J.Christian Adams thinks so, and he’s a pretty smart lawyer. The one that stands out among many is solicitation to kidnap. Solicitation was one of the inchoate offenses at common law and is now codified in American law. In one form or another it is a felony in every state. An inchoate crime is a crime in preparation of another crime or the seeking to commit another crime. It includes seeking to have another commit a crime. In this case the New Black Panthers are seeking to have others kidnap George Zimmerman, the man who shot Trayvon Martin, claiming self defense.
Adams details several Florida felony statutes that the New Black Panthers may have violated with all of their threats against George Zimmerman, comparing them to an Old West lynch mob with a rope forcibly kidnapping a prisoner in jail awaiting trial in order to lynch him. Adams doesn’t say so, but an even better comparison might be to Southern whites dragging a Black man accused of raping a white woman out of the jail house and lynching him before his scheduled trial. That makes the New Black Panthers equivalent to those Southern white racists of the late 19th and early 20th century. Mr. Adams might have been thinking that when he said, “We’ve lost something precious when the most vile vigilantism not only goes unpunished, but seems to attract defenders, benefactors, and fans.”
Yes, a lot of Americans probably thought that sort of thing was behind us.
Many people who voted for Barack Obama in 2008 did so to prove they weren’t racists. They believed that America would finally put racial strife to rest if America got its first Black president. Rush Limbaugh and a few others took exception to that and said that was a pipe dream, that in fact racial politics and playing the race card was going to be greatly exacerbated under an Obama presidency. Not because Obama is Black, but because of the sort of man and the sort of politician he is. Looks like Rush was right, again.
Read all of J. Christian Adams’ column here.