‘We are outraged and heartbroken over today’s verdict,” NAACP president Benjamin Jealous said in a statement moments after a jury of six women found George Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder and manslaughter.
That’s what it has come to for the NAACP. The Zimmerman case wasn’t about due process. It wasn’t about Trayvon Martin’s family having their day in court. The NAACP didn’t care about the trial, it wanted a conviction — and the law be damned. The facts be damned. Justice be damned.
And the NAACP isn’t finished with George Zimmerman. It now wants to deny him one of the most fundamental civil rights we as Americans possess — the right not to be tried a second time for the same crime. “We will pursue civil-rights charges with the Department of Justice,” Jealous added in the post-verdict statement.
So much for the civil rights of another minority. George Zimmerman just happens to be Hispanic. Or “white Hispanic,” as the New York Times described him.
The fact is, if George Zimmerman had been a black man, this case would never have been brought to trial. If George Zimmerman had been black, the NAACP and Al Sharpton would never have marched on Sanford, Fla., and demanded that the state take over the case.
The fact is, George Zimmerman was guilty in the NAACP’s eyes of not being black. That is why he was charged and prosecuted. A young black man was dead on the streets, and a non-black guy killed him. It had to be racism that caused his death. There was no other explanation, and justice had to be exacted.
That is mob justice, plain and simple. The same kind of mob justice blacks faced until so very recently in the South — and in much of the rest of America.
In what is perhaps the greatest book ever written on the subject of race, intolerance, justice, and mob justice, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird narrows in on the trial of a black man, Tom Robinson, falsely accused of rape by a white girl and her family. A white lawyer in town — Atticus Finch — takes Robinson’s case and does his best to prove the innocence of his client beyond a reasonable doubt.
“I am confident that you gentlemen will review, without passion, the evidence you have heard, and come to a decision, and restore this man to his family. In the name of God, do your duty,” Gregory Peck, playing Atticus in the movie version, urged the all-white jury in his closing statement.
It didn’t matter. They found Tom Robinson guilty of rape despite the evidence. He was guilty of being a black man.
Though a Florida jury viewed the evidence without passion and restored George Zimmerman to his family, the NAACP and many other black leaders don’t seem to care. To them, George Zimmerman was, is, and will forever be guilty of gunning down a man for no reason but the color of his skin.
All of this while young blacks are being gunned down every day in the streets of America’s cities by other young blacks. No one knows the names of all the innocent kids being killed by black gang members on the streets of Chicago and L.A. But the world knows Trayvon Martin’s.
No one knows the names of all of those black gunmen. But we know George Zimmerman’s.
And for one reason: The NAACP, the Reverend Al Sharpton, and complicit journalists decided to focus on this case as an example of the racism that terrorizes young black males.
As if the NAACP and Al Sharpton — not to mention ordinary African-Americans — really believed the biggest problem facing young black men is white guys, and white Hispanics, looking to kill them.
The sad fact is that the vast majority of black males who die by violence are killed by other black males, some by accident, but many intentionally. Where is the national attention on those cases? God knows, there are plenty to choose from.