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Zimmerman & double standards

Cal Thomas's picture

We are so programmed by our history with race in America that reaction to the acquittal of George Zimmerman on charges of murdering Trayvon Martin depends largely upon one’s individual, even group experience.

If you are African-American, you might react like former Washington, D.C., homicide detective Rod Wheeler. Appearing on Fox News, Wheeler said many blacks look at quarterback Michael Vick, jailed for taking part in an illegal interstate dog-fighting ring, and wonder why Zimmerman gets away with killing a young black man.

If you are white, or Hispanic, you could possibly see the trial as something whipped up by the always racially conscious media and rhetorical bomb-throwers like Rev. Al Sharpton.

You might conclude that if the victim had been white and the perpetrator black the media would have shown little or no interest. Or you could point to O.J. Simpson, who was acquitted of killing two white people by a majority African-American jury.

Your view would be reinforced by a case in Georgia in which four African-American teenagers beat a 36-year-old white man as he emerged from a gas station convenience store. While trying to escape, the man stumbled into the middle lane of a highway where he was struck by a car and killed.

The Marietta Daily Journal reported that the four are charged with felony murder, aggravated assault and violation of the Georgia Street Gang Act. The incident occurred two weeks ago, but I have seen no national media coverage.

As defense lawyers noted after the Zimmerman verdict, the loss of any life, especially a young one like Trayvon Martin, is a tragedy, but tragedy and race were not on trial in Sanford, Fla.

Putting all extraneous considerations aside, the jury of six women was asked if there was sufficient evidence presented by the prosecution to convict George Zimmerman of murder or manslaughter. The jury found there was not.

The Justice Department says it will look into the shooting death of Martin to determine if evidence in the case “reveals a prosecutable violation.” That may turn out to be more of a political decision than one based on facts. It would likely perpetuate the media narrative of blacks as victims and whites (one CNN reporter ludicrously called Zimmerman a “white Hispanic”) as descendants of slave masters.

What helps keep us divided is our propensity for labeling and categorizing people. Certain behaviors and language are tolerated, while others are not. Some people can get away with language that others cannot. Some faiths can be disparaged while others are insulated from criticism. We hyphenate some Americans, making them appear as though they are less than fully American.

What is needed is one standard. One national identity. One America. We’re not there yet.

Benjamin Crump, an attorney for Trayvon Martin’s family, compared Trayvon’s death to those of Emmett Till and Medgar Evers. Any attempt to turn Trayvon into a civil rights martyr similar to Till and Evers goes well beyond the apples and oranges analogy.

More to the point was a comment by Zimmerman’s attorney Don West: “The prosecution of George Zimmerman was disgraceful.” The defense believes he should never have been brought to trial. Co-defense counsel Mark O’Mara speculated about “how many lawsuits will be spawned by this fiasco.”

Probably quite a few, given our never-ending racial double standard. As both sides noted during and after the trial, there are no winners in this case.

[Cal Thomas is America’s most widely syndicated op-ed columnist, appearing in more than 600 national newspapers. He is the author of more than 10 books and is a FOX News political contributor since 1997. Email Cal Thomas at] ©2013 TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.


What if Zimmerman had seen a white kid walking through the hood that night ?

Would he have gotten out of his car confronted the kids and eventually gunned him down ?

Would the police have waited so long to charge him ?

Would the jury have found a different verdict ?

Zimmerman is a punk with a hero complex. Big shot wanna be.

I wonder how he felt about gunning down the kid with the Skittles in his pocket? Big man huh?

Seems like the jury in Florida got bought off.

High profile case in Florida? Buy yourself a jury.

It was homicide pure and simple.


suggarfoot's picture

killed by two black teenagers that demanded money from the Mother. When she had none to give them, they shot the small child in the face. Both those black teens were less than 17, on their way home. That was around Brunwick, Ga earlier this year.

Where is your outrage? Where is Al Sharpton? Cause the child and Mother were white, in your eyes, did they deserve it?

"What if Zimmerman had seen a white kid walking through the hood that night ? "

Martin doubled back and attacked the man. Most wouldn't do that

"Would he have gotten out of his car confronted the kids and eventually gunned him down ?"

"Zimmerman got out of his car because he was asked for an exact street address."

He didn't confront the kid, even the fat girl friend stated in court that it was the other way round.

"Would the police have waited so long to charge him ?"

Why? The police found no reason to charge him, he didn't do a crime. Defending yourself when someone is trying to kill you is NOT a crime

"Zimmerman is a punk with a hero complex. Big shot wanna be. "

I think you are describing Trayvon, not Zimmerman. Trayvon was a little punk who did his bes to kill what he thought was an unarmed man.

I am sick of people like you. You want to be pitied at all cost. This country has babied and made excuses for people like you and look where we are because of it. A whole generation of spoiled brats DEMANDING payback.

The real reason for all this? The pay check of the "non profit" NAACP official in Atlanta area is $141,000, Fayeteville, $147,000, and Peachtree City, $150,000.

Condition 55 crawl back in your hole

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