I haven’t been watching the Trayvon Martin case. I’ve been getting my news the old fashioned way–word of mouth (and, of course, Facebook). As the case moves on, I hear ruinous gossip about knock-knock jokes, or the fact that Rachel Jeantal posted about her ‘court nails’ on Twitter. All of this is an inappropriate focus; a boy was murdered in cold-blood.
What really bothers me, however, is the Facebook page that celebrates the fact that Trayvon Martin is dead. Thankfully the site has JUST been shut down (as of a few minutes ago). On the site, pictures of Martin’s dead body was photoshopped in a variety of ways–near a brick building that says “Crackhouse”, or another with his body next to a can of Watermelon Arizona with the tag line, “Trayvon Martin: Reach for the Watermelon Arizona.” Still another had Martin’s body next to gorillas with the line, “Chillin with the fam.”
Whoever ran this page is clearly an unimaginative racist. Yet those words, and the image of his dead body being circulated repeatedly in a disrespectful way wounds me. It calls to mind the postcards of lynchings** that happened not too long ago. Trayvon Martin didn’t deserve to die in such a terrible way. He certainly doesn’t deserve to be treated this way in death.
Tonight, I had the pleasure of seeing Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright*** preach about Hebrews 12:1-3. And although I didn’t agree with everything he said, I loved his insistence on reminding us that, as we run this race in life, we have a ‘cloud of witnesses’ who are watching us. He called out a long list of saints in the Bible, and black historical heroes. In the midst of that list, he called Trayvon Martin’s name. According to Wright, Trayvon Martin and other civil rights leaders who have passed away are watching to see if we will stand up for what is right.
Rest in Peace, Trayvon Martin, Emmett Till, and Medgar Evers****
***yes, it’s that Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright: Amongst many other things, he is also President Obama’s former pastor. http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/04/29/wright.bio/
****photo credit: http://www.eewmagazine.com/trayvon-martin-modern-day-lynching.html