A contributor to the right-wing conspiracy website and “Birther” hub World Net Daily, Jack Cashill, published a column on Thursday in which he alleged that Trayvon Martin was playing the “knockout game” against Zimmerman on the night Zimmerman shot him to death.
Right Wing Watch reported that Cashill — one of George Zimmerman’s most dogged and stalwart supporters — said a willful race-blindness on the part of the media turned “would-be knockout king Trayvon Martin into a martyr and his victim, George Zimmerman, into a racist vigilante.”
Cashill went further, attempting to portray Martin’s supposed knockout attack on Zimmerman as an anti-LGBT hate crime.
“In sum, Martin saw Zimmerman not as the hulking vigilante the media did but as a vulnerable, possibly gay white man nearly half-a-foot smaller than he,” he said.
The Knockout Game was hyped by the Drudge Report, Fox News and other right-wing media outlets in 2013 as a racially motivated blood sport in which young black males attacked middle aged white people, attempting to knock them unconscious with one sucker punch. Subsequent media analysis has revealed much of the supposed “evidence” of the game to be circumstantial or outright fabricated.
MSNBC’s Chris Hayes called the Knockout Game and attendant right-wing panic “the most over-covered story” of 2013, a race-baiting phantasm born in the fever swamps of Fox and Drudge’s paranoid, racist imaginings.
Cashill said that by the time Zimmerman shot Martin in February of 2012, “the Knockout Game was a well-established phenomenon among young black males, especially troubled ones like Martin, the product of a broken home and a broken culture. Martin’s assault on Zimmerman fit an obvious pattern.”
The ‘If I had a Son’: Race, Guns, and the Railroading of George Zimmerman author further charged that the Department of Justice under African American Attorney General Eric Holder is lying about hate crime statistics.
“Eric Holder’s Justice Department continues not to see it. In 2012, incredible as it seems, the FBI reported three times as many anti-black hate crimes as anti-white ones,” he wrote.
Apparently unable to grasp that the reporting he receives from right-wing outlets might be slanted, Cashill concluded that it must be Holder who is lying about hate crime statistics and that the laws pertaining to them must be meaningless.
“If nothing else, Holder’s perverse enforcement of the law shows just how absurd these laws are in the first place,” Cashill said. “What they punish is thought, not action, and in the Orwellian world of the DOJ thought is punished with wildly ‘disparate’ selectivity.”
Cashill has previously alleged that the violent run-in between Zimmerman and his girlfriend in October of last year is part of a liberal plot to discredit the shooter, who was acquitted of Martin’s murder in July of 2013. He has compared Zimmerman to Nelson Mandela and Mother Teresa, calling him “the least racist person in the state of Florida.”
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
Raw Story is a progressive news site that focuses on stories often ignored in the mainstream media. While giving coverage to the big stories of the day, we also bring our readers' attention to policy, politics, legal and human rights stories that get ignored in an infotainment culture driven solely by pageviews.
Founded in 2004, Raw Story reaches 9 million unique readers per month and serves more than 30 million pageviews.