Trayvon Doesn’t Matter to the Left

Ben Shapiro is a Senior Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and Editor-in-Chief of TruthRevolt.org. He is the author of the new book "The People vs. Barack Obama: The Criminal Case Against the Obama Administration" (Threshold Editions).


Pages: 1 2

The death of Trayvon Martin was surely a tragedy, no matter what the facts are. Nonetheless, the media coverage of and political response to the killing have been absolutely disgraceful – exploitative, cynical, and counterproductive in the extreme.

Let’s begin with the media. The initial narrative they seized upon was one of George Zimmerman, a “white Hispanic,” targeting Martin for wearing a hoodie, tracking him down, beginning a fight with him, and murdering him. Afterward, the narrative goes, Martin was not arrested by the police because either the police were racist, or they completely misconstrued Florida’s “stand your ground” law.

To make this narrative work, the media had to paint Martin as a saint, and George Zimmerman as a devil. If they had cared about accuracy, they would have realized that the character of both the supposed victim and perpetrator was irrelevant – only the events of the night in question matter. Instead, they decided to tell the American public that Zimmerman was a racist pig, while Martin was a clean-cut young man with no history of suspicious behavior.

So they released a picture of Martin that was several years old and emphasizing his youthful innocence rather than a more recent picture showing his gold chains and tatts. They suggested that Martin was a model student, rather than a troubled young man suspended from school for carrying an empty marijuana baggy.

Meanwhile, Zimmerman was portrayed as a latent member of the Ku Klux Klan, even though he was a mentor to two teenage kids of a black woman in Florida, and helped in a fundraiser for a black church.

So what’s the real story? According to police, Martin attacked Zimmerman by punching him and knocking him down; he then began slamming his head into the sidewalk. Witnesses corroborated this account. Zimmerman then shot Martin in the chest. Zimmerman was found with bloody lacerations to the back of his head and a swollen lip, consistent with his story.

Did the media do anything good by pumping it as a racial narrative without clear evidence? Of course not. But they made hay, turning a local killing into a national issue.

Pages: 1 2

  • Jack Neidlinger

    Just another excuse for race pimps like Jackson and Sharpton to get in front of a camera and act like the asses that they are. What worthless T**ds. As for "The New Black A**hole Panthers, They are the most loathsome creatures that G*d ever put on this earth !! G*d help this country.

    • John C. Davidson

      It would be interesting to know who's funding these creeps.

    • Wyatt Trash

      Just shoring up the base of the party.

  • UCSPanther

    This has the same reek as the Tawana Brawley case and the duke lacrosse case.

  • PDK

    For a black parent to name their son Trayvon immdiately jumps out with an air of suspicion, there is a lot in a name. Trayvons picture was of a 12 or 13 year old exuding innocense as that age does.
    The truth is on line his monica was no-limit- ni(gg)a. He had the gold teeth grill, two tatts, was on suspencion for marijuanna, was a suspected drug dealer, his friends would tweet him in need of plant. He wore his hood up.
    This was the innocent young boy walking through a gated community where no one had ever seen him before, therefore could not recognize him as friend or foe.
    The white liberals need to keep the blacks on the democrat plantation. The black leaders are mouths in need of a racial cause, and if the best there is is a lie so be it.
    What came out was black racism. All the blacks who fell for this malarky, hook, line and sinker did so because they harbor ill will for whitey. It is easier to blame whitey for black failure than to blame oneself for not trying hard enough to succeed. Thank you.

    • Dennis X

      He had a gold teeth grill ,2 tats, caught with an empty bag of weed , wore a hodie, walking thur a gated community where his father lived, Black male, etc. your right he deserved to be murdered.

      • Maxie

        It's not the country it's the MarxStreamMinistry of Leftoid Propaganda who control and megaphone the BS.

      • Wyatt Trash

        Murder is the killing of an innocent. Someone who would beat another human's head repeatedly into the pavement could only be described as an 'innocent' by leftist fear-mongers. And just in time for the election. I wonder if Obama's son has grills and tats and is a 'Made N****a"?

        • Dennis X

          If your stalked its called self defense. When a white cop shoots a Blackman 41 times are they innocent?

