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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Once upon a time in the late ’90s, a certain black newswoman was awarded her own column. She wrote 12 pieces, three of them about race. That was too many for her boss, who told her to tone it down. Confused, she went to a white colleague for advice. He explained that, being black, she lacked the judgment to decide if a given racial matter merited a column. In the future, he suggested, if she saw some racial issue she thought worth writing about, she should bring it to him and let him decide.

That paternalistic offer is brought to mind by a recent on-air statement from Tamara Holder, a contributor to Fox “News,” about the killing of Trayvon Martin. “The blacks,” she told Sean Hannity, “are making this more of a racial issue than it should be.”

One is reminded that the more things change, the more they don’t. One wonders how much of a racial issue Trayvon’s death should be, in Ms. Holder’s esteemed opinion.

There is a storyline coalescing here among conservative pundits. From Holder to Hannity to William Bennett to my colleague, Glenn Garvin, it says there’s been a “rush to judgment” against George Zimmerman, the man who stalked and killed an unarmed 17-year-old black kid he found suspicious.

Candidly, there is good reason to fear such a rush. Anyone who remembers the Tawana Brawley hoax and the Duke lacrosse case, among others, knows many African-Americans have proven prone to jumping to conclusions of racism even when the evidence thereof is dubious. Some black folks see racial mistreatment everywhere, always.

But some white folks see it nowhere — ever. That’s a corollary truth that seems apropos to this moment. Indeed, when a black man named Abner Louima was maimed in an act of broomstick sodomy by New York police, Holder’s friend Hannity accused Louima of lying. Don’t rush to judgment, he warned.

For some people, that is less sage advice than default response. The Rodney King beating, said former Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl Gates, “did look like racism,” but wasn’t. “This is not a racial issue,” said a school official in Louisiana after six black kids were charged with attempted murder for a schoolyard fight with a white classmate.

And so on.

  • ObozoMustGo

    Leonard, nice article with good points. Thank you. If I may add, I dont think there’s anything that says we cant rush to judgement about this or any case. Not that we should, just that it’s human nature to do so. I dont have a requirement to a presumption of innocence, that’s the court’s requirement. But I think where many of us become outraged is at the race hustling of charlatans like Al not so Sharpton and the bounty set by the NBP and the address tweeting by Spike Lee. This is where those idiots are turning an unfortunate event into their own forum for their own personal gain. It’s disgusting to those of us with any sensibility. It’s also the reason why you hear people like Hannity or whomever saying NOT to rush to judgement. The real danger here is what happens if they go through a trial and it is found that Zimmerman actually did defend himself lawfully? That facts and witnesses come out in trial that, because of the fever pitched atmosphere and threats, these people currently remain rightfully silent? He’s then let go and now, because the race hustlers have stirred the pot, riots break out and more people are injured and maybe even die. And their blood is now on Sharpton’s/NBP’s/Spike’s/whatever race hustler’s hands, who walk away without ever paying a price, but certainly extracts a heavy price. The race hustlers and charlatans are now creating an environment where the justice system cannot operate impartially and properly. The situation has been converted to a lose-lose proposition. This is what saddens and disgusts most of us.

  • Mr. Pitts: I never pass up reading one of your columns. Mr. Zimmerman was VERY lucky he didn’t come across an armed intruder as he surely would’ve been beaten to the draw. Zimmerman was a loose cannon looking for a time & place to fire. He found same and now faces murder charges if Florida has any conscience.

    • ObozoMustGo

      Vince… off topic… nice fish! The picture is tiny but it looks lke a tuna by the tail. Where’d you catch it?

    • reverend01

      You are talkign about Florida, the same state taht stole the election a few years ago. The same state where a black man and one hispanic man has been missing for a few years, both last seen in the same policeman’s cop car and nothing has been doen about that. So to speak of Florida in general and conccience int he same breath? Please. please note I know not all floridians are corrupt like manu of it’s politicians, police and leaders. Thank God.

  • majong13

    To: ObozoMustGo
    I understand your feeling about this situation, and yes there should not be a rush to judgement before the trial. But I think you are forgetting one important thing. There has not even been an arrest yet and, in fact, if the media and your so called “race hustlers” did not speak out the government would not even be doing an investigation!

    • ObozoMustGo

      No dispute here majong. The whole situation sux. If GZ is found to have acted aggressively and not in self defense, he should fry. If there are witnesses that have not come forward publicly for fear of their life now that bounties are issued and the whole thing has turned into a racial cesspool, than we may not know the whole story. But we dont know that. The cops and the DA do know that stuff and would be right not to put witnesses in danger by revealing them.

      The sad truth is that a teenager was killed. Also, the sad truth is that, by all accounts of those who know him, George Zimmerman is a good guy who is now stuck in a bad situation. There are no winners here, only losers. And the more the race hustlers stir the pot, the more likely there are to be a lot more losers.

