Holder's non sequitur
Last week, Attorney General Eric Holder stoked the fires of racial resentment over a Florida jury's acquittal of George Zimmerman. In an address to NAACP leaders Tuesday, Holder attacked Stand Your Ground self-defense laws.
“Separate and apart from the (Trayvon Martin) case that has drawn the nation's attention, it's time to question laws that senselessly expand the concept of self-defense and sow dangerous conflict in our neighborhoods,” Holder opined. He then baselessly claimed that such laws are creating “more violence than they prevent” and used his platform to promote citizens' “duty to retreat.”
So, what exactly do Stand Your Ground laws have to do with Zimmerman and Martin? Absolutely nothing. Outside your own home, common principles of self-defense dictate that unless you have reasonable fear of deadly force or harm, you must flee if possible rather than use deadly force. But a “duty to retreat” rests on the ability to retreat. And “duty to retreat” was irrelevant in Zimmerman's case because — pinned to the ground with Martin on top of him, bashing his head on the concrete — he was unable to retreat.
This didn't stop the NAACP crowd from cheering their heads off when Holder tossed out his red meat. Holder's racial-grievance-mongering agenda has also been bolstered by media outlets, which have been bashing Stand Your Ground regardless of the facts.
The New York Times falsely claimed in an editorial that the jury “reached its verdict after having been asked to consider Mr. Zimmerman's actions in light of the now-notorious Stand Your Ground provision in Florida's self-defense law.” Rolling Stone made a similarly inflammatory claim.
All nonsense. The jury received standard instructions. Zimmerman did not invoke the Stand Your Ground provision.
Even the prosecution rejected the cynical attempt to tie Martin's death to Stand Your Ground. Prosecutor John Guy made it clear during the trial: “This case is not about standing your ground.”
In short, Stand Your Ground did not kill Trayvon Martin. Stand Your Ground did not sway the jury. Stand Your Ground saboteurs don't have a leg to stand on. Columnist Jacob Sullum observed drily: “You might think that, given all we now know about Zimmerman's actual defense, critics of ‘stand your ground' laws would have to find a different, more apposite case to illustrate their concerns. Instead they just barrel along, citing the same phony example again and again, without regard to the facts. It does not inspire confidence in their argument.”
Nope, it inspires exasperation and contempt. Holder now vows to “continue to fight for removal of Stand Your Ground laws” that had nothing to do with the Zimmerman trial. He promises to ban “racial profiling” in the aftermath of a local crime incident that — according to Holder's own FBI employees — had nothing to do with race.
The Obama administration's cynical campaign against Stand Your Ground laws is a racially charged weapon of mass distraction. The goal isn't public safety or community harmony. The goal is for conservative political opponents to Surrender Your Ground.
Silence, as always, is complicity. Political self-defense, as with physical self-defense, begins with self-assertion.
Michelle Malkin is the author of “Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks and Cronies” (Regnery 2009).