Former Illinois congressman and Tea Party favorite Joe Walsh joined HuffPost Live's Ahmed Shihab-Eldin to discuss race as a factor in the Trayvon Martin case.
"The FBI, the Justice Department, the prosecution, the defense, the six-person jury, George Zimmerman's neighbors, everybody on record said there's absolutely no evidence this case was about race," Walsh said.
"I think the media feeds this," Walsh continued. "I think you've got guys like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, race hustlers, who live and get rich on racism. Racism exists, but my God, so does 17 percent unemployment."
While noting that "race is a part of everything" and that "racism still exists," Walsh urged to divert the country's focus on racism to what he calls "black on black crime."
"Focus on the black on black crime, focus on the gang violence. Six more young, black men were gunned down this past weekend right here in Chicago. And you've got Al Sharpton organizing protests all around the country talking about racism," Walsh said. "These six black men this weekend in Chicago were gunned down by six other black men."
Just yesterday, The Washington Post released its findings from a poll on the shooting and verdict illustrating the racial gap. While 87 percent of African Americans believe that the shooting was unjustified, in stark contrast only 33 percent of whites polled said the same.
While Walsh may not consider it a factor, there are others who believe race has played a vital role in the ruling.
"I would disagree with Joe on the premise that all of those parties agreed that this didn't have to do with race. There's no evidence that all six members of the jury thought that this wasn't connected to race," said HuffPost Live host Marc Lamont Hill.
"The question was what role did race play in this, and whether or not it was important enough to render a not guilty verdict," Hill continued.
For more on this discussion, watch the full segment here.