Outrage Misplaced in Zimmerman Verdict

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by Dianne Hermann (Copyright 2013)

 

The outrage over the not-guilty verdict of George Zimmerman in the death of Trayvon Martin is misplaced. The Sanford Florida Police Department initially determined that George Zimmerman shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in self-defense and did not charge Zimmerman. But Martin was black and Zimmerman was “a white Hispanic” and we soon heard cries of racism. Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and other race-mongers converged on the scene as the nation sat riveted to the television watching a political circus unfold.

You would think that when a jury found Zimmerman not guilty the matter would be put to rest. Instead, the race-baiters took to the airwaves calling for national outrage. The national news now carries their cry for a federal civil rights trial amid the threat of riots. But let’s take a step back for a minute.

When a black person kills a white person the response it quite different. Take the case of 17-year-old De’Marquis Elkins, a black teen who fatally shot a 13-month-old white baby in the face during a street robbery in Georgia. Elkins shot the baby’s mother in the leg before killing the baby in cold blood. Conclusion: No one cries racism when it’s black-on-white crime.

Where is the outrage?

According to the Chicago Police Department, there have already been 184 murders in the first half of 2013. And that’s just in Chicago. One of those murders was Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old black girl who was shot to death in January, just a week after performing at President Obama’s second inauguration.

Where is the outrage?

Large urban centers don’t have a corner on the black-on-black murder market. Missouri has the dubious distinction of leading the nation in the rate of African-American homicides. A report by the Washington, DC-based Violence Policy Center found that the state of Missouri’s rate of African-American murders — about 34.86 per 100,000 black residents — was more than seven times the overall national rate of 4.42 per 100,000 in 2010. Conclusion: Black-on-black crime happens everywhere.

Where is the outrage?

The Washington Examiner reported in February that only 7,640 people currently hold a firearms permit in Chicago, but police seized 7,400 guns used in crimes in 2012 alone. That means that the criminals have more guns than law-abiding citizenry. Conclusion: When you make owning a gun criminal, only the criminals own guns.

Where is the outrage?

A US Department of Justice Special Report on “Black Victims of Violent Crime” provided startling statistics. Black victims of homicide were most likely to be male (85%) and between ages 17 and 29 (51%). Conclusion: Young black men are more often the victims of murder.

Where is the outrage?

In addition, the same report says about 53 percent of homicides against blacks in 2005 took place in areas with populations of at least 250,000 people, compared to about 33 percent of homicides for white victims. Blacks were killed with a firearm in about 77 percent of homicides. Conclusion: Blacks murder victims are more likely to live in large cities and be shot to death.

Where is the outrage?

Black-on-black non-fatal violent crimes, assaults, robberies, and drug-related crimes showed similar statistics. And black incarceration rates have skyrocketed. The Federal Bureau of Prisons reports as of June 29, 2013, the incarceration rate for blacks is 37 percent. Blacks, however, account for only 13 percent of the general population. Conclusion: Blacks made up a disproportionate rate of the prison population.

Where is the outrage?

What is being done to stop black-on-black crimes? According to the Chicago-Sun Times, Rev. Al Sharpton indicated two weeks ago that he wants to put Chicago’s black-on-black violence problem in the national spotlight by spending a few months in the city working with other church and community leaders. That will be difficult now that Rev. Sharpton prefers to focus on Sanford, Florida. Conclusion: The tragic Trayvon Martin case is high profile, which makes it convenient and draws attention away from the real issues.

Where is the outrage?

So why has black-on-black crime been tolerated, under-reported, largely ignored, and unresolved for so long? Who will step up and address the issues that lead to these unacceptable statistics? Conclusion: People are too busy calling Paula Deen a racist.

Where is the outrage?

Instead of helping, it seems some in the black community have another agenda. They would rather pour fuel on the fires of bigotry and hate. Black poet Benjamin Zephaniah provides a classic example in his poem titled “The Race Industry.” He calls whites “coconuts” and blacks “Uncle Toms.” In 1984 black presidential candidate Jesse Jackson infamously referred to New York City as “Hymietown.” He was also quoted in 1996 as saying, “There is nothing more painful to me … than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery, then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved.” Conclusion: Blacks are equally guilty of racism.

Where is the outrage?

But when black actor and comedian Bill Cosby dared to challenge blacks on personal responsibility he was attacked. Ted Shaw, the director-counsel of the NAACP’s Legal Defense and Education Fund, called Cosby an “Afristocrat in Winter.” Others who tried to help have been called “Oreos,” black on the outside and white on the inside. Black reporter Crystal Wright wrote in her July 11, 2013, article for The Guardian, “I have also been accused of being an ‘Oreo’ for merely stating the fact that more blacks are killing and being killed than any other race.” She goes on to say, “Self-appointed black leaders, advocacy groups like the NAACP, and black members of Congress cry racist at every turn.” Conclusion: Maybe it’s time for Americans to draw their own conclusions!

There was a time in American history when black outrage was valid. And there are still things in our society that call for outrage. But the black community should look inward. Their outrage should not be with George Zimmerman. Their outrage should be with the political circus staged by self-serving race-baiters.

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