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?