  • Alvaro

    "You know, if I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon." – Obama

    If Obama had a son, he'd look like a tattooed thug? I see.

  • crackerjack

    The only thing "murky" or "unclear" in this case is Florida's idiotic "stand your ground" law.

    Apparently nobody, not even those who passed this nonsense, know to what extend Martins killing is covered by the law. Going by the known facts, Martin had every right to "stand his ground" against Zimmermann, who followed and challenged him. Apparently, also Zimmermann had the right to "stand his ground" when Martin resisted. Additionally, the law obviously makes no differentiation between armed and unarmed opponents, between

    This "law" was sold to us as a revolution for self defense. Now it turns out that anyone can stop and challenge you anywhere at anytime and if you resist, apply leathel force.

    A stupid law that makes no sense whatsoever, penned by arms lobby crooneys and passed by stupid , compliant lawmakers to the detriment of the whole population.

    • penny lane

      What can we expect from a law that was backed by the National Rifle Association and opposed by police officials, who feared it would encourage untrained vigilantes to take the law into their own hands.

      John F. Timoney, a former Miami police chief and former head of the Police Executive Research Forum, said he and other Florida police chiefs wrote to the Florida legislature in 2005 opposing the “stand your ground” concept.

      “Laws like ‘stand your ground’ give citizens unfettered power and discretion with no accountability,” Timoney wrote in an opinion piece in the New York Times last weekend. “It is a recipe for disaster.”

      • Lee Poteet

        And they were wrong. Indeed, until the folks who go into law enforcement can read well enough to understand that the Second Amendment to the Constitution means precisely what it says, they are not bright enough to be law enforcement officers. Or to vote. Timoney should have his retirement yanked because he clearly believes that it is only the police thugs who should have unfettered power and damn little accountability.

        • Looking4Sanity

          You tell 'em, Lee!

        • penny lane

          Get educated LEE. Police are accountable. For every single bullet they fire, every time they use force, enter homes, confiscate, apprehend…… all is recorded, singed and countersigned. On the other hand, all those neighbourhood watch idiots out there, playing cop, running around with self assumed fantasy titles and causing more harm than good, are accountable to nobody and no one.

          What is a compleat looser and incompetent numbskull like this Zimmermann yobbo doing running around the neighbourhood with a gun pretending to be a cop and a macho man? He should have stayed behind his computer games where he can't get hurt or hurt others.

          • pagegl

            "On the other hand, all those neighbourhood watch idiots out there, playing cop, running around with self assumed fantasy titles and causing more harm than good, are accountable to nobody and no one. " Yeah, right. Anyone, in any state in this union who harms another person with a firearm is accountable to society. If you doubt that then please explain why Zimmerman was arrested, taken to the police station, and questioned. Sorry, Penny, you seem to be the person who needs some education.

      • reader

        So, if Zimmerman had his head smashed on concrete – as would have probably happened had he not shot Martin – that would be ok with you, right?

        • LOL

          Sure. Martin should have carried a gun and shot this compleat looser, self pronounced "captain" of a non existan neighbourhood watch and idiot stalker the moment he started following him in his car. That's what "stand your ground" is all about you moron. It's time citizens start to protect their freedoms against these gun totting jackasses who have been watching to many Rambo movies.

          • reader

            Is that an exerpt from Al Sharpton speech you are citing?

        • Dennis X

          But for zimmerman's actions martin would still be alive. If you are followed by someone you don't know , your in a place where you have a right to be and your not doing anything wrong, don't you have a right to stand and defend yourself?

          • kentatwater

            But for Zimmerman's actions, Zimmerman might be dead.

            If you are followed by someone you don't know , your in a place where you have a right to be and your not doing anything wrong, don't you have a right to stand and defend yourself?

            Martin attacked Zimmerman while he was entering his vehicle, after telling Zimmerman he "had trouble."

