“Since when can a group of people in the United States put a bounty on someone’s head, circulate Wanted posters publicly, and still be walking the streets?”
An unidentified member of George Zimmerman’s family sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder asking how it is that the New Black Panther Party (the group Holder’s Department of Justice declined to prosecute for voter intimidation in Pennsylvania during the 2008 election) can put a bounty on Zimmerman’s head with no reaction from law enforcement.
The answer to the question, of course, is that the lynch mob that’s out to get George Zimmerman is the right sort of lynch mob.
In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder on Monday, obtained exclusively by The Daily Caller, a family member of George Zimmerman asked the nation’s top law enforcement officer why he has chosen to not arrest members of the New Black Panther Party for their rhetoric — some of which may fit the federal government’s definition of a hate crime — throughout the Trayvon Martin case.
The family member believes the reason Holder hasn’t made those arrests is because he, like the members of the New Black Panther Party, is black.
“I am writing you to ask you why, when the law of the land is crystal clear, is your office not arresting the New Black Panthers for hate crimes?” the family member wrote to Holder.
“The Zimmerman family is in hiding because of the threats that have been made against us, yet the DOJ has maintained an eerie silence on this matter. These threats are very public. If you haven’t been paying attention just do a Google search and you will find plenty. Since when can a group of people in the United States put a bounty on someone’s head, circulate Wanted posters publicly, and still be walking the streets?”
The New Black Panthers have issued ultimatums to the Sanford authorities, saying they want Zimmerman arrested “dead or alive.” They have placed a bounty on Zimmerman’s head, and have called for the building of an army of vigilantes to track him down and effect a citizen’s arrest.
This is where things like “hate crime” laws have led us. We make value judgments on crimes based on the identity of those who are committing them. A rapist who might have uttered a racial epithet during his crime is guilty, under hate crime laws, of more than a rape. He’s guilty of a hate crime, but only if the rapist in question is a member of the oppressor class (meaning, for the most part, white).
Alternatively, a group of blacks beating the tar out of a white guy while using racial language aren’t at all likely to be charged with a hate crime. Because they’re members of the victim class. Thus, the New Black Panthers putting a bounty on George Zimmerman’s head isn’t the same as, say, a group like the Aryan Nation putting a bounty on the head of a black man or a Muslim suspected of a crime.
This is the danger of drawing these sort of racial/class distinctions in the law, or even just in society in general. Instead of equality under the law, we get law that is unevenly applied based on identity. That’s wrong. Criminals are criminals, and crimes are crimes, no matter the identity of the perpetrator and victim.
If George Zimmerman is found to have killed Trayvon Martin under circumstances that were something other than self defense then he should be tried and convicted. But not because Martin is black, or because Zimmerman is (as the media puts it) “white Hispanic” but rather because a crime was committed, and the identities of the criminal and the victim simply don’t matter.Tags: department of justice, eric holder, george zimmerman, hate crimes, new black panther party, trayvon martin