Ben Shapiro’s Tasteless Post-Mortem on Trayvon Martin
I recently listened to an episode of The Ben Shapiro Show, a podcast hosted by the eponymous Shapiro, a right-wing columnist and B-lister in the Republican chattering class. Here’s Ben dropping his conservative balls on the table for all to admire:
I’m about as politically incorrect a fellow as is in American politics. I’m the guy who Tweets out on Trayvon Martin’s birthday, when the left is deifying him, that Trayvon Martin wouldn’t be dead if he hadn’t beaten a man’s head into the ground then gotten himself shot.
While you pause to fill Ben’s name in on your “Hero of the Year” ballot, please note that this boast was meant to illustrate the difference between ‘principled’ political incorrectness and mere vulgarity. Someone this benighted probably thinks Human Centipede is the sequel to A Bug’s Life.
At 32, Ben’s trademark is his reputation as one of the youngest pundits on the hard right, a reputation he seems to be trying to shake as he tours America’s college campuses delivering anti-PC screeds that inveigh against America’s “spoiled children”.
The effect is almost comical given Ben’s appearance. His face is like Leonardo DiCaprio’s, unable to shake its adolescence even with the help of thick, Mephistophelean eyebrows. When he speaks from the podium with his rapid, nasal voice he strikes you as an aggressive student council president; half Tracy Flick, half Damien Thorn.
As with most conservatives, Ben’s implied moral hygiene is an ill fit with the common tongue. In that same episode of his podcast Ben laced into NYT columnist David Brooks for being a chardonnay-sipping moderate, stating that if the Republican base could speak as one to Brooks it would sound like this:
’F’ you, dude. ‘F’ you and ‘F’ the horse you rode in on. ‘F’ you, you’re a ‘P’-word, you’re full of ‘S’… ‘F’ you.
(Are ya payin’ attention, Quentin? This kid knows how to put a little jalapeño in his script!)
It’s worth noting that The Ben Shapiro Show is not broadcast over the air—he’s free to drop as many F-bombs as he likes. But that litany of near-filth amounts to ‘skating the edge’ for a conservative talker. While Ben does not operate anywhere near David Brooks’ level of legitimacy, he at least wants to set himself one notch above the corrections officers and slot jockeys that his right wing appeals are pitched towards.
Shapiro is the author of several of those books that supermarkets sell in the same aisle as the SOS pads, the kind that bleat about conservatism’s eternal rearguard action against the indomitable left. His books are invariably subtitled with the formula of “How (insert left wing shibboleth) Has (insert synonym for ‘raped’) Our (insert ‘mom’, ‘baseball or “apple pie’)”. Naturally, several have been bestsellers.
But back to Ben’s latest tour de force, his gravestone-toppling Tweet about Trayvon Martin. On February 5th, the date that would have been Trayvon Martin’s 21st birthday, Ben had this to say:
With the hoots and grunts of a million Trump supporters ringing in his ears, Shapiro doubled down and followed his Tweet with a wound-salting exegesis of the “real story” of “Saint Trayvon of the Blessed Hoodie”, in order to take down the left wing’s “lying narative” of this incident four years after the fact. That Ben had to shit all over Trayvon Martin’s memory to do so was simply collateral damage, like a drone strike. Ben has nothing against Trayvon personally, just everything about him.
Deploying one cheap, race-baiting detail after another, Ben proceeds to spank the black off America’s ass. We are alarmed to learn that Trayvon may have liked to get high on “lean”, some sort of inner city voodoo potion; that Trayvon used the word “nigga” (and you can’t!!), and that Trayvon’s autopsy “showed that he had THC in his system”. Really? Is that supposed to send shockwaves through a country where half the population can’t pass a follicle test? In fact, all that this last detail reveals is that Trayvon felt free to kindle a fire on Sundays, unlike Ben of the Pious Skullcap.
Ben is not unique in having unresolved issues over the death of Trayvon Martin. That incident shone a spotlight on our collective fears regarding race and privilege, and from the moment the story broke nationally a million strangers heaped their prejudices onto the fallen young man. Upon reviewing the facts of the event even I was surprised to discover how many of the things I had taken for granted turned out not to be true. Such is the power of belief.
But what is true is that no one deserved to die that night, and that George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin both suspected each other of things that turned out to be false. It is tragic to think how well we know the names of both of these persons today when neither of them knew each other’s name.
The truth is that there were no villains in the Trayvon Martin shooting, but that fact didn’t make for good TV. You would think that, with four years to reflect, America’s armchair attorneys would be a bit more sage. Not so Ben Shapiro.
At no time does Ben even hint at the idea that Trayvon, being pursued as he was by a creeper, may have actually felt threatened by Zimmerman. How could he have been? Trayvon was no “pacifistic angel” according to Ben. Why, this beastly mancub even had the temerity to get into fights at school! The boy was clearly a… well, let’s let Ben’s chorus do the talking. In hundreds of comments posted to Shapiro’s article, here is how those “Benny Bros” described Trayvon Martin:
“Thug”, “black thug”, “hood”, “hood rat”, “hoodie thug”, “Thugvon”, “Treyboon” “porch monkey”, “crime-monkey”, “drug dealer”, “street criminal”, “POS”, “piece of crap”, “scum”, “turd” and “n#gger”.
I’d say that last guy learned a thing or two about abbreviations from Ben, wouldn’t you? Enough to fool a word filter, anyway. It is also safe to say that anyone with a molecule of class would happily embrace a false, liberal narrative if it meant putting 1000 yards distance between themselves and the swarm of blowflies Ben effortlessly attracts.
Maybe Trayvon died for being a hotheaded punk. Then again, maybe he died for not dealing with his aggressors the way Ben Shapiro did during a recent appearance on the Dr. Drew Show. When a man in a dress knocked the chip off the shoulder of the outspokenly transphobic Shapiro, Ben took the high road and simply wet his pants, squeaked something about proper talk show etiquette, and then filed battery charges.
See, Trayvon? You might be alive today if you’d only been a f#ggot.