Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Zimmermans Ask Holder: Why No Charges Against New Black Panthers?

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As controversy continues swirling around the shooting of Trayvon Martin, the family of George Zimmerman, the man who shot Martin, has demanded that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder explain why he has not pursued charges against the New Black Panther Party, which put a bounty on Zimmerman’s head and is now threatening to start a “race war.”

According to the Daily Caller, a letter from a family member asks Holder, who is black, whether he is racially biased, implying that that is why he has refused to seek charges against the racist group.

In another development, Zimmerman’s attorneys have dropped him as a client, at least for the time being while he is in hiding.

Zimmerman, who shot Martin on February 26, says the 6-foot-3-inch football player jumped him and tried to kill him.

The Letter

The Daily Caller reported on Tuesday that a member of Zimmerman’s family, whom the website did not identify, has flung down the gauntlet at Holder’s feet. The family member asked Holder in the letter, “I am writing you to ask you why, when the law of the land is crystal clear, is your office not arresting the New Black Panthers for hate crimes?”

The New Black Panther Party (NBPP) put a $10,000 bounty out for Zimmerman’s “capture” and has published posters saying that Zimmerman is wanted "dead or alive.” They hope they can raise the price for Zimmerman’s head to $1 million. The Zimmerman family member's letter continued,

The Zimmerman family is in hiding because of the threats that have been made against us, yet the DOJ has maintained an eerie silence on this matter. These threats are very public. If you haven’t been paying attention just do a Google search and you will find plenty. Since when can a group of people in the United States put a bounty on someone’s head, circulate Wanted posters publicly, and still be walking the streets?

The letter reiterates the government’s official definition of a hate crime, then says, “There is ‘no other explanation’ for Holder’s failure to authorize arrests of New Black Panther Party members,” the Daily Caller reported, “other than the fact that Holder himself is black." "I would surmise that, based on your own definition of a hate crime, you have chosen not to arrest these individuals based solely on your race,” the family member wrote to Holder, insisting too that there was “NO racial component” to the “tragedy” that occurred on the late February night when Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin. (Emphasis in original.)

The letter then calls upon Holder to act in the fictive tradition of Atticus Finch, the hero in To Kill a Mockingbird, a film about a white lawyer, Finch, who defends a black man falsely accused of raping a white girl. The Daily Caller continued,

“Strangely enough this case has a lot of parallels to those of Harper Lee’s ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’” the letter to Attorney General Holder read. “George Zimmerman has been treated much like Tom Robinson was, chastised for not being the right (or wrong) color and found guilty based on race factors.

“You have the opportunity to act as Atticus [Finch] and do the right thing. Your boss would refer to this as a ‘teachable moment.’”

The Daily Caller withheld the family member’s identity for fear that the anti-Zimmerman force’s wrath will descend upon him.

For his part, Holder has been uncharacteristically silent on an issue near and dear to his heart: race. Just after Obama took office, Holder sallied forth with the opinion that Americans are cowards when it comes to discussing what appears to be the favorite subject of the leftist media. Said Holder:

One cannot truly understand America without understanding the historical experience of black people in this nation. Simply put, to get to the heart of this country one must examine its racial soul.

Though this nation has proudly thought of itself as an ethnic melting pot, in things racial we have always been and continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards. Though race related issues continue to occupy a significant portion of our political discussion, and though there remain many unresolved racial issues in this nation, we, average Americans, simply do not talk enough with each other about race. It is an issue we have never been at ease with and given our nation’s history this is in some ways understandable. And yet, if we are to make progress in this area we must feel comfortable enough with one another, and tolerant enough of each other, to have frank conversations about the racial matters that continue to divide us. But we must do more — and we in this room bear a special responsibility. Through its work and through its example this Department of Justice, as long as I am here, must — and will — lead the nation to the “new birth of freedom” so long ago promised by our greatest President. This is our duty and our solemn obligation.

Apparently, Holder doesn’t much want to discuss it with the Zimmermans, which observers note is strange given that he believes that confronting a matter such as this head on might well be “a question of being honest with ourselves and racial issues that divide us,” as he said in explaining his speech. “It's not easy to talk about it. We have to have the guts to be honest with each other, accept criticism, accept new proposals.”

More From the New Black Panthers

Meanwhile, the New Black Panthers Party has escalated its racist rhetoric. obtained a recording of a conference call among the leaders of the group that, apparently, raises no eyebrows in either Holder’s office at the Justice Department or the office of his boss, President Obama.

One of the NBPP members, Michelle Williams, called for “black power!” and told “all the listeners that’s on this phone call: If you are having any doubts about getting suited, booted, and armed up for this race war that we in, that has never ended, let me tell you something, the things that’s about to happen to these honkies, these crackers, these [police] pigs, these pink people, these ***** ****** purple people, it has been long overdue.”

Said NBPP “nation spokesman” Chawn Kweli, “We gotta suit up and boot up, and get prepared for the war that we’re in. This stuff got to boil over, and all your greats talked about there having to be bloodshed involved with revolution — true revolution means some bloodshed.… We gotta go through it.”

Zimmerman’s Lawyers Quit

Also on Tuesday, Zimmerman’s attorneys quit, the Associated Press reported.

“‘As of the last couple days he has not returned phone calls, text messages or emails,’ attorney Craig Sonner said at a news conference outside the courthouse,” the AP noted. Sonner added,

He’s gone on his own. I’m not sure what he's doing or who he’s talking to. I cannot go forward speaking to the public about George Zimmerman and this case as representing him because I’ve lost contact with him.

The lawyers were not happy that Zimmerman tried to speak with a special prosecutor against their wishes, as well as having spoken to GOP radio personality Sean Hannity.

The lawyers believe Zimmerman is innocent, AP reported, and they are concerned for his safety. “They said Zimmerman has been under extreme pressure and is basically alone, having gone underground because of the furor,” said the AP.

“This has been a terribly corrosive process. George Zimmerman, in our opinion, and from information made available to us, is not doing well emotionally, probably suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome. We understand from others that he may have lost a lot of weight,” [attorney Hal] Uhrig said.

“To handle it this way suggests that he may not be in complete control of what's going on. We’re concerned for his emotional and physical safety.”

The lawyers said they will return to the case if Zimmerman wishes. A former U.S. attorney told the AP that the men should not have questioned Zimmerman’s mental stability in public.

Meanwhile, Zimmerman has launched a website through which donations for his legal defense are being accepted. 

Photo of Eric Holder: AP Images

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