MONTGOMERY, Ala., July 13, 2013 — George Zimmerman was acquitted of all charges in the shooting of Trayvon Martin.
Al Sharpton, who today called for peace and said that violence would dishonor Martin’s name, had nevertheless been predicting riots if Zimmerman were acquitted. A crowd estimated at 200 gathered outside the courthouse and expressed shock and disappointment at the verdict. They cried, shouted “No! No!” when they heard the verdict, and there were chants calling for nationwide protest. But so far there have been no riots.
Sharpton has been positioning himself as another Yassir Arafat. The late Palestinian terrorist stressed his own peaceful desires, but warned that if there were no peace agreement between the Palestinians and Israelis, another Intifada would break out. The deal Arafat wanted was the total destruction of Israel, and he knew that Israel would not immolate itself. Talks broke down, and the Intifada broke out as predicted.
Arafat was no psychic, no brilliant political scientist. He instigated the violence he predicted. He knew the Intifada would break out because he planned it.
Now consider Sharpton. He has never been a simple man of peace, haplessly passing through the neighborhood when violence tragically breaks out. He sets the match that sets everybody around him ablaze.
When a Chasidic Jew accidentally killed a young black child in a tragic car accident, Sharpton provoked the mob to go after “Diamond Merchants.” Blacks rioted, Jewish businesses burned, and an innocent Chasidic Jew named Yankel Rosenbaum was murdered.
When Tawana Brawley disappeared, Sharpton played the race card and blamed an innocent white law enforcement officer named Steven Pagones. The judge ruled in favor of Pagones, and Sharpton has never paid the defamation judgment against him. Meanwhile, as racial tensions simmered, it turned out Brawley faked her entire kidnapping episode at the hands of white perpetrators who never existed.
Sharpton and other liberal race baiters have been warning that if George Zimmerman is acquitted of killing Martin, more black riots could ensue. No, he says, I don’t want them, I encourage everyone to honor Trayvon’s name and refrain from violence, but if there were riots, who could blame the rioters? Who would be surprised?
Sharpton, no Martin Luther King, Jr., is not trying to prevent chaos. He has set the stage for riots that, if they occur, will have his fingerprints all over them.
Immediately after the verdict was announced, Sharpton announced, “I think that this is an atrocity. … It is probably one of the worst situations that I have seen.” He went on to call this “a sad day in the country” and “a slap in the face to those that believe in justice in this country.”
That comment was a slap in the face of the very notion of justice, and it betrayed Sharpton’s complete, malicious disregard for a system that demands proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. It was depraved.
An impartial trial is the very essence of justice, and the rule of law requires accepting the verdict of such a trial as honest and fair without evidence to the contrary. And that evidence can’t simply be a “wrong” verdict. There was no cover up here, no attempt to tilt things in favor of Zimmerman. In fact, the state and the court both bent over backward to charge Zimmerman and to give the jury the opportunity to find him guilty of something.
There was no doubt on one point: Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin. The trial was about his state of mind when he did it: In order to prove second-degree murder, prosecutors had to convince the jury that Zimmerman killed Martin in a “depraved” state of mind – that is, that he killed out of malice, hatred or spite.
For over 40 days, Zimmerman went uncharged. His claim of self-defense under Florida’s “stand your ground” law seemed impossible to disprove. It was only after demonstrations (some organized by the peaceful Reverend Sharpton), heavy social media interest, and President Obama’s declaration that if he had a son, he would “look like” Martin that State Attorney Angela Corey stepped in as special prosecutor and ordered Zimmerman’s arrest.
State of mind was always an issue, not just for Zimmerman, but also for Martin. Hence the initial image created for Martin was of a painfully young and innocent honor student, a kid carrying a bag of Skittles and a can of ice tea. Zimmerman was a hulking, angry white man, a racist with a hair trigger who profiled Martin and was enraged with him from the beginning.
Both images began to break down quickly, to the point that by the time of the trial, the prosecution denied it was about race. Instead it was about “limits,” and Zimmerman crossed them. From the beginning the evidence of a depraved state of mind seemed in danger of collapse, and the judge held out the option of a verdict of manslaughter to the jury.
The jury declined.
The subject of this trial remains one of state of mind, but now that of the community and Al Sharpton. Sharpton’s claim that there would be rioting was picked up by the media, and it was racist to its core. There were no fears of rioting from whites and Hispanics of Zimmerman were convicted. Is the black community less restrained, less thoughtful, more emotional?
The black community hasn’t rioted over outrages greater than this would be, even if the prosecution narrative were completely true. Most blacks are no more inclined to burn down their neighborhoods or shoot strangers in protest than most whites are. The tweets coming from Sanford are clearly angry, and there’s anger online, but it flows from disappointment. The state of mind of the black community is not “depraved.”
Sharpton’s state of mind is more interesting. His career has been built on rage and violence, and it isn’t likely his character has changed with his job on MSNBC. He is probably fully prepared to emulate Arafat as a “man of peace.” But the black community isn’t prepared to emulate Palestinians.
Sharpton will undoubtedly continue to piously call for peace while he prays to his gods for mayhem. He doesn’t warn the country of trouble; he threatens and attempts to blackmail. There are certainly leftists who want what he wants, and will try to get it, but if there are violent protests, they will be desultory, planned affairs.
The verdict is in and justice has been done. Not all Americans will agree that it reached the correct result, but they will understand that the urge to punish the guilty no matter what isn’t justice.
Brooklyn born, Long Island raised, and now living in Los Angeles, Eric Golub is a politically conservative columnist, author, public speaker, and satirist. Eric is the author of the book trilogy “Ideological Bigotry, “Ideological Violence,” and “Ideological Idiocy.
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