As you’ve no doubt heard, a WWII veteran was beaten to death in Spokane last week, and two men have been arrested in connection with what police consider a botched robbery.
The veteran was white. The suspects are black.
On account of their respective races, there has arisen a bizarre push this week to get the mainstream media and political leaders to treat Delbert Belton’s death the same way it treated Trayvon Martin’s.
To be clear, Belton’s murder had nothing to do with race, as far as anyone can tell.
“The motive for this attack was robbery. Race was not a factor. Additionally there was no gang activity that was associated with this incident,” Spokane Police Chief Frank Straub told the media yesterday.
Hardly tamping down the race factor in the crime, Straub’s comments only fanned the flames that are growing yet.
“Here is the man that wants you to believe Delbert Belton killer is NOT involved in gangs,” tweeted one person, who attached a photo of Straub but failed to explain why they thought Belton’s killer IS involved in gangs.
So in case you find yourself hearing hints of race-bait next time you read about Belton’s murder, here a quick take on the two going trains of thought from those who would make this the next Trayvon Martin case:
The first seeks parity for Belton, a call for the media and President Barack Obama to talk about Belton in the same terms as they did Martin:
“If Obama Still Had a Grandfather He Would Look Like Delbert Belton,” wrote one person, a play off Obama’s comment that if he had a son, he would look like Trayvon Martin.
This argument displays a complete misunderstanding – be it willful or ignorant – of what it was about Martin’s case that drew the nation’s attention and prompted a conversation about race. As they see it, the only thing notable about Martin’s shooting was that Martin was black and Zimmerman was not black, and so when those races are flipped, parity has been achieved and thus MSNBC and Obama should react in same.
A more radical line of logic connects the two cases by comparing Martin to the suspected killers: “If poor 88 yr old Delbert Belton had defended himself w/deadly force & killed those two teenagers, would they have become BarryO’s “sons”?”
There isn’t much to this beyond a continued attempt to vilify Trayvon Martin as a thug, since it suggests that Zimmerman was in the same position as Belton, but was just fortunate enough to have a gun.
Depending on how loud the chorus gets, Obama may indeed say something, which will likely note the sheer tragedy of a WWII veteran being beaten to death for a handful of cash. But he won’t speak in terms of race, and thus will not quiet the voices like these:
“Don’t call me a racist simply because you don’t like to hear the truth! #BlackOnWhiteCrime #ThrillKill #Zimmeran #DelbertBelton #AlSharpton”