Vixen Vent: Trayvon Martin – Trials and Twitteration

Say what you want, but a child is dead and folks are celebrating.

There has been a lot said, in fact, about a neighborhood watchman walking free after a jury of all women found his hostile patrolling and killing of an unarmed young man well within the law. Much of it angry, some of it indignant. It is, after all, a First Amendment right to articulate your estimation of what went down the night George Zimmerman took Trayvon Martin’s life. But it’s hard to use this, as many have urged, as an opportunity to engage in an honest conversation about the lingering takeaways from the case–race and racism–when there is a denial that race is at all a factor. When there is no value placed on the life of a young black man. When speculation of Trayvon’s character, assumptions of his motivation and fear of the color of his skin are used as justification for his violent demise. When fists are pumped in support of his murder.

As protesters hit the pavement in cities across America following the not guilty verdict, the conversation is ongoing in the court of public opinion that is social media. It is a digital demonstration of status updates, tweets and gifs marching in single-file scrolls reaching to express the most captivating headline. A retweet signifies an army, a shared solidarity, and so we are all in essence, saying the same damn things to everyone and no one at once.