The Killings of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and John Crawford III: It’s Not about Race…It’s Never about Race!

John Crawford III

John Crawford III

By Elaine Magliaro

Back in March of 2012, Charles Pierce wrote a post for his Esquire Politics Blog about the death of Trayvon Martin and the people who came out in support of his killer, George Zimmerman. In his piece titled The ‘Color-Blind’ Delusions of the Trayvon Backlash, Pierce said that following Martin’s murder, the defenders of George Zimmerman were “circling their wagons down in Sanford.”



…The defenders of George Zimmerman, the trigger-happy wannabe who clipped Trayvon Martin for the crime of being a black kid in a hoodie with snack foods in the wrong neighborhood, is now being cocooned by his lawyer — who scarpered on an appearence on Lawrence O’Donnell’s show last night — by some alleged friends, and by the local police department, which has screwed this case up to a faretheewell since the night the shooting happened, but which is now leaking like a sieve. Ask yourself how we suddenly know that the dead kid had been suspended from high school because he got caught with a bag that might once have contained marijuana. Ask yourself why we know that. We know that because this case is Not About Race.

It is Not About Race because It Is Never About Race. Race is the past. Black people can vote. One of them is president. Nothing Is About Race anymore. Just ask Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum — and have I mentioned recently what a colossal dick that guy is? — and they’ll tell you that the president “injected” race into the tragedy. It wasn’t there before the president — who is (shhh!) black, you know — put it there. Ask Joe Oliver, this “friend” of the gunman who insists that Zimmerman might have said “fucking goons” and not “fucking coons,” because the latter is an obsolete racial slur and the former is a “term of endearment,” according to Oliver’s daughter. This is enormously believable because, if you’re an armed 28-year old gunslinger in pursuit of what you believe is a dangerous burglar, the first descriptive that would leap to anyone’s mind is a term of endearment used by high-school girls. Yeah, sure. Whatever. As if. And it is enormously believable because This Is Not About Race.

Just yesterday, Pierce wrote a blog post titled It Is Never About Race: A Continuing Series about a black man who was killed by police in a Walmart store in Ohio recently. The man’s crime? John Crawford III, the man whom police fatally shot, was holding a BB gun that he had taken off a shelf in the store. According to Reuters, Crawford was killed a few days before the August 9th fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

Kim Palmers (Reuters):

Beavercreek police say they shot and killed Crawford because he was waving the BB gun and didn’t drop it when commanded by police, according to local media accounts.

Lawyers for the Crawford family and Crawford’s father have viewed 5 to 6 minutes of surveillance video of the shooting. The lawyers said at a news conference on Tuesday that Crawford was talking on a cell phone and had picked up the gun off a shelf.

“He was doing nothing more, nothing less than just shopping,” attorney Michael Wright said.

Pierce wondered what “white person gets frightened enough in a WalMart to call a cop just because a black man has a pellet gun?

Everybody, because it’s not about race because it’s never about race.

Pierce also wondered what “cop gets frightened enough in a WalMart to draw down just because a black man has a pellet gun?”

Most of them, because it’s not about race because it’s never about race.

In addition, Pierce wondered “what cop shoots to kill in a WalMart because a black man is holding a pellet gun?”

This one, because it’s not about race because it’s never about race.

Pierce said that it seemed to him that the Beavercreek police werefollowing the Chief Tom Jackson Protocol for selective leaking, having allowed bits and pieces of a surveillance video to drip out, creating the bones of a narrative in which Crawford was asking for it because he was a black person in the WalMart and people got scared of him.”

WDTN reported that attorneys for Crawford’s family felt that the selective releasing of “bits and pieces of evidence to the public” was “one-sided and biased toward the state’s case.”

Michael Wright, an attorney for the family, said, “Everything released is one-sided.  There is nothing favorable to John Crawford.  You can’t show different pieces, show it all, don’t trickle pieces to gain favor of the public.” Wright said that the store video showed “Crawford standing in the direction of some shelves.”  He added that “Crawford was talking on his cell phone and probably did not see or hear the police officer sent to the store to investigate.  He said in one frame you see Crawford on the phone, the next you see him on the floor.”

