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Time For Sharpton To Retire

All good things must come to an end. Creation Date Monday, 26 March 2012. Hits 1424

Time For Sharpton To Retire

How old is Al Sharpton now anyway? Not that there is some magical age at which someone should be forced into retirement or anything, but Al is at that point. I am talking, of course, about his speech in Sanford Florida in response to the killing of Trayvon Martin, a 17 year old kid who went out to buy a pack of skittles and an iced tea who was then shot by a community watch member in their neighborhood. I'm not on a side here, and I don't pretend to know who was right and who was wrong. But when it comes to the words of Al Sharpton, one would never have been able to guess which side he was on if you hadn't been told.

Al opened the rally with chants of "No justice, no peace" before moving along to this bewildering statement.

"Zimmerman had probable cause that night," Rev. Sharpton told the crowd. "You cannot defend yourself against a pack of Skittles and iced tea. Don't talk to us like we're stupid."

Now Sharpton may be a lot of things, but he is not stupid. I know that he knows what probable cause is. Yet if you read that statement, one would assume that the shooter had been arrested, and that Al wanted him to be let go. Instead, he is arguing that Zimmerman should be arrested. Just in case Peggy Joseph is reading this, here is what probable cause means.

Probable cause is a level of reasonable belief, based on facts that can be articulated, that is required to sue a person in civil court or to arrest and prosecute a person in criminal court. Before a person can be sued or arrested and prosecuted, the civil plaintiff or police and prosecutor must possess enough facts that would lead a reasonable person to believe that the claim or charge is true.

If Zimmerman had probable cause, that would mean that what he did was in self defense. It would mean that the facts of the situation caused him to have legitimate fear for his life or safety, which was probable cause for him to assume that he was in danger and he then had the right to protect himself.

Once again, I'm not trying to speculate one way or the other about this case. I wasn't there, and frankly I don't know what happened. But I do know that what Al said here is the exact opposite of what he meant.

Moving along, President Obama stirred up a little controversy of his own with his comments. When speaking on the matter he said "If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon Martin." New Gingrich responded with the following.

“What the president said, in a sense, is disgraceful.?.?. We should all be horrified, no matter what the ethnic background,” Gingrich said. “Is the president suggesting that, if it had been a white who'd been shot, that would be okay, because it wouldn't look like him?”

Is that what the President is suggesting here? Plouffe says no.

“Those comments are reprehensible,” Plouffe said during an appearance on ABC’s “This Week.” “Speaker Gingrich is clearly in the last throes of his political career. And, you know, you can make a decision whether to go out with some shred of dignity or say these irresponsible, reckless things, and he's clearly chosen the latter path, and that's unfortunate for the country.”

So if he wasn't saying that, then what was he saying? That all black people look alike? Look, I'm not trying to score a cheap shot on Obama here. Watch the video. It was clear that what he was saying came from the heart, and I really don't have a problem with it. But if I were to suggest that if Obama had a son he would look like every other black person, liberals would have a cow. And if I were to be explaining why I had deep interest in one case as opposed to others by saying that the case involved people who look like me (as in they were white) I would be branded a racist.

So do I want President Obama branded a racist? No. I want everyone to be given the same degree of latitude that Obama should be given here. We should all be able to express our thoughts without a third party claiming that they mean we are racist or sexist or homophobic, or whatever the case may be. Lighten up, America. And drop out of the race already, Newt!

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