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Post Partisan
Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 04/26/2012

Ugly attacks in the name of Trayvon Martin


Over the last month there have been stories about brutal attacks on whites by blacks in anger over or retaliation for what happened to Trayvon Martin. “Now, that’s justice for Trayvon” was reportedly heard in one incident. “This is for Trayvon” was the remark in another. And in yet another beating, a suspect told police that he beat a white teen in anger over the Trayvon Martin case. This is madness.

Authorities have cast doubt on some of the stories. But regardless of their authenticity, what is happening runs counter to the expressed wishes of Trayvon’s parents.

Dallas Watts of Toldeo, Ohio, told police earlier this month that he was beaten by two kids while on his way home from a gas station. According to a police report cited by the Toledo Blade, the 78-year-old was kicked repeatedly by the 11-year-old and the 17-year-old while shouting, “[Get] that white [man]. This is for Trayvon ... Trayvon lives, white [man]. Kill that white [man].”

Less than a week later, the Toledo police captain would announce that the attack was not racially motivated. A police sergeant would add, “After the investigation, it was revealed that the story told by Mr. Watts was somewhat exaggerated, although he was assaulted and robbed. His story as to how everything happened appears to be a little bit exaggerated.”

On April 17, two teens robbed and beat a white man in Chicago. According to MyFoxChicago, one of the assailants told police that the assault was motivated by anger over the killing of Trayvon and that he chose his victim because he was white. That teen was hit with a slew of charges, including one for hate crimes. Good.

The most atrocious report was the one out of Mobile, Ala., from the weekend. A hoard of up to 20 people viciously beat Matthew Owens with pipes, chairs and cans of paint.  According to the New York Daily News, “Owens’ sister and another witness say that as the group left, one assailant said: ‘Now that’s justice for Trayvon’ following the assault.” But yesterday, Cpl. Chris Levy said, "I can tell you this without a doubt, 100% certainty, that Trayvon Martin was not the motivating factor in this incident.”

Mere hours before the Florida special prosecutor announced the charge against Trayvon’s killer, George Zimmerman, a warning was issued by the Rev. Al Sharpton on behalf of the slain teen’s parents that must not be forgotten. (Fast forward to 0:50)

This family has said from the beginning, and we that came in early have said and I repeat: We do not condone or support in any way any acts or language of violence. Trayvon Martin’s name must not be tarnished by those that are either for or against us with any reckless behavior even verbally. It is imperative that we make it clear this family has denounced anything other than nonviolence and peaceful protest. We are not in the business of revenge. We are in the business of justice. And anyone that operates in any other spirit is not operating in the spirit set by this family.....Yes, we’re all angry, but you can’t be more upset than his parents. And if they can operate with dignity then all of us must operate in dignity.

For far too many people on both sides of the divide, that message hasn’t sunk in. Or worse yet, they don’t care.

By  |  11:30 AM ET, 04/26/2012

 
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