Pierce said that “there still will be people who will claim not to ‘understand’ why black people dread the approach of the police.”

Ahiza Garcia (Talking Points Memo) reported that conservative pundit Ben Stein appeared on Newsmax on Tuesday “to discuss the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo…” Stein “challenged the use of the term ‘unarmed’ to describe Brown.” She said that when Stein was discussing the shooting of Brown with Steve Malzberg, the host of the Newsmax show, he said that “the use of the term ‘unarmed’ to describe Brown, who was ‘apparently on marijuana,’ was akin to ‘calling Sonny Liston unarmed or Cassius Clay unarmed.’” Stein didn’t stop there, though. He continued by saying that Brown wasn’t unarmed—then added that the black teenager “was armed with his incredibly strong, scary self.”


Later, when discussing Attorney General Eric Holder, Stein made a guttural noise and said Holder wasn’t concerned about there being a fair trial, aiming instead for a “lynching jury.”

“It’s a very sad state of affairs,” Stein said. “I mean it used to be, there was a time … when lynchings of African Americans were not that incredibly rare. Now the lynchings are the police and it’s just an outrage.”

Stein finished by claiming that in Brown’s case, as well as Trayvon Martin’s, “it’s the very large, so-called victim attacking the policeman who winds up dead.”

Family of Walmart Shooting Suspect Sees Part of Video of Incident

Charlie Pierce is right, don’t you think? It’s not about race. It’s NEVER about race!


Dueling demands in Walmart shooting case (WDTN)

It Is Never About Race: A Continuing Series (Esquire)

The ‘Color-Blind’ Delusions of the Trayvon Backlash (Esquire)

Ohio appoints special prosecutor for fatal police shooting at Walmart (Reuters)

Ben Stein: Michael Brown Was ‘Armed With His Incredibly Strong, Scary Self’ (Talking Points Memo)

This entry was posted in Conservatives, Equal Rights, Justice, Law Enforcement, Local Government, Politics, Propaganda, Racism, Society, United States and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to The Killings of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and John Crawford III: It’s Not about Race…It’s Never about Race!

  1. buckaroo says:

    Why can’t we all get along ?

  2. It is always about race (and/or being poor).

    You don’t see rednecks walking down the street with guns hanging all over;
    getting shot by police.

    Because they are all color blind and can smell their own kind!

  3. Pingback: The Killings of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and John Crawford III: It’s Not about Race…It’s Never about Race!

  4. Bob Kauten says:

    “the use of the term ‘unarmed’ to describe Brown, who was ‘apparently on marijuana,’ was akin to ‘calling Sonny Liston unarmed or Cassius Clay unarmed.’” Stein didn’t stop there, though. He continued by saying that Brown wasn’t unarmed—then added that the black teenager “was armed with his incredibly strong, scary self.”
    Yes, this kid was the equivalent of Sonny Liston or Cassius Clay. I must’ve missed that on the autopsy report.
    The black teenager was armed with his incredibly black self. The average teenager is incredibly strong, when compared to Ben Stein.

  5. pete says:

    only white folks can be “in fear for my life”.

  6. Tony C. says:

    pete: Yeah. I wonder if that is a result of juries being statistically biased toward having a primarily white composition; even if people were drawn at random.

    I don’t know where to get the data (or if it exists), but it would be interesting to see if there is a racial bias in guilty/not-guilty dependent upon the racial composition of juries, for black defendants.

  7. Mike Spindell says:

    What we deal with, when all is said and done, is White fear of a darker skin. The necessity of thought during the slavery years was to characterize Blacks as having great strength, but dim brains. This was needed to de-humanize them and thus make their oppression palatable. Their “dim” brains was a necessary belief to justify “owning” them and their “great strength” to justify working them oppressively hard. Since slavery’s end these false beliefs have constantly been reinforced by media and by the arts. What Elaine points out is the resistance by many Whites in this country to recognize that racism is still rife today.

