The father of George Zimmerman, the shooter of unarmed Florida teen Trayvon Martin, says he's surprised by the "hate" coming from President Obama, the NAACP, and the Congressional Black Caucus.
Speaking to Orlando's Fox affiliate, he didn't say what "hate" he was referring to. Obama famously said last week, "if I had a son, he would look like Trayvon." But he expressed no hatred toward Zimmerman (left).
The comments from Zimmerman's father suggested either a sense of persecution, brought on by the intense scrutiny of his son's actions, or a continued attempt to make Zimmerman seem like the victim in the case. Zimmerman has told police that Martin attacked him before he shot.
Zimmerman's father — who was unnamed in the interview and shown only in shadow — said he "never foresaw so much hate coming from the president, the Congressional Black Caucus, the NAACP. Every organization imaginable is trying to get notoriety or profit from this in some way. But there's so much hate. I've never been involved in hate and George hasn't. It's really unbelievable."
The comments will no doubt stoke new outrage in a case that has already brought plenty of it. On Thursday, it led the conservative-leaning Drudge Report, which in recent days has carried several reports that played into the Zimmerman-as-victim narrative. They have noted Martin's suspension from school over a baggie with marijuana remains, and tweets he posted or retweeted that mentioned drugs or seemed sexist. One tweet sent to Martin suggested he had "swung on" a bus driver.
Though Zimmerman's lawyer has said that Martin attacked him and broke his nose, ABC News showed security footage taken after the fatal shooting in which he did not appear to be injured.
In his interview, Zimmerman's father tried to take the high road — or to appear to take the high road, depending on your read of the situation. He said he hoped that "at some point, everyone will go beyond the hate that they have."