How Trayvon Case Devolved Into a 'Shouting Match'

Alex Pareene lays out reasons the right 'turned on' Martin

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 2, 2012 11:03 AM CDT

(Newser) – When Trayvon Martin's killing first erupted into a national story, the response from the right was uncharacteristically muted. But since March 23—the day Geraldo blamed Trayvon's hoodie for his death and President Obama made his first comments on the incident—Trayvon's death has become "another right-versus-left shouting match," writes Alex Pareene in Salon. He offers up a timeline of the media coverage, as well as four reasons the right "turned on" the teen:

  • "The conservative movement denies the existence (or prevalence or impact) of racism." As far as many conservatives are concerned, racism was abolished as soon as Martin Luther King said he had a dream, and any accusation of racism is automatically labeled a politically-motivated attack against conservatives.

  • "The president is extremely polarizing." Despite the fact that Obama commented only when asked—he did not prepare his remarks—and limited his sentiments to empathy for Martin's parents, "it is a simple fact that when the president takes a position on something, anything, roughly 50% of the nation then decides to take the opposite opinion."
  • It's easy to "politicize" the killing, because Florida's "stand your ground" law certainly played a role in why George Zimmerman was never arrested. "Conservatives feared, rightly, that outrage over the killing would lead to some pushback against their largely successful under-the-radar attempts to legislate gun control completely out of existence state by state."
Click for Pareene's entire column, including his fourth point.

This undated family photo shows Trayvon Martin.
This undated family photo shows Trayvon Martin.   (AP Photo/Martin Family, File)
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