You have to give Tavis Smiley credit for being consistent. Smiley, a national progressive pundit who pushed the Trayvon Martin case as a gun control issue alongside Left wing professor Cornel West last month, recently appeared on Bill O'Reilly's TV show to discuss the beating of two white reporters in Northern Virginia. And if the mob of black youths who apparently perpetrated the beating thought they might be getting "justice for Trayvon," then Smiley has bad news for them: If George Zimmerman is guilty of a hate crime, then they're no better than him.
You can watch Smiley's segment on the O'Reilly Factor below:
O'Reilly opens with his "Talking Points Memo" on the subject, and gives a brutal tongue-lashing to the paper that employed the two reporters for "covering up" the case. "We cannot have Americans of any color being set upon by violent mobs. That cannot stand in this country," O'Reilly thunders.
After the segment, Smiley's appearance begins, and the first thing he notes is that "you have some similarities to the Trayvon Martin case." Read these excerpts from Mediaite's recounting of the segment:
Smiley then observed some similarities between this case and the Trayvon Martin case”You have the issue of race obviously. Number two, you have a police department that bungled the investigation. Number three, when Trayvon Martin’s case the media, the mainstream media took a long time to get on that story. Were it not for the black media they never would have covered it, and now you raise questions about a cover up in this story. These cases aren’t as dissimilar except for the fact there is a child involved and says something about our nation when we have children put upon the way Trayvon Martin was.
O’Reilly then asked, “Is there a difference between a white mob setting upon minorities — don’t have to be African-American, could be Hispanics, could be American Indians, anything — and a minority, again, could be any minority setting upon white people? or is it the same?”
Noting it would be case-by-case, Smiley said, across the board, “I don’t see the difference.”
Smiley does try to make a point about racial bias nevertheless, saying it's white children who "end up on the milk cartons," but not black children. Nevertheless, to have a prominent progressive call this incident similar to the case is a fairly interesting display of intellectual honesty on the part of such a figure.