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15 July, 2013

Low Expectations

Even before the jury returned it's sad verdict in the Zimmerman-killed-Martin case, news media were salivating over the net story: would those emotional black people riot if there was no conviction?


It's sad that even the allegedly liberal media fell into this sick waiting game. Consider the words of Scott Simon, better known as sensitive host of NPR's news-lite program Weekend Edition than occasional war-monger or racist, as he 'interviewed' reporter Greg Allen:

"Is there concern there in Sanford, Greg, about community reaction to the verdict, especially if Zimmerman is acquitted?" (Weekend Edition July 13 transcript, retrieved from
"Especially if Zimmerman is acquitted." Delivered as a hurried afterthought, but Simon is a radio pro, and knows that sometimes this is just the way to communicate emphasis added. What he meant is that if a non-black guy was convicted of killing a black kid, civil unrest would not be expected, but if he were let go, those emotional black people, with their hysterical mistrust of our vaunted American legal system, would probably freak out.

But they haven't.

Maybe because they're accustomed, tired, or resigned to the low value everyone else places on their young men. I dunno. I am not African American, and unlike pundits, I'm not willing to talk about what that community will do, what motivates them. All I know is that there have not been riots.

Simon and plenty of others not singled out here, including the conservative media that frame so much of our national debate on the issue of the week, feel entirely comfortable predicting that black folks, when upset at the legalized murder of one of their own, will get unreasonable, emotional, and violent.

Not once did I hear a journalist or pundit predict violence if Zimmerman were convicted, yet there are white supremacist organizations who espouse violence, faux news organizations dedicated to the premise that white people are victimized, and white Americans rich and poor who simmer under the rule of a black man. Why did the news not muse over the possibilty of violence if Zimmerman were nailed for murder?

I cannot think of a reason, other than racism.

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