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Jay-Z: Stand your ground against profiling; against home invasion … not so much
In a recent interview with a rap blogger, hip hop icon Jay Z endorsed Trayvon Martin’s battery of George Zimmerman as legitimate self-defense against racial profiling and surveillance by the neighborhood watch volunteer — while in the same interview scoffing at the right to use a firearm to defend against a home invasion/robbery.
“We all knew there was still a bit of racism in America but for it to be so blatant…” said Jay Z, “angry” about the acquittal of Mr. Zimmerman on charges of second degree murder and manslaughter in the shooting death of the 17-year-old Martin.
In decrying the verdict, the rapper and entertainment mogul interpreted Mr. Zimmerman’s surveillance of Trayvon as a form of predatory pursuit which licensed a violent counterattack by the targeted teen: “If you just asked the questions, asked yourself the question, ‘Didn’t Trayvon have a right to stand his ground?’ He was being chased and he fought back.”
In extensive remarks on the case to Rap Radar’s Elliott Wilson, Jay Z justified the beating administered by Trayvon — which Mr. Zimmerman says provoked him to shoot in self-defense — as testament to the teen’s superior prowess in hand-to-hand combat.
“He may have won,” allowed the superstar, whose personal wealth is estimated at $475 million by Forbes. “That doesn’t mean he’s a criminal. He won! I mean, if you chase me and you try to attack me and I defend myself, how can I be in the wrong? How is that right?”
But while defending Trayvon’s right to “stand his ground” with violent retaliation against unprofessional profiling by, as he termed him in the interview, a “[bleeping] mall cop,” Jay Z emphatically rejected stand-your-ground justification for shooting at a robber in a home invasion.
“And even the law, that Stand Your Ground law,” he said. “You can have a fight with someone and they’re running way, you can shoot them and kill them and you’re fine? What?! Come on. Come on, man. Like someone’s robbing your house and they’re leaving and you can shoot them on the way out? They don’t [pose] a threat to you at that point. So how? How is that self defense?”
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About the Author
Daniel Wattenberg is arts and features editor for The Washington Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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