  8. swarthmoremom says:

    “What Elaine points out is the resistance by many Whites in this country to recognize that racism is still rife today.” Mike S. And if you do recognize racism and speak about it, you, then, get accused of playing the “race card” or perhaps you are referred to as “p.c.”.

  9. Mike Spindell says:


    Amen and we know where that used to happen all the time.

  10. swarthmoremom says:

    Worse than ever there. The majority thinks that way, Tthere is even a self-proclaimed poet that writes little rhymes about ropes around black people’s necks. It is very hard to read many of the postings. Enough said about it………..

  11. Elaine M. says:

    Mike and swarthmoremom,

    There is a clique of vile and hateful people there now. I included a comment that the RIL poet laureate made on one of my posts over at the other blog last year in my Poetry Friday post today.

  12. Elaine M. says:

    Officers from St. Ann, Glendale off the job after actions during Ferguson protests

    Two police officers are no longer working at their departments due to their actions during the protests in Ferguson.

    A Glendale police officer suspended last Friday after commenting on Facebook that he thought Ferguson protesters should be “put down like rabid dogs,” has been fired, officials say.

    Meanwhile, a St. Ann police lieutenant resigned Thursday after he pointed an assault rifle at protesters and cursed at them, officials said. Lt. Ray Albers had worked for the department for 20 years.

    Glendale Officer Matthew Pappert, suspended with pay last week, was fired Thursday after an internal investigation wrapped up Wednesday, said Glendale City Administrator Jaysen Christensen.

    Pappert’s comments also included postings that said Ferguson protesters were “a burden on society and a blight on the community.” Another posting said, “Where is a Muslim with a backpack when you need them?”

  13. Glad to see the St. Ann PD leadership is up and awake. Wish the rest of the departments were more like that. We used to live in St. John, a similar sized community literally next door to St. Ann. We used to shop at Northwest Plaza Mall all the time. I remember it as a nice community.

  14. Elaine M. says:

    UN Condemns U.S. Police Brutality, Calls For ‘Stand Your Ground’ Review

    GENEVA, Aug 29 (Reuters) – The U.N. racism watchdog urged the United States on Friday to halt the excessive use of force by police after the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white policeman touched off riots in Ferguson, Missouri.

    Minorities, particularly African Americans, are victims of disparities, the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) said after examining the U.S. record.

    “Racial and ethnic discrimination remains a serious and persistent problem in all areas of life from de facto school segregation, access to health care and housing,” Noureddine Amir, CERD committee vice chairman, told a news briefing.

  15. Elaine M. says:

    People Rally at Ohio Wal-Mart Where Cops Shot Man Holding Toy Rifle

    BEAVERCREEK, Ohio (AP) — Some 200 people held signs and chanted Saturday outside a Wal-Mart where a young man with an air rifle was fatally shot by police.

    The rally was the latest effort by people wanting to shed more light on the Aug. 5 shooting of John Crawford III inside the store in the Dayton suburb of Beavercreek. Police responded after a caller said a man was waving a gun; they say Crawford refused orders to put down an air rifle.

    An attorney representing Crawford’s family says Wal-Mart surveillance video of the shooting shows it was unjustified. Crawford is black, while the two officers involved are white.

    Signs and chants at the rally urged: “Release the tape.” Organizers said the Rev. Al Sharpton plans to come to the area in a few weeks to speak about the shooting.

    A special grand jury will meet Sept. 22 to consider charges in the case. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said releasing the surveillance video could raise issues of a tainted jury pool if the case results in a trial.

  16. Elaine M. says:

    At least 6 Ferguson officers apart from Brown shooter have been named in lawsuits

    Federal investigators are focused on one Ferguson, Mo., police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black teenager, but at least five other police officers and one former officer in the town’s 53-member department have been named in civil rights lawsuits alleging the use of excessive force.

    In four federal lawsuits, including one that is on appeal, and more than a half-dozen investigations over the past decade, colleagues of Darren Wilson’s have separately contested a variety of allegations, including killing a mentally ill man with a Taser, pistol-whipping a child, choking and hog-tying a child and beating a man who was later charged with destroying city property because his blood spilled on officers’ clothes.

