On Wednesday, following the not guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin murder trial, liberal black political activist Jesse Jackson (shown) expressed his opinion that, despite protestations from both the prosecution and the defense to the contrary, the trial was all about race:
If Trayvon Martin were not a young black male, he would be alive today. Despite the verdict, it’s clear that George Zimmerman would never have confronted a young white man wearing a hoodie….
Both the prosecutor and the defense claimed that the trial was not about race. But Trayvon Martin was assumed to be threatening just for walking while being young, black and male.
And then, because in Jackson’s eyes there was a miscarriage of justice in the case, Jackson called for not only a congressional but an international investigation:
We need a national investigation of the racial context that led to Trayvon Martin’s slaying. Congress must act.
And it’s time to call on the United Nations Human Rights Commission for an in-depth investigation of whether the U.S. is upholding its obligations under international human rights laws and treaties.
Jackson is no stranger to civil rights politics and political action, having cut his teeth with Martin Luther King, Jr. as far back as 1965. In 1971, he started a non-profit called People United to Save Humanity (Operation PUSH) and in 1984 organized the Rainbow Coalition, which merged with PUSH in 1996 to become Rainbow/PUSH. Active politically with presidential runs in 1984 and 1988, Jackson has also inserted himself into international incidents, such as securing the release in 1983 of a captured American pilot, Navy Lt. Robert Goodman, who was being held by the Syrian government, as well as persuading Cuban dictator Fidel Castro to release 22 Americans in 1984.
Jackson’s demand for an investigation by the UN follows comments by other cogs in the international machinery decrying the Zimmerman case. Back in April 2012, just days before Zimmerman was indicted for second-degree murder in Florida, Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights called for “an immediate investigation” into the shooting, adding:
The law should operate equally in respect of all violations. So, like every other situation such as this, we will be urging an investigation, and prosecution and trial — and of course reparations for the victims concerned.
Pillay expanded on her position in May at a meeting of her Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent in Paris where she decried America’s “discrimination that people of African descent face in terms of access to justice,” according to an observer. She “stressed that the process of justice was often different [in America] for people of African descent.”
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