“We Are Not Trayvon Martin”

There are two ways you launch a “We Are Not Trayvon Martin” meme in the wake of this weekend’s events. You could adopt it as a misguided “blame the victim” slogan, along the lines of “We are not the 99%,” or you could use it as a platform to launch a discussion that we desperately need to have.

Gawker did a good job of summing up the dialogue, describing it as a “counter-movement” to an “I Am Trayvon Martin” campaign that emerged last year in the wake of the shooting. “The message,” Gawker explains, “remains mostly unchanged – Trayvon’s death demands serious reflection and introspection – but the false equivalency has been stripped away.”

“As a rhetorical move,” Feministing noted yesterday, the “I Am Trayvon Martin” slogan “can be a powerful one,” because it has a way of making his story seem universal. “But, of course, most of us are not - and will never be – Trayvon Martin. And in the end, the tragedy of his story – the whole entire point – comes down to that fact.”

Mashable posted a few of the highlights, and provided some suggestions to readers who might want to join the discussion on social media. I touched on the same themes this weekend, from the point of view of a white parent, and I’m glad to see that so many other people are doing the same. It’s good to see decent people expressing some empathy, and it’s great to see that empathy paired with some genuine perspective.

After all, as Feministing notes, “true solidarity requires recognizing both our shared humanity and the differences that seek to divide us.”

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One Response to ““We Are Not Trayvon Martin””

  1. Peter says:

    No, most of us are not Trayvon Martin. The sad thing is, most of us are George Zimmerman. Most of us let our anger cloud our heart and see other people as the enemy the way George Zimmerman did. It’s just a matter of degree. _That’s_ what most of us have to deal with, going forward. We have to be better.