Skip to comments.Rich Lowry: This time, Sharpton gets it right
Posted on 03/26/2012 9:16:12 AM PDT by Red Steel
What is true of the stopped clock is also true of the perpetually aggrieved, shamelessly exploitative publicity hound: Through sheer chance, he occasionally will be right.
The Trayvon Martin case appears to be one of those instances for Al Sharpton. The longtime provocateur and MSNBC host has a leading role in the protests over the lethal shooting of the 17-year-old Martin at the hands of a zealous Neighborhood Watch volunteer in the Florida community of Sanford.
During halftime of the NBA All-Star Game, Martin left the home of his father's girlfriend to walk to the local 7-Eleven for Skittles and iced tea. It was about 7 p.m., and he caught the attention of 28-year-old George Zimmerman, who had taken it upon himself to patrol the neighborhood armed with a gun. He considered Martin suspicious and called 911, which dispatched police. Ignoring the 911 operator's urging not to pursue Martin, Zimmerman followed the young man, got into an altercation with him and shot him dead.
Zimmerman claims Martin attacked him from behind, and he fired in self-defense. But while he was on the line with 911, Zimmerman was the one chasing Martin. At the same time, Martin talked on his cellphone to his girlfriend, complaining of a man watching him. She told him to run away, which he apparently did during the interval Zimmerman was on with 911. The girlfriend claims she heard Martin say, "What are you following me for?" before the call went dead.
The tape of another 911 call from a neighbor has yells of "help" in the background before the gunshot. We may never know what exactly happened in the altercation. We do know this: Through stupendous errors in judgment, Zimmerman brought about an utterly unnecessary confrontation and then in the most favorable interpretation of the facts for him shot Martin when he began to lose a fistfight to him.
Florida has a "Stand Your Ground" law that stipulates that someone doesn't have to retreat and can use deadly force if facing a threat of death or bodily harm. It is one of the reasons that the police didn't press charges against Zimmerman. But the law is not meant to be a warrant for aggressive vigilantism. It was Martin, chased by a stranger who wasn't an officer of the law, who had more reason to feel threatened and "stand his ground" than Zimmerman.
So, Sharpton and his usual complement of allies are right about this: The Sanford police appear to have made the wrong call in letting Zimmerman off. Of course, the usual suspects can't leave it at that. In their telling, the case is a wholesale indictment of American society.
One MSNBC anchor compared the case to the notorious lynching of Emmett Till in 1950s Mississippi. On a visit from Chicago, the 14-year-old Till talked to a white woman and was subsequently murdered, mutilated and thrown in a river. His murderers got off. The Till case exposed a system built on injustice and hatred. The Orlando suburbs in the 2010s aren't remotely comparable, and George Zimmerman manifestly did not set out that night to kill Trayvon Martin, or he wouldn't have bothered to call the police.
News accounts tend to leave out that Zimmerman is a mixed-race Hispanic. That doesn't mean he can't be a racist. (Although it's murky, it sounds as if he mutters a racial epithet on the 911 call.) But a Hispanic-on-black killing lacks the narrative clarity of a white vigilante chasing down Trayvon Martin in the tradition of the worst practices of the Jim Crow South.
The attention devoted to the case has forced the chief of police of Sanford to step aside temporarily, and it's hard to see the grand jury that is now looking into the shooting not handing down charges against Zimmerman. If so, he shouldn't be effectively tried during street protests or on cable TV. There's already been enough vigilantism in Sanford, Fla.
Rich Lowry is a syndicated columnist. He can be reached via e-mail at: email@example.com.
Rich, you ignorant slut.
Rich Low....very low....rewrites history.
“Conclusion, Lowry is a moron and the entire MSM has it’s collective head up it’s ass...”
You nailed it!!
Man, the number of people making a public showing of stepping on their cranks is something. This is darn good entertainment. It’ll be interesting to see how many are man enough to make as big a show of admitting error, as they do of stepping on their cranks.
” National Review” is DEAD!! RIP
National Review. . .the “elite” republican establishment, full of pretension and arrogance.
Indeed. . .and the poor-little-angel-darling (TM) had such a nice twitter name revealing his utter innocence and pure soul.
“What we have SOME evidence for? We know someone was shouting help. We know Zimmerman said it was him, and a friend said it was his voice. The family insists it was Martin; “
To be clear, there is a witness to move this to the “what we really know” column.
“I wouldnt shoot a person to stop getting beat up, “
Serious Question: You say you would not shoot someone beating you if you had a weapon. Okay. Doesn’t this mean you are placing your life into the hands of a thug? I mean, if you are being BEATEN the thug can beat you until you are dead, or, just beat you until you are senseless and then take the weapon from you and shoot you. Essentially, you are betting your life the thug beating you will NOT kill you.
So, if I understand your position correctly, if you are being beat by a thug that pinned you to the ground and is slamming your head into the ground, you would not defend your life? Your choice but not mine.
Like I said, if I understood your position correctly.
I don’t own a weapon, because I don’t believe I could use it to shoot someone who was threatening me. And I wouldn’t therefore want to have a weapon they might take from me to kill me.
I might feel differently if I lived in an area where I had to think about being threatened. I don’t, and I don’t think I could take a life, so I don’t own a weapon. I encourage people who feel differently to own weapons, and support their right to do so.
I’m pretty sure I could kill someone to save another person’s life, if I was certain that it was necessary. But I know it would be hard for me, both before and after.
So many of the writers about this event keep emphasizing that the 911 Operator told Zimmerman not to follow Martin.
This warning is AUTOMATIC.
It prevents lawsuits against the Police Department.
Thank you for your thoughtful reply.
For some reason, not being disrespectful, serious, for some reason this came to mind: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CG2cux_6Rcw
Again, not mean-spirited just funny.
I really am surprised..didn’t think Lowry was THAT stupid.
There is a lot of contemporaneous information there that does not comport with MSM and Lowery. Of particular interest read the home invasion/burglary and listen to the 911 reports.
One of the best posts I’ve seen on this subject so far.