WASHINGTON – July 17, 2013 – Comedian Jeff Foxworthy’s “You Might Be a Redneck” shtick supplies an ironically useful template for also describing hypocrisy in the George Zimmerman case.
Here’s a Top 20 list:
1. Let’s start with the obvious one: if you think Zimmerman had a right to self-defense or to “stand his ground,” but Trayvon did not, then you might be a hypocrite.
2. If you say everyone should just “accept” the Zimmerman verdict, yet you’re still whining about the O.J. verdict eighteen years later, you might be hypocrite.
3. If you think protesting a jury verdict is unconscionable, but protesting Supreme Court decisions is perfectly OK, then you might be a hypocrite.
4. If you think it’s racist to “inject” race into this and we should just be “colorblind,” yet you:
a) support “stop and frisk” (NOT-colorblind)
b) support “show me your papers” (NOT-colorblind); and,
c) support profiling Arab males at airports (NOT-colorblind, either)
…then what you really want is colorblind rules when it’s to the disadvantage of people of color but colorful policies when it’s to the benefit of white people…ergo: you might be a hypocrite.
5. If you think waterboarding is just advanced aquatic exercise, but George Zimmerman’s injuries were the Second Coming of a Holyfield bout, then you might be a hypocrite.
6. If you insist on referring to this as a fight between “two men” rather than that between a man and a 17-year-old boy, but you routinely use phrases like “our boys in uniform” and “our boys overseas” to refer to soldiers and Marines as old as their late-20s, then you might be a hypocrite.
7. If you understand (correctly) that Elizabeth Warren’s claim to Native American status in Massachusetts was laughable, yet don’t see that Zimmerman having a Latina mother doesn’t make his claim to being “Hispanic” any less laughable – because your race isn’t your family tree, it’s the treatment you’re accorded by others – then you might be a hypocrite.
8. Moreover, if you think Zimmerman being Hispanic is at all relevant to determining whether he racially profiled Trayvon Martin – as if, somehow being Hispanic means you can’t be racist – yet you believe black people are more racist than white people (a recent Rasmussen poll shows 22-percent of Americans think this) and you believe affirmative action is “reverse racism” by white people against white people, then you might be a very amusing hypocrite.
(Moreover, if you think Zimmerman “having black friends” and black relatives means he can’t be racist, you should acquaint yourself with the names Strom Thurmond and Thomas Jefferson.)
9. If—whether black, white, Latino, or Asian—you cross the street, clutch your purse tighter, or walk faster when you see a black, Latino, or Arab man on the street or in the airport, yet you think pointing that out is to “insert” race into the situation, rather than acknowledging you inserted race; then you, too, might be a hypocrite.
10. If you argue, in the Second Amendment context, that people need guns because they cannot trust or rely on the police, yet you cannot understand why Rachel Jeantel or Trayvon – for different, yet no less legitimate reasons – didn’t trust the police to protect them, your privilege might be blinding you to your hypocrisy.
11. If you think it was perfectly fine the police drug-tested the dead victim on the ground, but didn’t drug-test the very much alive, gun-wielding killer, then you might be a hypocrite.
13. If you can empathize with young white male defendants despite their bad acts—Duke Lacrosse players of 2006 to Anglo mass murders (whose acts are called “failures of our mental health system,” rather than justification to fear all white men) – but you let Martin’s pot use & Tweets irrevocably poison your judgment of him, then you might have come down with a case of the hypocrisies.
14. If—like Ted Nugent—you called Trayvon a “dope smoking, racist gangsta wannabe” whilst accusing other people of “race-baiting,” then you might be a stunningly un-self-aware hypocrite.
15. If to discern Zimmerman’s racial intent you said, “It’s not like he said the n-word or something, that way we’d know he’s racist,” yet when Paula Deen said it you protested “that doesn’t make her a racist!,” then you might be a hypocrite.
16. If you think Trayvon saying “cracker” was the most significant racial event since the Civil…uhm, sorry, War of Northern Aggression, but you think what this guy said is ok, and you’re still defending Paula Deen, then you might be a hypocrite.
17. If you blow out of proportion miniscule violence amid peaceful protests, yet ignore that exactly that disparate portrayal of people of color is precisely what allows people to irrationally fear harmless black people and shoot them, you might be a hypocrite.
18. If you’re saying “this wouldn’t have made news if [fill-in-the-blank’s] race were different,” yet the fact that every six months the national cause célèbre is some girl in distress, strikingly, who all share the same salient feature—JonBenét Ramsey, Chandra Levy, Elizabeth Smart, Laci Peterson, Jessica Lynch, Natalie Holloway, Caylee Anthony, or Missing White Woman’s Syndrome (MWWS)—if that doesn’t cause you to think, would “this girl be on my screen if she were, instead, [fill-in-the-blank] race,” then you might be a hypocrite.
19. If you say, but “what about the 90%+ of black men killed by other black men?,” after all, shouldn’t black people be more concerned about “black-on-black crime?”; without realizing that says nothing about race and violence since 86% of white people are killed by another white person—because crime, is in significant part, a function of proximity and opportunity.
20. Considerably crazier, if you think like Mark O’Mara, that if Zimmerman had been black, he “never would have been charged”—since men of color are apparently living high on the hog in our criminal justice system (despite all evidence to the contrary)—then you just might be on another planet.
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