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4 Unhinged, Offensive Reactions to the Zimmerman Verdict

There's nothing like a racially-charged trial to bring racist apologia out of white folks.
 
 
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Right-wing nut job Ted Nugent had plenty of company with his offensive post-Zimmerman acquittal commentary.
Photo Credit: Doug James/Shutterstock.com

 

Following a six-person, all-female jury's acquittal of Trayvon Martin's klller George Zimmerman this weekend, media and individuals on the both the right and left have responded with a hail storm of insensitivity that amounts to an outright white-supremacist defense of the racial profiling that killed not just one, but countless Black teenagers presumed guilty by racist enforcers of "justice." While families across America are grieving and worrying about the safety of their Black sons, plenty of other Americans are showing up to make sure they know they damn well should be afraid, because stereotypes about Black criminality are not going anywhere soon. 

1. Ted Nugent

Known racist and gun advocate Ted Nugent took some time away from his "Black Power" tour to smear Black America's reactions to George Zimmerman's acquittal. Ranting on the right-wing site Rare, Nugent writes that Trayvon Martin was a "dope smoking, racist gangsta wannabe” who deserved the bullet Zimmerman shot into his chest. 

Here's what the bigoted country star wrote in full:

"The race-baiting industry saw an opportunity to further the racist careers of Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, the Black Panthers, President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder, et al, who then swept down on the Florida community refusing to admit that the 17-year-old dope smoking, racist gangsta wannabe Trayvon Martin was at all responsible for his bad decisions and standard modus operendi of always taking the violent route."

Martin had trace amounts of marijuana in his system at the time of his death, which neuroscientist Dr. Carl Hart  pointed out could not possibly have contributed to any aggression (not that marijuana use is linked to as much, anyway) the night he was killed. Rather than acknowledge this reality (and that whites use marijuana at much higher rates), Nugent peddles the racism-fueled myth linking drug use to bad behavior in Black people.

Putting aside that there is no evidence Martin was a "gangsta wannabe," Nugent also senselessly links Martin's death to tragic, unrelated gun violence in Chicago.   “Trayvon had no reason not to attack, because it was the standard thug thing to do. See Chicago any day of the week," said Nugent. This callous statement suggests that Blacks are inherently violent, intentionally denying the grave circumstances that cause the so-called "black-on-black"crime to which he is alluding. The American Prospect explains the flaws and narrow-mindedness of this kind of "Black crime" rhetoric  here. 

Clearly, Nugent is not concerned with Zimmerman's antagonistic behavior -- stalking a teenager -- or Martin's own sense of fear.  Zimmerman always had the upper-hand when it comes to force, a reality of which he must have been made aware by the weight of the weapon at his side. If anyone acted aggressively and is responsible for Martin's death, it is the armed man who went out looking for trouble, and initiated the interaction by racially profiling, stalking, and shooting a teenager in the heart simply because of a hunch he was "up to no good."

2. Washington Post

Think Progress points out that the Washington Post ran two articles defending the racial profiling that caused Trayvon Martin's death in just two days. On Monday, the Post ran a colum asserting that George Zimmerman  “understandably suspected” Trayvon Martin were a criminal “because he was black”. One day later, a different writer also argued that Zimmerman was right to assume that, simply because Martin was Black, he were probably committing a crime. "African Americans are right to perceive that Martin was followed because he was black, but it is wrong to presume that recognizing a racial characteristic is necessarily racist," writes Kathleen Parker, because "It has been established that several burglaries in Zimmerman’s neighborhood primarily involved young black males."

 
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