Thursday, March 29, 2012

Apple, meet orange. Your colors are different.

I see this being passed around by people as if it means anything:

His failure to respond to three letters sent to the White House was because there was no "political value" and not worthy of a few minutes of his time.

What I’m about to say is meant in no way to minimize the impact of this or any other murder. But why is this case supposed to be on par with the Trayvon Martin killing?

The double-homicide of two British students in Florida is a tragedy in the sense that all murders are a tragedy. But it’s not a miscarriage of justice, and that’s the difference. The killer in this case has been convicted and is in prison. That’s a pretty substantial difference from the fact that the man who admitted to shooting Trayvon (and whose alibi is rapidly falling apart) was let go without charge and is now in hiding. The incident opens up a multitude of questions about self-defense laws, police procedurals and the roles of appearances and racial prejudice in determining risk factors. The whole country is talking about these things, and rightfully so.

The parents of the British victims are understandably upset about the deaths of their sons. But do they not understand why President Obama is weighing in on the Trayvon case and not theirs? I seriously doubt it’s the hostile snub that they (and the Telegraph article) make it out to be. The quote about “no political value” is not Obama’s or anyone associated with Obama; it comes from the parents. Not that you’d necessarily ascertain that from the Telegraph’s questionable reporting (the Telegraph, incidentally, is a right-wing mouthpiece on par with the Washington Times or the New York Post). Instead, we’re left to think Obama told them to quit wasting his time. But this is not the case. Why would the Telegraph single this Obama comment out and lead with it? And why would people feel the need to share it when similar murders and resultant frustration abound?

The only guess I can muster is that it’s supposed to show that attention over the Martin case is racially motivated. And that President Obama in particular is favoring the black victim of a white/Hispanic shooter over the white victims of a black assailant.

In other words, it’s supposed to prove the president is racist.

Same old agenda. Different day.

If there’s any other reason for sharing the article (or for the article itself, even), I’d love to hear it.

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