      Have a nice day, majong!

      • reverend01

        How about addressing the fact that if Zimmerman had minded his business or followed the instructions he was given. this never would have occured andliek you said he should fry!!!!!!!!! PERIOD>COM . Boy what are they gonna do or claim when the video they they know nothing about shows up. How will Zimmerman change his story then?

        • ObozoMustGo

          Hey Rev… no disagreement here. We are on the same page. If GZ is guilty, he should fry. No 2 ways about it. I’m just saying that we dont need the race hustlers pouring more gasoline on the fire for their own self interests. And I say self-interest because they are NOT found marching around on TV when blacks kill other blacks or little 6 year old girls, do they. I suppose there’s no money in that sort of unimportant thing, is there? Further, it does not mention that 98% of all crimes against blacks are done BY blacks, does it. It also does not mention that more babies are murdered in their black mother’s wombs than are born in NY state alone every year. Seems to me that the most dangerous place for black children anymore is in their mother’s wombs. I dont see Al or Jesse or any other other race hustlers screaming about those things. Why?

          By the way, you’re not Al not-so-Sharpton, are you?

          • phantomoftheopera

            where do you get your facts?

          • joyscarbo

            I’ve read enough of your ignorant rant about Rev Al Sharpton and Rev Jesse Jackson. These These two men are representatives of black people. They have been there to be a voice for the black community to communicate the frustration, anger and dismay that black people feel when a situation of inequality or racism occurs. NO ONE expects you to undertand or appreciate it. It’s not for you. If you’re offended by either of these men, it really says more about YOUR beliefs than it does about their’s.

            White people have always had their voices heard. You can’t be so incredibly ignorant or naive to believe that racism simply doesn’t exist, not with the way you’re expressing your opinions. How dare you even make the vile comment about the safety of a black child in a mother’s womb?? Your white sheet is showing, BOZO!

            By the way…crimes are generally committed within its own race. Whites committ crimes on whites as do hispanics on hispanics, asians on asian and so forth. Blacks didn’t write the book on crime- whites did. In fact, whites just do it bigger. Consider the genocide of the American Indian…white people. The kidnapping and enslavement of Africans…white people. Jim Crow Laws- white people. And I must also mention the ultra white race crime committed during WWII upon Jewish people. German or not, they were white and thought they were better than anyone else.

            It’s your kind of comments here that keep other Americans of color worrying about their own safety. But don’t tell me….you have a friend that’s black, right?

          • ObozoMustGo

            Sad, sad, sad. I actually dont think you and I disagree on much, Joy. But, you apparently prefer to see everthing through the eyes of race. I’m a strong proponent of MLK and his statement that we should be judged on the content of our character, not the color of our skin. I BELIEVE THAT TO MY CORE!

            Whether or not you agree, Al & Jesse ARE race hustlers. It’s what they do! It’s their professsion. Al not so Sharpton has NO character. His involvement in creating the hoax of the Tawana Brawley incident was an absolute disgrace. And you know it! Jesse has plenty of pox on his house too. America has no need for charlatans like them. They only divide us, Joy.

            Regarding the “danger in the mother’s womb’ statement about the atrocity of abortion of black babies, that’s not my statement, that’s a statement I heard from Rev. CL BRyant. It’s simply fact. More than 50% of all pregnancies of black women in NY are terminated by abortion. I suppose you are an abortion supporter. Look up Margaret Sanger and find out why she really started planned parenthood. It should disgust you as it does me.

            I wish you a most pleasant day, Joy. God bless you! 🙂

      • phantomoftheopera

        hmmm. i always thought assaulting a police officer and domestic violence kinda negated the idea of “nice guy”

  • Miss Cocoa

    There is no “rush to judgement” but a cry for an opportunity for judgment! Zimmerman remains free — with no arrest, no documentation of his “wounds”, no drug/alcohol tests. Even a mere mention of the Tawana Brawley case in this context is a false equivalency.

  • bstockinger

    Why is it okay for Zimmerman to kill a person and call it self-defense but if Martin tried to defend himself, that isn’t self-defense. If you think about it, Martin had more right to defend himself that Zimmerman ever did. Zimmerman is bigger and had a gun. Martin was smaller and had a cell phone. Really. Lets get real here. If Martin had survived, he would be more justified in using this self-defense law than Zimmerman.

