The media, the New Black Panthers, the National Basketball Players Association, Eric Holder and Rev. Al Sharpton — even the Florida governor and its attorney general, Pam Bondi, prosecutor Angela Corey and the NAACP — few are spared in a newly-released e-book by Robert Zimmerman Sr. Zimmerman’s eldest son, Robert Zimmerman Jr., confirmed the authenticity of the e-book in a text message to NBC News on Monday.
For the price of a $3.99 download on Amazon.com, readers can learn in Florida v. Zimmerman: Uncovering the Malicious Prosecution of my Son, George about what the father of George Zimmerman — charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, a crime to which he has pleaded not guilty — calls “misconduct” and the inappropriate charging of his son. The elder Zimmerman even implied that federal resources committed to investigating his son might have prevented the Boston Marathon bombing.
Zimmerman Sr. criticizes the media for the way various outlets have reported the case, including HLN, CNN, NBC and even Fox News, singling out Shepherd Smith, Geraldo Rivera for past reports he found unfavorable toward his son. (George Zimmerman has sued NBC Universal, the parent company of theGrio, for defamation, and NBC Universal has strongly denied these allegations.) He criticizes NBC for providing a platform to Rev. Al Sharpton, who hosts “Politics Nation” on MSNBC and who, as head of the National Action Network, led massive protests in the spring of 2011 demanding George Zimmerman’s arrest.
He is equally unsparing in his criticism of Sanford’s political leaders, including the mayor and city manager, and of Florida’s governor, Rick Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi, and special prosecutor Angela Corey, who he claims colluded to prosecute George Zimmerman for political reasons. He entitles one chapter “The failed state of Florida.”
But it is his statements about black organizations and, in his words, “racism” by African-Americans, that are the most striking.
Black organizations are ‘the true’ racists
The retired Virginia magistrate, who is white and married to an Hispanic woman, writes that he “believed generally racism was a thing of the past,” but that after the February 26, 2012 shooting, he discovered that racism “is flourishing” and that it is coming from members of the black community who called for George Zimmerman’s arrest last year.
In a chapter called “Who Are The True Racist” [sic], Zimmerman Sr. writes, “Unfortunately, segregation and racism not only exist, but appear to be flourishing at the insistence of some in the African American community. … Today there exist a Black Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers, National Association of Black Journalists, National Black United Fund, United Negro College Fund, and hundreds of other racially identifiable organizations.”
He writes: “Others continually promoting racial hatred and separation are members of the United States Congress,” and writes “The Congressional Black Caucus is a pathetic, self-serving group of racist [sic] caring more about advancing their purely racist agenda than uniting us as Americans.” And he singles out for criticism two of Florida’s three black members of Congress: Rep. Corinne Brown, who represents the Jacksonville area, and Rep. Frederica Wilson, both of whom have been vocal supporters of Martin’s family.
Zimmerman writes that the NAACP “simply promotes racism and hatred for their own, primarily financial, interests” and adds that in his view, “without prejudice and racial divide, the NAACP would simply cease to exist.” He adds that NAACP national president Ben Jealous’ statements regarding the Trayvon Martin shooting were “what I would expect of a racist,” and even has choice words for the funeral director who prepared Martin’s body, calling Richard Kurtz a “racial activist and former head of the local NAACP.” Kurtz told various media outlets last year that in his view, Martin’s body showed “no physical signs like there had been a scuffle [or] there had been a fight.” Kurtz could not be reached for comment.
Reached by phone on Sunday and read the passages in the book related to the NAACP, Sanford NAACP president Turner Clayton told theGrio: “Well that’s just a way of Mr. Zimmerman blowing smoke. Since he knows that his son is guilty, he’s trying to cast the blame on everyone else but where it should be, and that’s him and his son. And you can see from his expression where his son gets his from. We’re not the ones talking about race. That’s coming from him and his side.”
TheGrio reached spokesmen for the NAACP and the CBC, both of whom said their organization had no interest in commenting on the e-book.
Zimmerman investigation to blame for Boston Marathon bombing?
Zimmerman Sr. devotes numerous passages to criticizing President Barack Obama, singling out his statement that if he had a son, he “would look like Trayvon,” and claiming the president has “long standing relationship with attorneys Parks and Crump.” Also criticized: U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, about whom Zimmerman Sr. writes: “Eric Holder’s Justice Department immediately launched an investigation into George’s falsely alleged violation of Trayvon Martin’s civil rights,” which he called an “unfounded witch hunt.” Adding that “because a violation of Trayvon’s civil rights would possibly resulted in a death sentence, we were extremely concerned. A presidential election was just around the corner. Eric Holder and President Obama would shamelessly seek to obtain a great advantage in the African American community, nothing they do would surprise me.”
