Compared to their screaming, feverish responses following the July acquittal of George Zimmerman, the relative calm — which is not to imply rationality — of liberals’, and particularly black liberals’, reactions to Saturday’s Michael Dunn “loud music” murder trial verdicts allowed many of their worst traits to be seen more clearly.
From attacking the jury because of the critics’ own misunderstanding of the law, to suggesting that there will and should be “outrage around the country” if Mr. Dunn’s jury could not read a verdict on the charge of first-degree murder, to using the results to claim that America is an inherently and permanently racist nation, the left proves once again that neither facts nor reason can trump their desire intentionally to divide our nation by sowing the bitter seeds of anger and mistrust.
And, sadly, several prominent blacks seem intent on demonstrating — as a recent Rasmussen poll suggested — that there is more racism within black America than within white America, a view held among both blacks and whites.
Before going into a critique of the reaction to the case, a few underlying facts: Michael Dunn pulled into a gas station in Jacksonville, Florida, where loud rap music was coming from a red Dodge Durango with four young black men in it. Dunn objected to the music and asked them to turn it down, which they did. It remains a matter of debate whether one of the young men got out of the car or not, or whether any of them threatened Dunn, as he claimed, or whether Dunn saw what he believed to be a weapon — none was ever found.
What is not in doubt is that Dunn fired ten shots at the Durango, including getting out of his own car and continuing to fire as it drove away. Three of the shots hit 17-year old Jordan Davis, killing him. Miraculously nobody else in the vehicle was hurt. Following the shooting, Dunn said nothing about it to his fiancée who was in the gas station’s convenience shop during those fateful few minutes, instead leaving the scene with her without reporting the incident to the police. The jury convicted Dunn of three counts of attempted second-degree murder and another weapons charge but was unable to reach a verdict on the primary count of first-degree murder in the death of Mr. Davis.
Some on the left argue that this case is a near carbon copy of the Zimmerman case. It isn’t. While Zimmerman may have been slightly overzealous in his Neighborhood Watch duties, nothing in his background suggested him to be racist (though he was aware of a spate of neighborhood burglaries committed by blacks).
Dunn is a different story. He seems to use the word “thug” as a synonym for “young black male.” In a letter he wrote from jail to his grandmother, Dunn said, “The Jail is full of blacks and they all act like thugs. This may sound a bit radical but if more people would arm themselves and kill these (expletive) idiots when they're threatening you, eventually they may take the hint and change their behavior.”
In my opinion, stipulating that my information is limited, Dunn seems to be an angry racist who was looking for trouble.
There is one important similarity about the two cases, however, and that is the malign involvement of prosecutor Angela Corey, whose desire for political aggrandizement seems again to have trumped professional ethics. She brought obviously unprovable charges against George Zimmerman and then decided to overcharge Dunn with first-degree murder (requiring the jury to concur that the shooting was premeditated) rather than going with second-degree, or manslaughter, or some other charge which a jury would have been much more likely to convict on.
Her protestations notwithstanding, much of the blame — not just for the trial outcomes but for intentionally rending the fabric of civil society — belongs at the feet of Angela Corey. Mr. Dunn is the villain here, but considering her position, Ms. Corey is not far behind. And she wants to shred the fabric more by retrying Dunn for first degree murder; one can only hope that the family of Mr. Davis will discourage her as Dunn’s consecutive sentences amount to his spending the rest of his life in prison.
(On the legal front, it is worth noting that despite the claims of liberal attorneys offering opinions on television as well as many others trying to make political hay of the Dunn and Zimmerman cases, neither case revolved around Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law.)
Even if we were certain that Dunn is not a nice guy, the response of the left, especially the black liberal media elite, to the jury’s verdict is not just inappropriate; it is also a dangerous and damaging attack on our justice system and on the country itself.
Let’s start with television where CNN’s Don Lemon was “pissed” about the results of the case even before they were known, saying “If this turns out to be a hung jury or a mistrial, there will be outrage, I’m just saying, around the country, and I will be one of those people.” Fan flames much, Don?
