On Friday, December 14, 2012, a crazed gunman, Adam Lanza, 20, shot and killed 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Twenty children were among the 26 people murdered. It’s almost as if this sick individual killed a child in celebration of every year of his miserable existence on the planet. No parent should have to bury a child. It’s simply not how God intended for life to be. My deepest condolences go out to all the families of the deceased at this time of unimaginable sorrow for them.
Anybody who follows this blog knows that it is no secret that I was completely and utterly disgusted with the reaction of the right-wing to the shooting death of Trayvon Martin by killer George Zimmerman. I believed then, as I believe now, that George Zimmerman deserves to rot in prison for chasing Trayvon Martin down against police dispatcher instructions and killing him. Additionally, the right’s—particularly the white right’s—lionization of George Zimmerman, essentially turning him into their very own version of Mumia Abu-Jamal, has been absolutely despicable.
The right’s hypocritical and immoral coverage of the Trayvon Martin case completely eroded the trust I once had in the conservative media. The right’s hypocrisy can be further seen in the differences between how they covered that case with Trayvon, and how they are now covering this case with the Connecticut shooter. Some of their key arguments in the Trayvon case are conspicuously absent in this Adam Lanza case. The lamentable conclusion that I must come to is that the right-wing media believes that the black victim, Trayvon Martin, is more deserving of anathematization than the white murderer, Adam Lanza.
As I said in my piece about the Colorado theater shooting, there was no right-wing outrage over Obama’s statement showing empathy with the families of the dead kids by saying that those children could have been his own. Obama made similar remarks about the dead children in this fatal Connecticut shooting, as he did after Trayvon’s killing. The only statement that the right-wing media pounced on as evidence of Obama’s intolerable presidential malpractice was the statement Obama made about Trayvon. Why is that? The fundamental point is that Obama is allowed to show empathy for the loss of white life, but he dare not empathize with the family of a black “thug” like Trayvon. His doing so, according to their warped logic, not only “wades into a local law enforcement matter,” but is also “race-baiting.”
Another prominent right-wing talking point during the Trayvon/Zimmerman story was the notion that the media engaged in malpractice for daring to use “baby pictures” of Trayvon Martin in order to “make him look innocent.” The truth is that Trayvon had literally just turned 17 when his life was taken away by a callous killer. Therefore, a picture of Trayvon from when he was 12 years old would have been four to five years out of date. He was in fact a minor. But “conservatives” in the media wouldn’t reason like this. They wanted gangsta pictures of Trayvon so desperately that they stooped to taking fake pictures of “Trayvon” from neo-Nazi websites. Their entire evil mission during that case was to turn the victim into the aggressor and the aggressor into the victim.
Interestingly, the same “conservatives” who were incensed at the fact that an outdated picture of dead Trayvon was used in news stories are conspicuously silent about the media using a childhood picture of the 20-year-old killer, Adam Lanza. In point of fact, they are using the childhood picture themselves! Where is the outrage? Why is there no commentary about how heinous it is for the media to use an outdated, childhood picture of an actual killer? More importantly, why are they continuing to use the picture?
In fact, as you can see in the screen capture, prominent right-wing website The Drudge Report used Lanza’s kid picture with a link to a New York Times article describing the killer as “intelligent and shy” (a common praise used for white serial killers/mass murderers — just as it was used for Colorado killer, James Holmes).
Just making sure I have this straight!
The fact of the matter is that the right-wing media couldn’t care less about outdated pictures. They were simply grasping at whatever straws they could to make Trayvon into a “black gangsta” worthy of death for the felony of walking down the street while wearing a hoodie, and while armed with the notoriously lethal weapons commonly known as Skittles and Arizona juice. It’s a shame, but they were more interested in anathematizing Trayvon than they are in anathematizing Adam Lanza, an actual killer.
While Republican elites eat their expensive caviar and drink their fine Champagne while telling themselves that the sole reason minorities voted for Obama is because of “free stuff,” it will never occur to them that their disgusting reactions to stories like the Trayvon killing are incredibly important in shaping how black people feel about the Republican Party. They don’t know that minorities watch them very closely during these kinds of stories — and they remember when they go to the voting booth.
Post-Trayvon, I find it incredibly difficult to take these “conservative” media frauds seriously. They’re completely hypocritical and utterly despicable.