Why The Latest Zimmerman Race Riot Conspiracy Theory Is the Dumbest Yet

Source: Stephanie Mencimer / Mother Jones

The conservative blogosphere is brewing with ominous warnings about the inevitable riots they think will come if George Zimmerman is acquitted of charges related to his killing of unarmed teen Trayvon Martin. (My colleague Lauren Williams has rightly questioned this mania here.) An email this week from Everett Wilkinson, a former tea party leader in Florida who now runs something called the Nation Liberty Federation, outlines many of the leading (and recurring) conspiracy theories about the verdict’s aftermath, which he naturally thinks will include riots: martial law. FEMA camps. But he offers up some of the new ones, too.

Among those is the suggestion that the New Black Panther Party is busing people to Florida for the specific purpose of inciting riots after Zimmerman presumably walks out of court a free man. Wilkinson writes:

Reports have come in from eye witnesses in Sanford, Florida that the New Black Panther Party, an extremist group that has called for the killing of George Zimmerman if he is found not guilty, is busing in thousands to that town. Sanford is the location of the trial and near the place where the shooting of Trayvon Martin by Zimmerman occurred. There have been threats of riots if Zimmerman is not found guilty and it is believed that the New Black Panther Party and other extremist groups will attempt to take advantage of racial tensions after a non guilty verdict by organizing riots.

Wilkinson points out that the New Black Panthers supposedly put out a “dead or alive” poster with Zimmerman’s face on it last year—proof that the “eye witnesses” in Sanford must be right. He writes ominously, “When Zimmerman was first arrested the Black Panthers threatened to burn the whole state of Florida down.” Wilkinson suggests that the Obama administration might be bringing in Russian soldiers to fight off the angry mobs (through FEMA, naturally), a claim that follows on the heels of his suggestion earlier this year that Russian intelligence was warning that President Obama was creating teams of “death squads,” a story that originated on a hoax website.

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