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Elites fan the fires of racial outrage.

One has to hand it to a few brave members of the liberal mainstream media, such as The Washington Post’s Richard Cohen and Slate’s William Saletan, who have gone against their counterparts (and our president) who continue to perpetuate the false narratives of the Zimmerman-Martin saga. They are the rare exception, and this is likely reinforced by the onslaught of racially-charged attacks leveled against any reporter who dares go against the grain.

But false narratives might be too sanitizing a phrase to describe what is happened — it’s selective editing, half-truths and outright lying.

Some politicians and media elitists, for example, are demanding that the Justice Department open an investigation into whether George Zimmerman could be tried for civil rights violations. President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have promised this. Very curious. One would never know by such reporting and commentary that the Justice Department & FBI did just that a full year ago — they already investigated George Zimmerman in July 2012 and determine he was a “busybody” rather than a racist.

At some point, the process becomes parody. Like the autocrats from which our founders split to form a new country, the federal government may continue to investigate George Zimmerman with double jeopardy zeal, until they get a result they like — one that fits their preferred narrative of the cruel, racist “white Hispanic” who gunned down a black teenager in cold blood.

What’s worse even: government watchdog Judicial Watch through Freedom of Information Act requests acquired documents showing that the Department of Justice’s little-known Community Relations Service (CRS) actually fueled the fires of racially-charged protest and selective outrage by spending tax dollars “to provide technical assistance for the preparation of possible marches and rallies related to the fatal shooting of a 17 year old African American male.”

Your Justice Department wasn’t just investigating — it was instigating.

Many politicians, mostly Democrats but a few Republicans like John McCain, also falsely blame Stand Your Ground (SYG) laws. As cited earlier, the President was for SYG laws as an Illinois state senator. No matter. The Zimmerman defense didn’t even invoke Florida’s SYG law during the trial, and the former Sanford Sheriff called it a clear case of self-defense, unrelated to SYG. No matter. The president asked the silly question last week if Trayvon Martin could have ‘stood his ground,’ would he have been “justified in shooting Mr. Zimmerman because he felt threatened”?

It’s a ridiculous question. Zimmerman didn’t shoot Martin because he “felt threatened,” but because Martin was beating him with his fists and bashing his head against the asphalt. Zimmerman made a series of poor decisions but there is no law against following someone on a public street. Alternatively, it is illegal to commit assault, albeit Martin didn’t deserve death for doing so. Most importantly, by trying to revoke SYG laws across the country the president increases the likelihood that a young black man (or woman) won’t be able to properly protect themselves in the event of a true SYG situation.

But the race baiters carry on, choosing to ignore reality. They demand we have a serious discussion about race, without actually having a serious discussion about race. The most extreme of them attempt to compare the Martin killing to that of Klan attacks in the 1950s and 1960s. This is serious discussion? With that tactic the only guarantee is that the majority of the public will simply tune out.

Jason Riley points out some of the most repeated facts. These are not new mind you, at least if one is paying attention to the nightly news. But it bears repeating that one cannot call the United States a racist country when blacks mostly kill blacks, and are held accountable by mostly black juries in mostly minority-populated parts of cities run often by black mayors and black police chiefs.

Any candid debate on race and criminality in this country would have to start with the fact that blacks commit an astoundingly disproportionate number of crimes. African-Americans constitute about 13% of the population, yet between 1976 and 2005 blacks committed more than half of all murders in the U.S. The black arrest rate for most offenses—including robbery, aggravated assault and property crimes—is typically two to three times their representation in the population. The U.S. criminal-justice system, which currently is headed by one black man (Attorney General Eric Holder) who reports to another (President Obama), is a reflection of this reality, not its cause.

“High rates of black violence in the late twentieth century are a matter of historical fact, not bigoted imagination,” wrote the late Harvard Law professor William Stuntz in “The Collapse of American Criminal Justice.” “The trends reached their peak not in the land of Jim Crow but in the more civilized North, and not in the age of segregation but in the decades that saw the rise of civil rights for African Americans—and of African American control of city governments.”

The left wants to blame these outcomes on racial animus and “the system,” but blacks have long been part of running that system. Black crime and incarceration rates spiked in the 1970s and ’80s in cities such as Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago and Philadelphia, under black mayors and black police chiefs. Some of the most violent cities in the U.S. today are run by blacks.

… The homicide rate claiming black victims today is seven times that of whites, and the George Zimmermans of the world are not the reason. Some 90% of black murder victims are killed by other blacks.

So let’s have our discussions, even if the only one that really needs to occur is within the black community. Civil-rights leaders today choose to keep the focus on white racism instead of personal responsibility, but their predecessors knew better.

“Do you know that Negroes are 10 percent of the population of St. Louis and are responsible for 58% of its crimes? We’ve got to face that. And we’ve got to do something about our moral standards,” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. told a congregation in 1961. “We know that there are many things wrong in the white world, but there are many things wrong in the black world, too. We can’t keep on blaming the white man. There are things we must do for ourselves.”

Recently, both Charles Barkley and Bill Cosby made similar remarks, and both were immediately attacked by the liberal masses as “Uncle Toms.” No doubt that the same would have happened to Dr. King today, had he made the same brave comments he made in 1961.