KUHNER: The media lynching of George Zimmerman

A tragic death was spun to fit a racial narrative

George Zimmerman is innocent. The evidence clearly shows this. Yet the liberal media have already convicted him in the court of public opinion. The result is not only that a man’s life — regardless of the verdict — has been shattered. Race relations have been poisoned, paving the way for possible deadly riots if Mr. Zimmerman is acquitted.

From the outset, liberal media outlets — CNN, MSNBC, NPR, CBS, ABC, NBC, the Huffington Post, The New York Times and The Washington Post — put forth one seminal narrative: The shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was a flagrant example of white racism against blacks. Modern-day Sanford, Fla., was transformed into 1960s Selma, Ala. Mr. Zimmerman has been turned into the poster child of a more subtle and polished, but revived Ku Klux Klan. For example, the audiotape of Mr. Zimmerman’s call to a 911 dispatcher on the night of the shooting was deliberately edited by NBC in a pathetic attempt to portray him as a vile racist bent on violence.

The entire mainstream media narrative, however, is based on lies. Trayvon was not killed because he was black. He was shot in self-defense because he repeatedly punched and smashed Mr. Zimmerman’s head on the pavement. The neighborhood-watch captain was trained by police to notice nonresidents, especially those who looked out of place and behaved suspiciously. The Sanford community had suffered a rash of burglaries and other crimes. According to residents (both white and black), the town-house complex has become increasingly unsafe. Hence, the reason — and need — for a neighborhood-watch team.

After spotting Trayvon, who did not live in the neighborhood, Mr. Zimmerman did what any good citizen should do: He called the police. The dispatcher asked for the location of Trayvon’s whereabouts. Mr. Zimmerman followed the teenager, gave the approximate address and street, and attempted to return to his car — until confronted by Trayvon. He then began to savagely beat Mr. Zimmerman, who suffered two black eyes, a broken nose and lacerations in the back of his head. If he had not used his gun, Mr. Zimmerman would likely be dead today.

All of these facts have been corroborated during the trial. A key witness, John Hood, saw Trayvon on top of Mr. Zimmerman hitting him “mixed martial arts-style.” Also, toxicology reports prove that Trayvon had marijuana in his blood and urine that night. Mr. Zimmerman told the dispatcher that the suspect acted like he was “on drugs.” Mr. Zimmerman’s wounds — and the grass stains on his back — were consistent with his story of being on the ground and repeatedly punched by Trayvon.

In other words, rather than the constant media image and picture of an angelic 12-year-old baby-faced boy, Trayvon was the opposite. He was a 6-foot-3 man-child with a history of drug use, who had been suspended several times from school. He even had images of himself on his cellphone smoking marijuana and wielding a gun. He was a wannabe thug, who triggered a deadly altercation. Had Trayvon gone straight back to the home of his father’s girlfriend, he’d be alive today. Instead, he chose to confront and attack Mr. Zimmerman. Ultimately, Trayvon — not Mr. Zimmerman — is to blame for the fatal shooting.

Yet, for the left, none of this matters. Liberals have turned Trayvon into a saint and celebrity cause. He is the alleged victim of racist white America. Here is another gross lie: Mr. Zimmerman is not even white. He is clearly a Hispanic — his skin is brown. He comes from a multiracial — including part-black — family. Hence, to twist reality to conform to their whites-are-racist narrative, the mainstream media manufactured a new racial category: white Hispanic. Only the twisted liberal mind could blame whites for a brown guy fatally shooting a black teen.

Ironically, it is Mr. Zimmerman who is the victim of a racist witch hunt. He never would have been charged with a crime had it not been for vile race-baiters, such as Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. Aided and abetted by President Obama, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and the Congressional Black Caucus, these race-arsonists have fueled the flames of racial hatred. Encouraged by media coverage that has played to the most primitive racial sensibilities, many blacks have become passionately convinced Mr. Zimmerman is guilty — not only of murder, but of hating young black men. Law enforcement authorities in Sanford are preparing for bloody race riots should he be acquitted. Pro-Trayvon supporters on social media have already called for mass civil unrest in the wake of a not-guilty verdict.

If — and I stress if — there are race riots following the Zimmerman trial, then Mr. Obama and his media allies will have blood on their hands. They have smeared an innocent man, fanned the dangerous fires of racial division and hijacked a police investigation in order to pursue a political agenda of black victimology. This represents the ominous corruption of our justice system. Trayvon is dead, but his ghost may haunt us for years to come.

Jeffrey T. Kuhner is a radio commentator on WRKO AM-680 in Boston.

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