It took less than two minutes of watching Sean Hannity’s interview with Robert Zimmerman, the father of the “un-accused” killer of Trayvon Martin, before I had to cut it off. Besides Hannity’s leading the interview by setting the stage and inserting his opinion that everyone has “rushed to judgement,” Zimmerman had the gall to state:
“I’d really thought that we had gotten past a lot of racial problems.”
I must confess, I could not watch any more than that. You can watch the rest here.
Robert Zimmerman is now claiming that his son is the victim of racism. He cites the NAACP’s and the Congressional Black Caucus’ demands for the arrest of his son, George, as example. The nerve of these organizations, demanding the arrest of a man who killed someone. How dare the community ask for an arrest and a trial. Amazing, isn’t it? No one has asked that George Zimmerman be convicted without a proper trial and sufficient evidence. Nevertheless, Zimmerman’s father—along with conservative pundits—cry “racism” or “race baiting” when the community demands for Zimmerman what he denied Trayvon: Justice.
There is a malicious political tactic at play here: the counter-accusation and the obfuscation of race. Anytime something has a racial tone in America, the person accused of racism only needs to counter with accusations of “race baiting” and suddenly the conversation is over. We saw this during the South Carolina Primaries when Newt Gingrich was rolling out his revised version of the Southern Strategy. It did not matter that he called the sitting president the best “food stamp” president we ever had. It did not matter that he said black people should “demand paychecks and not be satisfied with food stamps.” All Newt had to do was say that anyone who thought his comments were racist were actually race baiting. Suddenly, everyone backed down and Newt was off the hook.
I would venture to say that the Zimmerman family has been coached by a shrewd political strategist or, at a minimum, a crisis management team. To claim that they are victims of racism simply because the community is asking for a trial is a master application of the political art-of-war. The fact that Robert Zimmerman has yet to actually show his face, conducting interviews on behalf of his son shrouded by a silhouette, leads me to that conclusion even more. Someone must have told him that it would not be in his son’s best interest for the world to realize his father was white—you know, “cause America has a race problem and we wouldn’t want his son to suffer further discrimination because he grew up with the privileges and opportunities that everyone thinks comes with being white in America.“
Race matters have been so blurred by political maneuvering that it is all but impossible to discuss them without being labeled either a racist or a race baiter. I would ask Robert Zimmerman one question: How does the pursuit of justice make your son the victim of racism? No. I have a follow up question as well. How is it that you can see racism when the black community demands a trial, but you cannot see racism when your son was the judge, jury, and executioner of a young black teen simply because he looked suspicious?