I wish I lived in a more rational world. In Alabama a mob of 20 black aggressors used chairs, pipes and paint cans to send white Matthew Owens from his front porch to a hospital bed the hard way. As they left they remarked “Now that’s justice for Trayvon!” It’s part of a string of black-on-white retaliation related to the Trayvon Martin shooting including Mikhail Muhammad of the New Black Panther Party announcing a $10,000 bounty for the capture of George Zimmerman in 2012. When asked if they were inciting violence he told the Orlando Sentinel “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.” Keep in mind, George Zimmerman is Hispanic. It’s as if the world has gone mad.
I don’t have a lot to say about this case. I won’t bore you with a retelling of the events and evidence. I’m sure you’ve heard it all, and if you haven’t I’ll let Stefan Molyneux bring you up to speed.
I think an honest assessment of the facts, acknowledging the facts in dispute, is inconclusive, and so anyone asserting a conclusion either way has most likely spiked the punch with their own prejudices. If I were on the jury I would have plead “not guilty” which doesn’t mean “innocent.” All it means is “not beyond a reasonable doubt.” But more distressing to me is the level of hysteria exhibited by both sides, because it means I live in a deeply bigoted, divided, and irrational culture, which has many more deadly unforeseen byproducts.
For example. Let me tell you about Ibragim Todashev. Ibragim was once a friend of Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, and as such he became a person of interest to the FBI. Ibragim agreed to cooperate on multiple occasions, without an attorney, and even delayed his plans to travel to Chechnya in order to satisfy their questions. Then an FBI agent, backed up by a posse of other law enforcement personnel, went to his apartment and shot him seven times.
There are a number of odd circumstances surrounding the incident, at least as it’s been self-reported by law enforcement. For example, despite all the back up, the FBI agent was allegedly alone with Ibragim when he was killed, leaving no witnesses. Law enforcement alleges that Ibragim confessed to a triple homicide just before being killed, but no written statement exists. Law enforcement initially alleged the he lunged across a table with a knife, but it’s now been reported that he was unarmed. And finally Ibragim was not suspected of any involvement in the Boston bombing, and the nature of the questioning is mostly unknown.
Ibragim’s father says the FBI murdered his son to “shut him up” and the family is calling for an independent investigation. It’s hard to imagine anything coming from such an investigation when the only potential witness is the killer.
So, what’s this got to do with Treyvon? Well, I see some pretty significant similarities between these two cases. Both took place in Florida. Both victims were approached by someone suspecting them of a crime, although Zimmerman was neighborhood watch, not an agent of the State. Both involve disputed allegations that the victim attacked and the killer acted in self defense. Both even involve victims of marginalized minority classes. Treyvon being stereotyped as a thief on account of his ethnicity and Ibragim being stereotyped as a terrorist on account of his religion. And although the ethnicity of the FBI agent wasn’t reported, if we take the integrity of the mainstream media as our standard, I guess we can assume the killer was white. Then if we find out later that the FBI agent was Hispanic, or Chinese, or black we’ll just call them white-Hispanic, white-Chinese, or white-black. But most importantly both cases involve a huge deficiency of corroborating evidence.
Like the Zimmerman case I have to admit that an honest assessment of the available facts is inconclusive, and my desire to find the FBI in the wrong represents my own prejudice. But what makes this relevant is the disparity of hysteria over two incredibly similar cases.
The question is why? Why aren’t they receiving the similar coverage? Why does Treyvon inspire an avalanche of irresponsible media coverage and Ibragim does not? Why does Treyvon inspire public outcry and Ibragim does not? Why does Treyvon inspire asinine commentary from celebrities, Congressmen and even the President, but Ibragim does not?
I have a theory.
There is a disparity of hysteria because in the Treyvon Martin case the outrage is horizontal, toward a citizen, but in the Ibragim Todashev case the outrage must be vertical, toward the State. Ibragim is ignored for the same reason that infants and children killed by US drone strikes are ignored, and the same reason the death of Abdulrahman Al Awlaki is ignored. Because the heartstrings of irrational mobs are loyal instruments in the hands of the media, and the media knows slaves may only criticize other slaves. They must not criticize masters.