Dear Trayvon Martin, I'm sorry. I believe that you deserve justice and I believe that your killer should have to face a trial. I believe that Trayvon Martin deserves due process, but we can't even talk about that in America because our President is black and his political opponents have absolutely nothing else to run against him on.
For weeks, every time I have tried to engage right-wingers on Trayvon Martin's death those right-wingers have felt compelled for some reason to remind me that black people are violent too. These right-wingers remind me at every chance that black people do it too, as if that somehow offsets the fact that the man who shot Trayvon has yet to be arrested or face charges for the death by gunfire of another civilian. The reality is that the way right-wingers respond to the execution of a black man, whether by the state or a well armed vigilante, says everything you need to know about their notions of "justice". I assume that someone is innocent until being proven guilty, whereas in the world of the southern male dominated GOP someone is first innocent until proven negro.
Lee Atwater's "Southern Strategy" persists today. One look at Glenn Beck's website "The Blaze" says it all, the top four Hot Topics are GlennBeckTV, Van Jones, Reverend Wright and New Black Panthers, and Beck's website seems dedicated to reminding you that Van Jones, Reverend Wright and other black people are plotting to get you, decrying a coming race war repeatedly, and all with Obama as the clear beneficiary of such a race war. This pattern is not limited to Beck's website, it's just that Beck and his sites editors have all the subtlety of a loud fart in a packed subway, but if you look all over the rightwing media you see conservative pundits linking Trayvon Martin's tragedy to other notable scary black people in the rightwing lexicon of scary things, and always it leads to one point, Obama. Why is this? Isn't it obvious? The President is black and they have nothing else. But it gets worse.
More below the fold . . .
It gets worse because the GOP, which is largely a rural, southern, western and xenophobic party of low-information religious white people, well, these people have lost their fucking minds. They have lost their fucking minds because their pundits have taken control of the party and filled their heads with bullshit. Mitch McConell is not the leader of the Senate, Rush Limbaugh is, Conservative voters don't respect John Boehner, they respect Sean Hannity, and the unelected pundits who drive the GOP base have insisted that only a true conservative who will reject Obama's socialism can save America at this point, but instead of that guy the GOP base is stuck with Mitt Romney.
And that is where things get worse. Republicans have lost women voters because their pundits are idiots and their base is sexist, much in the same way they have lost black voters due to openly pandering to racists, latino voters, gay voters, name a group that is not fundamentalist christian, male, homophobic and white and the GOP is losing that group. They can't back down from the extremist rhetoric espoused by their idiot punditocracy even if they wanted to, and that extremist rhetoric is driving away more and more voters. In response to this the GOP has made it harder for minorities to vote, through voter ID laws and fearmongering over non-existent voter fraud. Republicans are not even trying to win back voters who they have driven away in the non-white male fundamentalist demographics, they would rather demonize them, and because of their selection against most of their primary base voters will of Mitt Romney there is only one way to go.
There is only one direction for the GOP to go, they can't sell Obama on being friendly to fatcats, their candidate IS a fat cat, they can't sell Obama as being weak on terror, that ended the moment Osama Bin Laden met Seal Team 6 and the only foreign policy experience Mitt Romney has is through his Swiss Bank accounts, they can't sell voters on the benefits their economic plans have for them because there ARE no benefits in the GOP economic plan for anyone who is not in the wealthiest 1% of Americans. The GOP has accomplished nothing over the last 3 years except getting elected and then passing a bunch of abortion restricting bills, attacking women's health rights and several statewide efforts to destroy labor unions, so the GOP has nothing to run on that might appeal to a voter who isn't already a wingnut, and their candidate is neither a true conservative or a regular guy the way they tried to sell us George W. Bush, Sarah Palin and Joe The Plumber, nope, their candidate is an uninspiring politically-moderate rich guy who is one of the only Mormons in a virulently fundamentalist christian party. The only way the GOP will be able to motivate their fundy, southern base into voting for a moderate northeastern millionaire mormon is by ramping up the racial rhetoric, and the GOP and their punditocracy will gladly do so with a wink and a nod for two simple reasons, because the President is black and they have literally nothing else.
Now I know some people may think I am over-reacting when I state that the only way to consistently get ignorant rural white people to vote for the rich people who are screwing them is by scaring them with scary, scary black people, but I am saying it, so deal with it. And I am sorry, I'm sorry that there are people who will tell you over and over that racism doesn't exist in America in 2012. I'm sorry that those same people tend to insist that if there is racism, white people are equally the victim. Those people are full of shit. There is racism in America and the GOP is depending on it because the President is black and they have absolutely nothing else.
So I am sorry, Trayvon Martin, and I want to extend that apology to everyone who has been touched either personally or indirectly by your tragic death. I believe that Trayvon Martin's killer should be put on trial for Trayvon's death, and I believe that we should finally begin to have a national conversation about racism and racial fear in America, but before we do that we have to STOP PRETENDING that racism doesn't exist, and we have to STOP letting some people pretend that racism only exists because the victims of racism are playing the victim. Racism does exist in 2012 and black people, latino people, and non-white people bear the brunt of that racism, and the guy who is trying to tell you that white people are victims too, that guy is full of shit. We should be able to move past this, we should be able to recognize that the guy who armed himself with the intention of protecting his gated community from black people, the guy who made 40 or so paranoid calls to the police warning them about suspicious black people and then pursued one of those suspicious black people on foot despite police warnings not to do so, that guy put himself in a position where he could kill a black guy, and he did, and he should face consequences for it, but we can't because our President is black and his political opponents and the media pundits who oppose him have absolutely nothing else to motivate their mostly white, male and rural voting base with. I am truly sorry it has to be this way.
Peace and love to one and all
You can follow me on twitter @JesseLaGreca