For many Americans the slain teenager Trayvon Martin became a symbol of how America’s justice system values the lives African Americans, especially African American youth, far less than those of whites.
They were stunned when the man who killed Martin, George Zimmerman, was acquitted in Martin’s death, which took place in Sanford, Fla. in February if 2012, even though the 17-year-old was “armed” with nothing more than a canned iced tea and bag of Skittles candy.
However, there is a certain segment of Americans for whom Trayvon Martin represented everything they think is wrong with black people in general.
“That Trayvon brings out the worst in people is well known,” wrote Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart, a year after Martin’s death. “What continues to shock me isn’t so much how widely held the negative view of him is, it is how openly people express their racism.”
As an example, Capehart cited a South Carolina Republican Party former official who praised Zimmerman’s killing of Martin, saying the youth “needed to be put down like a rabid dog.”
This week, the conservative bile directed at Trayvon Martin as well as the right wing’s well-known animosity toward Barack Obama, the first African American U.S. President, combined in a single Twitter posting, not from a southern Republican or an anonymous random bigot — but by one of the leading intellectuals of the conservative movement.
Dinesh D’Souza posted a tweet saying, “I am thankful this week when I remember that America is big enough and great enough to survive Grown-Up Trayvon in the White House!”
The bestselling author and former policy adviser to President Ronald Reagan soon deleted the message, but not before it went viral. A screenshot of the original tweet can be seen below.
The tweet was apparently a lame reference to statement by Obama earlier this year, when the president said, "When Trayvon Martin was first shot, I said that this could have been my son. Another way of saying that is, Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago.”
D’Souza’s dislike of Obama is no secret. He is the author of a book, The Roots Of Obama’s Rage, which argues that Obama is disloyal to the United States and driven by the allegedly anti-American views of his Kenyan-born father.