From George Zimmerman to Kyle Rittenhouse: A Decade of Woke Misrule

Ten years ago this coming February, George Zimmermann shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin on a rainy night in Sanford, Florida. Without intending, Zimmerman triggered a dark new phase in the history of progressive America.

Beginning with the Sacco and Vanzetti case in the 1920s, the left lied to conceal the guilt of the guilty. Yes, Virginia, those two bad boys were guilty. Upton Sinclair, who “proved” their innocence in his epic novel Boston, knew they were guilty. "My wife is absolutely certain that if I tell what I believe,” Sinclair confided to a friend, “I will be called a traitor to the movement and may not live to finish the book."

Unlike Sinclair, most of the “useful idiots” on the left did not need to be threatened to stay in line. For the next century, their self-righteousness led them to weep for a pantheon of martyrs from the Rosenbergs to Leonard Peltier to Mumia Abu-Jamal to Kenosha’s own Jacob Blake, all of them purported victims of American injustice.

With the dawn of the social media era, however, the newly minted “progressives” made a conscious turn to the sinister. No longer content to conceal the guilt of the guilty, they lied now to conceal the innocence of the innocent. As Zimmerman and Kyle Rittenhouse learned the hard way, Atticus Finch is dead. The woke have thrown in with the jailhouse mob. Mockingbirds beware.

With a few exceptions, however, technology has betrayed its leftist creators. Rittenhouse would have had no chance for justice were it not for the ubiquitous cell phone cameras. Had video captured the shooting of Martin, Zimmerman would not have been arrested.

Three days after Martin’s death, lead Sanford PD investigator Chris Serino called Zimmerman in for an additional interview. Bluffing, as police are allowed to do, he said to Zimmerman, “There’s a possibility that whatever happened between you and him is caught on videotape.” The gambit did not work. Said Zimmerman simply, “I prayed to God that someone videotaped it.”

Serino was testing Zimmerman. By this time he knew what happened. There was overwhelming eyewitness and audio evidence that Martin, an aspiring street fighter a half-foot taller than Zimmerman, gratuitously attacked the neighborhood watch captain. Here is what eyewitness Jonathan Good told Serino the night of the shooting:

So I open my door. It was a black man with a black hoodie on top of the other, either a white guy or now I found out I think it was a Hispanic guy with a red sweatshirt on the ground yelling out help! And I tried to tell them, get out of here, you know, stop or whatever, and then one guy on top in the black hoodie was pretty much just throwing down blows on the guy kind of MMA-style.

Good shared this story with local media the following day. By this time, the police had discovered a 9-1-1 call on which Zimmerman could be heard crying out for help for more than 40 seconds. The major media had all this information at their disposal from day three of the investigation.

The media also had access to another relevant audio. In December 2010, a Sanford police lieutenant’s son sucker-punched a Black homeless man. Although caught on video, nothing was done to get justice for the man until Zimmerman, then an Obama supporter and civil rights activist, launched his own one-man crusade.

That crusade culminated with Zimmerman’s impassioned speech at a town hall meeting in January 2011. "I would just like to state that the law is written in black and white,” said Zimmerman just a year before the Martin shooting. “It should not and cannot be enforced in the gray for those that are in the thin blue line." As a result of Zimmerman’s efforts, the Sanford police chief was forced to resign and the lieutenant’s son was arrested.

In May 2012, less than three months after the Martin shooting, CNN quietly admitted to having an audio copy of Zimmerman’s town hall speech but sat on it. More perversely still, NBC’s Lisa Bloom wrote a book on the Zimmerman case, Suspicion Nation, without a single word about Zimmerman’s civil rights activism.

In fact, Bloom failed to mention that Zimmerman was Hispanic, or, in the immortal words of the New York Times, “a White Hispanic.” As they did with Rittenhouse, the media suppressed those elements of Zimmerman’s history that interfered with their preferred portrait of him as a white supremacist or something very much like it.

In the absence of video evidence, Trayvon’s parents and their attorney, Benjamin Crump, executed the most outrageous bit of judicial fraud in anyone’s memory. They manufactured a bogus story and a fully fake “ear witness” to tell her story both in depositions and at trial. Without this witness—the mentally-challenged, plus-sized “girl friend,” Rachel Jeantel—the State could not have arrested Zimmerman, and the Martins could not have sued the homeowners association.

When filmmaker Joel Gilbert exposed this fraud in his brilliantly researched film and book, The Trayvon Hoax: Unmasking the Witness Fraud That Divided America, the major media—to a person—declined to review Gilbert’s work.

The cases of both Rittenhouse and Zimmerman’s played usefully into presidential politics.  Following a debate during the 2020 campaign, then-candidate Joe Biden tweeted, “The president of the United States refused to disavow white supremacists on the debate stage.” Under Biden’s message was a photo of Rittenhouse with the words “as we saw in Kenosha” inscribed upon it.

Four weeks after the Martin shooting in 2012—another election year, another battleground state—President Barack Obama chose sides against Zimmerman: “But my main message is to the parents of Trayvon--If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon.” The New Black Panthers did Obama’s dirty work for him, posting “Wanted Dead or Alive” posters and offering a $10,000 bounty for the capture of “child killer” George Zimmerman. The DOJ and the media said nothing to dissuade them.

The prosecutors in the Zimmerman case looked as futile and foolish as those prosecuting Rittenhouse. In either case, the punditry blamed the attorneys and the judges, but the real problem was the evidence. Neither case should ever have been brought to trial. Both Kyle and George were indicted to pacify the mob outside the courthouse.

The consequences of the media’s extended disinformation campaign proved to be scary for Zimmerman and even scarier for the nation. On their website, the Marxist founders of Black Lives Matter traced the birth of their movement “to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer, George Zimmerman.” (italics added).

A year after the acquittal, BLM would bring its mayhem to Ferguson, Missouri, and show aspiring radicals everywhere just how much you can accomplish when you force your liberal enablers to their knees. It was from a kneeling position that Kenosha authorities rushed to prosecute Rittenhouse.

Although he has learned through trial and error to keep a low profile, Zimmerman has been quietly cheering on Rittenhouse from the sidelines. Better than anyone, he knows that wokeism is the one religion that offers neither mercy nor redemption—even to the innocent.

Photo credit: YouTube screengrab (cropped)

Jack Cashill’s latest book, Barack Obama’s Promised Land: Deplorables Need Not Apply, is now on pre-sale. See for more information.

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