Why Do We Care About Trayvon Martin’s Twitter?

Trayvon Martin Twitter

Trayvon Martin's death--and the subsequent scrutiny into his social media--has led to nationwide outrage. | Source: Shutterstock

On the one-month anniversary of his death, Trayvon Martin’s Twitter account and school records are making the public rounds.

Some background for those unfamiliar with the case: On February 26, 2012, Trayvon Martin was walking unarmed through the gated community where his dad’s fiancee lived. He’d just bought some Skittles and an Arizona Iced Tea and was on his way back to her house when he was shot by George Zimmerman, a self-appointed Neighborhood Watch volunteer. The events that led up to the actual shooting–whether or not there was a struggle, whether or not Trayvon was being followed, whether or not Trayvon attacked George Zimmerman first–are debatable and still being worked out by authorities.

Numerous protests have been held in Trayvon’s memory, ranging from anger at the Sanford, Florida police to wider reaching undertones of racial injustice. A member of Congress, Bobby Rush, was even escorted out for wearing a hoodie in support of Trayvon Martin’s case. The more that comes out about the shooting, the more uproar there is, and there are even more protests marking the month since Trayvon’s death, especially on college campuses.

Since the shooting has drawn national attention, Trayvon Martin’s Twitter has been in the headlines almost as much as his death. But why? He took a picture flipping off the camera. So do a lot of other people. He posted some questionable things. So do a lot of other people. Unless he was tweeting about it at the time, what does it have to do with the fact that he got shot when he was unarmed? A lot of people post stuff that they assume people won’t see later on, and a lot of people post stuff that they don’t mean. How is his social media activity relevant to his death?

Similarly, Trayvon Martin’s school records show that he had a penchant for tagging, truancy, and tardiness. Fair enough. But again, what does this have to do with his shooting? He’d been suspended for having an empty marijuana baggie and suspected of jewelry theft (but never charged or actually investigated for it). While it’s not commendable behavior by any means, it doesn’t change anything else about his death.

Trayvon Martin Twitter

A lot of people are angered by the notion of racial profiling in Trayvon Martin's shooting. | Source: Shutterstock

To us, pointing out Trayvon Martin’s Twitter and school records and using them to justify his being shot is nothing short of absurd. It doesn’t sound much different from saying a girl wearing a short skirt was just asking to get raped. It doesn’t sound much different from someone saying that since most dollar bills in the United States have traces of cocaine on them that anyone carrying cash should be arrested for drug possession.

We’re not saying Trayvon Martin was a saint. But we are saying he was a 17-year-old kid. If we were all judged by our tweets, statuses, and tagged photos from our teen years, chances are no one would ever be able to run for office ever again. We’d all be asking for it, we’d all deserve everything that came to us, and we’d all have our reputations eviscerated when we were no longer around to defend ourselves.

What’s the most telling about Trayon Martin’s Twitter and his background is that all of this came to light after he was dead. Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by someone who ostensibly didn’t even know about his past–because if Zimmerman’s account of what happened is true, it didn’t include a background check before he pulled the hammer and fired. We think this says more about those trying to destroy his reputation than about Trayvon Martin himself.

Do you think Trayvon Martin’s Twitter and school background are relevant to his death? Do you think social media activity should be monitored? What are your views on Trayvon Martin’s case? Let us know in the comments!

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  • Will

    justice WAS SERVED in the Trayvon case:

    A man was attacked, shot in self defense, and the attacker died. Are we missing someth….. Oh, I guess we are…..
    ….the CRUTCH OF RACISM BLACK LEAN ON WAY TOO OFTEN

  • Will

    – If Trayvon would have lived, he’d be charged (correctly) with assault.
    – Trayvon attacked a man that saw him as suspicious, NOT for race, but for his actions, and the history on petty theft (theft that rose dramatically 2 days after Trayvon moved in.
    – The 89 year old man that was just BEATEN TO DEATH by two black teenagers… THAT is racist.
    attention: DONT LET EMOTION STAND IN THE WAY OF FACTS

  • Dan

    tough call here, because looking into somebody’s past tells you about their character. past behavior is a good indicator of who somebody is. it will tell you if trayvon was predisposed to violence. if trayvon initiated the violence, it was a justified shooting, when somebody is beating you, I highly doubt you are asking them about their date of birth. also if Zimmerman had a past of initiating violence it would tell a lot about what most likely happened that day. either way it is always sad to see a life ended so early.

