Trayvon and Mike

Last night, basketball player Lebron James tweeted this graphic:

Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 6.34.40 PM

As many have noted, there are obvious parallels between the Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown cases. Both were young black men who were, as we were told countless times, unarmed. Both were shot by men portrayed as white authority figures–Darren Wilson, a police officer, and George Zimmerman, a “white Hispanic” who, as a neighborhood watch volunteer, was a sort of honorary policeman, just as he was an honorary white man.

Supporters of Martin and Brown would prefer to leave the similarities there. But there are more: Martin thought he was a tough guy, a martial arts aficionado, and had been kicked out of high school for burglary. Brown was high on marijuana and had just robbed a convenience store when he encountered Officer Wilson.

Martin attacked Zimmerman and was seen by an eyewitness sitting on top of Zimmerman and punching his face. The 300-pound Brown likewise attacked Officer Wilson, calling him a f****** p***y and apparently attempting to wrest his gun away. They both made the same mistake: they attacked (unintentionally in Martin’s case, intentionally in Brown’s) a man with a gun. As a legal matter, both killings were rather obviously justified as self-defense, although my own opinion is that Wilson probably could have handled the situation better.

It is striking that the activists and race-baiters have chosen to raise two such weak cases to mythic status. In both instances, they were wrong on the facts. They claimed that Zimmerman shot Martin “execution style,” when in fact Zimmerman was on his back, getting his head banged into the pavement by Martin and in fear for his life. They said that Brown was trying to surrender–“hands up, don’t shoot!”–when in fact, he attacked Wilson inside Wilson’s police vehicle and was advancing on him again when the fatal rounds were fired.

Why did activists bet so much on two such weak cases? Can no instances be found where African-Americans have been shot by whites when it was NOT in self-defense? That can’t possibly be true. But those whites probably weren’t policemen, or even neighborhood watch volunteers. Maybe the activists just didn’t have any better cases to politicize.

Beyond that, though, I wonder whether the activists are really disappointed that, once again, their campaign to imprison a white man has failed. In their world of perpetual grievance, failure is success. If there had been a strong case against George Zimmerman, he would have been convicted. If there had been a strong case against Darren Wilson, he would have been indicted. But those results would not have advanced the Left’s preferred narrative: America is still a racist country.

For leftist race-baiters, failure is success. When they press a weak case and it fails, they claim vindication. With the grand jury declining to indict Darren Wilson, President Obama could say:

We need to recognize that this is not just an issue for Ferguson, this is an issue for America. [T]here are still problems and communities of color aren’t just making these problems up. …[T]here are issues in which the law too often feels as if it is being applied in discriminatory fashion. … [T]hose who are only interested in focusing on the violence and just want the problem to go away need to recognize that we do have work to do here, and we shouldn’t try to paper it over. …America isn’t everything that it could be.

Keeping African-Americans perpetually down is a core goal of the liberal movement and the Democratic Party. So Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin have to be victims, not aggressors.

Still, the truth is that they were victims. Not victims of a mythical white power structure–the concept is laughable as applied to either George Zimmerman or Darren Wilson. And certainly not victims of a racist judicial system. On the contrary, in both cases America’s court system rendered the right verdict under tremendous pressure to bend the truth to political expedience.

Rather, Martin and Brown were victims of an African-American culture in which the family has been pretty much destroyed, government checks have largely replaced employment, education is disparaged, criminality is respected, and racial animosity is a sign of authenticity. That culture has worked well for the Democratic Party, but it has been an utter disaster for millions of young black men like Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown.

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