NEWT GINGRICH, the former Speaker of the US House of Representatives, is on the wrong side of the debate that surrounds the killing of Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old Black high school student from Sanford, Florida. In a statement made over the weekend, he literally went after President Obama for saying “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.”
“What the President said, in a sense, is disgraceful. It’s not a question of who that young man looked like. Any young American of any ethnic background should be safe. Period,” Gingrich said. “We should all be horrified no matter what the ethnic background. Is the President suggesting that if it had been a white who had been shot that would be okay because it wouldn’t look like him? That’s just nonsense.”
Basically, what the former Speaker is implying is that Obama is trying to interject race in this issue. If this is not about race, what is it about, really? His argument is that it does not matter the color of the skin, killing any human being -White, Black, Yellow -is wrong; we all should be safe regardless our ethnicity. I do agree with him in that no one should be killed like Trayvon regadless the color of the skin. However, that’s ideal, not what the reality entails.
Trayvon was unarmed and did not constitute a threat to Zimmerman -who still felt threatened, followed the boy (in spite of a direct order from the dispatcher at the police station to stop following him), and shot him dead on grounds of self-defense. Self-defense? Are you serious?
If this case goes to court, I do not think the “stand your ground” law will sustain as a convincing defense as Trayvon was unarmed and did not do anything that could be considered a threat to Zimmerman, per the police report. The only thing that seemed to be a threat to Zimmerman, I would say, was Trayvon’s skin complexion, nothing more and nothing less. In fact, Trayvon was not following Zimmerman with a weapon; it was the other way around. So how could it be acting on self-defense? Defending the self against whom and from what -from the bag of skittles and the iced tea that Trayvon had in his hands?
The president is right on target in his statement, though guys like Speaker Gingrich are trying to blame him for saying it. Yes, indeed, Obama is the president of the United States. But let his daughters walk outside right now, they would be Black girls, and that alone would be grounds for them to be shot dead, raped or lynched.
What we ought to be asking ourselves in this whole saga is this: What if it was the other way around, what would have happened? What if it was Trayvon who shot and killed Zimmerman -given the circumstances we all know -would he be allowed to walk away free with his weapon in his hand as if nothing happened? I strongly doubt it. There would be an arrest, and he would be fighting tooth and nail to use the “stand your ground” law in his defense in court.
Newt Gingrich -a Southern White male -will never understand the daily dire reality of living Black in America. I understand he is so desperate right now trying to make a comeback in the GOP presidential primary as things do not look good for him at all, but that does not mean he has to lose his dignity and say these irresponsible and reckless things. He is known for making these types of remarks. He is someone who wants to fire school janitors and hire their kids to replace them. So you can have an idea who this man really is. President Obama pretty much knows what he is talking about because he is a Black man; he can relate to Trayvon. There is no playing politics in this. And Newt Gingrich must be ashamed of himself.