Trayvon Martin case: Zimmerman's father tries to politicize a police matter

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George Zimmerman’s father has gone viral.

In an attempt to mitigate mounting evidence against his son in the murder case of Trayvon Martin, Robert Zimmerman wrote to the Orlando Sentinel last week, claiming George isn’t a racist and couldn’t possibly be, given his half-Peruvian heritage. The myopic premise of that argument aside, Zimmerman has since provided an interview to a Fox News affiliate news station in Orlando in which he blames President Barack Obama and other black leaders for inciting “hatred” by expressing concerns over the shooting of the teen.

“There is so much hate,” he said, lamenting media portrayals of his son. “I don’t feel good. I guess people would rather my son be beaten to death. I never foresaw so much hate coming from the president, the Congressional Black Caucus, the NAACP…every organization imaginable is trying to gain notoriety or profit from this. I’ve never been involved in hate,” he says. “George hasn’t. It is really is unbelievable…”

Welcome to the Twilight Zone. The ignorance is mind-numbing.

Recent video released from the Sanford police station on the night of Feb 26th refutes both George and Richard Zimmerman’s claims that Trayvon Martin initiated a physical altercation leading to a broken nose and lacerations.

In fact, the video suggests (to the naked eye at least) that George had no injuries whatsoever, no evidence of bloodshed — and certainly no signs suggesting grave bodily harm.

The 911 tapes alone are proof Zimmerman was in pursuit of Trayvon Martin.

Trayvon, like any normal teenager, was on the phone with his girlfriend. Phone records corroborate this fact, and reveal he spoke to her just five minutes before police arrived on the scene only to discover his dead body: shot, point-blank in the chest.

The elder Zimmerman claims George told him Trayvon attacked first and that he feared for his life. But why had George ever left his car? Why did he even approach or speak to Trayvon?

A grown man accosted a 17-year-old, and within five minutes the child was dead. Those are the irrefutable facts, regardless of Richard’s regurgitation of George’s storyline.

Richard, as it turns out, served as a Supreme Court magistrate in the Virginia legal system until retiring five years ago. Much of his work was in criminal cases. Perhaps his spirited defense of his son is the protective instinct of a father because, given the facts as presented thus far, Richard should harbor some doubt about the veracity of his son’s story.
Absent concrete evidence that young Martin attacked George Zimmerman without cause, his claim decrying “self-defense” has unraveled, and continues to appear more fallacious as each day passes and new details emerge.

Zimmerman’s father has chosen to spin a tale he knows will garner dog whistle support from far-right conservatives, prone to be both anti-black, anti-Obama and indifferent to the death of any young black male.

Taking cues from the likes of the Fox Network’s Sean Hannity, Rick Santorum and flailing presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, who have accused President Obama of being “divisive” for simply commenting on the case, Zimmerman’s father now attacks the president for his sentimental acknowledgement of the Martin tragedy — claiming he and other African-Americans are unfairly racializing the murder.

This is either cognitive dissonance at its most egregious, or it is bigotry and prejudice parading as ignorance. Either way, it is intolerable behavior and deserves both scorn and silencing.

This is how wayward Richard Zimmerman’s comments are: somehow it is justifiable, in his opinion, for his son to act as a vigilante against defenseless black youth, but African-American citizens concerned about the lack of an arrest in this case are “racist.”

The merits of this case require a vocal, passionate response. Only the deluded mind of a racist could not see and empathize with that.

When Richard Zimmerman states “I guess people would rather my son be beaten to death,” he willfully ignores the fact that Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin’s son lies dead, six feet underground, having suffered a bullet in the chest, placed there by his own son.

Where is the compassion for the loss of Trayvon’s life?

How can Richard Zimmerman, a former judge, not comprehend the injustice and imbalance inherent in his own argument? Could it be he taught his son to practice the very hatred he now seeks to deflect on others? Could Richard be the seed of George Zimmerman’s deluded sensibilities?

Joe Oliver, George’s African-American co-worker, has made similar accusations of racism. But they epitomize the very racism, race-baiting and racial-profiling they claim to abhor.

Oliver, who appears to be enjoying his 15 minutes of fame at the expense of a grieving family, cannot be excused simply because he happens to be black. In the same way, George Zimmerman’s prejudice won’t be excused simply because he is half-Hispanic.

It is this callousness and tacit disregard for Trayvon’s life that created the environment and circumstances that precipitated his death.

It seems the apple didn’t fall too far from the tree. To find an unreasonable, unconscionable approach to vigilantism parading as righteousness, we don’t need to uncover George Zimmerman, because his father Richard, and the legions of men and women seeking to defend him, embody the same irrational poison and hubris that George demonstrated the night he took the life of Trayvon Martin.

Edward Wyckoff Williams is an author, columnist, political and economic analyst, and a former investment banker. Follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.