On Up with Chris Hayes this morning the guests were Carolyn Maloney, John McWhorter, Rich Benjamin and Kai Wright, and the part I watched was mainly about Trayvon Martin and racism in America. To their credit, the guests made very good good objective points. McWhorter stated that even if Martin was not the innocent kid portrayed in all the selected photos, he didn't deserve to be harrassed by Zimmerman, if this is what happened, and he surely didn't deserve to be shot and and killed, if what we've heard about what happened is correct. If Martin was beating Zimmerman's head against the sidewalk, as Zimmerman and his supporters claim, then perhaps it's a much different story, so we have to wait for the facts.
Rich Benjamin warned that it would be wrong to demonize Zimmerman before we have all the facts, that this automatic forming of sides -- the Left as Trayvon Martin and the Right as sceptics unmasking the sanitized Martin and urging a fair hearing for Zimmerman - is not the way to handle this, and that a better conversation can be had if we look at this situation without bias.
It's not very useful to take a situation like this and claim that it proves racial profiling is a growing problem. Racial profiling is a problem, but it's counter-productive to imply that all whites are guilty of it and the Martin case proves it. From the white perspective, many are saying "What? I didn't profile Martin. I haven't profiled anyone that I know of." Then when the white person says this, the response from the righteous Left is "Well, of course you would make this about you individually -- what we are saying is that racism is a general problem and the Martin case shows we must be vigilant and fight for justice." Then, the white says "But, we don't all the facts about the case." Then, the Left says "Look, it's not only about this case -- it's about a history of racism and racism that still exists." So on and so forth.
McWhorter said that racial profiling can be uderstood when you look at the number of crimes being committed by young black men. Wright quickly corrected McWhorter by stating that more young blacks are arrested, but he implied they are bogus arrests. McWhorter and Wright agreed that the War on Drugs captures more young blacks who sell drugs in the streets than whites who deal drugs in the basements of their parents nice homes. This is true, and this is where the converstation should lead as we wait on the facts of the Martin case to unfold. The race issue in America is complicated, and the cartoon division between Left and Right is not helping.
Later, Hayes brought on an Occupy person and an ex financial regulator. They were debating the "jobs" bill that just passed. Hayes and his guests said that the bipartisan bill favors financial institutions and will not likely create any jobs. Wow, imagine that.