This just in, the news media, like many other entities is a business. They prioritize stories on what will keep eyeballs on the screen and gain clicks online. Of course, there’s the intent to inform the masses but let’s call it what it is. Last spring, when the story of a cherub faced black boy being killed by a Chaz Bono lookalike nearly twice his age and size started to cause a stir online, of course the national and local media picked up on the scent. Now if Trayvon looked more like Chief Keef would the media had been as quick to jump, probably not. Would that had made his murder any less of a travesty, absolutely not. What made Trayvon more unique than the unfortunately too common young black male murder. Was that it resonated with everyone, even our President.
This case struck a chord with me on a few levels, last week I told you about an incident that occurred as a full grown man, however I was a child in a divorced household, my father lived in various suburban areas where I was not accustomed to living. It could’ve been me or my brothers in a similar situation. I’ve also lost more than a few friends to violence, many of those cases unsolved. The fact that a young boy lost his life and the shooter wasn’t even arrested initially was just maddening. THAT is why I became emotionally invested, not because I’m African American, not because the liberal media told me to care. This resonated with me.
Fast forward to the trial, I kept one eye on it but between the inconsistent testimony and social media ignorance, I kept my distance….until Saturday. I watched all the testimonies ultimately leading up the verdict; not guilty. But that wasn’t what I was primarily disappointed in, what disappointed me was the reaction. Of course, many were merely being contrarian saying anything to rile people up and finally get some internet notoriety but what bothered me most, was being told how much to care or what else I should be caring about. Excuse me?
I wasn’t sure there was a limit on caring. The media is a business they will move on that doesn’t mean I have to. I’m passionate about many causes/issues and just because I’m not posting hashtags months after the fact does not mean they are not in my thoughts/prayers/actions. The mantra that “thing’ll never change, you don’t really care anyway” is disheartening. That even within the African American community we act as though if we wear hoodies for Trayvon that somehow makes us numb to what goes on in our own backyards. Supporting a loved one in prison does not mean we endorse criminal acts. I feel what happened Saturday was pathetic and no one has the right to try and tell me to feel otherwise by implying racial bias or otherwise. Time will pass, unfortunately a new tragedy will capture our hearts and airwaves but never will that mean Trayvon Martin will be forgotten, Troy Davis will be forgotten, Boston will be forgotten. Far too often we handcuff ourselves to negativity, that even when we are galvanized there’s someone with an excuse to discredit. It’s sad.