Saturday, July 20, 2013

The National Debt

Just a quickie before I go out to have lunch.  Ta-Nehisi Coates has another good piece on President Obama's speech about the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the killing of Trayvon Martin.  The racist Right reacted predictably, just as Obama's fans did.  (I cite Coates because he's a supporter but can still praise Obama for doing something good without drooling.  He's also been very critical of the President's record on race; praise from him is earned.)

The New York Magazine article I linked to included a tweet by Ann Coulter, rather mild from her I thought.  But I began thinking about a statement about immigration Coulter made some months ago:
ANN COULTER: What did we—can I just say, what have we done to the immigrants? We owe black people something; we have a legacy of slavery. Immigrants haven’t even been in this country.
As I wrote back then, it would be interesting to know what Coulter believes "we owe black people."  What does Coulter believe we owe Trayvon Martin and his family? This remark was a rhetorical flourish, using African-Americans as a club to beat Mexicans with, not anything Coulter would stand behind.

There's another passage from Obama's speech that I want to quote; I thought Coates had mentioned it, but I can't find it now.  Here it is, from Garance Franke-Ruta's post on the speech:
Now, this isn't to say that the African-American community is naive about the fact that African-American young men are disproportionately involved in the criminal justice system, that they are disproportionately both victims and perpetrators of violence. It's not to make excuses for that fact, although black folks do interpret the reasons for that in a historical context.
So, if you encounter someone who asks some version of Neal Boortz' rhetorical question:

The answer is "Yes."  I've been hammering on several Facebook friends who've posted memes about this or that white child who was killed by brutal black men, and why didn't this story get national attention?  (The implication being "reverse racism," the Liberal Media only cares about Teh Black.)  The answer to that one, of course, is that when you check out those cases, you find that the killers were promptly arrested, tried, and usually convicted.  Rather different than what happened to George Zimmerman.

There was one exception, where a Grand Jury decided that the accused shooter should not face the death penalty because he's a minor.  There are other differences, as that Snopes post shows.  The final outcome of the case isn't known, because it hasn't yet gone to trial.  One revealing thing about the meme I saw was that it referred to the Grand Jury as the peers of the murdered baby's mother; I believe it meant to imply that her "peers" hadn't done their job correctly, had even betrayed her.  Oddly, I saw similar complaints by some supporters of Trayvon Martin about the jury that heard George Zimmerman's case, that they weren't a jury of Trayvon Martin's peers.  Juries are supposed to be peers of the accused, not of the victim.  But in this case too, police action was swift and more or less effective, very different from the killing of Trayvon Martin.  These memes end up proving the opposite of what their makers and sharers want them to prove.