That a friend of George Zimmerman is calling for patience as a Florida grand jury takes up the Trayvon Martin case isn’t all that surprising. What might be surprising, in a truly sad way, is the race of the friend. Former CNN anchor and longtime friend of George Zimmerman, Joe Oliver, appeared on Fox this morning to counsel patience. His are words of some wisdom:
OLIVER: What we’re seeing from the reaction has come from the mischaracterization from the very beginning of George Zimmerman as being white. A mischaracterization of George Zimmerman as being racist. And that’s what has brought us to this point. I met with Rev. Jesse Jackson today, and had the chance to speak with him, and I pointed out that in the big picture, yes this is a racial question, this is a racial issue, and it’s something that needs to be talked about and I hope that we continue to talk about this, once we know what happened between George and Trayvon. But at its core, it is not a racial case.
Joe Oliver also allows for a possibility that hardly anyone has brought up: That the gun might have gone off accidentally. With modern firearms that’s unlikely, but possible.
Oliver is the third figure in this story to emerge whose biographical details seriously disrupt the media narrative of “aggressive white vigilante shoots innocent black kid, racist cops let white man off on specious ‘stand your ground’ law.” George Zimmerman isn’t white, and may not have even been as aggressive as has been reported. He may have made a bad call to follow Martin, but acted in self-defense when Martin overreacted to Zimmerman. The “innocent black kid” was a 6’2″ 17-year-old who had been in recent trouble at school, and may have been connected to illegal drugs according to his own family. Now Zimmerman’s first public defender, Joe Oliver, is black, and insists that Zimmerman is not a racist. In the segment above, he even corrects Martha McCallum’s explanation of events, as it painted Zimmerman as being in the wrong.
Fox, by the way, has not been good on this story up to now. Shepard Smith has beclowned himself several times, characterizing the 6’2″ Martin as a “little boy” while repeatedly showing a photo of him in ski gear that makes him look like he’s 12 or 13 years old, alongside that photo of Zimmerman that looks like a mug shot. Fox hasn’t been worse than the MSM; it just hasn’t been much better either.
In 21st century America where a black man has been elected president, we should be past race. For all sorts of reasons including a shameful history of race relations, and in the present because the mainstream media, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, the Black Panthers, the Democratic Party and Barack Obama all want and need race to remain a means of division, we are not.