What role did race play in Trayvon Martin's death?

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," July 19, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And welcome to this brand-new special studio audience edition of HANNITY. Now tonight for the hour, we'll focus on the race relations on the George Zimmerman murder trial. And while race was essentially a non-issue during the legal proceedings inside the courtroom, now that the case has been closed and the defendant has been found not guilty, the controversial topic is once again been thrust to the forefront of the debate surrounding this tragedy.


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: You know, when Trayvon Martin was first shot, I said that this could have been my son. Another way of saying that is Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago. And when you think about why in the African-American community at least, there's a lot of pain around what happened here, I think it's important to recognize that the African-American community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences. And a history. That doesn't go away. There are very few African-American men in this country who haven't had the experience of being followed when they were shopping in a department store. That includes me. There are very few African-American men who haven't had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on the doors of cars. That happens to me, at least before I was a senator. There are very few African-Americans who haven't had the experience of getting on an elevator and a woman clutching her purse nervously and holding her breath until she has a chance to get off. That happens often. And, you know, I don't want to exaggerate this, but those sets of experiences inform how the African-American community interprets what happened one night in Florida.


HANNITY: Now this is of course not the first time the racial aspects of this case have been brought up in the media and elsewhere, let's take a look at some of the racially charged rhetoric that has emerged in the wake of the verdict.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Even though I was expecting it, I'm still numbed because I'm taken back to Emmett Till and Amadou Diallo and Iona Jones and all these situations where we understand their black life means a little bit less than white life in America.

TAVIS SMILEY, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think, this is for many Americans, George, just another piece of evidence, of the incontrovertible contempt that this nation often shows and displays for black men.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: You know how you feel on the 9/11 year, that's how we feel when it comes to race. Because less we do this, white Americans and others will feel that this was a justifiable verdict. This is how things happen. Not until, and unless the number of white kids died that approximate the numbers of black and other kids who die will America see.


HANNITY: And joining me now, my esteemed audience of legal and political analysts, welcome all of you especially Bob Beckel who's been complaining before we even start. All right. I got a question. Does anybody here -- can any here cite any evidence in the case, not your hypothesis, not your theory, evidence that this case was racial, if you can, raise your hand.

Right there.

JEHMU GREENE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: He followed him, he racially profiled him, from the beginning.

HANNITY: Give me the evidence, that's a theory. Evidence.

GREENE: His heart may have been in the right place, but our brains tell us to do something differently because in this country we are socialized to be afraid of black men.

HANNITY: All right. Hang on. I don't what to interrupt you.

GREENE: That is a fact. And my eyes proved it. Heart rate monitors --

HANNITY: Any evidence?

GREENE: -- and that is what that fear that was going through George Zimmerman when he followed him and stopped him and we have a history of being --

HANNITY: OK. That's your theory. That's your theory. Where's the evidence?

BOB BECKEL, 'THE FIVE' CO-HOST: The last seven people that he called on 911 were all black kids. Are you kidding me? If that kid were white, do you think he would be dead, are you kidding me?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I think he would be dead if he punched him and got on top of Zimmerman. I mean, look, look, look, look.


You can inject race into this case all you want, there was no evidence of it all. So, the people who are angered by this verdict Sean, are angered based on broader social issues --


All aspects of our life. And we have got to acknowledge it.

BECKEL: You can't just say, a black person died therefore it's a racial issue.

HANNITY: All right, let me calm -- hang on, let me calm the waters for a second. Hang on one second. I'm asking, that's your theory, that's your theory. But what we're looking for here is evidence. Peter Johnson, you're a lawyer.


HANNITY: You have to bring evidence into a court of law.


HANNITY: Tell me the evidence.

JOHNSON: Well, there was no evidence of racial bias or prejudice or animus in this trial. On top of that, the FBI legal investigation more than a year ago, the interview of those 40 witnesses, they found no basis of racial prejudice, bias, animus or frank racism on the part of Mr. Zimmerman. So, Bob Beckel can make a political statement that's not based in fact, that's based on his own presumption, his own presumption, his own loud mouth, but it's not true. There is no evidentiary basis.

BECKEL: What about the seven -- profiled that he did with all the black kids? Do you think he would do that to white kids?

JOHNSON: On the basis of race, there's no evidence, Bob. You can say it.

HANNITY: All right. Let me go up. David Webb in the back. Go ahead, David.

DAVID WEBB, SIRIUS XM PATRIOT HOST: First of all, the only racist or close to racist statement made was creepy ass cracker and it wasn't made by George Zimmerman. Two, the break ins that happened around there were done by blacks, therefore if you're profiling by thug or by instances, you would look and say, if there are more blacks, you look for it. Profiling is a tool. Racism is different than profiling and unfortunately, what Jehmu and Bob are talking about is that the Jesse Jackson like race property or race grievance industry, that says everything's about race, America is a racist nation. And that's only a theory and that's a ridiculous statement.

HANNITY: All right. Let me go to Kisha, next to you. OK. Kisha, I want to ask you a question.


HANNITY: Because if this was a crime ridden neighborhood, David is right, most of the crimes were committed by black men leading up to this incident. But he was close to the house, he wasn't walking on the sidewalk, I suspect to get out of the rain. That's my theory.

HEBBON: Right. Right. And I don't think that there was enough -- firsts of all, racial profiling is not just, it's not legal. The new jersey state troopers got in trouble for profiling African-Americans just because they had a particular identity of who were committing these crimes doesn't mean that all African-Americans are guilty of robbing houses. But what I wanted to say, my legal mind says there's no evidence of racism.

