Notwithstanding their chances of being hit by rubber bullets at mob rallies glorifying Trayvon Martin as a civil rights hero, African-Americans unquestionably will be safer as a result of George Zimmerman’s acquittal of second-degree murder charges last weekend.
The Zimmerman verdict demonstrates that anyone—of any color—brave enough to risk his life to protect other community members—of any color—against potential criminals—of any color—won’t be punished by being tossed in jail to soothe a nation’s collective racial guilt. And any law-abiding citizens lucky enough to live near such neighborhood watchmen will benefit from their service.
Ignoring the unseemly labels applied to Zimmerman by penthouse liberals with six layers of home security in front of them who never have to dirty their manicured hands to protect themselves, what is the purpose of a neighborhood watch?
It’s to allow neighbors who live where police are unwilling or unable to respond to every instance of rampant crime to band together, in the hopes of supplementing the efforts of overburdened law enforcement officers.
The neighborhood watch is a storied American tradition that dates back to colonial times, developed in its modern form in the late 1960s, and has spread to countries as far-flung as Australia and South Africa. During the high-crime late 1980s, criminologists estimated that one in five Americans participated in a neighborhood watch.
Neighborhood watches reflect the twin American values of self-reliance and community engagement, and are demonstrably effective at reducing crime. Their participants should be commended, not castigated.
But the left insists that crippling private citizens’ efforts to defend their neighborhoods will somehow promote public safety, just as they believe restricting lawful firearm ownership will somehow shame criminals into going straight.
The left calls Zimmerman a “wannabe cop” for putting himself in danger to shield his neighbors at The Retreat at Twin Lakes from a rash of burglaries. (At least Zimmerman was volunteering his own time. Can we refer to liberals as “wannabe philanthropists” for volunteering our tax dollars to support their causes?)
The New York Times declared, “In the end, what is most frightening is that there are so many people with guns who are like George Zimmerman.”
No, in the end what is frightening is that there aren’t more people with guns who are like George Zimmerman, and that they are treated like monsters for trying to protect their neighborhoods from vicious criminals who, unlike Martin, often wield firearms.
But what about the racial angle? The left believe they have made the absolutely devastating point that if Zimmerman had been black and Martin white, the nation would have dismissed Zimmerman as a thug and thrown him in jail.
Salon’s Paul Campos wrote, “Suppose Trayvon Martin had been a 230-pound 30-year-old black man, with a loaded gun in his jacket. Suppose Zimmerman had been a 150-pound 17-year-old white kid… How do you suppose the big scary black man’s claim of ‘self-defense’ would have gone over?”
A site called The Political Freakshow photoshopped racially reversed images and cited their juxtaposition as proof that a black Zimmerman “would be headed for death row.”
But you can’t just reverse the races in this hypothetical Freaky Friday scenario. You have to reverse all of the other details as well.
You have to assume that young white men had committed a recent rash of burglaries in a majority-black community. You have to assume that the black man had been part of the neighborhood watch and had been the victim of a burglary himself. You have to assume that the black man had come from a mixed-race background, had a white grandfather, and was tutoring a white woman and her daughter; and that the young white man had a history of vandalism and assault; and that all of the forensic evidence and eyewitnesses suggested that the young white man had been the aggressor.
Under those circumstances, not only would the jury have acquitted the black man on grounds of self-defense, they would have submitted him to the Vatican for canonization.
Look how easily the left turned Martin into a saint. Beyoncé actually started her Nashville concert Saturday night with a moment of silence for Trayvon and a rendition of “Halo.” One can only imagine how the media would have treated a black neighborhood watchman who got himself a smashed skull and broken nose fending off the equivalent of a teenaged Alec Baldwin.
The Guardian’s Gary Younge declared “open season on black men” and proclaimed, “Those who now fear violent social disorder must ask themselves whose interests are served by a violent social order in which young black men can be thus slain and discarded.” When the young men in question—black or otherwise—happen to be high on pot, have an affinity for gang culture and a history of assault, and propagate violent social disorder against a neighborhood watchman, I’d say that all law-abiding citizens’ interests are served.
As is his wont, President Obama butted in a day after the verdict to announce, “We should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence that claims too many lives across this country on a daily basis.”
No, we’re not. We should be scrapping draconian state and local gun control laws, especially in vulnerable high-crime and minority neighborhoods; issuing more concealed-carry permits; and refraining from demonizing volunteer patrolmen who perform a dirty and dangerous job. That would be a good start.
- Esquire:More Evidence That It Never Was About Race (esquire.com)
- The Zimmerman Zeitgeist (kendalllyons.com)
- Hundreds in Seattle Protest Zimmerman Verdict (enumclaw.com)
- Zimmerman trial expands deep divide (politico.com)
- Some Words on the Trayvon Martin Case (zanebrain.wordpress.com)