  • Vicky Duncan

    Trayvon Martin, like the black teens on twitter and other social media, wanted the experience of killing a white man. Two other “sweet, teenage” black boys from the Sanford area dragged a white man out of his car and beat him with a hammer after dragging him into the woods. They left him there for dead. It is a black gang initiation to kill a white man in that area. Travyon Martin deemed George Zimmerman a good target in order to become a esteemed gang member if he could kill that white “cracker” that night. It would be easy since Zimmerman was a small man and would be alone – thus making him an easy target. He told his friend on the phone that night that he was going to kill himself a “creapy black cracker” so he had to go. The friend did not relate this in r testimony . His friends in Sanford know the truth, but they will never tell. They are afraid of Martin’s mother who has powerful political connections in the state of Florida, and they are too frightened of her. She had the power to cover up her son’s bugularies and break-ins, his drug sales, and his other crimes. She enable him to get by with anything, so he thought he could also get away with murdering Zimmerman. Mommie would work to cover for him and the authorities would arrest another person.

    • Saeryen

      You racist.

  • Nicole Stone

    Of course his background matters, when he
    swerved off his course to go attack Zimmerman.
    Zimmerman did nothing illegal in being a
    neighborhood watch, and keeping an eye on
    someone wandering between buildings when many
    robberies had been occurring in the neighborhood.
    Zimmerman proved he was not racist, he had
    defended a black homeless man the police were
    harrassing, and he also tutored black children. He
    himself is hispanic.

    Trayvons accounts show he was a racist with
    violent tendencies and the innocent childlike
    pictures are old, his most recent pictures should be
    used with his tattoos, gold teeth, gang symbols
    etc… he was at his dads because he was
    suspended from school.

  • Nicole Stone

    Of course his background matters, when he swerved off his course to go attack Zimmerman. Zimmerman did nothing illegal in being a neighborhood watch, and keeping an eye on someone wandering between buildings when many robberies had been occurring in the neighborhood.

    Zimmerman proved he was not racist, he had defended a black homeless man the police were harrassing, and he also tutored black children. He himself is hispanic.

    Trayvons accounts show he was a racist with violent tendencies and the innocent childlike pictures are old, his most recent pictures should be used with his tattoos, gold teeth, gang symbols etc… he was at his dads because he was suspended from school.

    Is it so hard to believe Zimmerman when his story has remained consistent throughout with eye witnesses and his broken nose and bashed bloody head ?

  • prettygurl

    First of let me start by saying this is a child that has been killed. Zimmerman is an adult. He didn’t need to watch the neighborhood or anything else if he felt threatened enough by a child to have to shoot and kill him. What if an adult had come along he would have been no match to them either I guess. No matter what was posted on twitter this child shouldn’t have been killed. His death is the bottom line here and deserves justice. His life is not an issue here its his death that is.

    • Ms.Ayjay

      exactly. R.I.P. Trayvon Martin <3

    • Dan

      stop with the child stuff 17 yrs old, is is a very dangerous age, an awful lot of crimes are committed by 17 yr olds, if trayvon hit Zimmerman first, the shooting was justified, everybody has a right to defend himself.

  • Brianna

    R.I.P Trayvon , He had no reason to die what so ever. He didn’t even do no harm to the man until he started to attack.. What is this world coming to?? I was protesting just last week wearing my black hoodie, a pack of skittles, and an Arizona tea ( Even though I don’t drink tea ) I AM TRYVON MARTIN!

  • Toya

    This is an AMAZING article! Every point you made was valid, hopefully others will see it and justice would be served

  • monyca

    wht the helll…………. y r they looking up trayvon martin, he really didnt do anything….. they should be looking at the murderers files, this proply wasnt the first time

    signed
    Black and Proud……. that a$$hole needs to be in jail

  • Lola

    This was an amazing article. It really doesn’t matter and I agree with everything you said. Nobody should be judge by waht they did in the past…especially when it comes to a victim of homicide.