*Fox News, the network that lost its legitimacy many years ago, has been accused by some of ignoring the biggest news story in the country.

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The untimely death of 17-year old Trayvon Martin has captivated the entire nation, and Martin has become a modern day Emmett Till.  Few cases have caused uproars of this magnitude, and everyone is shaking their heads over how George Zimmerman, the self-appointed night watchman,  could kill Martin in cold blood and still be walking the streets.

Fox is very good at presenting selective versions of the truth, so it is no surprise that this network is able to ignore the big, black elephant in the middle of the room.   In many ways, Fox is walking away from the case primarily because they’ve built their empire on racism.  Racism is maintained by delusion and an ability to ignore these little irritating things called “facts.”  In that regard, Trayvon gets no sympathy from Fox News executives.

The silence of Fox News is also deafening in another way:  The fact that this network is missing an opportunity to defend the National Rifle Association, to smear a young black male or to inaccurately portray groups of protesters as lawless thugs says that even the decision-makers at Fox News understand that this is a grave injustice.  At the very least, one might expect a set of snotty remarks from Bill O’Reilly, or some kind of criticism of President Obama for allowing the Justice Department to become involved.  But so far we’ve heard absolutely nothing from the network that loves to run its mouth so much.

Fox might defend even the worst conservatives, tell the biggest lies, and attack any black person for no good reason.  But in the case of Trayvon Martin, they are simply deciding to choose their battles.  They know that they can’t win on this one, and appear to be making the decision to stand down.  The decision is a good one, since the Trayvon Martin killing is a trump card against anyone who acts as if racial injustice is the non-existent boogeyman of America.  There is no way anyone with any degree of decency can defend what happened to Martin on the night that he was killed.

I’m sure Fox will just jump all over the next one.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Professor at Syracuse University and founder of the Your Black World Coalition. To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.

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