Who Is ‘Racist’? – Thomas Sowell – Townhall Conservative Columnists

Who Is ‘Racist’? – Thomas Sowell – Townhall Conservative Columnists.

Who Is 'Racist'? - Thomas Sowell - Townhall Conservative Columnists

Whatever the ultimate outcome of the case against George Zimmerman for his shooting of Trayvon Martin, what has happened already is enough to turn the stomach of anyone who believes in either truth or justice.

An amazing proportion of the media has given us a painful demonstration of the thinking — and lack of thinking — that prevailed back in the days of the old Jim Crow South, where complexion counted more than facts in determining how people were treated.

One of the first things presented in the media was a transcript of a conversation between George Zimmerman and a police dispatcher. The last line in most of the transcripts shown on TV was that of the police dispatcher telling Zimmerman not to continue following Trayvon Martin.

That became the basis of many media criticisms of Zimmerman for continuing to follow him. Only later did I see a transcript of that conversation on the Sean Hannity program that included Zimmerman’s reply to the police dispatcher: “O.K.”

That reply removed the only basis for assuming that Zimmerman did in fact continue to follow Trayvon Martin. At this point, neither I nor the people who assumed that he continued to follow the teenager have any basis in fact for believing that he did or didn’t.

Why was that reply edited out by so many in the media? Because too many people in the media see their role as filtering and slanting the news to fit their own vision of the world. The issue is not one of being “fair” to “both sides” but, more fundamentally, of being honest with their audience.

NBC News carried the editing even further, removing one of the police dispatcher’s questions, to which Zimmerman was responding, in order to feed the vision of Zimmerman as a racist.

In the same vein were the repeated references to Zimmerman as a “white Hispanic.” Zimmerman is half-white. So is Barack Obama. But does anyone refer to Obama as a “white African“?

All these verbal games grow out of the notion that complexion tells you who is to be blamed and who is not. It is a dangerous game because race is no game. If the tragic history of the old Jim Crow South in this country is not enough to show that, the history of racial and ethnic tragedies is written in blood in countries around the world. Millions have lost their lives because they looked different, talked differently or belonged to a different religion.

In the midst of the Florida tragedy, there was a book published with the unwieldy title, “No Matter What … They’ll Call This Book Racist.” Obviously it was written well before the shooting in Florida, but its message — that there is rampant hypocrisy and irrationality in public discussions of race — could not have been better timed.

Author Harry Stein, a self-described “reformed white liberal,” raised by parents who were even further left, exposes the illogic and outright fraudulence that lies behind so much of what is said about race in the media, in politics and in our educational institutions.

He asks a very fundamental question: “Why, even after the Duke University rape fiasco, does the media continue to give credence to every charge of racism?”

Harry Stein credits Shelby Steele‘s book “White Guilt” with opening his eyes to one of the sources of many counterproductive things said and done about race today — namely, guilt about what was done to blacks and other minorities in the past.

Let us talk sense, like adults. Nothing that is done to George Zimmerman — justly or unjustly — will unlynch a single black man who was tortured and killed in the Jim Crow South for a crime he didn’t commit.

Letting hoodlums get away with hoodlumism today does not undo a single injustice of the past. It is not even a favor to the hoodlums, for many of whom hoodlumism is just the first step on a path that leads to the penitentiary, and maybe to the execution chamber.

Winston Churchill said, “If the past sits in judgment on the present, the future will be lost.” He wasn’t talking about racial issues, but what he said applies especially where race is involved.

Playing the Race Card Again – Jonah Goldberg – Townhall Conservative Columnists

Playing the Race Card Again – Jonah Goldberg – Townhall Conservative Columnists.

White Hispanic.” That’s how the New York Times, Reuters and other media outlets have opted to describe George Zimmerman, a man who would simply be Hispanic if he hadn’t shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. The term, rarely if ever used before this tragedy, is necessary in telling the Martin story in a more comfortable way.

What’s the comfortable way? It’s the way the blame for Martin’s death belongs squarely at the feet of “the system.” And “the system” is a white thing, don’t you know.

For instance, in a remarkably uncritical interview with the Los Angeles Times, the Rev. Jesse Jackson explained that with the election of President Obama, “there was this feeling that we were kind of beyond racism.” He continued: “That’s not true. His victory has triggered tremendous backlash.” Indeed, “Blacks are under attack.”

Jackson apparently includes in this racist Obama “backlash” record home foreclosures for African Americans and black unemployment. It would have been nice if the L.A. Times had asked Jackson to work a little harder to connect those dots.

Jackson also laments that “targeting, arresting, convicting blacks and ultimately killing us is big business” in America.

