Martin, Zimmerman, & the Rule of Law

Yesterday the special prosecutor in the Trayvon Martin case, Angela Corey, came to the podium with her team and revealed the result of their initial investigation into the shooting. They concluded there was enough evidence to officially charge George Zimmerman with second-degree murder. Corey, before she got to the bottom line, did a fine job of first schooling the media and anyone else listening with respect to the rule of law and how it works. She explained clearly the rights of both victims and those accused of a crime, and injected a bit of sanity into the circus that has erupted around this case.

She said Zimmerman had voluntarily turned himself in to the authorities and is now under arrest. The justice system can now move forward to evaluate the evidence and ultimately determine the extent of his guilt or whether he should be exonerated, given the circumstances of the incident. Zimmerman will have his day in court rather than being lynched by irate race-baiters.

And there have been a multitude of those.

We’ve seen Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson on the scene—two individuals who live by inflaming racial disharmony. The New Black Panthers also have taken center stage, publicly placing a bounty on Zimmerman’s head, with some calling outright for a race war in the U.S. Yet what about race? Who is Zimmerman? His parents are mixed—one white, one Hispanic. Yet he is continually referred to as white. Is this purposeful to make it a racial issue? By the same logic, one could call Barack Obama white. Has anyone ever done that? No, because that won’t fit the narrative.

By the way, Mr. Attorney General Holder, why the silence when the Panthers called for a bounty and that Zimmerman should be killed without regard to the rule of law? Aren’t you the chief law enforcement officer in the country? But then again, Holder was the one who intentionally dropped the investigation into Panthers who stood outside a polling station in Philadelphia back in 2008, intimidating voters. So why should we expect anything else? He’s also the one who is suing states for having laws requiring photo ID’s for voting. For him, everything is race.

There’s also the question of why this event has been nationalized. It was a local incident, but the media have run with it and turned it into the civil rights case of the new century. Yet the media conveniently ignore certain statistics. According to a 2007 report from the Department of Justice, 8000 to 9000 blacks in America are murdered each year. On first glance, that might seem to point to widespread racial hatred. Hold on, though. The report goes on to say that 93% of those murders are committed by other blacks. So where is the real problem?

Perception is not always the same as reality.

The media, as I mentioned above, are complicit in this. One glaring example is what happened with the “selective editing” of an audio tape of Zimmerman describing the incident to a 911 dispatcher. It was edited by NBC to make it sound like Zimmerman was a racist, when in fact the entire recording shows that he only mentioned Martin’s race when asked by the dispatcher. Journalistic integrity is becoming all too rare nowadays.

The employee who did the so-called selective editing has been dismissed, but that person was only the proverbial tip of the iceberg. Expect more of the same in the future.

Will sanity now prevail? Will the courts of justice now be allowed to take over and execute the law? Will the circus subside? We’ll see.