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Hate groups get pass from media in coverage of Trayvon Martin; DOJ silent

Members of the New Black Panther Party handed out a flier at the Trayvon Martin Rally placing a bounty on George Zimmerman, 'Wanted Dead or Alive.' NBPP is labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Members of the New Black Panther Party handed out a flier at the Trayvon Martin Rally placing a bounty on George Zimmerman, 'Wanted Dead or Alive.' NBPP is labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

Two hate groups have been instrumental in stoking public anger regarding the death of Florida teen Travyon Martin. Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman who patrolled his neighborhood on a regular basis, reporting “suspicious persons” as part of allegedly informal neighborhood watch activities.

The Nation of Islam and the New Black Panther Party have both drawn public attention over their actions, but media and the U.S. Dept. of Justice have been silent about the nature of these groups.

Both NOI and the NBPP are classified as hate groups by the left of center Southern Poverty Law Center. Both groups are classified as “black separatist,” with ideology that prohibits mixing the races.

NOI and NBPP are allied for a common cause, and there is, according to SPLC, evidence the groups have at times informally allied with white hate groups who also believe in separation of the races.

Most of these groups are also anti-Semitic. Numerous videos of the NBPP demonstrating hate speech are published on YouTube.

SPLC published a backgrounder on the NOI, noting the organization’s “legacy of hate”:

“[T]o this day, NOI members continue to promote racist and anti-Semitic ideas. A case in point is Ashahed Muhammad, a prominent NOI member and author of Synagogue of Satan, a book advertised on NOI's website that alleges, once again, a Jewish conspiracy to control the federal government. Muhammad runs the Truth Establishment Institute website, which, alongside Synagogue of Satan and The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews, offers works by the likes of Mark Weber, a former member of the neo-Nazi National Alliance and the long-time leader of the Holocaust-denying Institute for Historical Review.”

SPLC also published a backgrounder on the NBPP, quoting the head of the Party’s Philadelphia chapter who gave an interview to National Geographic in 2009:

“I hate white people. All of them. Every last iota of a cracker, I hate it. We didn't come out here to play today. There's too much serious business going on in the black community to be out here sliding through South Street with white, dirty, cracker whore bitches on our arms, and we call ourselves black men. … What the hell is wrong with you black man? You at a doomsday with a white girl on your damn arm. We keep begging white people for freedom! No wonder we not free! Your enemy cannot make you free, fool! You want freedom? You going to have to kill some crackers! You going to have to kill some of their babies!" [King Samir Shabazz, head of the party's Philadelphia chapter]

On Thursday, the NBPP held a rally in Sanford, the city where Trayvon was killed, and the organization subsequently announced a $10,000 bounty on the head of Zimmerman. A ‘Wanted Dead or Alive’ flier was unveiled publicly at the rally.

A ‘conciliation specialist’ from the U.S. Dept. of Justice attended the rally. At the time this Examiner column was filed, no statement was forthcoming from the specialist and no statement was posted on the DOJ website addressing the issue of a bounty placed on the head of an American citizen by a hate group.

Martin’s death has dominated the blogosphere and social media, with many calling for a fuller investigation than the Sanford Police Dept. did the night the teen was killed.

Some bloggers have raised questions about lack of attention given to crimes perceived as, but not prosecuted as, hate crimes committed by blacks.

One high profile case occurred in 2009 after President Barack Obama took office. A black man named Roderick Scott shot and killed high school junior Christopher Cervini in New York. Scott was charged immediately, but a jury acquitted him of manslaughter charges. Scott saw Cervini and his friends looking through cars in the neighborhood. Scott went into the street and the confrontation ended with Cervini shot twice.

There were differences in the Martin and Cervini cases, but in the New York case, there was no Stand Your Ground law although New York, like other states, allows for self-defense.

One major difference was that one of the bullets Scott fired struck Cervini in the back. That evidence would have actually made self defense more difficult under Florida's law than New York's.

After Martin’s death, calls for a more thorough investigation came from both conservatives and Leftists across Florida. Florida Gov. Rick Scott appointed a special prosecutor, engaged the Florida Dept. of Law Enforcement and formed a task force to review Florida statutes in the interest of public safety.

Politico ran an article with comments by Scott, accompanied by an unflattering photo of the Florida governor. Politico quoted remarks from an appearance on a morning news show where Scott expressed sympathy for the Martin family but urged the public to wait until the investigation is concluded:

“Your heart goes out to them,” the Republican governor said on 'Fox & Friends.' “But you know, the court’s going to figure out once we get all the facts once the investigation happens whether that law applies or not. We’ll find out.”

Thus far, Scott remains the only high profile elected official to address the Martin death in a manner aimed at maintaining the public peace rather than pandering for political advantage.

[Follow Kay B. Day on Twitter @TheUSReport.]


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