Distilled to its essence, the original, widely accepted narrative of Trayvon Martin’s death was that of a clearly delineated battle between good and evil which went something like this: On the night of February 26th in Sanford, Florida, a racist vigilante named George Zimmerman relentlessly and unjustifiably stalked an African American “child,” as Al Sharpton tenderly described him, who had been minding his own business, eating “a bag of Skittles.” Zimmerman then gunned the boy down in “cold blood,” according to Jesse Jackson—simply because, like so many Americans, he instinctively viewed all black males as potential criminals. Notably, a host of major media reports described the Hispanic gunman specifically as a “white Hispanic”—a term rarely if ever used prior to the Martin killing—to emphasize the familiar “oppressor-versus-victim” racial storyline that the left has grown so proficient at reciting.
Recently the New Black Panther Party—never known for mincing words—has weighed in on the case as well, ominously declaring that “White America,” having “failed black people” for “400 years,” will no longer be permitted to “kill black children and get away with it.” To drive the point home, the Panthers initially offered a $10,000 bounty for the “capture” of George Zimmerman. Lest there be any ambiguity about what the Panthers meant by “capture,” the group not only demanded “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,” but also circulated a flyer that read: “MURDERED in Cold BLOOD—Child killer of Trayvon Martin—WANTED DEAD or ALIVE.” Soon thereafter, the Panthers upped the ante to $1 million, a sum which they expected to collect in donations “from the black community [including] athletes and entertainers.”
The Panthers, it is worth noting, have been unpersuaded by some inconvenient facts that emerged following the announcement of their bounty, including eyewitness evidence that Trayvon Martin actually attacked Zimmerman (rather than vice versa) and was beating the latter quite badly just prior to the shooting. Of course, not all the facts are known yet, but as far as the New Black Panthers are concerned, the collection and evaluation of evidence are merely tiresome formalities that would serve only to delay and deny “justice” for the racist killer. The Panthers’ southern regional leader, Mikhail Muhammad, puts it succinctly: “He [Zimmerman] should be fearful for his life. You can’t keep killing black children.” Righteous crusades against evil don’t require due process; they only require victory.
Anyone familiar with the New Black Panthers knows that they have long been vexed by the racism which they claim pervades “White America.” Indeed, who could forget one of the Panthers’ most famous leaders, the late Khalid Abdul Muhammad, whose angst about white racism led him to express his deepest “love” for one Colin Ferguson, a black gunman who had shot some twenty white and Asian commuters (killing six of them) in a racially motivated rampage aboard a New York commuter train in 1993. Determined to stamp out white racism by any means necessary, Muhammad announced: “I honestly wanna kill the enemy…. I would be embarrassed if we couldn’t point to one Colin Ferguson that decided one day to … just kill every goddamn cracker that he saw.”
When Muhammad died of a brain aneurysm in 2001, he was succeeded as Panther chairman and crusader-in-chief-against-racism by his longtime protégé, Malik Zulu Shabazz. Like his mentor, Shabazz reads American history as an unpunctuated narrative of white-perpetrated oppression. He asserts, for instance, that George Washington was little more than a slave owner who “raped black women,” while “old wooden-teeth-wearin’, wig-wearin’ Thomas Jefferson, [was] nothin’ but a slave-master, a slave-owner, an Indian-killer.”
Shabazz was once a featured speaker at an Al Sharpton-organized “Redeem the Dream” rally at the Lincoln Memorial, where the young Panther—troubled as he was by the intransigent scourge of American bigotry—unambiguously called for a race war. Expressing “solidarity with Reverend Sharpton,” Shabazz spoke of a proverbial “black jury” finding “white America” guilty of “injustice and racism”; he called on young African Americans, including “gang members,” to unite against their “common enemy”; and he articulated his “black dream that when we see caskets rolling in the black community … we will see caskets and funerals in the community of our enemy as well.”
By Shabazz’s reckoning, the George Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin case cries out for precisely such retributive “justice.” Long before this case, in fact, Shabazz made it clear that if any white person “lays their hand on any black man or woman in this county,” the black community should swiftly and mercilessly “crush that devil.”
So as to avoid portraying Shabazz as nothing more than a two-dimensional moron, a third dimension should be pointed out at this time: By no means does the Panther leader uniformly detest all non-blacks. In the wake of the 9⁄11 terrorist attacks, for instance, he lavished praise upon a newly prominent Middle Eastern Arab named Osama bin Laden, characterizing him as a Muslim “brother” and “a bold man” who was “not bowing down” to the West, but rather was “standing up” for his beliefs and “bringing reform to this world.” “The real terrorists,” Shabazz explained, “have always been the United Snakes of America.”
Under Shabazz’s leadership, the New Black Panthers adhere to a “Ten-Point Platform” that demands “the overdue debt of reparations” to be paid by “this wicked racist government [which] has robbed us”; that exhorts “all Black People” to “unite and form an African United Front and arm ourselves for self-defense”; and that demands the release of all nonwhite inmates “from the many jails and prisons because they have not received a fair and impartial trial.” In the Panthers’ calculus, the collective innocence of blacks is as axiomatic as the collective guilt of whites—including, of course, “white Hispanics” like George Zimmerman.
From that premise, it is but a short logical leap to the conclusion that the evidentiary specifics of any particular case involving race are of no real consequence. And while racial hucksters like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton may not endorse the Panthers’ call for violence, they have, for decades, shared the Panthers’ vision of collectivized white guilt and black innocence. Moreover, they remain prepared to exploit any incident which they believe might help them keep that vision alive. Thus do they focus so fervently, so predictably, on incidents bearing even the remotest resemblance to white-on-black violence, which has been a statistical rarity for decades. And thus do they now cleave like leeches (see photos here and here) to Trayvon Martin’s parents, casting them as the latest new “faces” of their anachronistic, morally bankrupt movement.
When Trayvon Martin was killed, President Obama counseled all Americans “to do some soul-searching to figure out how does something like this happen.” It is significant that he has not seen fit to encourage a similar analysis of the modern “civil rights” crowd’s inane and hackneyed ramblings.
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