The media and the public have foolishly bitten the bait about the Trayvon Martin matter having gotten pulled into all of the racial, social and cultural triggers it evokes. Gun control, self defense, racial profiling, and stand your ground laws, it has it all, but it has nothing to do with any of these things.
Trayvon Martin is about one thing only: insuring Barrack Obama’s reelection. Preposterous? Lets see.
According to a February 11, 2009 report by CBS news, in 2005 49% of ALL murder victims are black men. That year an astonishing 6,783 black men were murdered. Worse yet, half of those were between the ages of 17 and 29. This means that if the numbers have stayed constant during the recession, on any given weekend 130 black men are murdered in the formerly great nation of the United States of America. There are no parades, no marches, and no protests to stop this violence. This appalling number of murders is ignored by the power structure- both white and black. There is no money or power to be reaped from this bitter harvest of death, unlike the Trayvon Martin matter.
If Jessie Jackson were genuinely interested in the plight of young black men being murdered, he didn’t have to fly to Florida. He could have stayed in his own hometown. According to John Russell, who posted and article on Newsvine.com, Chicago had 460 homicides in 2009 and a startling 77% were black. According to the author: “the typical homicide victim–drawn from a composite of data–was a black male between the ages of 20 and 25 who was shot to death.” All in Barrack Obama’s and Jessie Jackson’s very own backyard.
Why did Trayvon garner such attention? Trayvon Martin is a Floridian, not a Chicagoan, a Washingtonian or Detroitonian. Florida. Florida, which happens to have 27 electoral votes. A state that Barrack MUST carry if he hopes to win reelection. According to the USA today, Barrack comfortably carried Florida by several hundred thousand votes. But if you look at it by county, Florida is a sea of Republican leaning counties, the majority of which voted for John McCain in 2008. McCain carried all of Florida’s 67 counties except for 15 or so. If not for Miami-Dade, Broward and a few other counties in the panhandle, Obama would have lost Florida.
Florida has also borne the brunt of the housing collapse, the tourism decline, and the foreclosure crisis and general economic decline. It staggers under a depression level 17.6% U6 unemployment rate. Which means that the unemployment rate for blacks and Hispanics and other key Obama constituencies has probably broken the 20% barrier and could easily approach the mid 20’s. The unemployment rate for black teens between the ages of 16 to 19 currently hovers in the 40 percent range. These are people who may not be as motivated to go out and vote for Obama the second time around.
So what is a black president to do, if you cannot give black people a legitimate reason to vote for you? You can’t run on your economic programs. You cannot run on cheap gas, or a better economy, or ending wars or closing Guantanamo. You certainly can’t run on your bank bailouts or ties to Wall Street firms.
But there is there one thing you can do to re-motivate your base- trot out the race card, a reverse Willy Horton, if you will. Barrack’s fear is that black folks who have no money, no job, and don’t like where the economy is going, will be motivated by the Trayvon Martin case and go the polls. This is why Trayvon’s death garners prime time while the other 129 black men being buried this week, or murdered next, will not garner a mention.
Al Sharpton, the NAACP, Jessie Jackson, will not be present. There will be no marches or calls for prosecution. The death of the nameless others are unlikely to help win an election. There is not power, or money or influence to reaped from the other corpses.
Joseph A. Scalia writes from Las Vegas where he has practiced law for 20 years. He hold a BA in Economics from the University of Maryland College Park and a JD from the University of Baltimore School of Law.