In the false echo of "justice", Trayvon Martin's death has been exploited by the media and the public to pursue their own agenda.
Recently, before the verdict, I was in discussion with someone about the Trayvon Martin case. Neither of our predictions was for Zimmerman to be found guilty; although, we both have very different reasons why. I’ll get to “why” later on, but for now, let us reflect on the message that the case, and the events leading up to the case, have created in its wake.
One only has to read Cicero to understand how greatly the crowd may be persuaded. Unfortunately for the American public, the great silver tongue of Cicero is no longer needed to rouse our emotions, rather any cable or Internet “news” persona, with a production staff and minimal knowledge of Photoshop can produce a greater effect.
We’ve come, as a nation, to the point where a citizen patrolling his neighborhood, one who felt the need to carry a firearm, drew upon, with deadly force, either in defense or aggression, an unarmed teenager. We have, as nation raced blindly pass an area where that would not even have been “big” news if it were not for an immediate, and shameful, media re-construction of the event.
I am not saying that one media outlet is better than another. I think, probably more accurately, that most, if not all news media are whores. A whore who has sold whatever integrity they had to promote, at all costs, a story, a person or political ideal. Sure, a whore might have started out enjoying sex, but the faux over-exuberance has long drowned out the actual gravitas of the act.
For this story to really sell, it could not be a “simple” as one person shooting another in self-defense, or aggression. For the story to sell, really sell, a stronger, more universal narrative had to be re-constructed. It had to be that primal Good vs. Evil narrative (prove me wrong by looking up what is the number one bestselling book of all time. hoho).
As Shelley’s Frankenstein indicated, the public can be easily deceived by the looks. It is in us, from centuries ago, to judge moral character by perception of glance. We, after all, do show primacy towards our visual sense, even at the cost of others.
The picture that marked the beginning of media coverage in the case revolved around the amateurish Photoshop effect applied in order to make Trayvon Martin look a certain way; a younger, innocent, almost cherubic way. This was the first step in creating a new narrative. All that was needed in opposition was a picture of Zimmerman, one that displayed a target to throw empty emotion of “the enemy.”
In the end, Trayvon’s death meant no more than a sports team winning a championship. The effects at times have been the same. I started this out by stating that the media were whores, but much like a gripe against the government, it is poignant to note that the media, and people who make up the media, are only a reflection of the society they poison.
Trayvon Martin (TM) (yes, the parents have trademarked some of the slogans) may have been the aggressor; Zimmerman may have acted in self-defense; it may have been avoided by Zimmerman following commands by the operator; it may have been avoided by two people talking to each other instead of thinking the worse of each other.
There a lot of “may haves” for this event, and I truly use that word in a Foucault sense, but the one thing we do have that we can control is how we as a nation move forward.
Now, for the “why” my friend and I discussed. I believed Zimmerman would walk because it was apparent that nobody from the State really wanted to push this. The trial was a small-time soap opera joke that held as a poor sequel to O.J.
My friend’s belief was a bit more optimistic. He said that Zimmerman did a horrible thing that altered more than two lives, but he would go free because the laws, laws which are man-made, man-supported and un-speakable, in an almost Voldemort way, for the political camps inside the of U.S., are borne in aggression and revenge, hatred and fear. These my fellow citizens are the new laws of our land.