Volitional Human Beings in the Aftermath of Trayvon Martin

This has been a good time to be a conservative. The aftermath of the acquittal of George Zimmerman for killing Trayvon Martin has not only elevated Zimmerman to cult hero status, it has also freed Conservatives to express their fear and contempt of Martin, and of young Black men in general. Anyone who has a conservative Twitter feed, follows the right-leaning blogs, watches Fox, and/or listens to talk radio has been inundated as of late with statistics on Black-on-Black crime. It is an important issue to be sure, and it is an issue AACONs has focused upon in the past as we undoubtedly will do so again. But the timing of this sudden onslaught of concern is suspect. Is it as Kirsten Powers says, “If conservatives are so concerned about black-on-black crime, it is concerning the only time I hear them talking about it is when they want to stick it to the Black community. And that’s what it seems like. Right now that’s the favorite topic. Topic A among conservatives is to talk about Black-on-Black crime. Black-on-Black crime is a year-round problem but now everyone is obsessing about it because they can make Black people feel bad about it”? It seems so. Take a recent National Review column by Victor Davis Hanson for example. In it Hanson writes that he has told his sons to be wary of young Black men, which he did in response to a few incidents where he was victimized by them. This sounded familiar to me. My father, who was a successful business owner for most of his life, once told me when I was a boy that he felt he was cheated in some business dealings with Jews. Like Hanson, he warned me to avoid them whenever possible, because “their word don’t mean nothing”. No disrespect to Pop, but even then I thought that was crazy advice. I wonder how the Hanson boys responded to the advice they received. If it was heeded, what then would be their response if a young Black man was to come to them for friendship, or to shop at one of their stores, or to seek employment? How would the Hanson boys respond if they saw a young Black man walking through their neighborhood with a can of iced tea and a bag of Skittles? Though Black Conservatives have been silent in responding to Hanson’s warning to avoid young Black men, they have hardly been silent on the response to Zimmerman’s acquittal. In fact, if this has been a good time to be a Conservative, it has been a great time to be a Black Conservative. There is no better time in general to be a Black Conservative than when the Conservative media needs a Black face to give it cover to denouncing the usual targets: Obama, Sharpton, Jackson, and the NAACP. Now that the target is the protests following the jury’s decision that Zimmerman would not be punished for killing Martin, Black Conservatives are in especially high demand.
It is unfortunate that so many prominent Black Conservatives seem unwilling to speak out against racism, because by not doing so they are not only poor representatives for Blacks, but are poor preachers for Conservatism as well, because Conservatism is the antithesis of racism. 
With Black Conservatives, we now have Black-on-Black finger pointing aimed at the many self-inflicted wounds Blacks have been inflicting on its own people in an effort to trivialize the Martin protests. Who has been more widely praised in the Right media than Shelby Steele for his writing in the NY Times, “One wants to scream at all those outraged at the Zimmerman verdict: Where is your outrage over the collapse of the black family?” Again, many of Steele’s points are valid, but his argument is clearly along the lines of that made by many others, that with so many African Americans murdered each day, so many with broken families and living in poverty, then what difference does Trayvon Martin’s death make? I call this the Hillary Clinton Defense. Funny though, when abortionist Dr. Gosnell was on trial not too long ago, no one argued that since so many unborn are killed each day, many late term and by the same horrible methods Goswell used, then what difference would jailing Gosnell make? Yet this is the argument they make in regard to the Zimmerman case. Some Black Conservatives have been so eager to praise George Zimmerman that you would think that he had just rescued them from an overturned truck. We have seen them make straw-man arguments defending the right to self-defense, though that is a right no one is challenging, regardless of how we may feel about the Zimmerman acquittal. We have seen even fairly mild and measured criticisms of the verdict attacked. Some even criticized President Obama for making the observation that “There are very few African American men in this country who haven’t had the experience of being followed when they were in a department store.” One does not have to be Malcolm X to agree with the president’s remark, so why then did Allen West respond by saying, “I don’t recall being followed in malls or shopping centers. I don’t recall car doors clicking locked when I walked across the street, And I definitely have not had women clutching their handbags and purses when I got on the elevator. I believe it comes back to being a respectful young man and maybe that’s something that was missing out of President Obama and Trayvon Martin’s life”? There are maybe five people in politics I respect as much as I do Rep. West, and no one in politics I respect more, but I would bet the Lt. Col. that I could put him in a $2,000 suit and behind the wheel of a new BMW, and have him drive below the speed limit through certain neighborhoods not far from where I live, and he will be stopped by the police – regardless of what a respectful young man he may be.

