One People's Project
The front page story of today’s edition of Philadelphia Daily News is about the latest disgrace in the Trayvon Martin story: the effort among some to smear the 17-year-old who was killed in Sanford, Florida as he walked from a convenience store by a neighborhood watch captain who said he shot him in self-defense.
“A month after Trayvon's tragic death, now comes word that the 17-year-old had been visiting his dad while on a 10-day suspension from school for having a baggie containing marijuana residue in his book bag and, according to the Miami Herald, a marijuana pipe,” columnist Jenice Armstrong wrote. “That's not cool. But what does that have to do with what went down the night Trayvon was killed?”
Smearing Trayvon Martin has actually been more craven than that, however. Trayvon was not only unarmed, he was also someone who seldom got into trouble, had no criminal record to speak of and was a in effect model teenager. As there was no justifiable reason to attack the victim, the only ones who did were the ones for whom that would not matter – white racist activists. Immediately racist websites painted Trayvon as a thug that probably had a long rap sheet, but it went nowhere because there was nothing to back it up. Then Council of Conservative (CCC) board member Kyle Rogers published an op-ed piece on March 21 on the Examiner.com website where he suggested that the facts have been suppressed by the media and according to police neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman was being attacked by Trayvon when he shot and killed him. Rogers, who last year spearheaded the CCC campaign to boycott the eventual box office hit movie Thor because a black man, Idris Elba, played one of the Norse gods, went on to say that “suppressing” this is a part of some media plot to advance an agenda against white people. “Now that you know the suppressed facts of the case, you can for form a better more balanced opinion,” he wrote. “Maybe you still think Zimmerman was wrong to pull the trigger. However, I think you will come to the conclusion that the "mainstream" clearly is pushing an agenda. Even when they have to grossly alter and adjust a story to fit that agenda.”
But it was Rogers’ narrative that was immediately seen as him grossly altering and adjusting the story. Gun Owners of America President Larry Pratt learned that the hard way when he repeated it during his appearance on the Young Turks program on Current TV the following evening. “Trayvon Martin gave up his rights and shifted from being a victim to being an aggressor when after he knocked Zimmerman down, didn’t run away from that situation,” he said. “Instead, he doubled down on the guy and then started a world of damage.”
That resulted in Pratt, who in 1996 lost his position as Pat Buchanan’s presidential campaign manager when it was learned he spoke at a 1992 Aryan Nations meeting, being eviscerated by host Cenk Ungyr who was appalled at his attempt to blame the victim. “(It’s) funny how the kid with no gun who, in your mind, gave up all his rights, but Zimmerman, the freak stalker who called the police at least 49 times on black males, called this guy a coon, chase him down with a gun – he has all the rights in the world,” Ungyr said, saying earlier that Pratt was a “dangerous person” because of him holding such positions.
One of the more pathetic attempts to smear Martin was the internet posting of a photo of who was purported to be Martin, shirtless, pants sagging and giving the middle finger to the camera. According to the blog Angry Black Lady, it was widely circulated over the weekend via the white supremacist website Stormfront and eventually ended up being posted around by Michelle Malkin and Dana Loesch, two conservative bloggers, who ironically spend a lot of time on Twitter defending themselves and other conservatives against what they see as smears. Far beyond the fact that the photograph would have nothing to do with why Martin was shot, it was later learned that it wasn’t even him in the photo.
The writer at Angry Black Lady noted that she had angry exchanges with conservatives associated with the late conservative propagandist Andrew Breitbart over the photos who were determined to smear Martin. “Over the weekend on Twitter, I asked a couple of Breitbrats about these photos,” she wrote.” They kept accusing me of not wanting the “real pictures” of Trayvon to be released because it doesn’t “fit my narrative.” They spewed paranoid talking points about how the librul media is using lightened photos of Trayvon in order to make him seem more sympathetic. More innocent. Yeah. Marinate on that for a minute.
“And, when I asked them where they got these photos, they would reply “a website” — real vague-like,” she continued. “Breitbrat Dan Riehl claims to have gotten the photo (which he now admits is not a photo of Trayvon Martin) from “a reader” — real vague-like.”
Malkin, who despite being Filipino contributes to the white supremacist website VDARE and has often railed against diversity, was called out by a person on Twitter as a liar for putting out the photo, to which she hypocritically responded, “I didn't lie. We made an error. We corrected it and apologized forthrightly. Your ilk responds w/hate and racism. Check yourself.”
The attempts to attack Trayvon has had impacted his family. His mother, Sybrina Fulton is defending him saying that not only has he ever had trouble with gangs or police, when she transferred him out of Carol City High School to be closer to home the school wanted him to stay because he was a good student that everyone liked. “They killed my son, and now they are trying to kill his reputation,” she said.