Conservative pundits who predicted mass rioting would follow a Zimmerman “not guilty” verdict have demonstrated how out of touch they are with understanding the pulse of America. In what could be the worst forecast since Fox News’ political pundit Dick Morris confidently predicted a Romney landslide in 2012, right-wing blowhards who ginned up fears of post-verdict urban race riots, have once again shown they do not have a clue about how ordinary Americans think or act.
Thirty-six hours after the verdict and still no American cities have burned to the ground. The Alex Jones, Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh followers must be so disappointed. Urban riots would have confirmed their paranoia about inherent black criminality, the very same paranoia that enabled George Zimmerman to stalk and kill Trayvon Martin. Riots would have given them a chance to indulge in their fantasies of fighting a race war and unrest would have given them an enhanced license to kill. They could have each become judge, jury and executioner in a Second Amendment dystopia where they could shoot at anything “darker than a paper bag” for sport. Once civil order broke down, they could invoke “Stand your Ground” or self-defense and kill with impunity, knowing full well their murderous intentions could be masked with cries of “self-defense” against black looters and rioters. The only problem was the riots never came.
It was not for lack of effort on the part of the far right though. Alex Jones’ Infowars site posted the dire apocalyptic predictions of ex-Chicago police officer Paul Huebl who proclaimed with near certainty that a “not guilty” verdict would lead to America experiencing its worst race riots ever…
I fully expect organized race rioting to begin in every major city to dwarf the Rodney King and the Martin Luther King riots of past decades.
If you live in a large city be prepared to evacuate or put up a fight to win. You will need firearms, fire suppression equipment along with lots of food and water. Police resources will be slow and outgunned everywhere.
America is about to see some combat related population control like we’ve not seen since the Civil War. Martial Law can’t be far behind complete with major efforts at gun grabbing.
Pat Buchanan opined that “the public mind has been so poisoned that an acquittal of George Zimmerman could ignite a reaction similar to that, 20 years ago, when the Simi Valley jury acquitted the LAPD cops in the Rodney King beating case.”
Yet despite Buchanan’s best efforts to poison the public mind, no such riots materialized. Other pundits, like Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh were less hyperbolic, but they too raised the specter of urban race riots. Apparently the same white conservative stereotypes of black criminality that lead them to believe an unarmed black kid is by default a gangster thug, also lead them to believe that a Zimmerman acquittal would automatically spark vicious race riots, with the default assumption that urban America is populated with gangster thugs just itching for an excuse to destroy their communities. However, as it turns out it was the right-wing armchair revolutionaries who were chomping at the bit for the chance to engage in lawlessness as riots unfolded.
They were so eager in fact, that when the verdict failed to generate spontaneous riots, they invented one. A video showing post-verdict riots in Miami was circulated by a White Supremacist group. If the crowd looked strangely overdressed for July in Florida and maybe a bit whiter than one might expect for an urban uprising in Miami, it is because the footage was from the Vancouver Stanley Cup riots of 2011. The violent rage was not from African-Americans clamoring for equal justice, but rather a bunch of white Canucks who were pissed off because they lost a hockey game. Rather than depicting the unique criminality of the American black ghetto being whipped up into a mass frenzy by Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, we instead were treating to old footage of spoiled Sarah Palin-esque hockey moms and dads who could not stomach losing a hockey game to the Boston Bruins.
Despite the lack of any significant riots over the weekend, the right-wing is still trying desperately to cling to the urban riot narrative. Yes, a few windows were busted in Oakland and some traffic stopped in Los Angeles, but that is a far cry from the worst race riots in American history. Nevertheless, the Gateway Pundit still felt compelled to run the sensational headline: “Trayvon Rally Leader: Every F**king Cop is a F**king Target”. Sounds pretty ominous, but if you click on the link and expect to see an angry mob of black men, led by the second coming of H. Rap Brown, tipping police cars and setting dumpsters on fire, you will be sorely disappointed. Instead, you click to find that this video depicting urban rage is a handful of college-age white kids from Portland, Oregon standing around holding signs and using profanity-laced but cartoonishly hollow threats about targeting cops that even a man as paranoid and trigger happy as George Zimmerman would have a hard time taking them seriously.
While the right-wing tries to play off of fears of urban black rage to scare Americans and to justify their barely disguised racist ideology, the best they can offer is a bunch of footage of white people from the Pacific Northwest thousands of miles away from Sanford, Florida acting silly. If the right-wingers want a riot, they will have to start one on their own, because right now the rest of America is not so much interested in rioting, we are more interested in justice.
Keith Brekhus is a progressive American who currently resides in Red Lodge, Montana. He is co-host for the Liberal Fix radio show. He holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Missouri. In 2002, he ran for Congress as a Green Party candidate in the state of Missouri. In 2014, he worked as a field organizer for Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick’s successful re-election bid in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. He can be followed on Twitter @keithbrekhus or on Facebook.