The Rev. Jesse Jackson appears to have been caught in a whopper by the Miami Herald, which provided figures yesterday proving that Jackson’s claim earlier this month that homicides against blacks have tripled in Florida under the Stand Your Ground law was false.
Jackson was quick to jump on the race bandwagon after George Zimmerman – who has miraculously become a “white Hispanic” in recent reporting – fatally shot Trayvon Martin in early 2012 in the community of Sanford, near Orlando. He is now using the false premise of higher black homicide numbers under SYG to promote a boycott of Florida, insultingly calling it an “apartheid state.”
According to The Hill, Jackson made the claim during a CNN interview in which he asserted, “Homicides against blacks have tripled since this law has been in existence. Now more homicides and more guns make us less secure.”
But the Miami Herald cranked up its Truth-O-Meter and found that Jackson was blowing a bit of hot air about the controversial self-defense statute. A majority of states have some form of SYG law; here in Washington the principle of “no duty to retreat” is enshrined in court precedent dating back almost a century.
According to the newspaper’s research, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement revealed that since the SYG law, which took effect midway in 2005, the number of black homicide victims has remained almost static. Starting its body count in 2006, the newspaper learned that there were 524 black victims that year, with 573 in 2007, 564 in 2008, 494 in 2009, 452 in 2010, 476 in 2011 and 532 in 2012.
The newspaper also noted, “So where did Jackson get this idea that homicides of black people had tripled?
“We aren’t certain, since Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Coalition did not respond to our questions,” the Herald said. “However, we suspect that he might have been referring to justifiable homicides by civilians.”
Last year, in the wake of the Martin shooting, one lawmaker lamented that the SYG law had resulted in a higher number of self-defense slayings.
The newspaper tried to cut Jackson some slack, observing, “It’s possible Jackson is confusing homicides with justifiable homicides, but that’s a key qualifier that he omitted in part of his comments.
“We’re rating his statement that homicides against blacks have tripled,” the Miami Herald said. “That’s not accurate, so we rate the statement False.”
Translation: Jackson fibbed. Whether it was deliberate or simply a mistake, it’s the kind of fib that grows legs and takes on a life of its own if not quickly refuted.