The White House and Attorney General Eric Holder are pretending that the judgment on whether to file federal civil rights charges against George Zimmerman will be left to the honest, non-political career men and women at the Department of Justice. But both President Obama and Holder have already signaled very clearly to the professionals what they want.
Obama “has no position to express,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney insisted today. Yet Obama has already expressed a position, issuing a statement Sunday that unambiguously demonstrated he thinks the crime was racially motivated.
“The death of Trayvon Martin was a tragedy . . . for America,” Obama said, adding, “We should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to widen the circle of compassion and understanding in our own communities.”
A tragedy for America? How is it a tragedy for America if there isn’t some larger issue involved? And what’s the larger issue? Irresponsible community policing? No, it’s clearly race.
Widen the circle of compassion? Compassion for whom – purchasers of Skittles? No, Obama is talking about what he sees as white intolerance for African Americans.
Message to Eric: This was a race crime. Are you listening?
Yes, Eric was listening, though I’m sure he hardly had to be prompted.
“We are determined to meet division and confusion with understanding and compassion – and also with truth,” Holder said during remarks Monday on the case. “We are resolved, as you are, to combat violence involving or directed at young people, to prevent future tragedies and to deal with the underlying attitudes, mistaken beliefs and stereotypes that serve as the basis for these too common incidents.”
Uhh, not hard to discern that Holder thinks Mr. Zimmerman harbored “underlying attitudes” and mistakenly believed in “stereotypes.”
Holder termed Martin’s death “tragic” and “unnecessary.” Well, it’s certainly tragic. But it’s only unnecessary if you believe either Martin shouldn’t have attacked Zimmerman or Zimmerman should have ignored racist instincts and left Martin alone.
Guess which one, professional, career prosecutors at the Justice Department, your boss Holder believes?
“And we will never stop working to ensure that – in every case, in every circumstance, and in every community – justice must be done,” Holder pronounced.
That is, in this case.
Let’s face it, the nation’s first black president and its first black attorney general are under immense pressure from the African American community and its leaders – as well as many, many others – to launch a civil rights case.
It would take enormous courage and dedication to principle for Obama and Holder to resist such pressure. Which is bad news for Zimmerman. Not that they even seem to want to resist.
Sorry Zimmerman. You’re left with Racial Politics for $800, and the answer is . . . Double Jeopardy!
That’s the direction in which this game appears headed.