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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 23, 2012/ 29 Adar, 5772

Not Black and White

By Linda Chavez



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It may be months before we know what actually happened the night Trayvon Martin was shot in Sanford, Fla. on February 26. But many seem to have already decided that this was a brutal case of racial profiling and vigilante justice, emblematic of lingering racism in America.

Martin's parents, who understandably want justice for their son, have been joined by a plethora of activists, politicians, commentators and celebrities in demanding that the shooter, George Zimmerman, be arrested and tried for murder. The Justice Department has gotten in on the act as well, investigating whether the shooting constituted a hate crime based on a an inaudible comment by Zimmerman on his 911 call that some have alleged was a racial slur. But turning this tragic incident into a symbol of racism is wrong and reeks of opportunism on the part of racial showmen like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson.

Most homicides in the U.S. involve a victim and a perpetrator who are of the same race. But cross-racial homicides are more common among strangers, as in the Martin shooting. According to the most recent data available from the Justice Department, blacks have a homicide victim rate that is six times higher than whites, but their rate for committing homicide is seven times higher than whites.

When cross-racial, stranger homicides occur, they are far more likely to involve a black killer and a white victim than the reverse; 17.7 percent of stranger homicides are black-on-white compared to 4.5 percent for white-on-black. This statistic is particularly striking given that the white population is nearly six times larger than the black population, making the black-on-white homicide rate proportionally even higher. But do we automatically assume a racial motive in such killings? No, nor should we -- unless there is concrete evidence that race hatred is the motive.

Why, then, are so many people eager to impugn race as the motive in the Martin case? The media have played a big role. The first stories of the shooting identified the shooter as a white man who was part of an informal neighborhood watch group. But photos of Zimmerman -- whose dark skin and features suggested he was either Latino or of mixed race -- belied the media labels. It turns out that Zimmerman's mother is Peruvian. Worse, most of the early pictures showed a surly-looking Zimmerman wearing what might easily be mistaken for the standard-issue orange jumpsuits worn by prisoners.

But the pictures used to portray the victim were even more telling in terms of media bias. Most of the pictures show an angelic 12- or 13-year old schoolboy, not the well-developed 17-year-old football player who was several inches taller than his shooter. Photos of Martin displayed on his Twitter account show a husky teenager flashing his gold-capped teeth with the moniker NO LIMIT NIGGA.

According to published police reports from the night of the shooting, Zimmerman was bleeding from the nose and back of the head. Moreover, prosecutors declined to bring charges against Zimmerman. Skeptics of Zimmerman's account point to grainy surveillance videos showing him being taken into the police precinct that same evening. The videos do not appear to show severe injuries.

Was Zimmerman acting in self-defense, or was he the aggressor? Witnesses give conflicting accounts. Martin's girlfriend claims Martin was being followed, while a 13-year-old witness told police he saw a man fitting Zimmerman's description lying on the ground moaning and crying for help. Which version of events is accurate?

At this point, it is simply not possible for anyone outside the investigation to know what happened that awful night. There are lots of unanswered questions. Was Trayvon Martin an innocent teen, minding his own business when beset upon by a crazy amateur crime fighter? Was George Zimmerman attacked and beaten while returning to his vehicle? Or were both men caught up in a confrontation that got out of hand?

The truth is, we can't possibly know right now. But the worst we can do is to try to portray this story in black and white. Not every killing involving a black victim and a white perpetrator has to do with racism. The media's role in leading us to believe otherwise is irresponsible.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


JWR contributor Linda Chavez is President of the Center for Equal Opportunity. Her latest book is "Betrayal: How Union Bosses Shake Down Their Members and Corrupt American Politics". (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.)

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© 2006, Creators Syndicate

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