          • Wyatt Trash

            Defense can only occur after there is an offensive action. Zimmerman was walking back to his van. Any 'aggession' from him had already ceased. Just like a cop can't should a fleeing felon, you can't claim self defense if you're not being attacked.
            Yes, it was Zimmerman's actions that started this whole thing, and these should be examined under the light of the law of the state of Florida. But using words like 'Murder' and making statements that have no basis in fact are not the way to get this done. It is, however, the perfect way to further divide this country and pander to certain elements for political gain.

          • Dennis X

            The following constitued an offensive action. The phone conversation between Martin and the girl friend shows that he Martin was afraid for his phsyical welfare. Martin realized that he was being followed and confronted zimmerman. Opps, police cameras show zimmerman without blood , broken nose etc. If if were not zimmermans actions Martin would still be alive.

          • pagegl

            Yes, you have a right to defend yourself. But, if, as has been reported concerning Martin's actions, you approach someone from behind, slug that person, and then start banging that person's head into the pavement, you have gone beyond stand and defend and progressed into assault and battery, at which point the person you are beating on can then defend himself and use deadly force if that person fears for his life. If Martin did what I've just described, he was not defending himself he was an aggressor.

      • Wyatt Trash

        Molon Labe

    • pagegl

      "Now it turns out that anyone can stop and challenge you anywhere at anytime and if you resist, apply leathel force. " Total BS. Go read the info at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stand-your-ground_la… and educate yourself. Attempting to obfuscate by misstating the law is useless and does nothing but further convince people you are either ignorant or purposely lying.

    • Josephine

      Hey crackerjack,

      I think you meant to post your idiotic post on a progressive web site but somehow it ended up on this site. We have no sympathy with people who make up facts and use sophistry to defend lies. Please take yourself and your comments to Media Matters or some other leftist lunatic forum.

  • cedarhill

    Latest reports I've read state Martin broke the nose of Zimmerman.

    The first reports I read were a white gunned down a super great high school kid that everyone liked, was a great kid and was destined for sainthood. Sort of like that anyway. And they all published the cute as a button photo of Martin as a pre-teen, plus or minus. And have you googled "Trayon Matin" and compared the estimated results when you google "Jesus"? One point three BILLION? The Left established the narrative early and forcefully. It's what they do.

    Anyone aware of the deterioration of the black community over the last few decades should have immediately questioned what is an atypical description of black youth. Even Judge Judy says "if it don't make sense it's not true". By focusing on the Saint Trayvon narrative, the Left may have made a very serious mistake not only for their "causes" but for race relations. The NYT has morphed over to "White-Hispanic". So, along with hyphenated American we now will have hyphenated races? It's as if the Left is discussing dog breeding at Westminster.

    • Looking4Sanity

      I wouldn't go so far as to call the description of a decent black youth "atypical". That actually sounds a little racist to me. It discounts the possibility and gives short shrift to those who make the effort to live decent moral lives. The simple fact is that there are many more black people out of jail than there are in jail or on their way to jail. That puts the lie to the assertion that blacks are generally lawless and/or immoral.

      Your point about media manipulation and bias was on the mark…I only wish you'd have kept the sweeping negative generalities to yourself.

  • Steve Chavez

    THE PRINCIPAL FOUND A DOZEN PIECES OF JEWELRY IN HIS BACKPACK and he said "they were a friends."

    Zimmerman started his 911 call with numerous break-ins. Trayvon was in a gated community meaning which surely had trespassing signs. WHERE IS THE JEWELRY and can it be traced back to the BREAK-INS IN THE GATED COMMUNITY AND A TENANT? What about other broke into homes in the area? FINGER PRINTS?

    The Principal also found a large standard screwdriver in Trayvon's backpack.

    Was he a drug dealer in a school? Why have an empty bag of marijuana? QUESTION THE KIDS! Was crack, meth, or other drugs sold? Who paid his cell phone bill? On and on with questions.

    TRACE THE JEWELRY!

    • Looking4Sanity

      What does any of that have to do with events immediately preceding the shooting? There is no need to malign the character of the victim in order to prove that Zimmerman was justified in defending himself.

      All that matters in this case is who committed the first physical act of aggression (ie: threw the first punch) and could Zimmerman reasonably have been in fear for his life. I'd say that the possibility of Martin knocking him unconscious, taking Zimmerman's gun and shooting him with it was a very real one. That is all the justification he'll need for an acquittal.

