Give me a controversial shooting of a 17-year-old black youth, and I'll build you a dedicated left-winger. Or two.
Have you been listening to Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, the parents of Trayvon Martin, since the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial? On Feb. 26, 2012, Zimmerman fatally shot Martin in a Sanford, Fla., gated community after Zimmerman came out on the bad end of a fistfight.
Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder and acquitted a few weeks ago. Since then, Fulton and Martin have participated in rallies and taken to the airwaves to express their reaction. Here is a quote from Fulton about the verdict, which she gave when she appeared on NBC's "Today" show:
"It's sending a terrible message to other little black and brown boys that you can't walk too fast, you can't walk too slow. So what do they do? I mean, how do you get home without people knowing or assuming that you're doing something wrong? Trayvon wasn't doing anything wrong."
A few observations before I continue. It's true Trayvon Martin wasn't doing anything wrong. But it's also true that he was not, in any normal meaning of the word, "little." He was taller than Zimmerman and almost as heavy.
Witnesses testified that they saw Martin on top of Zimmerman, giving the neighborhood watch captain a sound pummeling. I don't buy the contention of Martin's supporters that he was doing absolutely nothing to Zimmerman.
But I don't believe you have the right to shoot a guy just because you come out on the short end of a fistfight, either.
Speaking at a Congressional Caucus on Black Men and Boys panel discussion last week, Tracy Martin said that he would "never give up fighting for Trayvon and other black and brown boys."
Speaking at a New York City rally after the verdict, Fulton stood beside the guy I call the Revvum Al Sharpton, who was looking peeved and pious.
And believe me, no one has quite mastered the art of looking peeved and pious the way Sharpton has. I understand why he might be peeved, but that pious part, given his record, is a bit of a stretch.
But back to Fulton: at the New York rally, she made yet another reference to "black and brown boys." What's with all this "black and brown" stuff? The black refers to African-Americans, the brown to Latinos.
And when you hear an African-American lamenting the plight of black and brown boys, or black and brown this or the other, you can bet you're listening to someone on the far left side of the political spectrum.
My guess is Fulton and Martin weren't anywhere close to that side before their son was killed. But in the year-and-a-half since, they've been well schooled in lefty think by the likes of Sharpton.
College professor and avowed socialist Cornel West, in a recent anti-President Obama tirade, really went off the deep end with this black and brown business.
West ranted about "a criminal justice system in place that has nearly destroyed two generations of precious, poor black and brown brothers."
Notice that these lefties never, never say "black, brown and yellow." Asian-Americans aren't welcome in their club, probably because Asian Americans, as a group, don't commit nearly enough crimes to qualify for bona fide oppressed minority status.
And American lefties just love themselves some criminals. You won't impress them if, like Asian-Americans, your ethnic or racial group has a record of academic excellence at many colleges and universities. But slit a throat or two, and you're their huckleberry.
It will take time for Fulton and Martin to get past the death of their son, assuming they ever do. But if they do, they might want to reconsider their membership in black America's "black and brown" wing.
GREGORY KANE, a Washington Examiner columnist, is a Pulitzer Prize-nominated news and opinion journalist who has covered people and politics from Baltimore to the Sudan.