The current reigning champ of political stunts, shows, and spectacle Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX, pictured) continues to illustrate the need for four letter words, after arguing that Black people actually benefit from Stand Your Ground laws during a Senate hearing on the controversial legislation and other public safety measures.
Ever disingenuous, Cruz dismissed claims that Stand Your Ground laws had any racial implications based on the idea that Black people are often victims of violent crime, and thus, need to defend themselves.
As if he actually cares about such an issue.
That said, Cruz noted that “the notion that Stand Your Ground laws are some form of veiled racism may be a convenient political attack, but it is not borne out by the fact remotely.”
Cruz then proceeded to argue, “In Florida, the data shows that African-American defendants have availed themselves of the Stand Your Ground law more frequently than Anglo defendants.”
Think Progress writer Rebecca Leber reports that Cruz’s argument stems indirectly from a ”Daily Caller story that said [Black] defendants were successful in 55 percent of fatal cases compared to 53 percent of Whites.”
Funny enough, Cruz went on to say that this “isn’t about inflaming racial tensions though some might try to use it to do that” — says the guy who claims we need more people like unabashed racist Jesse Helms in Congress.
No matter, Leber notes:
A report from the Congressional Research Service on inter-racial shootings nationwide shows disparity at work. Without looking specifically at Stand Your Ground, CRS found a clear racial disparity in shootings that were ruled to be justified, as well as an increase in cases of justifiable White-on-Black homicides after states began enacting the ALEC model legislation in 2005. According to the report, White-on-Black shootings were considered justified far more often than Black-on-White shootings.
The same data that Florida Cruz cited also shows that killers are far more likely to go free when their victims are Black.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Il), the chair of the subcommittee who held the hearing and the person Cruz was singling out for purportedly stoking racial flames, offered the following rebuttal:
Durbin: Let me be very specific when I say this. Don’t take my word for it. Take the testimony of Hillary Shelton, director of the NAACP, Washington Bureau, in which he states — and it’s part of this record — ‘Few issues have caused as much angst and raised as many deeply held concerns among our members and the communities we serve as Stand Your Ground laws. These laws and their applications have sadly resulted in no less than the murder of people who were doing nothing more than walking down the street.’
Statement in the record by Hillary Shelton of the NAACP. This continued reference to “inflaming racial tensions,” my friends, we’ve heard this before over and over again. We have problems with the issues of race in America that we have to face squarely. And when people are being discriminated against, whoever, wherever in America, the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights, is not going to back away.
As irritating as Cruz’s remarks were, the worst part of his latest stage act is that he fixed his mouth to speak this nonsense in front of Trayvon Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton.
Speaking to her directly, Cruz said that the family was “simply mourning the loss of your son” while “other players” sought ”to do a great deal more based on what happened that Florida night.”
Goodness, can I send him a muzzle for Christmas?
Maybe Ted Cruz has been too busy whispering sweet nothings to himself in the mirror as he plots a laughable bid for the presidency, but Sybrina isn’t simply just mourning the loss of her son. She’s putting in the work to help make sure other Black mother’s don’t share her burden.
I just wanted to come here to…let you know how important it is that we amend this ‘Stand Your Ground’ because it certainly did not work in my case,” Fulton said, speaking without consulting prepared remarks. “The person that shot and killed my son is walking the streets today. This law does not work.
Following the hearing, Fulton told MSNBC’s Al Sharpton that there’s “some disconnect” in Cruz’s remarks, adding that he is “not aware of the real law and how it affects us as a community.”
During the above interview, Sharpton said that Cruz trivialized a serious matter to advance himself politically, and he is right. Cruz did so weeks ago with the government shutdown and he’ll likely do it again and again and again…until 2016. Just the mere thought of that reality makes me want to utter some more of those aforementioned four-letter words.