One would think that a lawyer like Joe Scarborough would refrain himself from making irresponsible statements surrounding the Trayvon Martin case. Unfortunately, it appears as though MSNBC’s pseudo-conservative is incapable of being reasonable, suggesting that in the wake of Trayvon Martin’s death, white potheads are fair game for murder.
Appearing on the July 22 Morning Joe, Scarborough ranted against what he called, “really racially intolerant comments that we've been hearing from across the political spectrum” which to most rational people would bring to mind Scarborough's colleague Al Sharpton. Instead, Scarborough was referring to Sean Hannity. [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
Scarborough's beef with the Fox News host were comments Hannity made on July 19, reacting to the president saying that he could have been Trayvon Martin 35 years ago:
Is that the president admitting I guess because what he was part of the Choom Gang and he smoked pot, and he did a little blow? I'm not sure how to interpret that because we know Trayvon had been speaking pot that night. I’m not sure what that means.
Scarborough used the comments to go on an irrational rant, condemning afresh the Zimmerman not-guilty verdict:
You talk about taking words and taking and retching them from their proper context and using Martin Luther King's words 50 years later to justify the killing of a young black man. Walking unarmed through a suburban neighborhood. It's perverse. And elsewhere, for a variety of reasons, that Trayvon had it coming.
Scarborough then doubled down on his rant:
Would we like to go across college campuses in America and tell all white boys that if they have marijuana in their system, then they're fair game? Or that if they're walking through the neighborhood and they act in an untoward way toward somebody who is chasing them through a neighborhood, I mean, it's -- this is -- this is what not only the right but some in the middle are suggesting is the defense.
Apparently Scarborough had not watched the entirety of the Zimmerman trial, because he like the rest of MSNBC is under the misguided belief that Zimmerman voluntarily murdered Trayvon Martin, despite the fact that he was attacked by Martin and acted in self defense. Instead, Scarborough illogically claimed that white guys in college who smoke pot are suddenly fair game for murder, as if the Trayvon Martin case was about a kid getting killed for smoking pot.
Scarborough of all people -- he once helped defend a man accused of murdering an abortionist -- should be a little more circumspect when it comes to making pronouncements on criminal cases, particularly one in which his employer is being sued for defamation related to selective editing.
See relevant transcript below.
July 22, 2013
6:15 a.m. Eastern
HAROLD FORD JR.:Well, Sean Hannity's been a critic of the president and it's hard to take his criticism in particular this light in the most serious of ways so put that aside because I think you have to minus out some of those. Overall, I thought the president's remarks were ones that I could relate to. You talk about race and where we go, it's unclear where we go from here after his remarks. There's no doubt, there's a set of experiences that are shaping the way a lot of Americans, particularly black Americans, feel about this, about the Trayvon Martin decision. Morally unacceptable for many people. But there are a number of people. There's a number of issues including-- there's no doubt you have a black on black crime issue in this country that we have to confront in a very different way. In the President’s hometown, Mayor Emanuel is working very diligently to try to deal with this. But this is a serious issue. You have black unemployment rates at amongst its highest levels. You have black homeowner rates amongst its lowest levels. You have a number of barometers that would have to be of concern. I'm a believer when you find communities where people are working, where households are intact, where parents are instilling their kids with the understanding that education is critical. That you have a different set of outcomes. There's no doubt the president's remarks about how young black men are treated I think was the most important component of what he said. We need to have a conversation about opportunities provided young black men. You and Joe had Mayor Bloomberg on almost a year ago with an initiative he was launching here in New York to focus on black men, particularly young black men, and the paucity opportunities there. So I'm hopeful that's what comes out of this conversation. Perhaps a greater focus. And a greater focus for results for how we address these challenges facing black men across the country.
BRZEZINSKI: So many different issues, Joe, came out of this. The issue of profiling. The stop and frisk program which is controversial here in New York and is part of the case. But also just the support for the family. Given the fact that this young man who has been lost has now got his place in history as we develop as a country pertaining to race.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Well, the support for the family's been inspiring. It certainly happened this past weekend too. But it's important to remember that's occurring amidst a backdrop of really racially intolerant comments that we've been hearing from across the political spectrum. Of course we commented on "The Washington Post" Richard Cohen describing how a black man wearing a hoodie is a uniform of crime. I still am flummoxed by that. And then from the right, we’ve followed congressman who are actually telling concerned African American parents to, quote, get over it. I don't know how many of you read editorials in "The Wall Street Journal" that quoted Martin Luther King suggesting black people are morally inferior. You talk about taking words and taking and retching them from their proper context and using Martin Luther King's words 50 years later to justify the killing of a young black man. Walking unarmed through a suburban neighborhood. It's perverse. And elsewhere, for a variety of reasons, that Trayvon had it coming. It seems we keep hearing, Mika, that Trayvon had it coming because he had pot in his system. I keep hearing this from people like Sean Hannity and others on the right. Really? Is that the new standard? Would we like to go across college campuses in America and tell all white boys that if they have marijuana in their system, then they're fair game? Or that if they're walking through the neighborhood and they act in an untoward way toward somebody who is chasing them through a neighborhood, I mean, it's -- this is -- this is what not only the right but some in the middle are suggesting is the defense. It's society's fault. It's actually, we're turning that around. I know Gene and others will remember, middle class whites used to be angry when there would be black crime and liberal politicians would say, well it's society's fault. Its bigger societal issues. Well, that's what's happening now in reverse. They're bigger society issues. You know black men wearing hoodies. They all commit crimes. That's Richard Cohen's argument. So he had it coming to him. Or Sean Hannity. It's straight out of reefer madness. I hear he had marijuana in his system. You've seen reefer madness. You know what happens. Really? Really? In 2013, Sean? Come on. Whatever excuse there is to say this young black man had it coming to him, that is the defense. Because there is no defense for shooting down a young black man in a middle class neighborhood with skittles. Armed with skittles. This entire spectacle is depressing. And it's giving the parents and loved ones of African American children even more of a reason to be concerned and to go out on weekends and peacefully march. And the vultures are going to continue to circle around this young teenager's body. And make no mistake of it, they are, and they continue to try a young man, and try to destroy his reputation for doing nothing more than walking through a neighborhood. It's making all of this all too evident that too many people out there in the media and politicians are calculating and callous in their commentary. And Andrea Mitchell, it's nothing short of depressing.