Saturday, December 2, 2017

Reaction to acquittal of Hispanic immigrant just more proof of anti-Hispanic bigotry

It has been some time now that the media has had anything to report on George Zimmerman, despite its efforts to hound and harass him after spending a year demonizing and dehumanizing him before his acquittal of murder in the case of Trayvon Martin. The evidence had from first-to-last supported Zimmerman’s account of what occurred, but the case was politicized out of all proportion of reality. Of course we had to get the truth from someone like Bob Adelmann, who wrote in the New American—a publication affiliated with the John Birch Society—that Zimmerman’s defense team had in their possession information “that Martin’s text messages revealed a teenager just looking for trouble. In a highly redacted 10-page listing of his phone texts, Martin revealed a life of a marijuana smoker (one of his friends called him a ‘weed head’), and schoolyard bully who had been involved in at least three fistfights and threatened more in order to ‘get even,’ and had shown an interest in obtaining a gun from another friend: ‘U wanna share a .380?’ asked Martin at one point”—none of which the jury was permitted to hear, or which the “mainstream” media allowed the public to know, since it contradicted the “innocent child” narrative.

But this is still the same Adelmann who, like the rest of far-right, was quick to ignore the facts and denounce the acquittal of Jose Ines Garcia Zarate of murder in the death of Kathryn Steinle on a San Francisco pier. Just as in the Zimmerman case, there was a willful desire to demonize and dehumanize the “killer” because he wasn’t merely Hispanic like Zimmerman, but because he was “illegal.” However, instead of outrageously juxtaposing a swarthy face with a fresh-faced “innocent” black child of eight years, the media showed side-by-side images of an “ugly,” dark-skinned man and perky, attractive blonde white female. This is all part of a narrative that portrays Hispanic males as something less than human, as something the country must fear and despise—illegal or not.

Everywhere in the media there was befuddlement of how Garcia Zarate could be found “innocent” of cold-blooded murder, or at least that was how Donald Trump and his allies in hate portrayed him. After all, he was an illegal immigrant, and Trump had used the case to help propel his racism-infested campaign for president. After the verdict, Trump trumpeted "The Kate Steinle killer came back and back over the weakly protected Obama border, always committing crimes and being violent, and yet this info was not used in court. His exoneration is a complete travesty of justice. BUILD THE WALL! The jury was not told the killer of Kate was a 7 time felon. The Schumer/Pelosi Democrats are so weak on Crime that they will pay a big price in the 2018 and 2020 Elections." The homeless Garcia Zarate’s criminal past was of a non-violent nature, mainly drug possession-related and repeated re-entries into the country.  Trump later went on "A disgraceful verdict in the Kate Steinle case! No wonder the people of our Country are so angry with Illegal Immigration."

Of course, Trump and the racist right seems more “outraged” by these anecdotal incidents than by the record-setting number of mass killings by native-born whites since he has been elected. The "wall" that Ann Coulter tweeted would "stop" the anecdote will do nothing to stop the real threats to public safety in this country. If Trump and Coulter were actually more “concerned” about gun deaths in this country, and considering the right-to-be-armed-and-dangerous that many Republican politicians gleefully support for their own constituents, this country might be better off if all white (and black) people just emigrated back to where they “came from.” Am I being cynical here? Not much.

Trump’s racist Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, added his worthless bit: “The Department of Justice will continue to ensure that all jurisdictions place the safety and security of their communities above the convenience of criminal aliens. I urge the leaders of the nation’s communities to reflect on the outcome of this case and consider carefully the harm they are doing to their citizens by refusing to cooperate with federal law enforcement officers.” Again, this incident was an accident, and accidents can happen to anyone, just as it is an “accident” that Trump is president—which happens to be an “accident” for a whole country.

And it goes on. The virulent anti-Hispanic racist Rep. Steve King raged "The illegal alien who, no one disagrees, killed Kate Steinle is found NOT guilty in sanctuary city, San Francisco. Sickening! I will spare no effort to do my own killing-of all amnesty in every form!” while his colleague Sen. Chuck Grassley (they must really hate “Mexicans” in Iowa) talked of “The death of Kate Steinle” as “a heartbreaking and preventable tragedy.  She died in her father’s arms at the hand of someone who violated our nation’s laws and who never should have been in our country.”  California State Senator Jeff Stone called the verdict a “mockery of justice,” and the ICE chimed in about the “alien” as a “blatant threat to public safety.”  

As I have noted before, 25 percent of all “illegals” are non-Hispanic, and that percentage is only growing, mainly because Hispanics have been almost solely the focus of the issue. Only Hispanics are viewed as a “threat” to “public safety,” and this has less to do with the facts, but with the kind of scapegoating we have seen before in history, say in Nazi Germany.

As in the Zimmerman case, there likely would not have been a charge of murder at all if not for all the politicization surrounding the case and the fact that the “killer” was a despised Hispanic. The prosecution knew they had no real case for homicide, despite the efforts of police to manufacture a “confession” out of Garcia Zarate. The police and prosecutors knew what defense expert witnesses knew—that the weapon that he claimed to have found wrapped in cloth under a seat at the pier where the incident took place had in all likelihood gone off accidentally.  The evidence indicated that the bullet that struck Steinle was not intentionally fired at anyone, but ricocheted off the ground before striking her in the back some 80 feet distant. In the end, the jury had to decide the case on the facts, not overwhelming politicization. 

I am not here to say that the death of Steinle was not a tragedy; it was a terrible, tragic loss of life that was entirely senseless. But isn't this a "senseless" world we live, personified in no small way the people currently "working" in the White House? Using her (as a "special victim" to use Law & Order's gender-politicized parlance) to promote a racist agenda against Hispanics, just as the Martin case was used, demonstrates just how desperate the need is to apply a particularly evil narrative of demonization and dehumanization that seems to apply particularly to Hispanic males, in which the “liberal” media works hand-in-glove with the extremists on the right. And war on Hispanics continues, as the Justice Department has just filed a motion with the U.S. Supreme Court to block a California judge’s demand that it hand over documents detailing its decision to end DACA.  

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