      • Lrnglbrt

        The character of the criminal (kid) will have EVERYTHING to do with the case, just as will the character of the victom.

        Get the facts straight, Zimmerman was the victom. This country does an amazing job of turning criminals into victoms and vice-versa.

        • Looking4Sanity

          You are certainly entitled to your opinion. In MY opinion, you are the perfect example of the origins of the axiom "only a fool has himself for a client". It's obvious that you know nothing about criminal law and that you let your emotions and prejudices rule your life.

          And since you seem to want to parse my every syllable, I will point out that it is perfectly correct to say that Martin was the "victim" of a shooting. The word "victim", in this instance, having the same meaning as "recipient". Once again, we see that your gross lack of knowledge has jumped up and bitten you on your own ignorant arse.

  • tagalog

    When President Obama says Mr. Martin would be like his own son if he had one, I keep getting an image of Melia punching a guy in the nose so hard she breaks it, then knocking her victim down and smashing his head repeatedly on the pavement, apparently trying to turn his skull into mush.

    Martin also had a pot pipe in addition to the bag with marijuana residue in it. Maybe it was only residue after a boys' room moment…

  • penny lane

    Latest reports I've read state Martin broke the nose of Zimmerman.

    going by floridas law, martin could have stood his ground and shoot zimmermann. Who wants to be tracked by a latino in a car?

    What do we lear. Going by florida law, always carry a gun, shoot first and ask later.

    • reader

      This is as incoherent as it gets. all sharptons and schumers might as well get in line to rally and fist pump after every one out of tens of thousands traffic accidents in this country. The headline says it all: nobody – including you – really care as to what really happened. Just – what the leftists always do – get loud and crazy and demand what you want.

    • tagalog

      And when you shoot, shoot to kill.

    • pagegl

      And your knowledge of Florida law is dubious at best.

  • Lrnglbrt

    This is selective outrage at its worst. Black on white crime is rampant, gets little to no media coverage, while white on black crime is in fact rare (check Department of Justice figure for an eye opener).

    The Obama administration and the left have set back race relations 4 decades, people are taking sides, and 'fringe' group memberships are skyrocketing.

    • John C. Davidson

      It is there intent; socialism is their goal. Study history!

  • BS77

    Sick of hearing about this case. SIck of reading about it. The Martin guy attacked the Hispanic guy. THe Hispanic guy had a broken nose and was in fear of getting killed, so he shot the Martin guy. End of story. At least that's how it appears now as the news gives out more and more salient details, instead of the Sharpton hysteria.

  • John C. Davidson

    The biggest problem within the Democratic party is with the socialists. It is no different that the problem the Muslims have with the terrorists using their faith to perpetrate their cause. Both of the radical elements are good at deflecting attention away from their true goals. Matters not who they harm in the process!

  • scum

    This is a silly article, really.

  • Isherwood

    Zimmerman had a history of vigilantism. The police told him not follow Martin. His gun killed Martin. He needs to be arrested and prosecuted!!

    • lengua navaja

      It was a murderous reaction to being observed that got the kid shot, not the gun.
      That would indicate he WAS UP TO NO GOOD at the time.

      • Dennis X

        Drinking ice tea eating candy walking home to your dad's , that ni–gar was up to no good.

        • reader

          another race al sharpton baiter. how do you know if Zimmerman was looking to harrass blacks? the answer is, you don't. my bet is that you're big on Obama. go ahead, do us all a big favor, piss off as many hispanics as you can – that'll serve you well this fall.

          • Dennis X

            In the 911 call zimmerman refers to Martin as a " f—king coon", but I guess thats standard talk for your kind.

        • Maxie

          How do you know what he was eating or drinking or where he was going? Go back to Moron.org and have another shot of kool aid.

          • Dennis X

            Learn to read or maybe you can try to understand what they're saying on the news. Sorry, am I typing too FOR YOU?

        • kentatwater

          It's odd how some blacks nowadays, throw that filthy word around a lot, but ascribe its use to people who never use it, especially in anger.

