Black liberals keep bemoaning the danger to their own teenage sons after the “not guilty” verdict in George Zimmerman’s murder trial. To avoid what happened to Trayvon Martin, their boys need only follow this advice: Don’t walk up to a stranger and punch him, ground-and-pound him, MMA-style, and repeatedly smash his head against the pavement.
The Justice-for-Trayvon crowd keeps pretending there hasn’t been a trial where the evidence overwhelmingly showed that Trayvon committed the first (and only) crime that night by assaulting Zimmerman. Instead, the race agitators are sticking with the original story peddled by the media, back when we had zero facts. To wit, that Zimmerman had stalked a young black child and shot him dead just for being black and wearing a hoodie.
Dozens of these hair-on-fire racism stories are retold in my book, Mugged: Racial Demagoguery from the Seventies to Obama. In the golden age of racial demagoguery, they came at a pace of about one a year. Al Sharpton was usually involved.
A normal person would hear some of the more outlandish allegations and think, “I can’t believe it!” not meaning, “Wow! What a blockbuster story!” but rather, “I would like to hear the facts because I literally don’t believe it.” (That was much of America’s reaction to the media’s claim last year that a neighborhood-watch captain in Florida had hunted down a black teenager and shot him dead just for wearing a hoodie.)
Whenever a much-celebrated claim of racism turned out to be false — which was almost always — you’d just stop hearing about it. There would never be a clippable story admitting that the media’s harrumphing had been in error: Attention, readers! That story we’ve been howling about for several months turned out to be a complete fraud.
A little time would pass, and then we’d get an all-new, excited “America is still racist” media campaign. Journalists are incapable of learning that they should get all the facts before launching moral crusades.
As a result, the official record shows: A few hate crimes and some unverified hate crimes with no clear resolution one way or another. As long as the fraudulent hate crimes didn’t get counted as strikeouts, liberals always looked like Ted Williams.
Since they didn’t keep an accurate batting average, I did it for them in Mugged.
The case most like George Zimmerman’s is the Edmund Perry case. In 1985, Perry, a black teenager from Harlem who had just graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy, mugged a guy who turned out to be an undercover cop. He got shot and a few hours later was dead.
Instead of waiting for the facts, the media rushed out with a story about Officer Lee Van Houten being a trigger-happy, racist cop. When that turned out to be false, the New York Times looked at its shoes. It was the kind of story the elites wanted to be true. It should be true. We had such high hopes for that one. Damn!
The initial news accounts stressed not only that Perry was a graduate of Exeter on his way to Stanford, but that he was unarmed. (In all white-on-black shootings, the media expect the white to have RoboCop-like superpowers to detect any weapons on the perp as well as his resume.)