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