While the larger media works to criminalize 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, stripping him of both his dignity and reputation, every once in a while there are people willing to call out racism no matter how inconvenient it may be. As evidenced by the cartoon on the left, Editorial Cartoonist David Horsey holds no bars when tackling the issue of racism against Black men in this country.
In his editorial, Horsey eloquently writes:
Trayvon Martin was a 17-year-old kid walking back to his father’s house after buying a package of Skittles at a convenience store. George Zimmerman was an overzealous block watch volunteer carrying a gun. Zimmerman may have been carrying something else around with him: an attitude about black kids and where they belonged.
Martin had the bad luck to cross paths with Zimmerman. It was raining. Martin’s hoodie was up. He was on the phone with his girlfriend and, according to her, was getting nervous about the big guy following him. The guy was Zimmerman.
Just in case you didn’t know, Horsey is a White man who isn’t afraid to call a situation “racist,” which is exceedingly powerful and brave in the current climate.
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NewsOne was one of the first media outlets to give voice to the Trayvon Martin’s murder. As the story has picked up steam, it has been personally upsetting to see how the narrative of the Martin case is being told: Initially, the details of the case unraveled at a dizzying pace, with news outlets appearing to be objective in their reporting. As early as late last week, though, the Interactive One office, which also houses the Urban Daily, Elev8, and Hello Beautiful, noticed that the microscope of investigation was thrust not on George Zimmerman, who killed the youth at the beginning of his prime, but on Trayvon, which was unsettlingly familiar.
On Monday, information was conveniently leaked, linking Trayvon’s school suspension to marijuana. Again, there are hardly any reports that investigate Zimmerman’s background, even though he is reported calling authorities more than 40 times for every Black person he saw in his community. And for all of the brouhaha, Zimmerman wasn’t even an official neighborhood watcher, he was just a volunteer…with a gun.
Attempting to protect whatever is left of her son, Sybrina Fulton tearfully said, “They’ve killed my son, and now they are trying to kill his reputation.”
Horsey perceptively adds:
Sybrina Fulton, Martin’s mother, told a rally in New York City that this tragedy was not a matter of white and black, but a matter of right and wrong. That’s generous. But it’s hard to believe Trayvon Martin would be dead today if he had been just a white kid on his way home in the rain.
I’m glad Whites, such as Horsey and Sinead O’Conner, are speaking out and standing up. While Trayvon’s murder is clearly about White racism rearing its ugly head, everyone needs to continue speaking out, especially when racist or biased media outlets refuse to tell the truth.