first published early april 2012:
The Hispanic-on-black homicide in Florida is a sad event that’s like a breath of fresh air to Obama’s race baiters. Extortionist-in-Chief Reverend Jackson was down there this weekend trying to whip up a crowd and then to make it boil over. Unfortunately for him and for the President, it’s not the good old days of the civil rights struggle anymore. America has in fact cleaned up its formally racist act. It’s one of the least racist countries in the world, I think. It’s difficult even for the most gullible white liberals to believe that this black president is just a fluke. It’s no easy to imagine that the election itself was simply an isolated re-affirmation of affirmative action. It hurts for me to admit it given his performance in office but he was actually elected. In fact, it’s not hard to argue that African-Americans today wield more influence than their 12% (or 13%, or 15%) of the population, would explain.
Anyway, I don’t know why one man in his thirties shot a younger man to death. I don’t know any more than I did a week ago, or a month ago. If anyone does know more, then he/she/they, should share the information and identify its source clearly. The shooter says “self-defense,” as you would expect. That does not mean he is not a trigger-happy racist vigilante. The young victim was a good boy, says his mother. Mothers usually say that, especially when they have lost their son to unexpected violence. It does not mean he was not a little beast as, in fact, many young black men appear to be. (See below.) And no, my opinion isn’t much influenced by the fact that the victim had school trouble because of marijuana. (My white friends’ children don’t but that’s mostly because, where I live, the school authorities don’t care much to check.) Even the fact that he was caught with a screwdriver in his backpack does not make much of an impression on me. There may well have been an innocent explanation such as a sticking locker door, or some sort of over-dramatic, show-off defense against bullying such as young men often employ. Sure the screwdriver may have been a violation of school policy; it did not merit capital punishment, I am sure.
I am pointing out the obvious, of course. We have a justice system with fairly good and tried procedures. There are few places in the US anymore where a DA gets a good reputation by not prosecuting murderers. The fact that it used to happen, fifty years ago, does not make it so today. Plus, even if he enjoyed racist community approval, the DA could not hope to escape the censure, the opprobrium of others outside the same community. I don’t know the relevant DA but I bet he had to graduate from law school, had to pass the bar exam (like President Obama). It’s not likely he is so stupid he does not know about the power of the Internet.
The mostly black crowds that gathered last Sunday to demand the shooter’s arrest remind me of the lynch mobs of old, of course. Or, do you think that African-Americans to not share with others the base and basic human desire to lynch? Do you? Really? Oh, you don’t like the stand-your- ground law that exists in Florida; you think it facilitates murder, pure and simple? Well, it may be a bad law. Laws are forever changing, as they should because they often prove to have unintended consequences. Change the law, then. In the meantime, the law is the law and don’t put any pressure on the authorities to act outside the law. Refusing to recognize the legitimacy of laws that proceed from proper democratic processes is called _________. (Fill in the blank.) Attempting to bully properly constituted authorities into acting outside the law is called__________. Trying to substitute mob rule for due process is called ____________. (Hint: The same answer goes into the three blanks.)
As we wait for a proper judicial process to take its course, with the possibility that the shooter will spend long miserable years in jail, remarkable things have already happened in connection with this unhappy event. Here are the two most remarkable:
First the victim’s mother acquired legal protection for phrases that can be used in connection with her son’s death. When in the history of humanity did a mother grieving for her son ever think of acquiring trademarks about the painful event? When did such a mother ever act on this strangely hard-hearted, inhumane, craven wish?
There is something very wrong in this picture. Someone powerful, someone self-assured, someone who is not grieving is holding the mother’s hand when she signs the applications for trademarks. And who could that be and why?
Second. Why would the president pronounce publicly and aloud on an event which is clearly not within the federal jurisdiction, even if it is a crime at all? Why would he? We were told he was a constitutional scholar. Does he not know that in nearly all cases, murder is squarely a state crime? (Don’t bother me with civil rights violations. That’s another issue and that’s not what he sounded off on.) The answer to my question is not as obvious as it seems: President Obama may in fact not have been clear in his mind on this constitutional fact. I keep telling you he is not evil but confused and out of his depth. How about his job teaching constitutional law in a reputed law school, you ask?
Well, I hate to pull rank on you, reader but, I am a retired academic and I assure you I have seen the likes of it and worse. Of course, I can’t prove my case with respect to Prof. Obama specifically because his grades, even his undergraduate grades, are still under lock and key.(Grade=note, in French.)
