[Op-Ed] Skittles Doesn’t Owe Anything To Trayvon Martin
The Facebook page for the Skittles brand is usually playful, for example a recent post proclaims, “if you think that people pretending to be statues are weird, you should check out the statues pretending to be people.” However, since the Florida death of Trayvon Martin, the page and its 21.6 million visitors have been bombarded not with clever ways to taste the rainbow, but instead an outpouring of support for Martin and the Martin family and monetary demands placed squarely against Skittles and its Wrigley Jr. parent company.
In case you’ve somehow managed to just crawl out from under a rock somewhere, Trayvon Martin was found murdered with Skittles in his pocket, one of the “possible weapons” that helped George Zimmerman defend himself under the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law.
In one comment a user writes:
SENSE TRAYVON MARTIN (R.i.p) Died With A Bag Of Skittles & The Man Who Shot & Killed Him Is Still Free…
They Should Put Trayvons Picture On Skittles Bags & Send The Proceeds To The Family 4 What They’re Going Thru ♥ # THEY NEED JUSTICE !
While another user chimes in:
“To the makers of SKITTLES this is just a thought “We the People feel a donation should be made to the family of Trayvon Martin R.I.P since his death your sales has sky rocketed.”
While yet another Skittles Facebook fan also requests money for the family:
“We would LOVE to hear your thoughts and concerns on the TRAYVON MARTIN case. We support you Skittles and would like for you to return that Support to the Murder of Trayvon Martin.”
The number of people leaving the same type of comments continues to multiply, and in the meantime, the real issues at hand are not even close to being fully dealt with without bringing Skittles in the the mix.
Here’s just one more users boycott suggestion which highlights everything that’s wrong with internet comments:
As a self-admitted left-leaning liberal writer who supports and fights against injustices whenever I can (specifically when those injustices are created because of stupid laws that leave too much to interpretation and therefore allow losers like George Zimmerman to be set free) I understand the pain and grief felt by supporters of Trayvon Martin. With that being said, putting ANY of the attention onto Skittles is stupid, dumb, idiotic and have I mentioned asinine, obnoxious and misplaced?
The problem with such attention is that it shifts the focus away from the actual wrong. Now we are not left questioning George Zimmerman but instead we focus our attention to Skittles, a company’s product which could have easily been replaced by Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups or a bag of Frito Lays on any given day.
There’s an argument that Skittles is reaping the benefits of Trayvon Martin’s death as people stand in solidarity with Trayvon by purchasing the product that was involved in his death, if only on a superficial level. The moment that act of solidarity brings with it demands for cash donations to the family it sullies the entire act, it turns it into a cheap platform in which solidarity becomes a commercialized attempt to fund raise.
As I sit here writing this op-ed Inquisitr’s Dan Evon brings up a good point. “Could you imagine if Skittles donated bags of skittles to all the protesters? They’d get ripped apart for taking advantage of the tragedy.” That’s because the Skittles tragedy DOESN’T EXIST, there is no platform for them to start engaging in because the company as an entity had NO PART in the death of Trayvon Martin, the moment they do ANYTHING they have taken the act and publicized it. The company did offer its condolences to the Martin family in a simple statement that reads:
We are deeply saddened by the news of Trayvon Martin’s death and express our sincere condolences to his family and friends. We also respect their privacy and feel it inappropriate to get involved or comment further as we would never wish for our actions to be perceived as an attempt of commercial gain following this tragedy.”
To offer any more than that as the company so aptly explains would commercialize the tragedy.
Let’s be bluntly honest here, Skittles didn’t kill Trayvon Martin, Skittles didn’t ask for the attention it received following the Trayvon Martin media blitz and Skittles in a very tasteful way asked that people leave it out of the equation and not commercialize the killing of Trayvon. Money isn’t going to solve the Martin killing, but perhaps a refusal to commercialize the tragedy on behalf of Skittles can at least push the attention back onto Florida’s horrendously worded “stand your ground” bill, George Zimmerman and the seemingly sloppy police investigation that followed the killing.
Most importantly, there are so many things to be mad about in that situation, it’s mind boggling that people are singling out Skittles for…. for I don’t know what.