It’s been impossible not to follow the tragedy of Trayvon Martin. The media attention, with an especially strong emphasis from social media, has kept the event in the national forefront. Even now more than a month after the shooting, the intense social media attention focused on the case continues to push more of the “facts” to light (some true, some questionable). As we continue to search for the truth, Trayvon’s tale gains a host of side-stories that can give a fuller picture, but can also obscure the actual truth. In a day and age when stories go viral on social media, something about this has stuck in our collective conscience that makes it more intense now, a month later, than when the story first broke.
What is it about this case and tragedy that has made it resonate so persistently with us, and why so passionately on social media? International crises often trend daily and pass away after no more than two days. This event might have similarly passed from our consciousness if not for the central injustice that disturbs us each on a personal, visceral level: law and justice do not apply equally for all. If Zimmerman had been arrested or at least brought in for questioning with a court date soon to follow, it may have still made national news as a tragedy, but wouldn’t have persisted as a story of injustice that touches us all.
It is in the lack of an arrest and the “mishandled” (for lack of a better word) investigation that the issues of racial bias and injustice come to light. That said, it seems when 24-hour cable news gets distracted in its thirst for ratings it is social media that continues to express the personal sense of loss and cries for justice. As Jon Stewart put it, “We’ll probably never know exactly what happened that night in Florida. Clearly if all this newfound focus and attention forces a more thorough and just investigation of this tragic incident, we will all be better off.” We at JP Lime Productions can only hope that such is the case.
Jon Stewart’s bit on Dick Cheney’s heart transplant reveals that the nations collective heart is still with Trayvon:
Justifiably biased, 10 things you need to know about this case by Danielle Young:
A fair account by Michael Smerconish of the Huffington Post:
A timeline of events by ABC News: