Mar 22, 2012

The Lynching of Trayvon Martin

When the wolves of hate are loosed on one people, then no one is safe

Update: Over 1,327,162 more signatures for justice.

Over nine hundred thousand people have signed a petition calling for the arrest of George Zimmerman who killed Trayvon Martin for being black.

But as imbecilic as Zimmerman is, let's call this murder what it is: A lynching.

Zimmerman felt entitled to hunt down, assault and then shoot to death Trayvon Martin while speaking to a 911 operator for one reason: Zimmerman is empowered to do so by the Florida statute and the political culture in which we live, one where a major political party constantly strokes racist sentiments among the population to get elected.

Culture does matter. So does political rhetoric.

We understand why President Obama cannot comment now, as press secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday, "I note that the Justice Department has said that it’s looking into the matter, and I would refer you to the Justice Department. Obviously, our thoughts and prayers, as I said yesterday, are with Trayvon Martin’s family. But beyond that, not least because there is an investigation going on, I don't have anything else I can add."

But condemnation from Presidents Clinton and Carter, and the Bush family is called for. And that especially includes former Flordia Gov. Jeb Bush. Even Florida legislators who sponsored the Stand Your Ground law are speaking out. So where are the Republican candidates running for president? Not word one.

The family and folks such as Color for Change and the Congressional Black Caucus are driving this investigation for now.

If we cannot communicate a moral imperative for political leaders to speak up, consider the public safety imperative. A deadly riot broke out in 1991 after racist Los Angeles cops who beat Rodney King were acquitted.

Young Trayvon Martin was hunted down and lynched with the implicit approval of the Sanford, Florida police department, and a racist political culture.

So the next time the Republican Party plays their race card, like it is right now, consider the words of Ralph McGill in the Atlanta Constitution, Oct. 13, 1958, after the dynamiting of a Jewish Temple in Atlanta.

Let us face the facts. This is a harvest. It is the crop of things sown. It is the harvest of those so-called Christian ministers who have chosen to preach hate instead of compassion. Let them now find pious words and raise their hands in deploring the bombing of a synagogue. You do not preach and encourage hatred for the Negro and hope to restrict it to that field. It is an old, old story. It is one repeated over and over again in history. When the wolves of hate are loosed on one people, then no one is safe.

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