It looks like the right-wing media has finally turned on George Zimmerman.
The conservative media outlets and personalities that once defended Trayvon Martin’s killer appear to have changed their tune this week, after Zimmerman was arrested yet again for domestic violence. In August, Zimmerman was acquitted of second degree murder and manslaughter charges in the killing of Martin.
Zimmerman’s history of domestic violence is nothing new. In fact, feminist writers pointed to his history of domestic abuse as evidence of his propensity for violence in the hopes that it would help crystallize his actions and put his actions the night he killed Trayvon Martin in the appropriate context.
On Wednesday, Zimmerman was arraigned for allegedly breaking a glass table in his girlfriend’s house and pointing a shotgun at her during a verbal dispute. In his defense, Zimmerman called a 911 operator during the course of the altercation to proclaim his innocence.
Fox News, which in the past was ground zero for Zimmerman apologists, put Geraldo Rivera in the hot seat to provide his analysis of the new Zimmerman news.
Rivera who has defended Zimmerman and blamed Trayvon’s clothing choice for his own death had previously said, “I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin’s death as George Zimmerman was. What’s the instant association? It’s crime scene surveillance tapes. Every time you see someone stick up a 7-11, the kid is wearing a hoodie. Every time you see a mugging on a surveillance camera or get the old lady in the alcove, it’s kid with a hoodie…When you see a black or Latino youngster, particularly on the street, you walk to the other side of the street. You try to avoid that confrontation. Trayvon Martin, god bless him, an innocent kid, a wonderful kid, a box of Skittles in his hands. He didn’t deserve to die. But I bet you money, if he didn’t have that hoodie on that, nutty neighborhood watch guy wouldn’t have responded in that violent and aggressive way.”
So what does Rivera have to say that Zimmerman has been arrested again in his second domestic violence incident since the verdict? Rivera has completely flip-flopped. After yesterday’s arraignment, Rivera said on Fox News, “My basic reaction is that this man is hanging by a string. I think that he is a borderline psychotic at this point. [Zimmerman is] a person who has so immersed himself in the gun culture…He was lionized by many–by some at least–as a hero, he has no clear direction in his life… I think he’s a very, very dangerous person and he could hurt this woman.” Rivera then went on to blame the trial and media spectacle for Zimmerman’s behavior, speculating that Zimmerman might be traumatized from the events of the past three years.
If Rivera had been paying attention to any of Zimmerman’s history, he would have known that his latest altercation, just like all of his violent incidents in the past, including Trayvon Martin’s killing, are part of a pattern. Zimmerman’s behavior past and present is textbook for serial batterers.
Like Rivera, The Daily Caller was also on the Zimmerman defenders bandwagon throughout the case and through the verdict. They had a constant stream of anti-Trayvon content, implying that he was a thug who was responsible for his own death.
So where’s the op-ed or post defending Zimmerman this time? It’s nonexistent. Perhaps even The Daily Caller is too ashamed to defend Zimmerman in light of perceived violence against women while casting himself as the victim after the fact.
There is no way of knowing why these Zimmerman defenders have suddenly abandoned him. In this last incident, no one was killed. This domestic dispute is similar to all of Zimmerman’s other incidents, so it’s interesting that the right wing media chose this moment to jump ship.
When Zimmerman killed a black teenager, he was defended and Trayvon was depicted in the right-wing media as a thug and was essentially put on trial for his own murder. Zimmerman’s girlfriend is white and perhaps the idea of him choking her as is alleged, has finally, after all this time, set off alarm bells.
In light of allegations of harm against white women, the only sounds out of the right-wing media is crickets and condemnation. It’s a shame that Trayvon Martin was not granted the same level of compassion and empathy as Zimmerman’s girlfriend. Maybe the trial would’ve turned out differently.
Follow Zerlina Maxwell on Twitter at @ZerlinaMaxwell.