Such is the point of political theater where the script has little to do with fact. News of Zimmerman's multiracial background (his mother is a native of Peru; his father is white; he has black relatives) hasn't dented the white-racism angle for agitators. Similarly, the unresolved questions about the fateful encounter that left Martin, 17, dead and Zimmerman, 28, reportedly with injuries haven't slowed the rush to the microphone by a bevy of officials and self-appointed spokesmen.
The shooting was a "hate crime" (Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters of California), an "assassination" (Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter). "Blacks are under attack," said Jesse Jackson. According to those Justice Department statistics cited above, that is true -- but overwhelmingly by other blacks.
What is under attack here is due process. It is an attack, I regret to say, carried forward even by the president of the United States, who, subtle as a club, ramped up the race narrative when he said: "If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon."
Would he also look like Tyrone Woodfork? The black 20-year-old has been charged with first-degree murder and other crimes related to the invasion March 12 of the Oklahoma home of Bob and Nancy Strait (both white). Nancy, 85, was sexually assaulted and beaten to death. Bob, 90, a veteran of the invasion of Normandy and married to Nancy for 65 years, suffered a broken jaw and ribs.
Despite the violence and cruelty of this particular crime, it is strictly a local story. One distraught neighbor set up a Facebook page called "Justice for Bob and Nancy Strait." When I last looked, it had 60-some followers.
All of which means -- what? Victims of violent crime, both black and white, abound. Their undeserved suffering and grief are things that everyone wants to prevent. In the Trayvon Martin case, what also hurts is the cold, political calculation to divide us as a nation for nefarious ends. What hurts in the Bob and Nancy Strait case is the silence.
For the record, President Obama has not mentioned that Nancy Strait looks like his grandmother.
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