The Misrepresentation of The Trayvon Martin Movement
Trayvon Martin's untimely death has definitely struck a nerve among the African American community. This is due to, in large part, the belief that Martin is the victim of racial profiling. the slogan 'I am Trayvon' has been adopted by Martin's sympathisers. Most of whom can see themselves in his story. Unfortunately, some of the ways in which the movement has been represented are inappropriate.
The movement would not be nearly as effective in demanding justice in this case and drawing out conversations about race relations had it not been for the many rallies and activists who have brought this issue to the forefront. Gatherings of, predominately young African American adults, have taken place across the country.
The concern is in the way that the campaign has been represented, not with who has taken part, nor with the motivations behind participation (although, Martin and his family deserve our deepest respect).
For example, There is now a picture circulating the internet of a stripper wearing a black studded hoodie. On the back of the hoodie, in large print, the slogan made famous by the Martin movement "I am Trayvon." It is understandable that the young lady can identify with Martin, but the country remains in a state of morning over his death.
"I am Trayvon", taken literally draws a comparison between the speaker and young Mr.Martin. Instead of forcing one to see Trayvon as an average black youth, the misuse of the slogan suggests that Trayvon is an African American stripper, thus objectified.
Another way in which the situation has been made light of is a strip party in Greensboro, NC in Martin’s honor. The event titled “We Like to Party Wednesdays Presents: Justice”, and featured Mr.Martin’s picture in the center of the flyer. Also listed on the flyer is the DJ, drink prices, free admission with an empty bag of skittles, and “Lingerie Lounge will be wide open with the Sexiest Entertainment in NC.”
Fortunately the club decided to cancel the party after receiving public criticism on social networking sites.
The movement has run into another unfortunate snag, as Trayvon’s mother attempts to trademark the slogan. It turns out that “I am Trayvon” is already in use by a strip club review website. One can imagine the confusion for those eager to show their support.
Many positives are expected to come out of this movement, and the support has been both overwhelming and unexpected. The situation seems almost reminiscent of the Civil Rights Movement.