In an unvarnished 13-minute interview with his attorney, George Zimmerman summed up his legal adventures with a clarity that has been totally lacking in the media.
Zimmerman was able to do the interview only because the Department of Justice finally cleared him of civil rights charges in the February 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin.
This clearance came three indefensible years after the shooting and nearly two years after a Florida state jury acquitted him of murder.
Before the shooting, it should be noted, the “white Hispanic” Zimmerman was an Obama supporter and a civil rights activist. He is certainly no longer the former. As to the latter, it is his own civil rights that he is working to protect.
When his attorney asked who it is he blamed for “the highest level of unfairness” in his case, Zimmerman replied, “By far, the president of the United States – Barack Hussein Obama.” The media bristled at the mention of Obama’s middle name.
Given the president’s authority, Zimmerman assumed he would do “his absolute [best] to not inflame racial tensions in America.” That is not what happened.
Instead, four weeks after the shooting, Obama used his bully pulpit to weigh in on behalf of Martin and his family.
As Zimmerman suggested, the appropriate step for Obama would have been to defend the Sanford Police Department and to demand an end to the media lynching of George Zimmerman.
As an African-American, Obama had more latitude to do this than a white politician would have. He chose not to. Said Obama for the ages: “But my main message is to the parents of Trayvon – if I had a son, he would look like Trayvon.”
Said Zimmerman of those remarks, “To me that was clearly a dereliction of duty pitting Americans against each other solely based on race.”
Three years to a day after the shooting, with Martin’s parents prominently in attendance, Obama revisited it in his formal remarks at the White House about Black History Month.
In his speech, Obama praised the “courage” Selma marchers showed 50 years earlier and then shifted immediately to recognize “the third anniversary of Trayvon Martin’s death.”
Said Obama of both the marchers and Martin’s negligent parents, “Progress in this nation happens only because seemingly ordinary people find the courage to stand up for what is right.”
Zimmerman saw Obama’s remarks that day for the racism they were. “He took what should have been a clear-cut self-defense matter and, still to this day, on the anniversary of incident, he held a ceremony at the White House inviting the Martin-Fulton family and stating that they should take the day to reflect upon the fact that all children’s lives matter.”
“Unfortunately, for the president,” said Zimmerman, speaking truth to power, “I’m also my parent’s child, and my life matters as well.”
Zimmerman clearly understands why his life did not much matter to Obama. Although he is arguably more Hispanic than Obama is black – he was raised by his Peruvian mother and grandmother in a Spanish-speaking household – the forces arrayed against him used his Germanic name to present him as a “white racist.”
Much to his chagrin, those forces included a congressional Hispanic Caucus that “did everything they could to throw me under the bus.”
As Zimmerman related without going into much detail, the FBI learned early on that the state of Florida was being pressured to prosecute Zimmerman for “fear of civil unrest.” This is true.
The FBI was also aware that Zimmerman and his family faced credible threats on their life from “domestic terrorists,” including a $10,000 bounty on Zimmerman’s head, courtesy of the New Black Panther Party. Still, the DOJ and the FBI “declined to do anything about it.”
This is the same New Black Panther Party whose open-and-shut prosecution on a 2008 Philadelphia voter-intimidation case Attorney General Eric Holder sabotaged upon taking office in 2009.
As to his own conscience, Zimmerman said he would only feel guilty if he could have saved both his own life and Martin’s during that struggle and failed to.
“Only in a true life-or-death scenario can you have mental clearness to know that you cannot feel guilty for surviving,” said Zimmerman.
“Had I had a fraction of the thought that I could have done something differently, acted differently so that both of us [would have] survived, then I would have heavier weight on my shoulders. That sense is in the back of my mind, but in all fairness you cannot as a human feel guilty for living, for surviving.”
Zimmerman admitted he is not the same person he was five years ago. He has had his civil rights trampled more flagrantly than anyone in recent American history.
In their own minds, those on the left still see themselves as Atticus Finch standing outside the jailhouse, shotgun reluctantly in hand, protecting the “mockingbird” within.
Zimmerman knows better. He was that mockingbird. When he looked out and saw that mob calling for his head, he saw not the racists of old, but the liberals he used to think were his friends.
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