Physically killing Trayvon Martin and leaving his body in the morgue for three days was not enough for Zimmerman and the Sanford Police Department. They had to assassinate Trayvon's character as well. Through leaks of school records and by scouring Trayvon's Twitter account, Zimmerman's supporters have attempted to label Trayvon as a gold teeth wearing, marijuana smoking, graffiti spraying, good for nothing thug. Here are a few excerpts from the Miami Herald:
As thousands of people gathered here to demand an arrest in the Trayvon Martin case, a more complicated portrait began to emerge of a teenager whose problems at school ranged from getting spotted defacing lockers to getting caught with a marijuana baggie and women’s jewelry.The fact remains that none of that information has any bearing on whether Zimmerman committed a crime. None of that information justifies the killing of Trayvon Martin.
The Miami Gardens teen who has become a national symbol of racial injustice was suspended three times, and had a spotty school record that his family’s attorneys say is irrelevant to the facts that led up to his being gunned down on Feb. 26.
Zimmerman's supporter's goal is obvious. They want the American people in general and the potential jury pool in particular to view Trayvon Martin as a thug who got what he deserved. They want us to focus on Trayvon's flaws, and not police department's ineptitude and callous disregard for black life.
After demonizing Trayvon, according to the Orlando Sentinel, the police released Zimmerman's account of the incident to the press.
With a single punch, Trayvon Martin decked the Neighborhood Watch volunteer who eventually shot and killed the unarmed 17-year-old, then Trayvon climbed on top of George Zimmerman and slammed his head into the sidewalk, leaving him bloody and battered, law-enforcement authorities told the Orlando Sentinel.After that information was released, a few gullible people prematurely began to ask if the Trayvon Martin case was the next Duke Lacrosse case. Well, the new police video should silence all of that chatter. Check out the video.
That is the account Zimmerman gave police, and much of it has been corroborated by witnesses, authorities say. There have been no reports that a witness saw the initial punch Zimmerman told police about.
Dear Sanford Police, where is Zimmerman's bloody nose? Where is Zimmerman's bloody head? Where is his wet and grass covered shirt or jacket?
Another diversion tactic is this sudden and phony concern about so-called black-on-black crime. Some are questioning why the Trayvon Martin case is getting so much media attention while black on black crime gets little or no media attention. These critics suggest that black people are only concerned about racial incidents and have no concern about black on black murder.
Nothing could be more untrue. There are plenty of stop the violence groups and community anti-gang initiatives. Stop the violence rallies and marches regularly occur in our communities. Many civil rights organizations have fought to eliminate the root causes of inner violence such as high unemployment, inferior schools, influx of firearms and drugs, etc.
Some critics have even argued that black leaders are exploiting this tragedy to promote racial tensions. As reported in the Daily Caller:
Former NAACP leader C.L. Bryant is accusing Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton of “exploiting” the Trayvon Martin tragedy to “racially divide this country.”
“His family should be outraged at the fact that they’re using this child as the bait to inflame racial passions,” Rev. C.L. Bryant said in a Monday interview with The Daily Caller.
The conservative black pastor who was once the chapter president of the Garland, Texas NAACP called Jackson and Sharpton “race hustlers” and said they are “acting as though they are buzzards circling the carcass of this young boy.”
As Roland Martin pointed out, critics such as Rev. C.L. Bryant don't really care about black-on-black violence. They are merely trying to distract us. If they actually cared, they would be out there marching to stop the violence. If they really cared, they would fund anti-violence and anti-gang groups. Instead, all they are doing is attacking committed freedom fighters such as Rev. Al Sharpton and Rev. Jesse Jackson.
The Trayvon Martin case deserves all of the attention that is receiving for several reasons. You have an unarmed young man who was labeled as suspicious just because he was black in a white neighborhood. The young man was not committing any crime. He was simply walking home from the store after purchasing Skittles and iced tea. A white Hispanic man followed, tracked down, hunted and shot down Trayvon like an animal. The killer weighed approximately 100 pounds more than the victim. The police know who the killer is. They had the killer in their custody. They released the killer solely based on his flimsy claim of self-defense. They had the audacity to let the killer keep his weapon. They know exactly where the killer is. Yet, they do nothing.
Over a month later, the killer remains free and armed. Each day, that Zimmerman remains free is a blatant reminder that black life is worthless in America. Essentially, Trayvon Martin was treated like road kill. That's an outrage!
There would be no DOJ and FBI investigations if thousands of people didn't march in the streets around the nation. There would be no State's Attorney investigation or grand jury investigation. The Sanford Police Chief would still be in charge. Again, this extraordinary case deserves our attention. So, those who keep crying about how much attention this case is getting need to just shut up. Don't let them distract you by their disingenuous emphasis on black on black violence.
Finally, the New Black Panther Party is another media distraction. The media has been pushing the story about those lame, imitation Black Panthers issuing a bounty for the capture of Zimmerman. The right is going to try to use those idiots to undermine the legitimacy of the struggle for justice. We must be cognizant of the fact that the power structure routinely uses agent provocateurs to incite and entrap activists. We should ignore them and make it clear that they do not represent us.
As Bob Marley said, don't let them fool you. Don't let those those punk police fool you. Don't let uncle toms like Rev. Bryant sidetrack you. Don't let those buffoons masquerading as Black Panthers or anyone else trick you into doing something crazy. Keep marching, keep petitioning, keep speaking out, keep blogging until we get justice for Trayvon!
This article is cross-posted on Jack and Jill Politics.