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And the race-baiters took over. They suggested that the officers were acquitted because white folks were happy to see King’s beating. Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) quickly became an advocate for the rioters, and demanded that President George H.W. Bush issue a statement decrying the verdict and announce that the Justice Department would investigate.
And President Bush quickly complied. “[V]iewed from outside the trial,” he said, “it was hard to understand how the verdict could possibly square with the video. Those civil rights leaders with whom I met were stunned. And so was I and so was Barbara and so were my kids.”
By the end of the riots, 53 people had been killed, nearly 2,400 had been injured, over 3,000 businesses had been damaged. Nearly $1 billion in financial losses had been sustained.
Get ready. All the same elements are present in the Trayvon Martin case. The initial media furor stirred up the emotions of the American people without providing them the full facts. Just as Rodney King was presented to the public as a decent fellow targeted by the police, Trayvon Martin’s five year old angelic pictures were dragged out and circulated, with the media celebrating him as the flower of American youth. Just as the police officers in the Rodney King trial were quickly demonized – without evidence – as racists, so too was George Zimmerman quickly characterized as a white racist (even though he is a Hispanic non-racist by most accounts). Just as the race-baiters came out of the woodwork for political gain on behalf of Rodney King, so too have they done with Trayvon Martin. Just as a pusillanimous president caved to political pressure for comment with Rodney King, so too did a race-baiting pusillanimous president jump into the fray in this case.
And will there be riots? To judge from Twitter, the answer is surely yes. There is not enough evidence to convict Zimmerman. And there is more than enough evidence to suggest that those who rioted for Rodney are all too willing to do the same for Trayvon.
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