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Trayvon Martin Was The Bigot, Thought Zimmerman Was Gay

George Zimmerman talking point

If you’re still following the fallout from the George Zimmerman verdict, you might want to know about a new talking point that has emerged. Whether or not Zimmerman was racist is irrelevant. Trayvon Martin was a bigot himself. How do we know? Because he beat up Zimmerman, strictly because he thought he was gay.

This strange, jump-to-conclusions-mat hate-crime switcheroo was brought to us by controversial talk show host Rush Limbaugh.

The new “Trayvon Martin was a bigot” talking point originated during Rachel Jeantel’s interview with Piers Morgan on Monday night.

Jeantel suggested that her friend ran because she was afraid that George Zimmerman might be a rapist. “For every boy or every man who’s not that kind of way, seeing a grown man following them, would they be creeped out?”

She said much the same thing during the trial, but most publications picked up on the “creepy ass cracker” line instead. When the reverse-racism argument failed to tread water, the homophobia one took its place.

Drudge Report carried the headline “JEANTEL WARNED ZIMMERMAN COULD BE GAY RAPIST,” but it was Limbaugh who dedicated the most airtime to the new talking point.

“For every boys, or every man, every who’s not that kinda way,” meaning everybody who’s straight, “see a grown man following them, would they be creep out?” She’s telling us the reason Trayvon Martin descended on Zimmerman and started pummeling him was because he was offended. He thought, because what she said to him, that Zimmerman was gay. Zimmerman got beat up because Trayvon thought he was gay.

Notice the jump from “the reason that Trayvon Martin was afraid of George Zimmerman” to “the reason that Trayvon Martin targeted and beat George Zimmerman in an apparent hate crime.”

It can be incredibly hard to parse all of this, and the media is absolutely shoe-horning multiple perspectives into a binary “bigoted/non-bigoted” narrative.

Elspeth Reeve of The Atlantic Wire said it best (and with far more measure than I) “This is a fascinating example of how America has changed when it comes to talking about race. Almost everyone agrees that being a bigot is bad […] and no one wants their ‘side’ tagged as the bigoted one.”

And that’s really all it is. A game of “pass the bigot ball” because no one wants to be seen as or called a bigot. It’s a game of tag taking place on the grave of a 17-year-old kid, who might have been deeply flawed, but what teenager isn’t?

Last time we checked, the punishment isn’t death.

What do you think of George Zimmerman apologism, or how “bigotry” is used in the Trayvon Martin story? Can we all just agree that a dead kid is a bad thing and start there?

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8 Responses to “Trayvon Martin Was The Bigot, Thought Zimmerman Was Gay”

  1. Anonymous

    They saw that GZ and his family(mom & dad) lost everything well that's nothing comparing to a 17yr kid who lost his life because GZ wanted to be a badman and take the law into his own hands. He made that decision to kill the 17yr old kid all on his own no one force him or told him to follow the kid. So I can just imagine how scared GZ and his family are now that they can't even have a decent life again not for a very long time to come and I also imagine that the whole family will have to move away from that neighbourhood for good. How sad that it has to come down to that all because of stupidity…

  2. Cheryl Clark

    You seem to forget that it was Martin that was beating Zimmermans head against the cement and breaking his nose if anyone was the thug it was Martin. I will agree that Zimmerman was stupid for getting out of his truck but he had STOPPED following Maritn and even if he had not he has no legal obligation to do so from a request of a dispatcher. The legal system worked in this case so do us all a favor and quit whining.

  3. Cheryl Clark

    No it came from Ms. Genteal when she was on the Piers Morgan show. She just left off the word gay in her court testimony.

  4. Russell DeMello


    Trayvon Martin lost his life because he attacked and tried to kill Zimmerman simply because Zimmerman was watching Martin. Martin should not have attacked and tried to kill Zimmerman and if you have any decency you will start reporting it that way. When you support African American victim-blaming that prevents black people, all people, from taking the appropriate lesson away from this event. You have two choices tell black people that they have been victimized and then the chip on their shoulder will grow larger, they will continue to hate/attack whites and more black people will die; or else you can start telling the truth that Martin died because of his own mistake: attacking and trying to kill George Zimmerman and then hopefully at least some black people might learn that the best course of action will be to stop attacking people and then less of them will die via gunshots from their armed victims.

  5. Russell DeMello

    Cheryl Clark, you're the one who's right Cheryl and the correct takeaway from this tragedy is for all people, black and white to stop attacking people. In fact, if Trayvon Martin had just scolded Zimmerman for watching him instead of attacking Zimmerman then Trayvon Martin would still be alive to brag about how he backed down a scared man. Instead Trayvon Martin attacked and tried to kill Zimmerman (head banging into concrete is attempted murder) and as a result of that Martin is now dead. Everybody needs to open up their eyes.

  6. Jag Kalen

    Look, first of all this article is WRONG. If Trayvon was thinking the guy was going to rape him, then you can say he thought George was a pedophile or a rapist. MOST pedophiles are STRAIGHT men! It's a valid concern, considering.

    Second, Russell DeMello… this sequence of events did NOT start with actions by Trayvon. You have to go back further to when Zimmerman got out of his car! ZIMMERMAN was the initial aggressor. Trayvon is a teen…so his experiences and thoughts that night can't be known.

    Third, this went from "Trayvon jumped Zimmerman first" to now "Trayvon tried to kill him"? He was a teen being followed in the DARK! History says he cannot safely run. History says he can't walk slowly. Common sense says you don't want some deranged lunatic knowing where you live! Trayvon may have thrown ONE punch that broke his nose AND caused the scratches on his head! I also wonder if his wife or anyone else may have inflicted part or all of that before he ever followed the kid! The defense kept saying how much bigger the kid was, and how he was in so much better shape than Zimmerman. If that's true, he could have done much more damage… and killed Zimmerman if he'd wanted to!

    Fourth, everyone brings their own baggage into these kinds of things. People who aren't comfortable with blacks or black youth or black men are going to see this in a light that reflects that bias without taking everything into consideration. Also, I wanted to laugh that he's "such a good christian" when he just killed a teenager! So boo hoo, feel bad for a murderer! A CHILD is dead. A CHILD got hunted by an adult with a gun because that adult thought "black teen, hood up… he's suspicious!" The rest is history. One of these days, he's going to 'hunt' someone who has a bigger gun… and that will be it for George!

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