  • Melvin Chatman

    Fact: Travon Martin was shot by Mr. Zimmerman who, was told not to follow him
    Fact: Travon Martin has a Constitutional Right to buy Skittles and Ice Tea.
    Fact: Travon Martin has a Constitutional Right to wear a “Hoodie” in the rain.
    Fact: Travon Martin has a Constitutional Right to walk from a Store back home
    Fact: Travon Martin has a Consttutional Right to do this at night.
    Fact: Travon Martin has the Right to “Stand His Ground” if confronted by a stranger.
    Fact: The above listed “has” was converted to “had” by Mr. Zimmerman and his 9mm.
    Fact: Mr. Zimmerman made a decision to deny Trayvon Martin his “Rights” by shooting him.
    Fact: Mr. Zimmerman still walks free of Bond, still has the weapon, and was “un-arrested”
    The best way to solve a problem, is to get @ it’s “ROOT”
    The “ROOT” of this problem is quite simple, no Zimmerman, no shooting, no problem!
    All this “Rush to Judgement, Race Baiting Crap” is the best those who are still alive can debate forever – who cares?
    There are a set of Parents who will no longer enjoy the life of their Son, they are the people suffering the real pain of this tragedy and yet, everybody got something to say “after the fact”
    If it were MY child or YOUR child, I’m quite sure we’d put a “RUSH TO JUDGEMENT”

  • howa4x

    What a suprise!!! I’m shocked and apalled!! Fox? Who would think that?

    • ObozoMustGo

      howa, I would not have thought that you were a veiwer of Fox News.

  • Liberal Leonard Pitts using this tragedy to try and portray Fox News as racist? Fox is the one talking about “innocent until proven guilty”, which is the Law in our Free sociaty, NOT mob rule, without knowing all the facts. MSNBC on the other hand rushed to judgement without all the facts, and (due process) which they like to preach. Had the situation been reversed, Trayvon Martin would be thankful for our system of justice.

    • NO his father is not a retired Judge and he would have been arrested.Then he could have said STAND YOUR GROUND.

  • A nice thoughful article, that states the truth, that most people look at things from their own perspectives. But like it or not prejudice, bias, and racial hate are alive and well in this in this Country. In addition, In no way should we stand for untrained, mentally unbalance people walking around with guns in their pocket deciding who is suspicious, nor should we stand for police departments that do not do their jobs. I think it is better to talk openingly about public interest subjects and hate, prejudice, and gun control needs to be included in that discussion. It is the only true way we will learn how we as a Country want to handle it. Although it can be uncomfortable to hear or read the unrestrained hate that can come out or peoples mouths and keyboard, those people are still the minority in this Country and they need to know it. The only way they will, is if the sane majority stand up let them hear us.

  • clayeubank

    Wouldn’t you think that the “stand your ground” law would apply to Trayvon Martin as well? I don’t believe there is any mention of Martin following Zimmermann. If Martin had been following Zimmerman would we even be having this discussion? Mr. Zimmerman put himself in a position that may have forced him to defend himself, but…young Mr. Martin did not have that choice nor can we hear his side of this story. Mr. Zimmerman made some poor choices including ignoring the advice of police dispatchers and an innocent young man died. How will he be held accountable for his actions?

  • PJD

    Mr. Pitts: You have alot of guts saying Fox News peddles racism. Take a good look at the rag show MSNBC if you really want to see racism! All these idiots just spew hatred and try to fan the flame for racism, trying their hardest to make a case for Obumnuts and get the blacks out to vote for this sorry president!

  • ObozoMustGo

    The point is that none of us really know the facts, do we? So why incite a racial shitstorm?

  • Obozo you really are a Bozo. It’s scumbag republicans like you, Zimmurderer , Sanford police dept, Drugster Rush, Obama on the brain Hannity, Fox news and the list goes on, who’re dividing and destroying this country. You Bigots are now playing the “race hustlers” card. Rev. Al and others are the reason this case is being investigated. You probably don’t think there’s racism in America. You people are sick and I don’t think you realize it. If the situation was reverse I would expect the shooter to be arrested. And he would be. And
    I would expect white people to be upset if he wasn’t. That’s the sane way of thinking. You need to keep your ignorant racist opinions to yourself. But this is probably your life.
    GET A LIFE!!!

  • I find that everyone is skirting the real issues in this case. Mr Zimmerman assumed that he had the law behind him because of two very unsafe laws in the state of Florida. One law the stand your ground law allows a person armed to confront someone even whent they are not on thier own property. The second that is not even mentioned is the concealed carry law as it exists in Florida and many states today. People can buy a gun for protection without being trained on how to safely operate it and then they can carry it concealed on their person without training of how to handle situations just like this one. Our Police must go through hours of training and refresher training, why do we not require the same from citizens who feel it is necessary to arm themselves at all times.

  • solarcookie27

    cannot not get pass the fact that Zimmerman was asking for trouble, by following the teenager. Had he not done that, the boy would be alive so I’m at the point where I petition God. Let God handle this the father can do what man can’t .

  • solarcookie27

    I cannot not get pass the fact Zimmerman was asking for trouble, by following the teenager. Had he not done that the boy would still be alive ok. So I’m at the point where I petition the Lord on this situation and let God handle it, because God can do what man cannot.