It’s been hard to escape the post-mortem on the trial of George Zimmerman, who was found not-guilty of the murder of Trayvon Martin. I’m sure we’ll get plenty of media coverage this weekend of the “Justice for Trayvon” vigils around the country. All of it is predictable and similar to the OJ trial Rorschach test we experienced almost 20 years ago. The more things change . . . .
What is striking and sadly predictable is how impervious the typical liberal is to the facts or any commitment to the truth. Here is one typical liberal reaction:
Few expected the president to denounce the verdict or call upon people to take to the streets in protest, but we did expect him to speak in a way that touched the heartbreak, despair and quiet rage that so many of us feel at this moment.
To such people Zimmerman was guilty regardless of the outcome of the trial. In fact, many of them would have been happy to dispense with the trial and declare the racist (because they knew his motives better than he did) guilty, lock him up and throw away the key. That was the only outcome that would fit the liberal narrative that America is an irredeemably racist country where blacks are perpetual victims.
I often refer to progressives/leftists as “modern liberals” to differentiate them from “classical liberals” of the sort who founded America. But that’s clearly a misnomer, because the more accurate moniker would be “post-modern liberal,” as Peter Wehner argues about this case:
What we’re seeing from the left is post-modernism on full display. The facts, the truth and objective reality are subordinate to the progressive narrative. In this particular instance many liberals so want the killing of Trayvon Martin to be driven by bigotry–which would serve as both an indictment of racial attitudes in America and turn a horrible mistake into a “modern-day lynching”–that they will make it so, even if it requires twisting the truth into something unrecognizable. What matters, after all, is The Cause. And everything, including basic facts, must be bent to fit it. This kind of systematic deconstruction of truth is fairly common in college liberal arts courses all across America. But when it becomes the primary mode of interpretation in a murder trial, it is something else again.
Fortunately not all liberals are not post-modern. William Saletann who writes for Slate is one such liberal, and his reasoned take on this whole affair is worth reading.
UPDATE: Much of the liberal and conservative commenting on this event is similar to Saletann’s take, that Zimmerman bears a large part of the responsibility for the death of Trayvon Martin. I don’t think so. This piece at the American Thinker makes it very clear that Martin was the aggressor and that Zimmerman had every reason to fear for his life. This video by Bill Whittle makes it very clear that all the facts of this case do not argue for moral equivalence between the two men.