And then, there is racism. African-Americans are about 12% of the US population says Wikepedia. Let’s assume that’s a gross under-account. Let’s assume they are in fact a full 20% of the US population. Still, they account for about half of all homicide victims nation-wide from one year to the next. Someone is killing African-Americans and killing them out of proportion to their numbers in the population, two and half times or more, just about. It appears that the killers of African-Americans are mostly not Hispanics (not even “white “ Hispanics), and not even whites.
About 94% of African-American homicide victims appear to be killed by African-Americans. Now, let’s suppose that here again, there is a false count, an over-count, this time, in the FBI Uniform Crime Report. Let’s suppose only 84% of African- American homicide victims are killed by other African-Americans. This mans that the 80% of the population who are not African-Americans, have to crowd into a narrow space to be able to kill the 16% of black homicide victims not killed by other African-Americans.That is, all white killers of blacks, and all Asian killers of blacks, and all Pacific islanders, and all Inuit killers of black and, of course, all Hispanics have to crowd into the same little space for a chance to murder black person.
Any way you look at it, this is intolerable. It should be intolerable to African-American leaders, such as Jessie Jackson (and to the NAACP, by the way) so, they have adopted a convention:
There were 7,300 African-American victims of homicide in 2007, for example (according to a Violence Policy Center study). Only the black victims of non-black killers are actually dead however. The thousands of black victims of black killers are just pretending to be dead. If you say otherwise, you must be a racist.
PS No, I am not suggesting that there was a conspiracy to murder the young man in order to stir up racial trouble favorable to the troubled Obama re-election prospects. It seems to me however that someone quickly grasped the political advantage of that sad event for one side, and for one side only.
Update 4/6/12. In today’s Wall Street Journal, Shelby Steele says the same things I said above but much better. (“The Exploitation of Trayvon Martin.”) Among other statements:
On the transformation of the American racial scene since the civil rights movement: “There are no longer any respectable advocates of racial segregation.”
And: “…the increasingly redundant civil rights establishment…” “want(s) to make a movement out of an anomaly.” (the killing of a young black man by someone who is not himself a young black man.)
And further: “Black teenagers today are afraid of other black teenagers, not whites.”
Mr Steele is a conservative historian and philosopher. He is an African-American.
And I had forgotten to mention something foreign readers may no be aware of: The talented black movie director Spike Lee offered a ransom for doing something unspecified to the shooter of the young black man. He offered a large amount of money.
4/12/12 The Hispanic shooter tuned himself in yesterday. He was taken into custody on instructions of a special prosecutor. The original, locally elected prosecutor (“District Attorney”) had declined to take him into custody. He never changed his mind. Instead, he recused himself. No one knows why except the people involved. The Governor of Florida appointed another prosecutor, a “special prosecutor” to deal with the matter of the dead young black man.
The appointed special prosecutor decide on her own that she would not submit the matter to a grand jury, as is the normal practice, to decide if the shooter should be indicted and for what. In most American jurisdictions, grand juries, representative of the local citizenry, decide if the evidence present warrants, justifies charging someone.
The special prosecutor knew she would have little chance of influencing the local grand jury that she had not herself convened. In the meantime, and since the fatal shooting there had been numerous loud demonstrations by black organizations demanding that the shooter be arrested. It’s an election year.
Of course, there is no connection between the demonstrations and the special prosecutor’s decision to take the extraordinary decision of side-stepping the normal procedure, the grand jury. Or is there?
An important media organ was caught red-handed for having doctored, fraudulently modified a voice recording to make it appear that the shooter was racially motivated.
As this point, today, I still have no idea whether the shooter acted from self-defense as he alleges, or whether he is a deadly racist, or if there is some other explanation. I am now glad that he is in jail because he is probably safer there than on the outside where a well-known media personality offered a bounty for him and did it with impunity.
The handling of this sad event stinks worse every day.
Update6/4/12 : The shooter was charged with some sort of homicide in by the state of Florida( not first degree murder). Then, as is the practice, he was set free under bail. Again, that was not a favor done to him; it’s the everyday practice.
On June 3rd, the shooter’s bail was revoke and he reported to jail. The reason, is that the judge believes that he, the shooter, lied about how much money he had when the judge decided what his bail would be. (Tech note: The judge has wide discretion in setting the amount of bail. However, there are well understood general principles. One is that the amount of the bail must be large enough in relation to the accused riches to deter him from fleeing.)
The shooter understated how much money he had, it appears. Appearing as a liar in a trial where it’s his word against the victim’s word and the victim is dead is a bad idea. He might end up going to jail for a long time because he wanted to save a few thousand dollars. Sad!