HANNITY: There's no evidence. OK.

HEBBON: Right. But I think what's going on in the black community is people are feeling that there's a heightened level of fear of black men that's caused this.

HANNITY: Noelle, yes.

NOELLE NIKPOUR, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: The media created this, if you'll remember, the media created white versus black. In all reality, Zimmerman is Hispanic and he's a white Hispanic.

HANNITY: A white Hispanic and a self proclaimed Hispanic.

NIKPOUR: Yes. His mother is from Peru. So, this is one of the things that we cannot do anymore, we cannot say white versus black. Because there's no such thing, almost as white anymore, because we are so much of a blended society. So media created this racial problem with this case.

HANNITY: Deneen Borelli, yes.

DENEEN BORELLI, AUTHOR, "BLACKLASH": What's really concerning is how we see those on the left continue to play the race card. The ruling has been handed down. There was -- investigations were done, it was proven that he wasn't racist with this issue. It's a sad tragedy, but it's not just the left -- you also have the NAACP, for example, who was continuing to beat the drum that this was a racial issue, I was at the convention last week and I heard a lot of nonsense that was dictated to people in the audience and really they were being brainwashed. So people need to think for themselves, look at the facts that were on the table and not follow the crowd.

HANNITY: You know, I have brought this up, and I'll throw this to Bob Beckel. I know your dad fought in the civil rights movement, Bob and you did when you were a young man. But to somebody who takes a black woman to the prom, mentors black children for free in his spare time, that stood up for a homeless black man against the Sanford Police Department, does that fit the profile of a racist?

BECKEL: First of all --


I hear what you say. And after I have been brutally attacked here by the barrister. I believe that the evidence that was presented, I agree that there was -- the guy -- there was no evidence of racism.

HANNITY: All right.

BECKEL: I agree with that. I agree with that. It wasn't brought in, it should have been. But, and I agree with the jury's verdict. I mean, but that doesn't change the fact that what's going on in this country, you suggest that people shouldn't react, the black community shouldn't react. And then we take these few instances of violence in a couple of demonstrations, 98 percent of them were perfectly peaceful.

HANNITY: Kimberly Guilfoyle. Get the mic to her.

KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE, CO-HOST, "THE FIVE": -- Bob in a daily basis --

HANNITY: Yes, you have my sympathy.

GUILFOYLE: Exactly. Condolences as well. Bob and others who feel that this case was racially motivate motivated, that George Zimmerman was a racist, there isn't any evidence that anybody can point to. The fact of the matter is, if George Zimmerman was an African-American male, he would still have the same exacts rights of self-defense. That's what this case came down to legally in the state of Florida, the prosecution has the burden to prove that George Zimmerman self-defense --

HANNITY: And they didn't do it, did they?

GUILFOYLE: They did not. And you heard from the jurors, they've listened to all the evidence. What I have found is ignorance on people who are making statements about the case that didn't follow it, don't have the transcripts, didn't even follow the evidence in the case.

HANNITY: They don't know the law.

GUILFOYLE: Absolutely. That's the problem.

HANNITY: All right. Let me go to Jacques DeGraff.

JACQUES DEGRAFF, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: People who change America know the law and they have been told all of these arguments before. But if you go back to Montgomery, people heard the same things about, you have to look at the business, you have to look at the facts, the reality is this, this is not a legal question any longer, it's a justice question.


DEGRAFF: And a justice question -- justice question -- no the question now, no, we're not talking about the trial --

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: A trial is not a justice question.

DEGRAFF: No, we're talking about the trial, we're talking after the trial, we're talking about today.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The jurors were --

DEGRAFF: We're not talking about the jurors. Don't grandstand --

HANNITY: Guys, one at a time.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Here's what I have to say.

HANNITY: Go ahead, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: See. Here's what people will try to do, status quo will change this subject.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: But the fact of the matter is, that Americans are outraged and are going to do something about it.

HANNITY: What does that mean? Do what?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Change is coming, right now. We're going to change the fact that black young people are being --

HANNITY: What are you going to do?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: We're going to impact public policy. This has happened before. This is the 15th anniversary of the --

HANNITY: Hang on a second. Joe Tacopina. Hang on. Joe.

JOE TACOPINA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I mean, you hear people are making statements and know nothing about the facts.


TACOPINA: So, when I hear this stuff, the protests here are not about that Trayvon Martin was killed. Because there were not a lot of protests when this was going on this investigation. The protests were based on the verdict. People are angered by the verdict. George is not empanelled to right historical wrongs. They're not empanelled to improve race relations in this country. What's wrong in this case? Listen, don't make George Zimmerman a hero. OK. I have heard people do that too, that's crazy. But what needs to be done is those ridiculous laws in Florida and other states, where these stand your ground law is excessive need to be changed. But you can't put that on this case in this jury.

HANNITY: Well, all right. Monica Crowley, Monica, hi.

MONICA CROWLEY, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Look, there's a lot of conversations here about the law in this case. The law is irrelevant to the race hustlers and political opportunists that have been plan fanning the flames of this case. Remember, they're all on the left. Where there is Barack Obama, the Attorney General Eric Holder, Al Sharpton, the NAACP. What they have done is what the left has done for decades, which is that they need the division, they have divided us by race, class, gender, ethnic groups, age, they continue to do it because they need the divisions in order to divide and concur. It's not about bringing America together. It's about dividing us.

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