    One officer has faced three internal affairs probes and two lawsuits over claims he violated civil rights and used excessive force while working at a previous police department in the mid-2000s. That department demoted him after finding credible evidence to support one of the complaints, and he subsequently was hired by the Ferguson force.

    Police officials from outside Ferguson and plaintiffs’ lawyers say the nature of such cases suggests there is a systemic problem within the Ferguson police force. Department of Justice officials said they are considering a broader probe into whether there is a pattern of using excessive force that routinely violates people’s civil rights.

  17. swarthmoremom says:

    A supporter of Cliven Bundy, the Nevada rancher who engaged in armed confrontations with the government over a land dispute, said she did not support those claiming that the fatal shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown was racially driven.

    Ilana Mercer, a columnist at WorldNetDaily, wrote that while the Ferguson, Mo. shooting was an example of “police brutality,” the “rise of the warrior cop,” and “militarization,” it was not an example of racism, saying that theory amounted to “nonsense on stilts.”

    While Mercer expressed outrage at the militarization and “unjustified use of lethal police force” that occurred in Ferguson, she refused to acknowledge that there was anything racist about it.

    Could it be that ordinary Americans maligned as racists are honestly waiting for more information, or suffer an authoritarian, submissive mindset; are ignorant about “police state USA,” or have simply experienced “black crime” firsthand, or are fearful of experiencing “black-on-white violence” in all it (sic) ferocity?

    Writing that Brown’s “community of submissives would be silent” if the victim had been white, Mercer added that “black, brown and white, we are all in this together,” a realization she said President Barak Obama and the Reverend Al Sharpton have failed to acknowledge.

    “Like two pimps in a pod, Sharpton and Obama have collaborated to keep racial grievance going,” Mercer wrote.”

    h/t Right Wing Watch

  18. Bob Kauten says:

    Mercer waxes prosaic, poetically. “Like two pimps in a pod…” Such artful simile!
    Pimps in a pod would “…keep racial grievance going”?
    Can’t we make it a little more obvious, like “two pimps in a cotton boll,” or “two gangstas in a crack house”? Better yet, “two cracks of a whip on a slave’s back”!

    Ilana needs to fashion similes that speak in a manner to which her audience will relate.

  19. Elaine M. says:

    Regarding WorldNetDaily:

    WorldNetDaily is an online publication founded and run by Joseph Farah that claims to pursue truth, justice and liberty. But in fact, its pages are devoted to manipulative fear-mongering and outright fabrications designed to further the paranoid, gay-hating, conspiratorial and apocalyptic visions of Farah and his hand-picked contributors from the fringes of the far-right and fundamentalist worlds. Among its enduring storylines is the “birther” theory advanced by columnist Jerome Corsi, who asserts that President Obama is ineligible to serve because he was not born in America, a baseless claim long since abandoned by most of the political right.

  20. Elaine M. says:


    WND (formerly WorldNetDaily or, as it was affectionately known to its fans, WingNutDaily or WhirledNutDaily) is an extremist conservative website founded by Joseph Farah in 1997 as a project of his Western Center for Journalism.[1] It espouses a fundamentalist Christian, creationist view of the world, and regularly engages in racist attacks against African-Americans. Its political leanings are right-wing, pro-“Christian right,” and supposedly pro-United States, with strongly libertarian economic views. Its coverage provides multiple sides of the issues: the conservative viewpoint and the ultra-conservative viewpoint. It is far to the right of Fox News.

    While they present themselves as news, WND is essentially a tabloid for radical right-wingers. Their publishing standards are rock-bottom, and they have run stories from extremely questionable sources on many, many occasions.[2][3] They are best known for distributing Ann Coulter’s insipid columns, as well as articles written by noted political analysts Chuck Norris and Pat Boone. They recently added disgraced baseball bigot John Rocker as well, indicating they’ve decided to drop the dog whistles and go with overt racism.

  21. Pingback: Regarding the Killing of John Crawford III in a Wal-Mart Store in Ohio: Should the Police Officer Who Shot Him Have Been Indicted? | Flowers For Socrates

Comments are closed.