acquittal is not more riots, it is more George ZImmermans.”
The fundamental danger of an acquittal is not more riots, it is more George ZImmermans.
— jay smooth (@jsmooth995) July 13, 2013
Now that the acquittal has happened, the angry whites at Fox News are fear-mongering about the inevitable “riots” of “those people”. Yet there have been no riots, oddly enough, given the magnitude of the injustice.
Let’s not gloss over the inferred wrongness of a “riot” by the angry whites at Fox (also known these days as the Republican Party, or conservatives). They would call any demonstration a “riot” (they just did this in Texas against women). When the people they’re doing wrong speak up, they call it a “riot”. This is supposed to mark the victim as the bad one in the court of public opinion (aka, the mainstream media), which is still run by mostly white men, just like our courts.
But it’s not the victimized minority we need to fear. Nope. It’s the empowered Zimmermans. Finding Zimmerman not guilty is the same thing as rewarding sick aggression without cause. There’s a whole lot more where that came from.
Stalking someone without cause is now “defense” in NRA America, courtesy of the Republican Party. Now that Zimmerman got off, thanks to a terrible job by the prosecution who, let’s face it, seemed to be happy to have lost and it wouldn’t surprise me if he was under some pressure to do so, the next Zimmerman is dusting off his/her short fuse and getting ready to go hunting.
What else do you call chasing down an innocent person, confronting them because you profiled them (I was recently robbed by a white man, do I have the right now to chase every white man with a gun?) because another, unrelated person of the same color allegedly committed a crime in the neighborhood? If that’s all it takes to justify chasing and gunning someone down, then every single person in this country is at risk of being profiled.
But not every single person in this country is at risk of being shot down and having their shooter acquitted.
That’s because our justice system is not color blind or blind to the sex of the accused and the victim. White men fare better in our system for obvious reasons- white men run the system and they tend to sympathize with those they identify with; those who remind them of themselves.
I am ashamed of this country tonight, and horrified that we have let out public policy be hijacked by the NRA to such an extent that we can gun down fellow citizens with no repercussions.
Recently, the Supreme Court killed fundamental aspects of the Voting Rights Act under the premise that Congress should sort it out because things are so much better now. That’s the big, dangerous lie conservatives are using to dismantle protections needed for minorities.
Yes, clearly there’s no prejudice here. No need for laws protecting certain groups from the predatory laws of the powerful.
Be careful out there. The streets are teeming with angry, bitter, impotent men like George Zimmerman – someone just looking for a victim to blame for his crappy life. A dog to kick so he can feel better. A life to take so he can feel powerful. Someone like Zimmerman who wants to play dress up cop. Someone who thinks he’s Dirty Harry and he just needs an easy target to prove it to himself.
Our courts just gave that person a license to pursue and kill without accountability.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.