A ‘Hu-Manifesto’ for a Post-Trayvon World

1. First, Do No Harm

There was no excuse for Spike Lee retweeting what he thought was the address of George Zimmerman’s family. It was an incitement to vigilantism that sent a family (not the family of the shooter, mind you) into hiding. Lee has subsequently apologized. Let’s be clear: Even if it were Zimmerman’s family, providing any information that could lead to tit-for-tat violence is unacceptable.

2. It’s Not About You; Really

Let’s look at the broadly covered showdown between CNN’s Piers Morgan and MSNBC contributor Touré. Part of Touré’s “post-black” theorem is judge not (someone’s racial authenticity), lest ye be judged. But he quickly leaped to the judgment that Morgan could not understand race. I guess “post-black” is good, but stereotyping people of other races is fine.

Touré is known for viral but tonally inconsistent tweets and a fair dose of self-promotion. Like Lee, Touré apologized — by Twitter, of course — saying, “I should not have gotten caught up in ‘winning’ the debate with Piers. I got caught up with ‘winning’ on some masculine bravado BS when my whole point has always been justice for this boy. I lost sight of that.” So, apparently, have many others — in the media and the streets. Those who bring more heat than shed light are getting far too much attention.

3. Follow the Money

One of the basic tenets of journalism is to follow the cash and expose the manipulation of laws and justice. Although 21 states have “Stand your ground”-style laws, that didn’t happen by chance or come from a grassroots movement. The National Rifle Association has lobbied ceaselessly (to the tune of $35 million annually) for concealed handgun and “Stand your ground” laws. In a perverse sense, they benefited from the election of President Barack Obama. Fear of a Black President sent gun sales through the roof.

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