Thursday, April 12, 2012

'The Big Picture'

I’ve seen this photo floating around Facebook and I think what disturbs me the most is when I see comments beneath it like, “Yeah, finally someone said it!” or “I hope the real facts come to light now!” What disturbs me about these comments is that there almost seems to be a mindset, illustrated by this photo, that if the law can prove that Trayvon Martin was ‘just a thug’ through pictures and documentation of high school punishments and reprimands, then his killing will be justified.

I’m not naïve to the fact that various media outlets have their own bias, be it political or social; Fox News comes to mind. With that said, the media is going to show what it thinks will shock viewers. This case is shock worthy in its own right when you look at the case, outside of race lines, and see that an unarmed 17 year old was killed by a self appointed head neighborhood watch guard who allegedly pursued the victim. The reason that this case has become a firestorm in the media is very much due to race, and the fact that the victim was unarmed, hadn’t even reached the age to vote yet, and had no criminal record.

When I look at the four quadrants of this larger photo, I’m not fazed by the Cheshire grin of Zimmerman’s job photo ID. I am fazed by the fact that he has a mugshot. A mugshot that was taken based on documented charges that allude to a history of violence. While the charges may have been dropped, it’s pretty coincidental that both of his parents had occupations within the judicial system. The photo of Martin flipping the bird to the camera may be lackluster, shall we say, and was obtained from a social network. I sincerely hope that if you, reader, are ever in trouble with the law that the Facebook photo of you cocking your sawed-off shotgun, ogling the semi-nude spring break co-ed, or visibly drunk amongst bottles of liquor during the underage years of high school never surfaces.

Oh, but wait.

Trayvon Martin wasn’t in trouble with the law.

He was killed.

Photo courtesy of