True, some Black Conservatives legitimately agree with the verdict of the jury that found Zimmerman not guilty. But not all.  I doubt if even most do. So why then the near-unanimous timidity in speaking out against the verdict by Black Conservatives?  To paraphrase Ann Coulter, when did Black Conservatives stop being “volitional beings”?

The reason for this timidity is that Black Conservatives rely on the support of White Conservatives, and they are understandably very hesitant to offend their supporters. With an audience like that of Larry Elder’s or David Webb’s, or even AACONs’, one is simply better rewarded holding Guns-for-George drives than to cry “racism” regardless of how legitimate that cry may be. It is unfortunate that so many prominent Black Conservatives seem unwilling to speak out against racism, because by not doing so they are not only poor representatives for Blacks, but are poor preachers for Conservatism as well, because Conservatism is the antithesis of racism. As Ayn Rand says, “Racism is the lowest, most crudely primitive form of collectivism. It is the notion of ascribing moral, social or political significance to a man’s genetic lineage—the notion that a man’s intellectual and characterological traits are produced and transmitted by his internal body chemistry. Which means, in practice, that a man is to be judged, not by his own character and actions, but by the characters and actions of a collective of ancestors.” –dk

About DarkKnight3565

A graduate of Rutgers University, DK enjoys music, movies, comic books, and political discourse. Follow him on Twitter at @DarkKnight3565.
This entry was posted in Attacks from the Left, Cultural, Current events/topics, Media & Media Bias, Race/Racism/Race Relations, racism and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
Join the discussion!
Greg says:

“There are very few African American men in this country who haven’t had the experience of being followed when they were in a department store.”

Fine.

Go there.

But don’t cry “racism” when the undeniable fact is pointed out that most white and Asian people have had the experience of being followed by young black males. The fact is most blacks, in any other context than a case like the Zimmerman affair, will openly boast about how “gangsta” they are and how “weak” and fearful “white boys” are. Their hate is palpable and nearly ubiquitous.

It is no secret that Black males generally try their hardest to look like authentic lethal “gangstas” whether they are or not, are often offended when whites do not seem to notice their threat displays or recoil in fear in their presence, yet then whine like little girls when their carefully orchestrated threatening displays are taken seriously (the proverbial old white women clutch their purse, people lock their doors, cabbies – of ALL colors – refrain from picking them up, etc).

I mean, really. Give me a break.

It reminds me of MTV interviews with prominent “gangsta rappers” I have seen on which they will go on and on and in about how they are genuine gangstas and not “just playing” and to with bloods or crips and have killed people and love Farrakhan and “the Nation” and then at some later point have the audacity to complain about old white ladies clutching their purses in their presence.

Really?

Again, Give. Me. A. Break.

Greg says:

I am not a fan of Ann Coulter or a conservative but you clearly have misinterpreted her statement in the article about blacks not having earned the right to be regarded as volitional human beings.

She was not saying she herself does not believe blacks have not earned that right, she was referring to the “liberal media” spin of the Perry-Van Houten altercation. When it was not known that Perry had attacked Van Houten, Van Houten was deemed a racist white cop. Once it became clear Perry had attacked him, it became a matter of “worlds colliding” etc.; Perry was not acting as a volitional being in attacking Van Houten (and thus morally responsible) but rather was caught up in forces beyond his control.

As for another statement in your article:
“If conservatives are so concerned about black-on-black crime, it is concerning the only time I hear them talking about it is when they want to stick it to the Black community.”

I think this is a half truth. I think it would be more accurate to say that the subject is brought up not when “they want to stick it to the Black community” but rather it tends to be a defensive response when whites are accused of being racist in general such as in the aftermath of the Zimmerman case (i.e. “You complain about Martin’s killing but say nothing about the countless blacks killed daily by other blacks” etc.).

