If you thought you couldn’t be any more sickened than you already were at the idea that George Zimmerman might actually get away with going out of his way to stalk and then kill an unarmed black teenager who was guilty of nothing more than, well, being an unarmed black teenager, don’t go to Gawker today. Because you will be evern more sickened, guaranteed.
Alternatively, if you’re just not quite upset enough about Trayvon Martin’s death and need an image to get yourself all pumped up, then, we suppose, go check out the photo of the 17-year-old’s dead body splashed all over prime space on the site’s home page right now.
That (if we decide not to be cynical and say he was just after traffic) seems to be author Adam Weinstein’s idea. The headline accompanying the photo of the slain teen reads: “This, Courtesy of MSNBC, Is Trayvon Martin’s Dead Body. Get Angry.” He goes on to explain why he used it:
This is Trayvon Martin’s body. These are the last skinny jeans he wore, cuffed once at the bottoms. These are his stylish kicks, his sockless ankles. There are Trayvon’s taut neck, his slack jaw, his open eyes.
This is what happens. Not just when we input “black” and “teen” and “hoodie” and “night” into our onboard computers and output “DANGER,” but also when we find the aftermath Newsworthy, and must consume it voraciously from start to finish, but insist that we cannot stomach seeing the bones and gristle on our plates …
To Trayvon’s parents, Sabrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, I’m sorry that I feel compelled to share this photograph. Were I a slave to journalistic norms, I would say that it’s somehow in the public interest to see him there. I would point out Florida’s sunshine laws, and the TV network’s incompetence, and argue the inevitability that this image would’ve gained a wider audience than it has already.
But those are rationalizations. They don’t explain my motive: Good old-fashioned rage that this kid is dead because my home state empowered a dullard aficionado of Van Damme and Seagal movie cliches to choose his own adventure.”
Fair points about what happened and tragic and how infuriating it all is. But “get angry”? Not sure if you missed it, but we already were (and weren’t running around making ourselves feel better by doing things that required apologies in advance to Trayvon’s parents).
And about the whole “this is what happens” bit: Have you been around for the past year? Spent any time on Twitter during the trial? It may come as a surprise, but people get that already. And just about anyone paying attention has shared your “good old-fashioned rage that this kid is dead” for a while now. None of it — none of it at all — required a visual.
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