Missing the point

Warning: Here’s a link to The Gazette, so careful if you are hoarding your monthly Lee Enterprises hits: It’s coming up … right about … here.

I think the linked article’s premise is fundamentally misdirected. She notes the reaction to an alleged white-on-black crime and responds by mentioning the prevalence of black-on-black crime. That’s a serious problem, to be sure, but that has nothing to do with the Trayvon Martin case. The concern here is primarily that police seemed to give short shrift to this case until it began to attract national attention. I don’t know whether the slow reaction has anything to do with racism, but this country has a long history of ignoring crimes against blacks (just ask Shirley Sherrod), and it’s understandable that people got riled up.

Worse, the author alleges that President Obama “ramped up the race narrative when he said: ‘If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.’” That’s just bizarre. Obama expressed a thoroughly normal, quite factual, and very human sentiment. I don’t see how it’s his fault that some people will see race in that.

The author concludes by citing a case of black-on-white crime. It sounds like a horrific case, but the alleged perpetrator is charged with first-degree murder. There is no evidence (or at least she doesn’t cite any) that law enforcement in any way dragged its feet in investigating the crime.

The law can’t undo crimes, but it can try to hold those responsible to account. That is what’s needed in the Trayvon Martin case.

One thought on “Missing the point

  1. Well, you’ve written the blog post I’ve been contemplating writing the past few days. As Ta-Nehisi Coates says: “For some reason there’s this notion out there that Trayvon was killed on Monday, Al Sharpton showed up on Tuesday, and there were marches on Wednesday. There’s an entire contingent of critics who are much more comfortable attacking Sharpton, or wondering why “black on black” crime doesn’t attract any protests. . . . . At its root, Trayvon Martin’s killing is a law and order case, and you would think conservatives would latch on to that. Instead, with few exceptions, we are being told that the true calamity here is the presence of Al Sharpton.” (http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/04/focusing-on-whats-important-in-the-trayvon-martin-case/255629/)

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