It is not clear what federal death penalty statute Zimmerman Sr. is referring to. The federal statutes refer to the death penalty in cases involving law enforcement officers acting under color of law, and first degree murder, neither of which apply in George Zimmerman’s case. The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and the FBI opened an investigation into the shooting last March, after more than 450,000 people signed a Change.org petition demanding a federal probe. And the Justice Department’s Community Relations Service sent a mediator, Thomas Battles, to Sanford to meet with members of the African-American community and discuss their complaints about Sanford police. At the time, George Zimmerman had not been arrested for the shooting.
He was charged and surrendered to Seminole County sheriffs April 10th.
Zimmerman Sr. calls the Justice Department’s investigation a waste of resources, implying that if the resources used to investigate his son were applied elsewhere, the Boston Marathon bombing might have been stopped. He writes: “I find it very troubling that Eric Holder would spend an inordinate amount of these finite resources investigating, George, at the same time not providing the FBI adequate resources to investigate clearly identified potential terrorist [sic] in the Boston area” and that, “tragically, we have suffered the consequences of Mr. Holder’s politically motivated decisions.”
He mentions cases of white victims of crimes committed by African-Americans, and asks why those have not been investigated by the Justice Department. And he writes that he was “surprised when I heard that 93% of African Americans murdered were murdered by other African-Americans” adding: “Interested, I checked the latest crime statistics I could find, 2011. Reportedly, the vast majority of murders are certainly committed by those of a certain race.” He adds, “(I only find these statistics interesting as they relate to the media.)” The FBI uniform crime report for 2011 finds that 90 percent of black homicide victims were killed by black defendants. However, 83 percent of white victims were killed by white defendants, showing similar statistical symmetry. Of the 6,131 homicides recorded by the FBI uniform crime report for 2011, 3,172 of the offenders were white, 2,695 were black, 180 were of “other” races, and 84 were of an unknown race.
The Justice Department had not responded to requests for comment as of this writing.
Sherman Ware revisited
In the e-book, Zimmerman Sr. repeats the claim, previously made by the Zimmerman family, that George Zimmerman was “in large part” responsible for the arrest of Justin Collison, the son of a Sanford Police lieutenant who was caught on cell phone video in December 2010, punching a black homeless man, Sherman Ware, in the back of the head, knocking him unconscious. Zimmerman revives the claim that George Zimmerman “contacted the local NAACP to inquire about what could be done” but was “informed by the NAACP that they lacked any resources whatsoever to assist” and that after that, George and Shellie Zimmerman handed out flyers at local churches calling for Collison’s arrest.
“In large part due to George’s efforts, the young man was ultimately charged with the assault,” Zimmerman writes.
He goes on to criticize national NAACP president Ben Jealous, noting that the local chapter of the organization received a donation from the Collison family as part of a settlement of a civil case, and saying, “although he should have known better, NAACP president Benjamin Jealous would later comment ‘It [sic] appears that Trayvon Martin was stalked and murdered..’.” [sic] And he adds that Ware’s attorney, Natalie Jackson, “is the same attorney who, without any evidence of a crime being committed, worked tirelessly with attorneys Crump and Parks to demand George’s arrest.” He also says that Ware’s sister “would later protest at the Seminole County Courthouse demanding the racist George Zimmerman be arrested,” adding: “It is abundantly clear to me who the racist [sic] are.”
Ware’s sister, Tonnetta Foster, told theGrio in April 2012 that she had never heard of George Zimmerman before the Trayvon Martin shooting. TheGrio also interviewed several black pastors in Sanford, including the pastors of the three of the largest black churches in Sanford, one of which is located four blocks from where the Ware incident took place, and none could recall ever meeting George or Shellie Zimmerman, or seeing them distribute flyers at their churches, or knowing who he was prior to the shooting. Collison was arrested in December 2010 after video of the assault leaked on Youtube, prompting a public outcry. The then Sanford police chief, Brian Tooley, retired early after the Sanford commission voted to relieve him of his duties on the same day Collison surrendered to police. Collison was charged with felony battery and disorderly conduct. He agreed in a settlement with Ware to pay the 47-year-old’s medical bills, to get substance abuse and anger management counseling, and to make donations to three charitable organizations: the Seminole Action Coalition Serving Our Needy, a Sanford-based drug rehabilitation center and the Seminole branch of the NAACP. In October 2011, he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery and received a year’s probation.
Asked to respond to the Ware story, Clayton said of George Zimmerman: “never heard of him before until this incident with Trayvon. Never heard of him, never heard from him.” The national NAACP declined to comment.
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