The truth is such occasions are one of the only in which most conservatives feel comfortable addressing the issue because if it is brought up at any other time they would almost certainly be accused of “wanting to stick it to the Black community.”

The death of Trayvon Martin was certainly a tragedy, and George Zimmerman was no hero. His paranoia and zealotry combined with the faux courage his firearm gave him are what caused the tragic series of events that led to Trayvon’s killing. Nevertheless, he was not guilty of murder; certainly not under Florida law.

If it was a “Law and Order” episode it might be derided as “too obvious”, but what we basically had here was a case where both Zimmerman and Martin leaped to conclusions about the other’s intentions and overreacted.

Zimmerman’s suspicion of Martin was not necessarily unwarranted or racist given the recent string of crimes I’m the community (the very reason he was patrolling the neighborhood in the first place). His decision to subsequently stalk Martin rather than leave the matter to police was an overzealous reaction.

Martin then subsequently and not unreasonably interpreted Zimmerman’s following him with suspicion. However, when he decided to launch, as Coulter put it, an MMA style assault on Zimmerman, he certainly overreacted. Zimmerman, panicked and lethally armed, subsequently overreacted by firing the fatal shot at Martin.

It was a horrific and unnecessary tragedy, but it was by no means a premeditated racially motivated murder, and those who claim it was are as morally depraved as those who would laud Zimmerman as a hero.

joseph says:

I think the point wasn’t so much black-on-black crime or any issues with the black community, the right wing pundits bring them up because interracial crime is extremely rare compared to crime within the same race. This is true for whites too. Even assuming every interracial crime was caused by racism, it still accounts for a tiny percentage of homocide in this country. Truth is when I walk around my neighboorhood at night, I’m not watching out for half-hispanic neighborhood watchmen, but other young black men. It’s hard to say, but it conforms to my experience. The media has blown this case way out of proportion based only on the skin colors of the two young men. It’s this exaggeration that’s made people bring up wider problems as a context of viewing the whole situation, not an innate desire to excuse crimes based on racism.

It is important to note that leading Black Conservative thinker Larry Elder has been making this very point from the beginning. Mr. Elder also makes a point in some of his writings about white condescension. It is important to distinguish between the two issues here at play as you do, but it should also be noted that not every conservative pundit was quiet on this issue prior to the verdict.

kjco says:

Kinda’ feel like the “pain” surrounding knowing “what it feels like to be followed in a department store, hear car doors lock when walks across the street or see a woman clutch her purse and hold her breath when he stepped into an elevator” has become an convenient weapon for all blacks against all whites. A new war of hurt feelings.
It has gotten to the point of the absurd, as if every living white is merely a caricature of any former or living racist white. The well-earned sensitivity at being profiled from an older generation has now has now been ingrained in another generation which has not experienced the pain.
I believe it is often the assumptions that things will never change which are now causing much of the pain. No matter how hard ppl try to live & let live, we have to try to over compensate for those who did not in the past–but we are not allowed to be viewed as ourselves, but we are only children of racists because of the color of our skin.
Irony…being called racist, by those who are racist, even if we are NOT racist. Absurd waste of time.
I’m sure some feel like becoming a racist in order find out what they’re missing out on, like “what’s the use in trying if I’m condemned by the color of my skin?” Irony & impasse on both sides.
It’s become more than frustrating when those assuming every locked car door or awkward shift in an elevator is out of racial hatred. These racists seem to think everywhere they turn, there is a white out to get them. Problem is, now mass mayhem and destruction (or simple hurt feelings between neighbors) is only furthering the old stereotypes some of us are trying to let go of. The irony of it all.
How do we all get off?

Greg says:

One of the great tragedies of the current politically correct trend in US society to constantly brand all whites as “privileged racists” REGARDLESS of their own thoughts and actions is that although those with a modicum of intelligence recognize the charge as politically correct theater, the dimmer bulbs out there actually believe the charge.

As a consequence, if they are black or some other “people of color” (a rather dubious phrase increasingly applied to many groups who have not historically been regarded as non-white, such as white Spaniards and Middle Easterners, but that is a other story) they are inclined to, frankly, hate white people. Passionately and not altogether unreasonably based on what elected officials, the MSM, and academia are constantly telling them.

