The Spectacle Blog

Shelby Steele Talks Sense on Trayvon Martin

By on 4.5.12 | 5:20PM

I highly recommend Shelby Steele's piece in The Wall Street Journal concerning Trayvon Martin or more precisely the naked opportunism of so-called civil rights leaders and the liberal media:

In fact Trayvon's sad fate clearly sent a quiver of preverse happiness all across America's civil rights establishment, and throughout the mainstream media as well. His death was vindication of the "poetic truth" that these establishments live by. Poetic truth is like poetic license where one breaks grammatical rules for effect. Better to break the rule than lose the effect. Poetic truth lies just a little; it bends the actual truth in order to highlight what it believes is a larger and more important truth.

The civil rights community and the liberal media live by the poetic truth that America is still a reflexively racist society, and that this remains the great barrier to black equality. But this "truth" has a lot of lie in it. America has greatly evolved since the 1960s. There are no longer any respectable advocates of racial segregation. And blacks today are nine times more likely to be killed by other blacks than by whites.

If Trayvon Martin was a victim of white racism (hard to conceive since the shooter is apparently Hispanic), his murder would be an anomaly, not commonplace. It would be a bizarre exception to the way so many young black males are murdered today. If there must be a generalization in all this - a call "to turn the moment into a movement" - it would be to have a movement against blacks who kill other blacks. The absurdity of Messrs. Jackson and Sharpton is that they want to make a movement out of an anomaly. Black teenagers today are afraid of other black teenagers, not whites.

I would say the civil rights establishment and the liberal media are feeling more than a quiver of happiness from Trayvon Martin's death. They are deriving pleasure from it and are working hand in hand to stir up incitement. The result of which will be rioting if George Zimmerman is a) not charged b) charged but acquitted or c) charged, convicted but receives what is considered to be an inadequate sentence. For many people, nothing short of Zimmerman's murder would be satisfactory. Unless the Al Sharptons of the world are at long last discredited, nothing good can come of this whole sorry episode.

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