Fox News anchor Gregg Jarrett, a former attorney, fired off a Twitter tirade at Lemon, starting with “Pathetic: Don Lemon — everything that happens in the world happens to him personally.” And continuing with “Lemon was ‘pissed’. Forget about some measure of objectivity as an anchor. That’s not his thing.”
Also on CNN, perpetually race-focused commentator Marc Lamont Hill repeated his assertion previously made on Twitter that the trial results prove that in the United States “we cannot convict a man of killing an unarmed black child.” One could almost hear Mr. Hill swallow the adjective “white” before “man.”
These gentlemen seem intent on convincing viewers, and especially blacks, that they inhabit a country where they can’t get a fair shake — in life or in death.
Frankly, I couldn’t bring myself to watch MSNBC where I’m sure the vitriol makes Lemon and Hill look tame. But I didn’t have to, because Ta-Nehisi Coates, writing for the Atlantic, penned a note entitled “On the Killing of Jordan Davis by Michael Dunn” that makes even the most outrageous television talking heads look like rookies in the game of race-baiting.
Coates’ short article is worth reading in its entirety, as it — along with other evidence — requires an honest reader to acknowledge that the United States, despite (or perhaps due to) having its first black president, is seeing racial divides intentionally exacerbated by the radical left, particularly its black denizens.
Of the idea of “black on black crime,” Coates says “I will not respect the lie… which is uttered as though the same hands that drew red lines around the ghettoes of Chicago are not the same hands that drew red lines around the life of Jordan Davis….”
Of course, black on black crime is hardly a lie; it is one of the most serious social problems plaguing America and particularly its black communities. One typically leaves it to the left to make comparisons to Holocaust deniers, but I’m just sayin’…
But far more dangerous is Coates’ view of the persistence of racism in America in a paragraph which is disturbing not only for its wrongheaded analysis but for its social and policy implications, were enough people to agree with such a twisted view of the United States:
I insist that the irrelevance of black life has been drilled into this country since its infancy, and shall not be extricated through the latest innovations in Negro Finishing School. I insist that racism is our heritage, that Thomas Jefferson's genius is no more important than his plundering of the body of Sally Hemmings [sic], that George Washington's abdication is no more significant than his wild pursuit of Oney Judge. I insist that the G.I Bill's accolades are inseparable from its racist heritage. I will not respect the lie. I insist that racism must be properly understood as an Intelligence, as a sentience, as a default setting to which, likely until the end of our days, we unerringly return.
This jaw-droppingly misguided sentiment is the toast of social media, at least within the broad liberal echo chamber, where people are responding with fawning drivel such as “so powerful and true,” and “Ta-Nehisi got me thinking abt what I do on a daily basis to avoid propping up our f**ked up infrastructure of racism.” (Both of these bits of wisdom were from young white people.)
But the latter comment is precisely the point: Mr. Coates, although more eloquent than most, is a race hustler of the first order, condemning not just Dunn but every white American. It takes a particularly soft and malleable mind to even consider agreeing with Coates’ assertion that Thomas Jefferson’s dalliances with Sally Hemings are more significant than his writing the single most important political document in human history, including the fundamental premise that all men are created equal — which led to the end of the truly evil institution of slavery in the United States.
Coates’ criticisms of George Washington and the GI Bill are equally scurrilous yet are precisely the fodder that those mushy minds gorge on to fill their never-ending guilt (if white) or anger and finger-pointing (if black), leading to a refusal to admit that some amount of the lack of success of so many American blacks is due to a refusal to take personal responsibility — because people like Coates tell them that others are to blame for their failures.
This is not to say that everyone in America truly has equal opportunity, or that public schools in poor black neighborhoods do not often serve primarily to keep them poor. But those things do not excuse the abandonment of parenting responsibilities by the majority of black fathers, or the self-predation of black gangs on each other in pursuit of drug profits, or the glorification of these soul- and society-destroying behaviors by the preferred music of many young men in the black community. To the extent that black life is undervalued in this country, it is at least as much by blacks as by anyone else.
