July 15, 2013 By Daniel Greenfield
The media indictment of George Zimmerman had little to do with the Latino Obama supporter or with the man he shot. These two men, one in life and one in death, were exploited to tell a story about racism; even though the one thing that both the Zimmerman and the Martin families managed to agree on was that race was not the issue.
Race was not the issue when George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin, but race was the story that the media insisted on telling. It was the story that everyone from Obama on down told and retold. And so the story stopped being about the need to determine what actually took place using eyewitnesses and forensic evidence, and instead became a toxic sinkhole of politically correct outrage and racial guilt.
The one thing that everyone knows about Martin and Zimmerman is the thing that matters least. Race. Based on George Zimmerman’s history, which included defending a black homeless man who had been a victim of police brutality, Trayvon Martin’s race would not have been a factor in his calculations. But the media was not interested in any of those things. The liberal narrative consists of a box labeled “white racism” that its activists have to fill from time to time. George Zimmerman was put into that box, not because of who he was or what motivated him, but because it was time to put someone in that box.
The race-baiting left had to tell its familiar story and they weren’t going to let anything get in the way of telling that story. They have to tell and retell that story because it establishes their moral authority to run our society and our lives.
The story is black and white with no room for ambiguities or gray areas. It’s about race as martyrdom. It’s about white guilt. The story is already written and the left is always looking to stick someone’s name in the empty space between “White racist” and “Minority victim.” The head of Stalin’s secret police once said, “Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime.” The American left reverses that equation. They already know the crime. All they need is the man.
The goal of the rally organizers, the reporters putting their best face forward at the teleprompter and of Obama, rediscovering the son he never had, was not to indict or imprison George Zimmerman. That was a secondary or tertiary goal. It wasn’t George Zimmerman’s freedom that they wanted to take away. It was our freedom.
The left does not indict or convict individuals. It indicts and convicts entire groups. Their show trials indict individuals for the crime of being a member of a class and then convict the entire class based on the trials of those individuals.
Zimmerman wasn’t being indicted as one man, but as a representative of a group. It didn’t matter that his appearance, his background and his motives did not fit the profile. He was indicted as a white racist. And by indicting him, the media was actually indicting the ordinary American for being part of a racist system that murders black youth. The system that they call America.
Trayvon Martin became every black teenager everywhere. George Zimmerman became every white man everywhere. The simplified portraits of both men transcended their identities and defined them solely by the media’s construct of their races. They stopped being individuals and became characters in a familiar media story; “White” and “Black,” “White Racist” and “Minority Victim.”
Within the unreal world of the left’s race-baiting narrative, George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin were stripped of their identities and transformed into iconic figures in a crude story of America as a country where a white man can murder a black man and get away with it. This is the story that the left needs to constantly retell because it justifies their overreach of government power.
The Zimmerman verdict gives the left its final dramatic conclusion to the race-baiting narrative by establishing the guilt of the system and by extension the society that is run by that system. And that is what it had sought to accomplish all along.
The left isn’t just out to indict George Zimmerman. It’s out to indict all of us. It isn’t just out to lock up George Zimmerman. It’s out to lock up all of us. The prison in which it intends to lock us up is big. It’s a 3.794 million square-mile prison for 314 million prisoners. The prison that they are building is meant to cover a country that used to be known as the United States.
The first goal of the Zimmerman case was to deepen racial divisions. That mission was undeniably accomplished. African-Americans walk away from the trial more certain than ever that the country is racist and that white people can get away with murder. There may be no race riots arising out of the verdict and even the hate crimes will likely be limited to a dozen violent attacks, but the deeper impact will be on a black community more resentful and more certain that the only thing standing between it and slavery is maintaining the absolute power of the Democratic Party.
It is no coincidence that the shooting of Trayvon Martin was elevated to prominence while both parties were preparing for a national election. The political work of the shooting was already done last year and the verdict won’t reverse that. The Trayvon Martin shooting was used to fuel outrage and boost voter turnout in the black community.
The second goal was to give the Justice Department more leeway for intervening in local cases and to put local authorities on notice that such interventions can and will happen at any time. After intimidating local authorities into an arrest, an indictment and a trial, not to mention replacing their police chief, Holder’s DOJ has already accomplished its goal which was to treat every local police department like a subsidiary of federal law enforcement whose decisions can be overruled at any time.
Liberal race-baiting isn’t about race in the same way that rape isn’t about sex. It’s about power.
The story of George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin was just the story that the left told millions of Americans to make their power grab possible. Any day now, they will find another way of telling the same story. The names will be different. The place may be thousands of miles away. But the story will be the same because the media will have found two more people to fit into its familiar race-baiting narrative.
George Zimmerman will have gone back to living his life, but we as Americans will be on trial once again.
And the story will begin again.
About Daniel Greenfield
Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.