I finally finished the Treyvon Martin: Rest in Power series.
Parts 4 and 5 were coverage and analysis of the trial. Part 4 was the prosecution and Part 5 was the defense.
The second half of Part 4 focused largely on Rachel Jeantel. She was one of the worst witnesses in any widely observed public trial ever. She was a total disaster. The show made her into a tragic figure, a victim of every prejudice and disadvantage. Even though the show had ample time to prep her for her interview, she came off just as bad in the show as she did on the witness stand.
When it came to the defense, the show doubled down on the idea that Zimmerman’s defense team were the bad guys. Clearly Zimmerman was guilty and his lawyers should not have defended him. Capitalizing on the fact that Shiping Bao was the worst medical examiner and expert witness in history was not fair. Bringing in Zimmerman’s mother to testify that she though the scream for help was George’s was both unfair and perjury.
Public opinion and the media should decide guilt and defense attorneys are just awful people who stop evil murders from being punished.
The show reached its zenith in the last episode.
The show went into the birth of the Black Lives Matter movement, tying Treyvon Martin to Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, and Eric Garner. The show went so far as to portray the people who rioted in Ferguson as victims who had enough and couldn’t stay silent in the face of oppression anymore and the police who tried to keep law and order as murderers.
The Treyvon Martin trial is what got Trump elected. Yes, they said that.
According to the show, white people, all white people, are oppressors. The Treyvon Martin trial made them face up to that fact. They didn’t like looking in the mirror and so turned white supremacist and voted for Kleagle Donald Trump.
I’m not exaggerating.
One of the activist interviewed called white people “the oppressor class.”
The show lacks all self awareness.
Did the Zimmerman trial or the riots in Ferguson influence people to the election of Donald Trump. In fact, probably, but not for the reason the show claimed, i.e., that white supremacy was always there under the surface because all white people are racist and Trump let it come to the surface.
The ultimate problem with the George Zimmerman trial was that for the media and activist class, it was never about George Zimmerman or Treyvon Martin.
This trial was a bout every black person killed at the hands of ever white person. The conviction of George Zimmerman would be a retroactive conviction of the men who killed Emmett Till. White America would be convicted and Black America would be exonerated.
But that is not how justice works in America. We are not collectivists and we do not engage in collective guilt or collective punishment.
Zimmerman could only be convinced on the merits of evidence against him, and at the time of the trial there just wasn’t enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he got out of his car with the intention of shooting a black kid just for being black.
The indictment of Zimmerman was the result of political pressure, media pressure, and a lot of self interested people engaging in grandstanding.
Zimmerman was indicted without a grand jury hearing.
This was the same failing that occurred with the Michael Brown shooting. The shooting of Michael Brown was incidental, it was never about convicting Darren Wilson for his actions. Darren Wilson was every white police officer in American and needed to be convicted for the crimes of every racist white cop who ever called a black man “boy” since the beginning of Jim Crow.
Again, that’s not how justice in America works.
I didn’t matter that “hands up, don’t shoot” was proven to be false. It’s just too good to let go, so just two days ago, high school kids were protesting for gun control with that mantra in New York City.
Obama’s “Treyvon could have been me 35 years ago” was a deciding moment in American race relations.
There have always been and will always be a tiny percent of people who are extremist nut jobs.
By and large, White America isn’t racist. A lot of the push back against Black Lives Matter and for Trump was a push back against the collectivization of guilt.
Every white person in America is not culpable for the death of Treyvon Martin or Michael Brown. When justice is perverted to those ends, there will be push back.
The pro-Treyvon activists turned the Zimmerman trial into a trial of White America. They made race relations worse with collective guilt and collective punishment. When that was resisted, they blamed white supremacy.
The show refused to acknowledge the role its own activist class had in making race relations worse.
This show should serve as a warning against this type of politicization of trails. I’m afraid the message too many people will take is “next time, try harder.”