Coates’ views are not just wrong. They’re dangerous, bordering on evil. They are a prescription not only for a permanent victim class, demanding anything from money to blood of those defined as racist oppressors, but for arguing that a historic wrong can never be made right and that all people who share a particular trait must be forever guilty of the nation’s past sin.
I wonder if Mr. Coates would say that no Korean should ever forgive the Japanese, that no Greek should ever forgive the Turks, that no Irishman should ever forgive the English.
I wonder if Mr. Coates would say that that no Jew should ever forgive Germany. After all — and this is in no way intended to lessen the terrible history of slavery in the US and elsewhere — Hitler killed ten times as many Jews as the total number of slaves imported into the United States in the nearly 250 years prior to the civil war, and nearly twice as many as the entire slave population of the United States in 1850.
As a Jew, I admit it hasn’t been easy, even though I was born two decades after the end of World War II, to consider each German I meet as an individual rather than just tar them with the brush of their country’s brutal (and relatively recent) history. But, especially when I was living in Europe and traveling to Germany for tourism or on business, I did just that and found most Germans to be like most people in any other western country.
But Mr. Coates gives me, a white guy, no such benefit of the doubt — even though the first part of my ancestry to arrive in the United States came through Ellis Island decades after the Civil War, even though hundreds of thousands of white Americans sacrificed their lives in that war to end slavery, and, on a political note, even though the civil rights movement’s strongest white supporters — as well as most leading abolitionists more than a century earlier — were Republicans.
The effect and intent of the words of Lemon and Hill and Coates are to divide Americans along racial lines, to instill anger and mistrust and jealousy and bitterness. It helps their ratings; it helps them sell magazines; it helps them line up more speaking engagements. It makes them feel good about themselves — by making one part of society hate another part.
But their views are a national cancer which, perhaps surprisingly to some, is metastasizing more rapidly under our first black president than at any time in the nearly five decades I have been alive.
In fact, it should surprise no one. Barack Obama is not foremost a black president; he is a Progressive Alinskyite president who happens to be black, a follower of a man who preached division as a political tactic, and the employer of a man, Attorney General Eric Holder, who said (while in his previous job), “I am the black United States attorney…[T]here’s a common cause that bonds the black United States attorney with the black criminal….” As former DoJ attorney Christian Adams put it, that’s the real race card.
It is not surprising that President Obama inflamed the nation surrounding the Zimmerman case; indeed it is possible charges might never have been brought had he not said “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.” Somehow he didn’t say the same about Jordan Davis. Could it be because his insincerity would be obvious?
Or is it something else: that Obama isn’t running for re-election? Even George Zimmerman, a self-described former “huge supporter of President Obama,” in an interview with Univision on Sunday, said that Obama’s interference in his case was an “opportunity” to win more votes. (If you want to see a truly egregious example of media misconduct, watch Chris Cuomo’s interview of George Zimmerman which aired on CNN on Monday in which Cuomo asked Zimmerman how he felt about people who “liked that a young black had been killed.”)
But the politics of division remain this president’s first choice of political weapon. It is why when presented with a spreading national cancer of anti-white racism among leading blacks in the media (and some of their strangely-guilt-ridden white colleagues), Obama’s actions aim to speed and broaden the disease rather than to treat it.
And so, the liberal media elite, and particularly its black members, work hand in glove with the most racist administration in nearly half a century, to inflame and pander to certain Americans’ greatest fears and prejudices, to erase “United” from our country’s name and character, and to pick at the formerly-healing scab of racial disharmony following the heroic efforts of many, black and white, to end decades of true civil rights inequalities.
They do this by calling every outcome they dislike a manifestation of virulent, persistent racism that is “not merely a belief but a heritage.”
So what is to be done?
Well-meaning Americans of all races, religions, and political stripes must push back against the hateful rot that fills the minds of people like Ta-Nehisi Coates and Don Lemon and Eric Holder and even Barack Obama. We must tell them, perhaps using the same language Mr. Coates uses when he says that our nation is fundamentally racist and corrupt, “I will not respect the lie.”