As the hashtag #JusticeForTrayvon trends on Twitter and rallies are organized across the nation in response to the George Zimmerman verdict, it seems fitting that social media is the litmus test for popular opinion on the case.
It is probably accurate to say we all learned of Trayvon Martin through sites like Facebook, where his story was shared and re-shared in the days and weeks leading up to the arrest of George Zimmerman on a second-degree murder charge — a charge for which, to the dismay of many, he was later acquitted.
The Zimmerman trial predictably but perhaps quite unintuitively fell neatly along political lines, with many liberals “siding” with the Martin family, and many conservatives supporting the Zimmerman camp.
Eventually, the Trayvon Martin trial blew up and became many things — an indictment of race in America, a re-examination of gun laws, a cautionary tale about the media and “spin” and why and how we view things in relation to their social media presence and old media reporting.
In the end, Trayvon Martin is still dead. His admitted killer, George Zimmerman, became a free man last night, his GPS monitor removed, his bail returned — and the gun used in the shooting will be returned to him as the trial ends.
But on Twitter, many users reflected on the outcome of the case, revealing the ripple effect of Martin’s death on American culture.
Among the most revealing tweets about Trayvon Martin’s case and Zimmerman’s verdict:
“Only in America can a dead black boy go on trial for his own murder.” – Syreeta McFadden
— Lance Bangs (@lancebangs) July 14, 2013
Had a gun-toting Trayvon Martin stalked an unarmed George Zimmerman, and then shot him to death… DO I EVEN NEED TO COMPLETE THIS SENTENCE? — Michael Moore (@MMFlint) July 14, 2013
The fundamental danger of an acquittal is not more riots, it is more George ZImmermans. — jay smooth (@jsmooth995) July 13, 2013
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) July 14, 2013
Thess images were widely reshared:
— Richard Parker (@ThisIsWaro) July 14, 2013
— Dul Machin (@dullyM) July 14, 2013
Did you tweet or comment on Facebook about Trayvon Martin or the Zimmerman verdict?