In the month since the tragic shooting in Sanford, Florida of 17-year old Trayvon Martin, sustained pressure by the NAACP and local civil rights advocates has brought national attention to the killing, and the way the incident was handled by local law enforcement. More than two million signatures have been collected on an online petition seeking justice for Mr. Martin. Rallies for justice in Florida have been amplified by scores of rallies in cities and towns across the country. A renewed discussion of race and racism has emerged in this presidential election year.
Into this increasingly complex situation, white nationalists have sought to inject their poison. They have defamed Martin, concocted false allegations and amplified racial stereotypes of young black men—in effect, putting the victim on trial in the court of public opinion. Even before Florida officials started leaking negative "information" about Trayvon Martin, white nationalists were portraying Mr. Martin as a scary black man who deserved what he got.