Trayvon Martin: Tragedy or Trend?
So you probably know about the tragic case of Trayvon Martin. In a show of soldiery, people were asked to wear a hoodie in support of this young man, but why do I feel another trend spawning?
For the unaware, Trayvon Martin was fatally shot by George Zimmerman after walking to his father’s girlfriend house. Martin phoned police prior to his death informing them that Zimmerman illustrated “suspicious behavior” and had been following him. Martin was fatally shot moments after.
Portions of the phone call from both Martin and Zimmerman were recorded by 911 operators. Zimmerman is protected by Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” Legislation which permits an individual to stand his or her ground and meet force with force. This action includes the use of deadly force.
As stated by the LATimes, The law removes the duty to retreat in the face of a perceived threat, and it allows the use of force virtually anywhere — a home, an ice-cream shop, a public sidewalk or a jogging trail. Personally I’m shocked a law like this even exists, and more surprisingly it’s implemented in at least 20 other states.
In saying that, there’s no question that what happened to this young man is a tragedy and like many laws in this country, doesn’t favor him. But as a community, minorities, and citizens of this country, are we reacting properly to this young man’s fate?
During the month of March we were asked to “Rock our Hoodies” in support of the Trayvon Martin case. Although the intentions is thoughtful I began to wonder if this was another trend. During the modern times of digital media and sensationalism, it’s easy to get a trend going.
Like the KONY situation, all it takes is a viral video, a strong message, some merchandise and BAM, we got something to stand up for. But are we all doing this because we really care and want to see change or because “it’s the next BIG thing?”
The BIGGEST endorsement came this week when the Miami Heat players rocked hoodies in support of Martin. Nevermind showing up on the steps of Congress or marching with the masses. Just a simple flip of the hood and a photo opportunity is all that was needed.
I’m all for change and challenging the injustices of the land, but the digital age has made us lazy in modern times. Flipping on a hoodie and snapping a pic isn’t enough.
To the millions that marched and showed support, it was a good thing, but when the trend ends, many of you will go back to your daily lives. It’s a continuous battle to fight laws like these, and quite frankly being a “sheep” isn’t going to cut it.
To the masses, stop being trend followers and do something that can impact the laws instead of taking pictures and purchasing merchandise. To the public figures, use your influences to change the laws and stop letting it come off as a huge PR move. No one wants justice more than myself, but I get sick to my stomach when I see a worthy cause turned to propaganda.
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