Democrat Senate Majority leader Harry Reid and his allies at Senate Majority PAC must be feeling desperate about the pending 2014 elections. They’ve stooped to a race-baiting attack attempting to link the death of Trayvon Martin in Florida to North Carolina Speaker of the House Thom Tillis in an effort to salvage the foundering campaign of Democrat incumbent Kay Hagan.
The radio spot attempts to link the killing of Martin to “stand your ground” laws in Florida, and then attempts to link Tillis to “stand your ground” laws in North Carolina with the following statement:
“Tillis even led the effort to pass the kind of ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws that caused the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.”
The problems with the claims are manifest according to the Washington Post Fact Checker Glenn Kessler, who gave the the claim “four Pinocchios” as a blatant lie.
Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman, and “stand your ground.”
The physical conflict began when Trayvon Martin came up behind Zimmerman, exclaimed “what you followin’ me fo?” and then sucker punched Zimmerman when he turned, knocking Zimmerman down. Martin them mounted Zimmerman and battered him (“MMA-style,” according to the closest eyewitness) for roughly 40 seconds as Zimmerman called for help. Feared for his life after repeated blows to the head, a pinned Zimmerman managed to pull his Kel-Tec 9mm pistol and fired one shot into Martin’s chest.
“Stand your ground” law was never remotely relevant to Zimmerman’s defense, as retreating was never even an option one Martin confronted Zimmerman.
Martin appeared out of the darkness behind Zimmerman, knocked him down, and sat on his chest as he assaulted him.
As a result, Zimmerman’s legal defense, from start to finish, was always straight self-defense. The only reason the jurors heard about “stand your ground” laws in relation to the case were the efforts of “community activists” and a misguided Martin family legal team that incompetently focused on that irrelevant law. The jury also heard it briefly mentioned in passing during their jury instructions as required by Florida sentencing guidelines.
Tillis and “stand your ground”
Fact checker Kessler says that there is no evidence that Tillis played any significant role in North Carolina’s 2011 implementation of “stand your ground” law, much less “led the effort” as Reid’s PAC claims.
But if an organization is going to argue that a particular law was the cause of a racially-charged shooting death — leaving open the suggestion that the same sort of incident could take place in North Carolina — than it has a duty to explain its reasoning. Otherwise, voters have every right to think the worst about Senate Majority PAC’s purpose in making such accusations on radio stations that have large African-American audiences.
As a native North Carolinian bombarded by campaign advertising on a daily basis, it’s disheartening to think that Senate Democrat PAC and other Hagan supporters have been reduced to blatant race-baiting in hopes of salvaging her Senate seat for the party.
This attack by Reid’s Senate Majority PAC and a recent racist statement by Democrat candidate Alma Adams branding Tillis an “Uncle Tom” suggests that Democrats are willing to do anything, no matter how dishonest, to bully minority voters.