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Race had nothing to do with death


July 24, 2013
Last week’s Reminder editorial ignores the media’s misinformation about race in the Trayvon Martin case. MSNBC was one of the first news outlets to release the police tape of Zimmerman’s discussion with the police dispatcher. MSNBC edited the tape so that Zimmerman seemed to say he “was following a suspicious character; he’s black.”

This edited tape immediately went viral and undoubtedly painted a picture of a racist thug. It prompted President Obama to state that Martin could have been his son, further fanning the flames. Problem was, that wasn’t what Zimmerman said. All he says on the initial conversation is that he was “following a suspicious character.” The dispatcher then asks him to describe the person and helpfully asks what race. Zimmerman replies, “He’s black.” Of course, MSNBC apologized, but who heard that? The lie had gone round the world.

The media then printed a photo of Martin at 12 years old, looking like a choirboy. The real Martin was 17, muscular, and stood 5 inches taller than Zimmerman. But all people saw was the 12-year-old smiling kid. Positions were taken, then hardened, that this was a big man killing a sweet little kid for nothing. Even one of the trial witnesses argued she was misled by the photo.

The media failed to print the photos of Zimmerman’s broken nose, and bleeding head for days after the shooting. It didn’t fit their narrative.

The media described Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law as the cause of this tragedy. But from the start, it was a pure “self-defense” case; the “Stand Your Ground” law had no connection to the case, even while The Reminder’s editor criticizes it.

After the trial, the media objected that Martin had not been tried “by a jury of his peers”, because there were no blacks on the jury. The media knows full well that trial “by a jury of your peers” refers to the defendant, not the deceased. But that never makes it into the article.

The Martin case is tragic. Martin didn’t deserve to die, even if he maybe did suddenly and viciously attack Zimmerman, as the jury decided. And Zimmerman acted stupidly. But race had little or nothing to do with Martin’s actual death.

If I only knew what I read in the papers, or saw on MSNBC, I’d be furious and I’d be marching against the “racist system,” too. But where can one go to march against a corrupt and incompetent mainstream media continuing to fan racist flames even now?

Pat Henry

East Longmeadow

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