    • Wyatt Trash

      In order: 1. If Trayvon's thug past shouldn't be brought into the situation, then nothing Mr. Zimmerman did prior to the incident should either. 2. The police told him not to follow and he said "Okay", and proceeded to walk back to his van. 3. No, the bullet killed Martin. The gunshot was a result of the aggressive action that had already occurred when Martin attacked him. 4. I can assure you, the police know exactly where he is and can get him at any time they think they have enough evidence to prosecute.

    • Mike O'Malley

      Good lord Mr. Zimmerman was a member of a neighborhood watch!

      Moreover what you said is not true. That is a distortion. It is misleading. What the police dispatcher said was, “we don’t need you to do that”

      "Zimmerman, who is white, had told a 911 dispatcher he was following the black teen because he looked suspicious. “We don”t need you to do that,” the dispatcher said."
      [Wall Street Journal online]

      Frankly, It seems to me that the distortion you used Mr Isherwood is useful in order to make it appear that Mr. Zimmerman was out of line and thus the instigator and likely aggressor.

  • RiverFred

    Per the LA Times 3-27-2012, Playing the race card again:
    More Whites are killed by blacks than blacks killed by whites (or "white Hispanics"). Far more blacks are killed by other blacks. Black males age 14 to 24 commit homicides at a rate nearly 10 times higher than that of young white and Latino males combined. Oops, if you mention these facts you will be accused of racism.

  • lengua navaja

    At least the "president" can relate to a thug.

  • denis

    I am confused. What is the real truth about this Martin kid. Was he a bad dude or a good student? If he has a rap sheet let the police publish it. If he is a drug dealer let the police prove it. Likewise for Zimmerman. Is he a racist, prove it? Was he attacked by this young man prove it. Whatever the truth is a young man lost his life. Now it has to be determined whether he was murder or someone acted in self defense of himself or something inbetween.

    • Maxie

      Your assuming the blindfolded Lady Justice is on the job. Sorry, but she was mugged by the Left here a long time back. What we have now is Postmodernist "retributive justice"; situational ethics" and "moral relativism". In other words, a politicized system of social engineering – not justice.

  • DrBukk

    Outrage is the default position of liars. Black on black/white crimes are so commonplace they don't merit attention, and white on black crimes are rare fodder every couple of years. Those stoke predictable outrage among the lying press and race hustlers and usually end up backfiring. when the facts are known.

    For a good example look up the carjacking, torture and gruesome murders of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsome in Knoxville, TN. This was the most heinous black on white crime in a decade and got no national coverage. None. I had it on Google Alerts.

  • Maxie

    "The Trayvon Martin case is murky. The facts are unclear. The motivations are uncertain."

    The motivation is completely clear. It's to take the failed political-economic record of Obama off the table and re-instate the "racist" meme that the devious, dishonest Left has pushed from day one. Remember the futile attempt of Pelosi et al to provke an incdent from the Tea Party crowd after ObamaCare was passed? That flopped big time because there was no such incident. This time the Left has produced the whole show. They have their manufactured martyr featuring " a cast of thousands" including the MudStream MarxistMedia. Sick.

  • Ghostwriter

    Unlike those like Dennis X,I'm going to wait until ALL the facts are in BEFORE I make my opinion. We don't need another tragedy.

    • Dennis X

      The tragedy has already occured, the kid is dead. All of this is just BS. I don't care about Big Al, the press or anyones opinion, including my own. There are parents who will not celebrate birthdays , the birth of a grand child etc. What we think is doesn't really matter.

  • JakeTobias

    How about a recent picture of Martin for the next article? Or would that be prejudicial? And get a load of "white Hispanic." How about referring to Obama as a "white Afro-American" from now on? Or would that be prejudicial too? How about "Red American President?" Maybe then Republican's would realize they should have impeached him by now.

