Trayvon Martin had no idea as he put his thoughts on Facebook, his status would ultimately disappear. The “No Limit N—–” as he called himself on Twitter, had no idea that when he put on his hoodie he would have something to fear. Trayvon Martin had no idea that his image would be broadcast across the nation. Trayvon Martin had no idea that the Internet chatter and the accompanying shudder at the news of his death, would leave us all so irate and bereft.
Trayvon Martin is in the news today, but what were the other factors that came into play? Visions of Jay-Z and what he represents, the use of the N-word and the ideology that it presents. The images that come immediately to mind are disturbing, and the manner in which these events unfolded is unnerving.
But social pundits paint a less flattering and less accurate picture, based on social tenets and racially charged strictures. They cited his use of the N-word when referencing himself, and noted childish indiscretions that had long since been shelved. They tried to discredit and disparage his name.
Trayvon Martin may have listened to Lil Wayne you see, could be that he heard him address Al Sharpton with an obvious lack of dignity. Unaware that he was influencing not only young Martin, but so many others who lean toward living life like a Spartan. In fact, he may have listened to Rick Ross that day, and yes it’s possible he may have heard Jeezy use the term in a derogatory and demeaning way. But nothing excuses the conservatives’ willingness to use his heritage against him in such a tragic and a troubling display. And if you don’t think the N-word affects us all in such a negative way, just think of Trayvon Martin and how it may have led to the premature end of his days.
For all of those of the hip-hop generation living in the current day, if you think racism is dead, know that your ignorance and denial will cause you dismay. A simple hoodie and an ill-conceived notion, led a man like Zimmerman to put his deadly plan in motion. For the overly zealous Zimmerman and his delusions of some form of supremacy, resulted in him pulling the trigger in yet another moment of lunacy. He was well aware of the gun in his hand and what he intended to do. Another notch in his belt, is what this murderer felt. Another of “them” gone.
And then talk show host Piers Morgan allowed Zimmerman’s brother hours to talk, and ramble and scramble in an attempt to explain his brother’s actions, and Morgan barely even balked.
No, Trayvon Martin should not have referred to himself as a n—– and posted it on Facebook, where a menace like Zimmerman could use it as his trigger and label him a crook. So please believe brothers and sisters, what you put on Facebook does get a second look. More important, I want you to understand, that when you write something demeaning and belittling about a man, you may be shocked and surprised at who else signs on as a fan.
I watched a rapper recently on MTV, who used that time to say something negative about Reggie Jackson. This is not the time to attack each other and make insulting remarks about our brothers. Just as Lil Wayne rapped offensive rhymes about Al Sharpton, and although we don’t agree with his point of view, we allow him to spew that poison no matter what trouble may ensue.
But when Trayvon Martin’s parents needed to bring attention to the issue, who did they call, not Lil Wayne, not you. No they called on a respected advocate who continues to stand on the forefront of justice, someone tried and true. They turned to someone who can tell the press about the damage they cause.
Maybe we will act with dignity, in this time of uncertainty and unaccountability. Maybe someone other than Plies will make a rap song that will raise awareness and inspire children to stay in school and reinforce the fact that learning is cool.
But for what it’s worth, be vigilant and careful about what you post, no matter what medium no matter what host. Remember that on Facebook the things that you say and do, can in the end come back to haunt and even jeopardize you.