There as been a lot of self-righteous nonsense, to say nothing of race-baiting malevolence and sclerotic liberal hand-wringing, over the shooting of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman. John Hinderaker at Powerline posted a thoughtful and balanced column the other day, and now Thomas Sowell weighs in with his usual laser-like beam of common sense and wisdom.
Remember the hysteria that greeted Geraldo Rivera when he said on Fox News that “I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin’s death as George Zimmerman was”? Some said Geraldo should be fired, demoted, reprimanded, tarred and feathered, etc. for expressing that opinion. But Sowell saw that Geraldo was right: “It is not often,” he wrote at NRO, “that I agree with Geraldo Rivera, but recently he said something very practical and potentially life-saving, when he urged black and Hispanic parents not to let their children go around wearing hoodies.”
The point at issue: “There is no point in dressing like a hoodlum when you are not a hoodlum, even though that has become a fashion for some minority youths.”
The Narrative says George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch captain, followed Martin “because he was Black.” I submit that, based on everything we know about Zimmerman, it is more likely that he followed him because he was wearing a hoodie and acting in a threatening manner. (Just how threatening he was Zimmerman discovered when Martin slugged him, bringing him to the ground, and than sat atop him, smashing his head repeatedly into the sidewalk.)
I am not asserting that Zimmerman is innocent of wrong doing; nor am I suggesting he is guilty. What we do know is that the local police, on a preliminary review, decided not to charge him. It was the President of the United States who, displaying his usual post-partisan, post-racial instincts, brought George Zimmerman before the kangaroo court of inflamed public opinion and cynical operators like “Rev.” Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, clowns that the former head of the NAACP accused of acting like “buzzards circling the carcass of this young boy.”
Once again, Thomas Sowell has it exactly right:
The man who shot the black teenager in Florida may be as guilty as sin, for all I know — or he may be innocent. We pay taxes so that there can be judges and jurors who sort out the facts. We do not need Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton or the president of the United States spouting off before the trial has even begun. Have we forgotten the media’s rush to judgment in the Duke University “rape” case that blew up completely when the facts came out?
I am glad to see that there is some high-profile and articulate push back in this depressing episode. Thanks to folks like Thomas Sowell, it is reasonable to hope that a dispassionate application of the law will eventually triumph over the atavistic passions and partisan, race-based politics that the President of the United States helped unleash in our national conversation.