Michael P. Ackley has worked more than three decades as a journalist, the majority of that time at the Sacramento Union. His experience includes reporting, editing and writing commentary. He retired from teaching journalism for California State University at Hayward.More ↓Less ↑
Editor’s note: Michael Ackley’s columns may include satire and parody based on current events, and thus mix fact with fiction. He assumes informed readers will be able to tell the difference.
First, though, let us repair to the Blind Partisan’s Dictionary:
Reasonable doubt: – a legal concept incomprehensible to blind partisans, demagogues and the irretrievably ignorant.
Well, the BPD’s lexicographer was being generous in his omission of the “plain stupid” from the short list, above. However, if we confine ourselves to the three categories offered, we could find plenty of examples last week.
Among blind partisans were NAACP President Benjamin T. Jealous and Georgetown University law professor Paul Butler. After the George Zimmerman acquittal, they demanded that the U.S. Justice Department prosecute Zimmerman for violating Trayvon Martin’s civil rights. They said the United States was virtually unchanged from the days of the civil rights struggle.
As for demagogues, we had the “reverends,” Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, the former an adjudicated liar, the latter an egregious hypocrite.
And as for the irretrievably ignorant and stupid, look to the street demonstrators who blocked freeways, beat up “white Hispanics” like Zimmerman, broke merchants’ windows (in Oakland, my hometown!) and trashed Walmart.
One man who perhaps embodies all three categories is the president of the United States. Barack Obama seemed to have forgotten the justifiable slap-down he received for defaming the Cambridge, Mass., police when he endorsed the racial interpretation of the Martin shooting. Or perhaps he simply sees all things through the prism of race. In any event, he fanned the flames of national division.
Then, when matters hit the fan after the Zimmerman verdict, he made a perfunctory statement about the jury having spoken – and ducked under the table. Sadly, it’s all totally in character.
God bless the jurors for having the courage to follow the law and for recognizing there was ample reasonable doubt that the defendant was a murderer.
It’s likely they figured out that Zimmerman’s nose was smashed and his head lacerated by Martin before he shot the teenager. They probably concluded that somebody on the losing end of a fight, with his head being bashed against concrete, reasonably thought he was about to suffer great bodily injury.
They were able to arrive at such conclusions even without hearing the evidence that the shooting victim was on suspension from school for pot possession and had a history of physical violence.
Now, the hypocrites and demagogues, the blind partisans and the irretrievably ignorant have the brass to compare Martin to Emmitt Till.
Till was a true innocent, a 14-year-old visiting Mississippi from Chicago who thought it was cute to make a pass at a white girl. For this “crime” he was lynched – hauled out of an uncle’s house in the middle of the night, tortured and shot to death.
It’s incomprehensible that Till should be compared to Trayvon Martin, who was shot dead while committing assault and battery.
Next we’ll be comparing Martin Luther King Jr. to Al Sharpton, a man whose entire career as a civil rights “leader” rests on the Tawana Brawley lie. It’s too terrible to contemplate.
For blind partisanship, it’s pretty hard to beat that of Stevie Wonder, who has vowed not to perform in Florida until its “stand your ground” law is repealed. At least he has the excuse of being actually blind, unlike Attorney General Eric Holder. The AG told the NAACP such laws encourage violence, and never mind evidence to the contrary.
What a shame that an organization that has done so much good over the decades now is the province of blind partisans, demagogues and the irretrievably ignorant.