Culture Social Media — 17 March 2012
Trayvon Martin Tragedy Worth Our Attention

Updated on 3/20.  Full audio of 9-1-1 call.  Please listen between 2:21 and 2:23 when the man identified as George Zimmerman seemingly refers to this promising young man as a f***ing coon.

You might be knee deep in March Madness.

You might be donning green glitter for St. Patty’s Day.

Perhaps you’re getting dressed up to take advantage of the unseasonably warm winter weather.

And there’s nothing wrong with any of that.  But if you have a few minutes…10 minutes even, please take some time to consider a tragedy that should be roiling pop culture.

It’s the shooting of a 17-year-old boy, Trayvon Martin, allegedly by a neighborhood watch captain who lived in neighborhood Trayvon was visiting with his father.  For some reason, there have been no charges in the case and it looks like it might get swept under the rug.

Unacceptable.  And I’ll tell you why, but first some background.

This incident took place on Feb. 26.  Martin was reportedly heading back from a run to the store where he purchased candy, when he ran into George Zimmerman, a 28-year-old member of the gated community’s neighborhood watch.  Zimmerman seemingly spied Martin from a truck and got curious.

And this is where it gets horrible.  Fast.  Apparently, Zimmerman found Martin suspicious enough to call area police and said — in a 9-1-1 call that the deceased teen’s family had to fight to make public– that “these assholes always get away.”

It appears Zimmerman may have decided not to let that happen, despite being warned not to follow Martin by emergency dispatchers.  Accounts vary, but it seems a scuffle occurred at some point during this vigilante mission, then a shooting and then the loss of a young boy by a man who is not a member of law enforcement.

It seems police have accepted Zimmerman’s contention that what he did was in self-defense and his gun-carrying is in accordance with Florida law.  He has not been charged though there is a teenager dead, found face-down with nothing on him but an ice tea and Skittles.

If you think that Zimmerman was merely protecting his neighborhood, I challenge you to sit and listen to the story, particularly the audio of some of these calls and hear what sounds like Martin pleading for his life from a man who is 100 pound heavier than him and had a gun.  Read this piece from the New Jersey Ledger.

Doesn’t sound like self defense to me.

Zimmerman has since fled his community, upon death threats and charges of racism…a charge his father denies, saying Zimmerman is Latino.

Though I hardly see how being Latino clears you of possible racial bias, let’s imagine race has nothing to do with Zimmerman’s suspicion.

This is still a case that needs to be investigated and resolved.

But it won’t happen if we let this headline slip under news of Kim Kardashian’s latest boyfriend, Will and Kate’s latest vacation, or the latest rap beef.

Please, help with the cause of Justice for Trayvon. Sign this petition from Martin’s parents.  Post a comment on these news stories. Call these numbers.   Put pressure on the powers that be.

I guarantee it’s worth our time to get involved.  I know I plan to.

 

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