  • http://www.americanrepublicspring.com Marvin E. Fox

    If the Travon problem is a case that is supporting a small time drug dealer, and perhaps it is. Supporting a smaller case, as in protection for a good boy done wrong, may be to hide the lack of protection of the good people of Arizona and our entire southern border. Parts of S. Arizona are now considered unsafe to travel. Mexicon drug cartels, I don't know if they are white-hispanics or green-hispanics, but taking over parts of the Republic of the United States is illegal. One wonders how The Obama Administration can survive as an administration that ignored the drug fueled invasion of our Republic. As always! He has no plan, just a speech.
    Constitution Article 4 Section 4 is the 44 magnum that protects our Republic. Obama has that protection of our Republic in his hand, but he doesn't know which direction to point it.

  • trickyblain

    "Zimmerman was found with bloody lacerations to the back of his head and a swollen lip, consistent with his story."

    FPM propagandist (n) reports this as fact. How does propagandist (n) support this as fact? What happened to the bloodied, broken nose in the original reports? Anyone who has ever seen a broken nose, knows they don't look like this:
    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la

    FPM editors, classy image! Trying to make a dead victim kid look bad is so….you.

    • Maxie

      Yeah, sorta like showing a picture of 6-ft., 200 lb pot head as a sweet-faced 12-yr. old and convicting Zimmerman in the MarxStreamMedia. So Left wing

      • trickyblain

        No. Nothing like that at all. I don't think folks who are labeled potheads by uber-repressed rednecks deserve to be shot dead (so right wing). I'm simply asking FPM propagandist (n) to back up what he claims as fact. He can't, because it's not factual (so right wing).

    • GotRights

      Nonsense. I've treated many a nasal fracture and occipital scalp laceration. Nothing in this video rules out these injuries. I've treated many an injury in forensic circumstances. Nothing in this video rules out the presence of grass or moisture on the coat. I wouldn't want to be the one who made the decision to follow Trayvon, leading to an encounter that ended up in his totally needless death. Zimmerman will have to live with that for the rest of his life. However, whether Zimmerman is a racist or has some other complex, and whether he is innocent, or guilty of murder or manslaughter, will be decided by the courts, not by a bunch of political opportunists, race baiters, racists, racialists, white supremacist kooks, conspiracy theorists, demagogues or biased media hotheads.

      • trickyblain

        All fair points. I don't think Martin was shot because he was black. I do think he is dead because he was black, though.

        And I'm no physician, but I have seen my share of broken noses. They swell. They are vividly evident after four hours. Based on Zimmerman's account of his other multiple injuries, he is the most miraculous self-healer since Stephen King's '58 Plymouth Fury.

  • lisag

    Who is to blame Trayvon, gangster mentality, parents, drugs, rap music, and all of the black men who don't speak out on this issue. Stay in school, stay out of trouble, not drugs and alcohol, don't have kids before you are married.

  • kafirman

    Trayvon's twitter handle was "no_limit_ni**a" Blacks revert to the term "ni**a" primarily because constant racial hay community agitation and occasional rage is less humiliating than facing freedom. The politics of the black people FEARS FREEDOM. As Shelby Steele tells us, blacks fear freedom because freedom can humiliate blacks relative to whites. Instead of the black "leadership" calling blacks to face their greatest obstacle — themselves — and look inward about their fears of humiliation, these leaders call on blacks to demonize whitey. Why doesn't Jesse Jackson, Barack Obama and Al Sharpton make loud call to clean BET from the use of the word "ni**a" (and its derivatives)? Then there is the "no limit" part to Trayvon. "no limit" does not suggest moderation or a subordination of man's lower impulses to conscience, respect for the other and decency. It suggests black rage. The real Trayon is all about rage. If Trayvon is a victim of racism, it is the racial hatred for whites and inflamed and exaggerated accusation against whites so as to avoid facing freedom and facing humiliation in the free market.

  • stevefraser

    Operation Distraction.

  • nab

    OK – let me get this out there:
    It does not matter one iota if trayvon was a saint or not… the fact is that Trayvon who would have no duty to retreat from a threat under stand your ground could well of struck Zimmerman first – in response to the threat that Zimmerman posed to him – after following him while armed. Zimmerman was ipso facto a leathal threat o Trayvon, he initiated a persuit and any reasonable person might feel threatened under those circumstances – it is precisely stand your ground that negates ZImmermans defense – even if you grant all of what he claims as true. and I say this as someone who is whiter than white…