On the saner end of the liberal spectrum, Reniqua Allen of the New America Foundation writes in the Washington Post that it’s harder to talk about race now that we have a black president (note: not a “white African American president,” a la the new Zimmerman standard, although both men have a white parent).

Allen is surely right that having a black president makes it hard to talk about race, particularly if you want to have the hackneyed monologue that hustlers such as Jackson and the Rev. Al Sharpton want to have. Weak-tea Marxist rants about a system that parasitically feeds off black men sound absurdly antiquated when that system is run, at the top, by black men (Eric Holder, let’s not forget, runs the Justice Department).

But the aging race industry that continues to see the world through a half-century-old prism of Jim Crow, and still wants you to see it that way, too, is determined to bum-rush Zimmerman into his assigned role, heedless of facts or the lack of them.

Meanwhile, Obama, who promised a new conversation on race, seems happier in an election year to lend heft to the old one. He called for soul-searching — but absent a full set of facts, why does this homicide of all U.S. homicides require it? Obama’s comments mostly seem aimed at adding credence to liberal conventional wisdom.

Zimmerman may well deserve to go to jail. Or this may just be a confluence of horrible mistakes with no criminal intent whatsoever. That’s what a Justice Department probe and a Florida grand jury will determine. But for the forces demanding action, that isn’t good enough. Jackson, as is his wont, threatens there will be “no peace” until Zimmerman is arrested.

Others are not so patient. The New Black Panther Party has put a $10,000 bounty on Zimmerman’s head. “He should be fearful for his life,” leader Mikhail Muhammad said. “You can’t keep killing black children.” Spike Lee joined the digital lynch mob and tweeted Zimmerman’s home address.

Yes, absolutely, there are pockets of racism in America. But among the myriad problems with a “blame the system” narrative is that it obscures and often silences far greater problems than white-on-black racist violence.

Martin’s tragic death is a statistical outlier. More whites are killed by blacks than blacks killed by whites (or “white Hispanics”). And far, far more blacks are killed by other blacks. Indeed, if we’re going to use the prism of race to analyze murder rates, then the real epidemic is that of black murderers. Heather MacDonald of the Manhattan Institute notes that recent data show black males age 14 to 24 commit homicides at a rate nearly 10 times higher than that of young white and Latino males combined. Surely that’s worthy of some soul-searching, too.

And yet, New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow says “the burden of black boys in America” is fear of racist assaults. MSNBC has handed over vast swaths of airtime to its in-house huckster, Sharpton.

No doubt, white — and “white Hispanic” — prejudice is a problem for young black men, but the notion that it is the singular or chief “burden of black boys in America” is nonsense. Alas, the very people begging for an honest conversation on race will likely accuse you of racism for saying so.

Violent Death in America is an Equal Opportunity Crime – Tea Party Nation

Violent Death in America is an Equal Opportunity Crime – Tea Party Nation.

By Alan Caruba

I have had an interest in demography, the study of populations and trends within populations, for a long time. Racial animosities in America have been a factor from the moment white colonists stepped off the boat and were greeted by Native Americans and, not that long after, when the first blacks arrived from Africa where slavery had flourished for centuries.

I lived in the South when Jim Crow laws were on the books and public facilities were segregated. I was a young reporter during the Civil Rights era of the 1960s and even met Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on one occasion. I have seen the best and worst of what race represents in America.

I would count the initial reporting on the killing of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, as among the worst media coverage in a while because, as the facts begin to emerge after a month, it turns out that there was an eye witness to the incident in which George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, suffered a broken nose and injuries to the back of his head consistent with an attack.

The Black Panther Party issued a reward for Zimmerman’s “capture.” In the meantime, Rev. Al Sharpton and Rev. Jesse Jackson, have been out doing what they always do, stirring up black anger and blaming all whites for what occurred.

Let’s look at the demographic facts. In 2007 the Associated Press reported that “Nearly half of the nation’s murder victims were black and the number of black men who were slain is on the rise.” The other half were murdered white victims.

Murder in America is an equal opportunity crime.

The article went on to note that black people represented an estimated 13 percent of the U.S. population in 2005, the latest data then available, but were the victims of 49 percent of all murders and 15 percent of rapes, assaults and other nonfatal violent crimes nationwide.”

The U.S. Justice Department study found that “Most of the black murder victims—93 percent—were killed by other black people.”

The study also found that 85 percent of white victims were slain by other white people. Of the black victims, 51 percent were in their late teens and twenties.

More recent statistics from 2009, posted on the website of the U.S. Department of Justice show pretty much the same trend. That year, 2,604 blacks were killed by blacks, along with 454 whites, but whites managed to kill each other to the tune of 2,963 victims, while killing 209 black victims.

