For leftists, "innocent until proven guilty" is a luxury reserved only for themselves.
Alice Kaplan's latest book, "Dreaming in French," illuminates a pivotal year in the lives of Jackie Kennedy, Susan Sontag and Angela Davis, each of whom spent time in Paris between World War II and the start of the Vietnam War. In his review of the book, the San Francisco Chronicle's Thomas Chatterton Williams contends that Angela Davis was the beneficiary of French intellectuals, whose works Davis had mastered, when they returned the favor by supporting her "against the racism of trumped-up charges she later would face." Williams is referring to charges Davis faced in a 1972 murder case for which she was acquitted. Trumped up charges? Historical revisionism at best, outright lying at worst. Yet "racist-motivated" or "trumped-up charges" has been a recurring motif used to defend a coterie of radical black criminals who, despite mountains of evidence against them, have also benefitted from the support of leftists. It is those same leftists who are determined to turn the Trayvon Martin case into another racially-motivated circus--one where genuine justice takes a back seat to a leftist mob agenda.
Angela Davis is a former member of the Black Panther Party, who became a Communist in 1968 because she believed that “the only path of liberation for black people is that which leads toward complete and radical overthrow of the capitalist class." In 1979, Davis was awarded the Intenational Lenin Peace Prize (formerly the International Stalin Peace Prize) by then-communist East Germany. In both 1980 and 1984, she ran for Vice President of the United States on the Communist Party ticket. She currently leads her own movement against what she refers to as the "Prison industrial complex," contending that all incarcerated minorities are nothing more than political prisoners who should be freed.
On August 7, 1970, 17-year-old Jonathan Jackson pulled out a gun in the middle of trial and ordered everyone to freeze. He then passed out guns to the defendants and took five hostages as part of an escape plan. One of the hostages was presiding Judge Harold Haley, who had a sawed-off shotgun taped to his chin during the ordeal. During the subsequent gun battle attempting to prevent the escape, the judge's head was blown off.
Davis was indicted as a result of two over-riding factors. First, more than 20 witnesses indicated that the hostage-taking was an effort to free fellow Black Panther George Jackson who was reportedly her lover, and that Davis had been in the area at the time of the crime. Second, Davis was the owner of the shotgun that killed Haley, and owned all of the other guns used in the attempted escape as well.
Trumped up charges? Davis seemingly didn't think so. She fled California to avoid arrest, using aliases and changing her appearance until she was apprehended in New York City two months later. And even if one concedes the former charge might be untrue, the latter charge is indisputable. Davis owned the guns. Yet for people like Thomas Chatterton Williams and other see-no-radical-evil disciples, a prosecutor bringing charges against the owner of weapons used in a murder constitutes race-based railroading.
See-no-evil is a recurring theme for leftists when it comes to black radicals. Assata Shakur, aka JoAnne Chesimard, was part of a revolutionary activist organization known as the Black Liberation Army (BLA). On May 2, 1973, Chesimard and two accomplices were stopped for a motor vehicle violation on the New Jersey Turnpike by two state troopers. Chesimard was already wanted for her involvement in several felonies, including bank robbery. The trio opened fire on the troopers, wounding one. The other trooper was shot and killed execution-style at point-blank range. In 1977, Chesimard was convicted of first-degree murder. Two years later, she escaped prison and is currently thought to be living in Cuba.
A societal pariah as a result? Hardly. In 2005, a grassroots movement, "Hands Off Assata" generated support for Chesimard in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and other cities. Other supporters claim she was the victim of "racial profiling and political targeting." In 2011, the controversy touched the president when rapper Common was invited to the White House, despite penning "A Song for Assata" and naming his child Omote Assata Lynn. “Assata had been convicted of a murder she couldna done,” Common rapped. New Jersey state troopers were understandably outraged by the invitation. How is the president associated with Common? "It is likely Obama met Common at the Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s Trinity United Church of Christ were both men were members," reported the NH Journal in 2011.
Tellingly, Common has voiced support for another cop-killing radical and former Black Panther, Mumia Abu-Jamal, who murdered Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner in 1981. Despite this reality, Abu-Jamal has been the darling of innumerable leftist crusaders, a partial list of which, compiled by the Fraternal Order of Police, can be found here. Once again, supporters insist Abu-Jamal was convicted in "a kangaroo court on trumped up charges." And once again, one of Abu-Jamal's apparent supporters was another associate of president Obama: in 2008, the Chicago Tribune reported that former Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers decorated the door of his University of Illinois office with a picture of Abu-Jamal, along with radicals Che Guevara, and Malcolm X.
And in a poetic close to the circle of radical support that began with Parisian intellectuals backing Angela Davis in the '70s, the socialist mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoë, made Abu-Jamal an honorary citizen of his city in 2003, followed by Mayor Didier Paillard naming a street after the cop-killer in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis in 2006.
Which brings us to Sanford, Florida. No one can say with any degree of certainty what occurred during the fateful exchange between Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman. Yet what can be said with certainty is that a leftist constituency of racial arsonists, including Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and the latest incarnation of the Black Panther Party, the New Black Panther Party (NBPP), is every bit as interested in mob justice, absent the facts, as the original Panthers and their supporters were. Their pre-determined verdict in the case is already in: Trayvon Martin is an innocent victim, and George Zimmerman is a racist, cold-blooded killer.
Yet as ironically as it gets, the same leftist protesters who have so often demanded freedom for those whose guilt has been established beyond all reasonable doubt now demand law enforcement officials to find George Zimmerman guilty of something. If that same reasonable doubt they ostensibly champion leads to an acquittal? As NBPP leaders have made clear, America should get ready for a "race war" if that particular verdict is reached by a jury.
But it's not just the NBPP or other radicals looking for street justice. Daily Beast columnist Mansfield Frazier worries about America "facing Rodney King, Part II...if this case goes all the way to trial." As opposed to what? "To my mind, the government offers Zimmerman a plea deal that has him back on the street within this decade, and he accepts it quietly. That seems like a conclusion most reasonable Americans could live with," writes Frazier, who apparently eschews constitutional due process when it is threatened by mob violence. One is left to wonder whether Mr. Frazier would be willing to "live with" a similar plea deal even he were innocent, in order to placate a mob.
As for Angela Davis, she considers Trayvon Martin the victim of "racist violence," further contending that "it's difficult to keep all of the other examples of racist violence in focus when we demand justice for Trayvon Martin." In other words, as far as Ms. Davis is concerned, racism is an established fact in this case. She further emphasized that conclusion during a speech at Cal Poly Pomona, when she contended that George Zimmerman could be compared to a “modern day slave catcher.”
One can only wonder how Davis, et al., can be so monumentally oblivious to their own hypocrisy. For decades they have decried "racially motivated" jury verdicts, based on "trumped up" charges, played out in "kangaroo courts." They have rallied to protest against a "rush to judgment" and the "railroading" of "innocent" suspects. Yet it is now glaringly apparent that such earnestness only applies to the "right" kind of suspect.
George Zimmerman is not the right kind of suspect. There is nothing to be gained by defending "white Hispanic" George Zimmerman's constitutional rights--except justice. Yet when it's not a fellow radical under the microscope, justice be damned.
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