Politics

Bill Kristol: Trayvon Martin controversy now ‘is just demagoguery’

It’s been over a month since the alleged shooting of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman. But many circumstances surrounding the case are still unfolding, now that the controversy has been pushed into a national public discourse.

On Sunday’s broadcast of Fox News Channel’s “Fox News Sunday,” The Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol noted this evolution.

“I don’t know if the public is rushing to judgment, but a lot of people have decided to make this into a national political matter when it should be, I think, a local or state law enforcement matter,” Kristol said. “And we don’t know what happened, and I hope — I trust justice will be served. And it’s a terrible thing that this young man was killed, obviously.”

But Kristol challenged the ability of national figures to comment on the matter and questioned why they are so quick to bring race into the discussion.

“But the idea that national politicians and commentators are rushing in to make judgments where they don’t know what happened is distressing,” he continued. “And the degree to which people are willing to play the race card, you know, without — not in a constructive way, not in a way that helps race relations in this country, not in a way that helps provide justice in this case, is distressing, I think. Yeah, we do and other people — frankly, I think most of the media would have been content to let this play out.”

Later during the segment, Kristol said that, although political figures were initially justified in drawing attention to the incident, it has since become a partisan issue.

“[A]t first there seems to have been a lack of interest in pursuing this case by the local authorities, so it was right to raise alarms at first,” Kristol said. “But now it is just demagoguery, I think, mostly on the side of those who want to indict the whole society for this death and maybe very unjustified shooting of this young man, and then some counter-reaction by, you know, some on the right who feel this is unjust and how we’re going to go attack Trayvon Martin or something, which is really ridiculous as well.”

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