Payne: No. 99

Posted by hpayne on April 15, 2012

Detroit claimed its 99th murder victim of 2012 on Friday, April 13.

Calvin Ross was a 26-year old black man who worked for a Detroit auto repair shop. He was slaughtered in broad daylight by a hail of gunfire – 44 shell casings were found at the crime scene. But unless you were watching Fox 2 News, you can be excused for missing the grim statistic.

The news did not make The Detroit Free Press or most Detroit media. Neither Al Sharpton nor Jesse Jackson held a news conference condemning this tragic life of black life. There were no demonstrations. There was no outrage from Detroit’s Congressional delegation.

But there was plenty of outrage over the alleged racial killing of a Florida youth 1,200 miles away in Sanford, Florida. The Free Press continued daily coverage of the case, including Page One play on the arrest of Trayvon Martin’s shooter. But it was The New York Times’ front page picture of defendant George Zimmerman, a person of color, that dramatically illustrated how the racial narrative of Martin’s tragic death – another Emmett Till lynching, we’re told – is quickly unraveling.

Zimmerman, a brown-skinned, unshaven Hispanic, looks nothing like the caricature that Al Sharpton shopped to a willing media a month ago. Sharpton & Co. profiled Zimmerman from his white-sounding German name to incorrectly assume that Martin had been killed by a white man whose crime was covered up by white police. Civil rights leaders quickly equated the Marin shooting with Emmett Till’s 1955 Mississippi killing for talking with a white woman. When Zimmerman’s true racial background came to light, MSM outlets like The Times invented the term “white-Hispanic” to keep the racial narrative going. Sharpton threatened civil unrest if Zimmerman was not charged – an echo of the deadly “Kill the Jews” riot that erupted in Crown Heights, New York after a Jewish man, Yosef Lifsh, ran over and killed a seven-year old black child, Gavin Cato. Attorney General Eric Holder stoked the Martin racial fire by praising Sharpton’s poisonous career, President Obama (a white-African?) called attention to Martin’s race, and the New Black Panther Party called for vigilante justice against Zimmerman. All ignored Zimmerman’s claims – backed by his Hispanic brother in an interview with Piers Morgan – of self-defense.

That these alleged defenders of civil rights would rush to judgment and deny a Hispanic his civil liberties is profoundly ironic (imagine if it were Trayvon Martin claiming self-defense against George Zimmerman).

On Friday, Florida prosecutors eliminated yet another Sharpton & Media red herring – that Zimmerman has uttered a racial slur on tape. As history should have taught us of Sharpton’s accusations against New York cop Steve Pagones as Tawana Brawley’s rapist, there are two sides to every story.

In Detroit, meanwhile, we rarely even hear the stories – much less get the names – of the steady stream of homicide victims. Calvin Ross. Or nine-month old Delrick Miller. Or 12-year old Kade’jah Davis. Or. . . . They don’t fit neatly into the Race Industry’s narrative.

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