John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


Good News: No Riots

Posted on July 16, 2013


The good news was there were no riots.

Some protests.  A few folks got hurt here and there by vengeful kids who wanted to take their anger out on somebody.  A promise of future protests by Cable television star Al Sharpton.

But not much burning and looting and otherwise carrying on.

I guess that’s progress.

Despite the fact that it is really hot out (or maybe because of it), and despite the fact that the unemployment rate is around 25 percent for African-Americans, there wasn’t an explosion of violence in reaction to the George Zimmerman.

Whatever violence that did occur was perpetrated by elements of the Occupy Movement.  There are mostly young white radicals who have an aversion to showers and to getting a full time job.

It was an element of Occupy Radicals who beat up a young conservative filmmaker who provocatively decided to observe the protests up close and personal.

My view is that if you don’t want to risk getting beat up, don’t wander into places where you aren’t wanted.  But that’s only my view.

There are a couple of reasons why there weren’t widespread riots.

First, clearly George Zimmerman wasn’t guilty of what he was charged with.

Any fair-minded person who watched the trial understood that.

This isn’t a case where a man was beaten to a pulp, ala Rodney King or a case where an iconic Civil Rights leader was gunned down.

The facts in this case were always murky and the outcome was pretty much pro-ordained.  The state had a lousy case, and it was no surprise that Zimmerman got off.

Second, the protesters now run the White House and the Justice Department.

It is hard to rail against the Man, when the man used to be the man who protested alongside you a couple years ago.

So, is Al Sharpton really going to picket against his close pal, Eric Holder?

Really?   How is that going to fly?

Third, in many parts of the country, segregation is falling apart.

African Americans are moving to the suburbs, white folks are moving back in the cities, Hispanics are living everywhere, and the world is a much different place than it was 20 years ago.

There are still enclaves of white people and black people and Hispanic neighborhoods and Asian neighborhoods, but the reality is that we are much less likely to be segregated than we once were.

Fourth, this was a media creation, and at the end of the day, unless you are playing for the cameras, there was never much to this case.

This wasn’t an example of a white man (or a group of white men) lynching a defenseless black man.  It was a case of the two people getting into a tussle and one person getting killed.  Nobody believes the media anymore, and while the case got a lot more attention than it deserved, it didn’t stir the kind of deep emotion that leads to rioting and real protests.

The media is going to continue to follow this story, because it boosts ratings (unless you are MSNBC), and it is far better than talking about a coup (non-coup?) in Egypt or a deadly boring discussion of a change to Senate rules.  Talk about a ratings killer.

But at the end of the day, despite the effort to manipulate the narrative to really get more viewers, the media will have to move on with no riots.

A race war has been averted.  Yay!  Can we get back to watching baseball?