Racial slurs are important right? We all agree on that. In the Martin-Zimmerman case I’ve been able to track down only one unequivocal racist: Trayvon Martin’s “brother”, Stephen Martin (though a Tweeter mentioned that the man is actually Trayvon Martin’s cousin). Whatever the relationship, the two appear to have been close while Martin was alive.
As of last night, Stephen’s Twitter feed was up and running. Today, it isn’t. I may have let the cat out of the bag by retweeting a couple of Martin’s racist tweets. In one he responded to or re-tweeted someone who wrote “THIS CRACKA GOTTA GET WHATS COMIN TO EM”.
Here is a screen capture of the search for Stephen Martin’s twitter feed which used the handle RIP_TRAY9:
Now, make of this what you want. If a person believes that their family member was gunned down by a person of another race because of racism, his use of racial pejoratives is understandable. But if animus is shown there, we have to wonder where else it shined through? It’s roots existed previous to the statement. Given the closeness of these two, did it also infect Trayvon Martin’s thoughts? Could it have fueled Martin’s anger at being followed by George Zimmerman, causing Martin to confront Zimmerman, punch him in the nose, and begin slamming his head into the pavement?
Twitter has other information for any journalist willing to stick their neck out and look around (which is to say, none). Another of Martin’s close friends, named K. Mitch and with the Twitter handle “selfmade_kutta”, mentions one experience he shared with Trayvon Martin. It involves the same “JetMan_Twin” as Stephen Martin’s tweet above. Jet Man has also deleted his Twitter account. Link and screen cap:
Boys being boys, I guess. But all of this is relevant in light of the media’s portrayal of George Zimmerman as a violent racist. The media jumped on Zimmerman’s short rap sheet – resisting arrest and a domestic incident with his fiance which ended up with his face being scratched. The shooting of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman happened, and the question is whether or not it was justified. To help figure out whether or not it was justified, we have to turn to character analysis of both parties. But the analysis has only been made based on the premise that Zimmerman was the aggressor and Martin was the victim. What if the opposite were true? What if Zimmerman set the wheels in motion but soon retreated from his search for Martin at which point Martin attacked Zimmerman. So Zimmerman made the first move and the last move, but there were many moves in between.
So we have Trayvon Martin whose “rap sheet” includes a fight around Thanksgiving, punching a bus driver, getting kicked out of school (reportedly for having an empty sack of weed), and paintballing cars. With behaviors like that – all bunched together and the mark of a young man who is burgeoning into a hoodlum – it is easy to make the case that Martin became an aggressor who attacked a man he didn’t know was armed. All of that and he was very close to a guy who – even knowing that this case is under a lot of scrutiny – is calling for justice for the “cracka” George Zimmerman. Do the math.