The Smear Campaign Against Trayvon Martin

Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images
Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images

At her A Belle in Brooklyn blog, The Root contributing editor Demetria L. Lucas takes on commentators who seem to think that Trayvon Martin's blackness made him a threat even though he was unarmed:

"They killed my son and now they're trying to kill his reputation," Trayvon's mother Sybrina Fulton told reporters on Monday.


Officially, the depth of racism knows no depths. I can’t say I’m surprised, but I wanted to be. There’s always been good reason in America for taking a Black life. This time, excusers grasp at hollow straws like the hoodie Trayvon wore, a widely circulated picture of a  teenager in a  “f—k the world” stance that turned out NOT to be Trayvon, or police leaked information about an empty marijuana baggie found in his back pack. And in each outlandish accusation, I hear what isn’t being said loud and clear: he was Black and though unarmed, he was a threat. There's always some justification, a way to excuse the inexcusable when a Black life is taken.

Geraldo Rivera (who hasn’t been relevant in years), told "Fox & Friends" on Friday, “I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin's death as George Zimmerman was” and pleaded with the two Black people who watch Fox not to let their children wear hoodies, as if that matters. As Bill Maher pointed out, Martin and Malcolm wore suits and they’re dead just the same. But Rivera has a clear enough agenda. I have little doubt that his shuffle-step-fetch, one that Rivera’s own son said he was ashamed of, eventually will pan out in the elder Rivera’s favor with a cozy new weekday time slot for “Geraldo at Large”, one that people actually watch.

Yesterday, The Orlando-Sentinel reported that Trayvon laid out his would-be murderer George Zimmerman, in a single punch the way Mike Tyson once did his opponents in the first round (no mention made that Zimmerman outweighed him by 100 lbs). It seems, they’re trying to defuse the powder keg that’s been lit in their own backyard by casting doubt on Trayvon’s Skittle-carrying innocence. And whomever it was that scrounged up a picture of Trayvon's thug-life doppelgänger is trying to the same: justify the unjustifiable.

Read Demetria L. Lucas' entire post at A Belle in Brooklyn.