Why Chris Lane and Trayvon Martin Are Not the Same

Alex Seitz-Wald in Salon explains why the white conservative media are wrong about Chris Lane being "Trayvon Martin in reverse." First, the police weren't forced to arrest anyone after Lane's grisly shooting death.

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Trayvon Martin (Martin family photos); Chris Lane (Fox News)

In a piece at Salon, Alex Seitz-Wald explains why the white conservative media are wrong about Chris Lane being "Trayvon Martin in reverse." First, the police weren't forced to arrest anyone after Lane's grisly shooting death.

It's incredible that in 2013 we're really arguing about this, but from Henry Louis Gates [Jr.] to Travyon Martin — when the conservative media made George Zimmerman the Real Victim of the supposed anti-white lynch mob — we should expect nothing else. And it's equally striking, yet also not particularly surprising, that Fox and Limbaugh and the rest really don't seem to comprehend why the Trayvon Martin case became a thing.

It's not that difficult to understand so we'll spell it out: It was not only that a light-skinned Zimmerman killed an unarmed black teenager — but also that police didn't do anything about it. The killing was horribly tragic, as is Lane's senseless murder, but if Zimmerman had actually been arrested for the shooting, the sad reality is that far fewer Americans would know his name. But that's not what happened. Instead, police let Zimmerman go under Florida's "stand your ground" law. It smacked of institutional, state-sponsored racial favoritism of the worst kind. It was only after public outcry that state prosecutors took over the case and pressed charges. Some could argue that Zimmerman didn't need to be convicted for justice to be done, but he did need to stand trial.

Likewise with Henry Louis Gates [Jr.], the famed black professor who was arrested while he was trying to get into his own home in Cambridge, Mass., after he misplaced his keys. That's not how police are supposed to operate, and that's why Obama weighed in.

Read Alex Seitz-Wald's entire piece at Salon.

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