I was discussing the Trayvon Martin case and the New Black Panther Party recently and wanted to share some thoughts. I began the conversation by noting that I have been ignoring the New Black Panthers.
To begin I want to clarify that I am not saying that we as a society should ignore the New Black Panther Party. I do strongly believe we should prosecute them to the full extent of the law for announcing a “contract hit” on George Zimmerman. I believe we should prosecute any group that so flagrantly violates the law, no matter their motivation be it politics, religion, race or otherwise. However, this does not imply that I think we should pay any attention to them, or at least that I will. Let me explain.
I think it safe to assume that the primary goal of most (or all) terrorist organizations is to effectuate change and to manipulate public opinion. In many instances, there is no better vehicle for change and public opinion than through the manipulation of the media. Everyone knows that if one can control the media – one can control public opinion. That being said, let’s face it – the New Black Panther group is nothing short of a domestic terrorist organization, as is the KKK and the National Socialist Party. With all that in mind, I have felt for years that one of the most effective ways to diminish the power of any terrorist organization is to nominalize media attention surrounding their cause. I think it is a self-evident truth that the more we feed the public through media attention, the more likely we are to feed the aims of those organizations.
And let’s face it. There are a lot of people out there who would be sympathetic to these kinds of hate groups, whether they are white or black, Christian or Jew or Muslim, etc. and in most instances all the media ends up doing is providing a free platform for their messages of hate. We have all heard the phrase “there is no such thing as bad publicity”. In the instant case, I for one had never heard of the New Black Panther Party until the Trayvon Martin case. Have you? And I cannot help but wonder what effect all this media attention has done to their ability to recruit new members, sympathy and possibly money for their cause. As to the Trayvon Martin case, I think the media has lost all objectivity. I will be the first one to admit that I do not know all the facts and for that very reason I have not ventured any strong opinion as to the possible motivation(s) for the shooting. However, the media has become so sensationalist that they have lost all ability to be objective. I have yet to see any media outlet provide any factual support for a premise of racism in this case. I am not saying it is not possible it was racially motivated as that possibility always exists when people of mixed ethnic backgrounds are involved in an altercation. I am simply saying the media has not presented any evidence – with one blinding exception – CBS News, who deliberately edited the 911 call from Zimmerman to make his comments appear racist.
With all this in mind, I think the Trayvon Martin case and its associated media coverage serves as a great way to support my already stated case. As I noted above, the media has become the poster child for recruitment for the New Black Panther movement. I also think they have stepped outside the lines of impartial objective reporting when they take the word of people like Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton and began spreading their views on the subject as truth or pay too much attention to their obvious theatrics. When considering either Jackson or Sharpton, one must first remember that their business model depends on racial tension and were something like the Rodney King media frenzy and later the associated riots to occur, their pockets would overflow with money as would their individual cause(s).
While I think it is might be impossible that Zimmerman can receive a fair trial, I have a stronger belief that rational minds will ultimately prevail. Based on an assessment of all the information that has been released to date, I predict that unless some “smoking gun” is miraculously produced in the near future that George Zimmerman will be acquitted of all charges. Just this morning in a seeming reversal, Trayvon Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, told the TODAY show that she believes her son’s fatal shooting by George Zimmerman was an accident. “I believe it was an accident, I believe that it just got out of control and he couldn’t turn the clock back,” she said. I also believe it will one day be clear that his arrest was motivated not by a sense of justice on the part of prosecutors, but rather as a response to public opinion. So be it. And with all the media frenzy that has already been whipped up surrounding this case, if I am correct and Zimmerman does get acquitted, God help us all when that happens because I truly believe that so long as the media continues feeding the fires of racial discontent, the odds of a violent outbreak increase exponentially.
And along those lines, I wish everyone would simply shut the fuck up about the New Black Panthers, about Trayvon Martin, about George Zimmerman….. Enough is enough.