Nationally by 2010, homicide was the leading cause of death for black young men ages 10-24 and the second leading cause of death for black women ages 15-24.

Overall, between 1974 and 2004, 52 percent of murderers were black, 48 percent were white, while 51 percent of the victims were white and 47 percent were black. If one can spin these statistics to suggest that the killing of Trayvon Martin was racial, be my guest.

Appearing on the Sean Hannity program Monday evening, Zimmerman’s friend, Joe Oliver, calmly defended him saying “he is not a racist.” Oliver is black.

Why Barack Obama felt it necessary to insert himself into the situation before the facts are established was a reminder of an earlier situation in 2009 when he took issue with an incident between Cambridge, Massachusetts police and a black professor who was hauled off to jail for failing to cooperate with them. Always assuming the police are to blame or inferring that Trayvon Martin was killed because he could have looked like Obama’s son, if he had one, is a serious breach of judgment. To say it out loud is even worse.

Finally, lost in all the hasty assumptions and accusations is the fact that Zimmerman was, as previously noted, a neighborhood watch volunteer and this suggests the Sanford, Florida neighborhood had crime problems. Trayvon, we’re learning, had some earlier experiences with the local police, so he was on that evening a subject of concern to Zimmerman who reported his presence to the police and was returning to his car when the shooting occurred.

No one takes any pleasure in the death of Trayvon Martin or any other young black man. It is a tragedy, but it is also one that is repeated far too many times in too many American cities for reasons that cannot be passed off as racism. His death reflects the pathologies that plague too many of America’s black population.

We should be celebrating the black men and women that escape their cultural bondage, embrace middle class values, and ennoble their lives through their personal achievements.

Exploiting his death is a disservice to both America’s black and white population.

© Alan Caruba, 2012

American Justice – Tea Party Nation

American Justice – Tea Party Nation.

Posted by Judson Phillips

Over the last couple of weeks, we have seen the American justice system play out.  There is one particular case that has grabbed the headlines with one militant group demanding that we forget all notions of due process and simply find someone guilty and have “justice” imposed.

 There is one thing they have forgotten.  What is it and what is the case?

 The case is the George Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin case.

 Zimmerman is the Florida man who as a part of his neighborhood watch followed Trayvon Martin one night.   The resulting confrontation left Martin dead and Zimmerman in hiding, fearing for his life.

 The race hucksters have come out of the woodwork.  Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson have both been exploiting the case.  The militant and racist New Black Panther Party, the 21st Century equivalent of the Ku Klux Klan has put a $10,000 bounty on Zimmerman, wanted dead or alive.

 There is only one problem with the mob that has been demanding Zimmerman’s head. 

 Zimmerman may well have acted in self-defense.

 According to the Orlando Sentinel, Zimmerman lost sight of Martin while following him then as returning to his vehicle, encountered Martin again.   According to Zimmerman, Martin asked him “Do you have a problem?” then added, “You do now.”  According to Zimmerman, Martin then punched him, breaking his nose and then began pounding his head into the pavement.

 The police arrived on the scene within two minutes of the shooting.  Zimmerman had a bloody nose, lacerations on the back of his head and grass stains on the back of his clothes.  In other words, the physical evidence supports Zimmerman’s claim he was attacked.

 An eyewitness supports Zimmerman, saying he saw Martin on top of Zimmerman, pounding him.

 American law is quite clear.  You are allowed to use force to defend yourself when someone uses force against you.  You can use deadly force against someone if you reasonably believe your attacker is using deadly force against you.  Deadly force is force that will cause serious bodily injury or death.

 If someone is smashing your head into a concrete sidewalk, that is deadly force. 

 The left wants to put the “Stand your ground” law on trial.  The stand your ground law says that you do not have to retreat before using deadly force if you are in a position where your life is in danger.  Leftists hate the stand your ground law and love any circumstance where they can make citizens vulnerable.  Leftists everywhere want us to be defenseless.   

 Of course, the “Stand your ground” law does not apply here because Zimmerman was on his back.  He could not retreat from Martin even if he wanted to. 

 The mob is demanding to know why Zimmerman was not arrested that night.  It is simple.  In order to arrest someone there must be probable cause to believe a crime was committed.  

 In this case, as the evidence is slowly leaking out, it is looking more and more like this is a true case of self-defense. 

 The American justice system works pretty well.  There is a reason why it works and why it does not follow the whims of the mob.  A grand jury will hear this evidence and if the evidence is what is now coming out in the media, the grand jury will probably say this was self-defense.

 Unfortunately, those who are interested in exploiting this case for their own political advantage have whipped up the emotions of the mob to the point where justice may be impossible.