Another prominent African-America leader lept on board the Trayvon Martin-George Zimmmerman Ethics Train Wreck Sunday, when General Colin Powell aided and abetted the increasingly successful effort by divisive activists to re-write the history of the George Zimmerman trial into an example of a racist all-white jury freeing the murderer of a black man in defiance of the evidence and justice.
Appearing on “Face the Nation,” the former Secretary of State said that he thought the jury’s verdict “will be seen as a questionable judgment on the part of the judicial system down there,” adding that he didn’t know if it would have “staying power.” Powell’s comment was an especially pusillanimous fog on the issue, not explicitly endorsing the criticism of the verdict—“Now I never said it was questionable, just that it will be seen that way,” the General can claim—but appearing to support it nonetheless. How weak, irresponsible, and disappointing.
Is there no respected African-American with the integrity to point out that the jury’s verdict was based on the evidence presented, and that based on the evidence presented there was no objective way for the jury to find Zimmerman guilty of the second degree murder of Trayvon Martin, which required proof of racial animus beyond a reasonable doubt, nor to disprove Zimmerman’s self-defense claim? Apparently not. I would have thought that Powell would be an excellent candidate to fill that vital role, but instead he chose to toe the line and support the false narrative being put forward by Al Sharpton, Oprah Winfrey, Martin Luther King III, the NAACP and others.
I am aware that I have had to write this too many times, and that you may be getting sick of reading it almost as much as I am sick of writing it. But the only way to combat an insidious and popular lie is to protest loudly and shout the truth every time the lie is stated. Not only was the jury’s judgment not “questionable,” it was the only possible verdict consistent with the charge, the evidence, the facts as they are known and the standard of guilt. Moreover, no one who was not in the courtroom and the jury room, did not listen to the testimony in person and observe the demeanor of the witnesses and the defendant, and did not participate in deliberations and listen to the arguments of all the jurors, has any legitimate basis to challenge the jury’s judgement in this case—which Colin Powell, a smart and educated man, certainly knows.
Yet Powell chose not to use the respect and influence he has both in the African American community and the nation at large to set the record straight, and to enlighten a public that has been cynically misled. He had an obligation to properly honor a courageous jury for a difficult job well done while admonishing critics that to imply that the verdict was tainted by racism is inflammatory, unjust and wrong. That is what a responsible leader would do in the vacuum of fairness and honesty that this awful episode has come to.
Colin Powell’s performance on “Face the Nation” was a failure of leadership, honesty, courage, and character.
Facts: Los Angeles Times