Daily Beast columnist Mansfield Frazier has turned the concept of “justice” upside down, arguing that George Zimmerman should be convicted in the shooting of Trayvon Martin merely to avoid race riots.
The case was already heavily politicized even before prosecutor Angela Corey filed a charge of second-degree murder against Zimmerman based upon an extremely thin affidavit. The charge was a shock to most legal experts because of the incredibly high burden of proof for a murder charge that none of the known evidence comes close to supporting.
It was in this toxic political environment that Frazier filed a remarkable op-ed titled “Trial of George Zimmerman Could Trigger Another Rodney King.” The article isn’t incisive in its dissection of the facts of the case. It doesn’t offer cogent analysis of the legal strategies that the prosecution and defense might try to use if the case proceeds to trial. It doesn’t caution fellow journalists to be careful about jumping to conclusions surrounding the case, a low-hanging fruit for any columnist with a hint of competence.
Instead Frazier offers the extraordinary advice that despite a critically — perhaps criminally — flawed prosecution, George Zimmerman should just cop a guilty plea anyway to assuage his violence-prone critics in the black community in an attempt to keep the violent mobs at bay:
As George Zimmerman faces murder charges for shooting Trayvon Martin, it’s worth asking if America is in danger of facing Rodney King, Part II?
That’s what I see down the tracks: If this case goes all the way to trial, it’s a train wreck waiting to happen. The time is now for strong hands to take the helm and steady the ship of state — not to mention our national racial, political and legal discourse. The paramount concern has to be to avert a large-scale racial calamity.
Were you misinformed that the role of the criminal justice system is to fairly and impartially weigh the facts and evidence of a case? Well, now you know better. Mr. Frazier has eloquently argued that racial politics, not guilt or innocence, is the true measure of “justice for Trayvon.”
But the Daily Beast columnist is just getting warmed up and won’t let facts stand in his way:
Look what’s already festering on the streets of Sanford, Florida. On the one hand we’ve got the three stooges of the New Black Panther Party running around Sanford, spouting off crazy ideas and becoming a total embarrassment to more thoughtful and reasoning blacks who simply want justice. On the other we’ve got the equally clownish neo-Nazis, goose-stepping around on their self-appointed mission to protect the white race.
The only problem with statement is that it patently isn’t true. There are no neo-Nazi patrols, and never were. The claim was based on an unsubstantiated phone call from out of state, published by another lazy journalist with shoddy editorial oversight.