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Trayvon Martin v Kim Kardashian: Social Media & The Citizen

Trayvon Martin v Kim Kardashian: Social Media & The Citizen

Trayvon Martin was a 15 year old black teenager shot and killed in Florida without any reason or rhyme. Killed by a 28 year old man, who was a "neighborhood watch" patrol man has not yet been sentenced for shooting the boy and currently remains free. For any of us who just read that statement, our immediate inclination is to say "why"? Well you and America would like to know why as well. From what it's been described as, Florida law is far more complicated than we'd think, and with the actions of George Zimmerman, the shooter FL legislation has yet to pinpoint a sentence for what he had done. I was already planning on blogging about Martin's death, and it just so happened to also be featured on "On the Media" this weekend. Guests on the radio show questioned why media coverage has been dull even though an innocent child was killed. The guests also questioned the level of discrimination regarding the pursuit of the story. In New York City, riots and protests were made by the citizen, the average Joe and Jane who wanted someone, anyone to speak out for justice for Martin and just listen.

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Trayvon Martin v Kim Kardashian: Social Media & The Citizen

Trayvon Martin was a 15 year old black teenager shot and killed in Florida without any reason or rhyme. Killed by a 28 year old man, who was a “neighborhood watch” patrol man has not yet been sentenced for shooting the boy and currently remains free. For any of us who just read that statement, our immediate inclination is to say “why”? Well you and America would like to know why as well. From what it’s been described as, Florida law is far more complicated than we’d think, and with the actions of George Zimmerman, the shooter FL legislation has yet to pinpoint a sentence for what he had done.

I was already planning on blogging about Martin’s death, and it just so happened to also be featured on “On the Media” this weekend. Guests on the radio show questioned why media coverage has been dull even though an innocent child was killed. The guests also questioned the level of discrimination regarding the pursuit of the story. In New York City, riots and protests were made by the citizen, the average Joe and Jane who wanted someone, anyone to speak out for justice for Martin and just listen.

What I wanted to add to this conversation is a photo I saw taken off of celebrity Will Smith’s twitter account, and it totally struck a chord with me. It is in fact the citizen who has the power to spread the word, and if citizen journalism was every a priority, it is now. The tweet by Smith comparing not only the level of coverage BUT the immediacy of action between Trayvon Martin’s death as compared to an incident where cooking flour was thrown on celebrity Kim Kardashian is absolutely right, and a message that is read by volumes of people. Martin, an innocent bystanger shot and killed has his killer still on the loose whereas the girl who tossed flour at Kim Kardashian was arrested immediately. Where is justice these days and why is it up to the citizen to amplify messages to others before action is taken. When Martin was killed hype was certainly to a minimum until social networking and the citizen journalists of today decided what was actual news to be shared. While I am proud of the citizen journalist, Will Smith for this example, I once again question justice and just where it lies and more importantly question what we as a society perceive as “tragedy” anymore. Is tragedy the flour-ing of a famed Kardashian barbie, or a child who was shot dead at fifteen?

10 comments

  1. What’s fascinating is that screenshot is completely fake. @RealWillSmith is not the actor. Will Smith doesn’t have a twitter and beyond twitter I can’t fand any case where he has spoken about this matter. In fact, it appears the origin of this quote was Will Farrell on March 23rd.

  2. As far as I can tell, the screenshot itself is genuine. If @RealWillSmith isn’t actually Will Smith, that doesn’t make the screenshot deceptive, or the sentiment expressed in @RealWillSmith any less valid. I do find it interesting that people seem to listen to a comment like this more if it’s Will Smith, which actually reinforces the observation in the tweet about people being more concerned with celebrities than non-celebrities.

  3. Problem is, a hundred people probably saw the girl throw the flour…and nobody saw what happened in Florida. I’m in no way defending Zimmerman, but ya…WE live in America where you are innocent until proven guilty.

    1. Eye Witnesses? I’ve seen no reports of those, only of people who say they heard various things.

      Zimmerman was held at gunpoint by an officer at the scene, then given medical attention, then brought in and questioned – then finally released.

      FL law states that you can’t be held in custody unless there is probable cause that the force used was unlawful…and given that he required medical attention with the busted up and bloody nose, it’s not a stretch to see them letting him walk while it continues to be investigated.

      Hardly the casual dismissal of a crime, that Mr. Smith would have his followers believe.

      I bring these things up in addition to my initial comment because it points directly to the (potential) problem with citizen journalism.

      celebrities and other citizens with a far-reaching voice should feel some responsibility to withhold knee-jerk emotional responses that feed into hive-mind hysteria.

      Meanwhile, we have a free nation that values its legal system, vilifying a man before all the facts are out.

      1. While I do agree that this is certainly an issue associated with citizen journalism, I believe that as our society continues to indulge in new media such as that of social networking and the blogging age, it is in fact citizen journalism that is here to say. I too agree that it is because of independent beliefs shared that certain peoples remarks may be made without evidence presented in any case, this one being Trayvon Martins.

        However, as it pertains to my initial blog posting, I was purely commenting on how most people are motivated to either believe or make an opinion over any story when it is shared by those who are believed to have higher status, in the case I presented, Will Smith. Even if the Twitter account is in fact parody, as many are, it is exactly that perception that many in society don’t read into, and still will make an opinion based on the influence of another. Please also note that I found this photo captured of a “tweeted” comment posted to Facebook. Again, it is the power of social media encouraging this idea of citizen journalism that I was attempting to discuss.

      2. Well, if that’s what you’re saying in your original post, then I agree with you. 😉

  4. As an aside, I originally saw the tweet on Facebook too. It was by googling it to learn how people were digesting this point of view, that brought me to your blog.

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