This past week in the city of Spokane, Washington, where I currently reside, an 88 year old World War II veteran named Delbert Belton, was beaten to death outside of a community center that he went to to play pool. The two kids who did it, both 16 years old, have been identified. One has been apprehended and arrested and will be charged as an adult. The other is being pursued at this time, and hopefully he will be picked up and also arrested and charged.
The shocking violent crime kind of shakes you, particularly because of his age and the fact that he is a Veteran. I was talking to a friend here in my apartment building about it and I said that I think it struck a nerve with a lot of people because violence against children, women and the elderly are ones that really stand out as abhorrent. All violence against innocent people is horrible and should not be tolerated. However like it or not we have a certain reaction when one of those three groups are victimized, regardless of race.
Now I mention the word race, because there are many people who want to label this situation as a "Racially motivated murder". In their eyes because the kids who committed this heinous act were Black and the victim was White, well then of course it's a racially movitated murder. I mean, why else would Black kids kill a White person? And besides, those on "The Left" were all up in arms about George Zimmerman shooting Trayvon Martin, but they're not mad as hell about Delbert Belton or Chris Lane, the Australian Baseball player who was killed by three teens in Oklahoma this past week (two of which were Black, one was White), so that somehow shows a hypocrisy.
However there is no evidence that race played a role in the murder of Delbert Belton, and in fact the police here in Spokane have stated that race was not a factor. And in the case of Chris Lane, the police there have come out and stated that race was NOT a factor in the murder.
But I believe that the motivation behind people on social media and in the press pushing the idea that those two cases are racially motivated, and attacking the Left for not having the same reaction as to Trayvon Martin & George Zimmerman, reside in something else: Hatred of the President in general and hatred of the fact that America's history of racism is being pointed out to them on a regular basis specifically.
Allow me to explain.
MORE AFTER THE BREAK
Back when George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin, there was not an IMMEDIATE uprising by activists when it happened, contrary to what some revisionist history folks would like to tell you. In fact for several days, no mainstream media really picked it up. The Young Turks, to their credit, was one of the only ones that were regularly pushing this story and saying, "hey, there's something wrong here!"
That "Something Wrong", was the fact that despite George Zimmerman shooting and killing a young unarmed youth, he was never investigated by the police, as is customary in any shooting incident. He was not given a toxicology test to see if he was under the influence of alcohol or drugs. He was not considered a suspect, despite his admitting that he did it, due to him in the early going citing "Stand Your Ground", the law that allows someone to use deadly force against another person if they think they are in danger.
However, despite not doing any of that to Zimmerman, they did ALL of that to Trayvon Martin, mind you who is dead at this point. They ran a tox screen on Trayvon to find out whether he had any drugs in his system or not. His background was investigated, his school records were looked into, old photos were dug up to portray him as a "Gangster wannebe" or a "thug", two phrases that are predominantly used to stereotype African American men.
Here you had the police demonizing the victim, portraying the victim of a murder as a thug who was getting what was coming to him. The entire time they never arrested or charged George Zimmerman. He was free for about a month and a half which is what sparked the outrage and the protests that everyone now remembers. It was those protests and outrage that pressured the police to finally arrest him in the death of Trayvon Martin.
Now I've written about all I can on the George Zimmerman situation, so you can click here to read my post I made the day after he was acquitted for my thoughts there.
The point is though, those yelling about how "Why hasn't Obama spoken about Delbert Belton" or "Which one of these thugs most looks like Obama's son?", as if this situation and the Trayvon Martin situation are similar are missing the point, either intentionally (my guess) or unintentionally.
In this case (and in the Chris Lane case), the alleged killers were caught. They were arrested and charged. In this case there's one other suspect and he's being pursued now. The killers of Delbert aren't walking free, despite everyone knowing who they are. Delbert isn't being called a "thug" or someone who was probably picking a fight with these two innocent kids.
Chris Lane wasn't being slandered and smeared in the press as a bad guy who was a "gangster wannabe". Their suspected killers have been apprehended, or are in the process of being hunted down, and justice is hopefully going to be served.
Contrast that with Zimmerman who shot an unarmed kid and then went home that night and slept in his bed because the Police didn't consider arresting him. And then they started investigating the dead victim.
THAT is why there were protests and activists up in arms and outraged over the George Zimmerman situation, NOT because of his race. That is why the President felt the need to speak up, as an African American man himself, to speak to others out there and explain that the leader of their country understood that there were frustrations and heartache out there.
However by the vicious response by many on the Right to that speech, you would imagine that any sense of consoling or empathy towards African Americans is the absolute epitome of the worst of human kind. That since Obama spoke out on that specific case, and he didn't run out and scream about every other random case that involved a White victim, that somehow that meant he was biased, racist or whatever.
However I have to mention that when these people on twitter that I see railing about the murder of Delbert Belton while simultaneously attacking those they perceive to be their enemy, they are not doing Delbert any honor. They are not honoring Delbert's memory. You are sullying it by co-opting his death for your own twisted fantasies about how evil everyone that doesn't believe the way you do are.
You are simply co-opting the death of an American Hero, someone who fought for good, for your own depraved attacks on your fellow man.
And there's no honor in that, no matter what your affiliation may be.