COTTO: Why does the black community support Trayvon Martin?

When the facts are earnestly considered, such a thing makes no sense at all. Quite the opposite, actually. Perhaps it's not supposed to. Photo: Trayvon Martin

FLORIDA, July 19, 2013 — Even though George Zimmerman has been acquitted, many still claim that he is guilty of murdering Trayvon Martin.

A large number of these voices come from various corners of America’s black community. Indeed, many prominent black attorneys, social activists, actors, and even politicians have become quite emotional about Zimmerman’s acquittal.

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Zimmerman is now a free man. This has not discouraged many of those convinced of his guilt from attempting to drag him back into court. The NAACP has formed and circulated a petition calling for federal civil rights charges to be brought against Zimmerman. The Department of Justice recently launched an investigation to determine whether or not these charges are warranted.

Beyond this, the black establishment continues to portray Martin as a hard-working teenage boy who was on the path to success before some thug gunned him down. This is a bad move because the facts not only beg, but plead to differ. 

Before Zimmerman and Martin encountered one another, the youth was building himself quite a record of legal troubles. His possession of burglary tools and stolen jewelry, his interest in marijuana, and his behavior at school were all indications that his life was not on an upward trajectory. 

Text messages which Martin sent and received in the months leading up to his death have allowed the public to learn who Martin was — for better or for worse — in the late teen’s own words. Zimmerman’s legal defense team released a detailed transcript of them.

SEE RELATED: Lawrence D. Bobo, Trayvon Martin, and the dumbing down of Harvard

Martin spoke about procuring firearms, handling marijuana, and being forced to leave his Miami home due to disciplinary problems at school.  

It should also be noted that Martin had pictures of marijuana plants and a gun on his cell phone when he died. The teen also filmed a street fight in which homeless people fought over a bicycle. He was laughing as the conflict ensued.

How anybody in his or her right mind can see him as a hero is simply unfathomable. 

In there lies the key.

SEE RELATED: Trayvon Martin update: Trying Trayvon in court of public opinion

The black establishment knows precisely what they are doing. Do they lionize Martin, who probably would have pounded Zimmerman’s brain into the sidewalk had the latter not been carrying an automatic pistol, just to peddle racial grievances?

Do they seriously believe that Zimmerman is guilty and Martin innocent as an angel atop a Christmas tree? They just might. Since Martin’s death, he has become a rallying cry for every perceived injustice against blacks dished out by our criminal justice system. For years, a great many blacks have been fuming about “Stand Your Ground” laws, “stop-question-frisk” policies, the much greater impact of the war on drugs on the black community, and the extraordinary levels of incarceration of young black men, among many other things.

Perhaps the black establishment has become so race-oriented in its outlook on life that they think any time a black and non-black get in an altercation, the latter is to blame. Statistics indicate something else altogether, but reason rarely trumps belief.

Martin wasn’t just a statistic, and whether he was a choir boy or a thug before that night doesn’t matter. What matters is the evidence, and the bottom line is this: Evidence supports Zimmerman’s version of his conflict with Martin. There is no proof whatsoever that he hunted Martin down due to racial hatred. As a matter of fact, the FBI conducted an investigation about Zimmerman’s racial opinions and concluded that he was anything other than a bigot.

What seems obvious is that the black establishment and their followers are furious. But in their fury over the great, existential issues of American justice and race in America, they forget that this is a story of two specific, flesh-and-blood men, not two ideologies, not two races. Human lives have to be treated carefully, according to the facts, but in an argument about ideology, we ignore facts.

This has been turned into a battle of ideologies, and Trayvon Martin’s pop-culture legacy as child-saint-martyr has become a clever marketing scheme for it. So has the necessary, supporting narrative of Zimmerman as an angry racist thug.

If our country’s foremost black leaders honestly cared about justice, then why aren’t they bringing massive attention to the black-on-black street warfare in Chicago? The crickets chirp, and this grows louder by the day.

One can hardly take the claims doled out by this leadership class, as well as its supporters, seriously if this is the norm.

How long will it be until someone calls that observation racist?

Far-left? Far-right? Get realRead more from “The Conscience of a Realist” by Joseph F. Cotto 


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Joseph Cotto

Joseph F. Cotto is a social journalist by trade and student of history by lifestyle choice. He hails from central Florida, writing about political, economic, and social issues of the day. In the past, he was a contributor to Blogcritics Magazine, among other publications. He is currently at work on a book about American society.

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