If they are white, they will as a consequence either gravitate towards becoming self deprecating, politically correct “guilt white liberals”, or they will go the other way and essentially say, as you suggest, “got the name might as well play the game”, become racist, and feel in doing so they are joining a large club rather than a tiny fringe.

The problem with the politically correct panderers of our time is that while THEY know what they say isn’t actually true, but don’t ever stop to consider the possibility that many people will actually think what they say is true (i.e. that all whites are racist) and that this can have truly horrific repercussions.

rayb_baby says:

Give me a break! Only a fringe believe that all whites are racist and vice versa. But there certainly are racists of both colors, that doesn’t make it politically correct.

gjsmith_62 says:

First, in the eyes of the LAW, Zimmerman was innocent until proven guilty of murder.

Was he depraved? Odd, it wasn’t Martin who called 911

Was it with malice, he sought to protect those around him whose homes had been broken into?

So, did the state prove Zimmerman was depraved or had malice of intent to kill Martin? No, hence, not guilty of murder. The juror? Well, either ignorant or seeking her 15 minutes of fame.

As for Elders, odd he says with a straight face 3% of the people in this country commit 50% of the murders and they happen to be young black males.

Does that mean rural or suburban blacks are guilty of DWB? Nope.

Barry Cooper says:

I have been talking about the hellish existence of young black people in our inner cities for years. It is unacceptable. It is unconscionable. But people like Barack Obama are not the answer.

We need to be clear that “society” is failing these kids, and that society is their family, particularly their parents.

As far as offending people, hell, have at it. Broad shouldered people get better with constructive criticism, and weak people are not hurt by it. They were going to be cowards anyway.

You have not just a right but a duty to be the best you you can be, and that includes expressing your opinions clearly and without obfuscation. You may be surprised how liberating it might be for you to simply say “I am a black conservative, and I am PISSED. Here is why. . . .”

Zimmerman should have stayed in the car, but he did NOT attack Martin. Martin DID attack HIM. For you to disagree with the verdict means that facts have no basis in determining guilt. That means that you are a conservative only in the sense that RINO’s are republicans. This isn’t the first time I’ve seen such nonsense at this site. If the colors were reversed, I can guarantee you that you’d think everything was just great.

Zimmerman should have stayed in the car, but he did NOT attack Martin. Martin DID attack HIM. For you to disagree with the verdict means that facts have no basis in determining guilt. That means that you are a conservative only in the sense that RINO’s are republicans. This isn’t the first time I’ve seen such nonsense at this site. If the colors were reversed, I can guarantee you that you’d think everything was just great.

rayb_baby says:

Maybe GZ didn’t attack TM, but he DID stalk him against the advice/orders not to. What would YOU do if you were being stalked, especially if you knew that you had done NOTHING wrong to deserve it

Linda Schertz says:

I don’t think conservatives are just picking black on black crime to make anyone feel anything. I think it is simply a matter of trying to expose all the false concern over Trayvon. In other words, had Trayvon been shot down in the streets by another black kid, there would have been NO media coverage, no Al Sharpie, no Jesse Jack. No protesting, no marches, no national out pouring of “love”. The prez would not have suggested his son may have looked like Trayvon, and we wouldn’t have been told that white women freak out on elevators with young black men getting on. The fact that someone other than a black person shot Trayvon that created all this uproar is the whole point. There is no indication in George’s past that indicates he has a predjudice bone in his body, yet the black community is screaming how if Trayvon was white this never would have happened. How nice they have a crystal ball to tell them this.

rayb_baby says:

But there is plenty of evidence that GZ is a phony wanna be cop, an abuser and a liar.

Tom in SFCA says:

I think you misunderstood Ann Coulter. She believes everyone should be treated like volitional human beings and it is the leftists who fail to so treat blacks.

rayb_baby says:

Yeah, right! That’s what YOU want to believe. Lil’ Annie Revolter says exactly what she thinks and what she thinks are as vile as her words. No making a lame excuse for what she said is going to change that.