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Social Media Reacts to “The Verdict”

I am often overwhelmed by how fast the world moves around me. The verdict in the George Zimmerman trial was handed down a week ago today. I imagined a collective virtual gasp upon hearing “not guilty” I sat in stunned silence unable to collect my thoughts fast enough to write anything down. I was still unable to write anything for days but I did observe the different reactions.
We are all entitled to our opinions. Disagreements do not necessarily equate opposition or dislike.  The key to walking away with feelings still intact is to keep an open mind, and remember that another individual should not have the ability to affect you with their thoughts. This goes along with tolerance. Some of us know this and play well with others while others leave social media with a bad taste in their mouths.
One of the things that I hate and love about social media is the varying point of views. From the red carpets and reality shows to pressing social issues and current events; not one subject escapes scrutiny.  Some thoughts are well researched and profound, while others bring the realest hood logic and or off color humor.   I was anxious to read the reactions of my peers Facebook and Twitter.  Some things made me proud, others infuriated me and of course me being me I found humor and broke the reactions down into catagories.

The Realist

The realist is apathetic. As the trial progressed this group was indifferent. They  loosely held on to hope, but knew from the beginning that Zimmerman would be acquitted; therefore the verdict evoked no emotion.
In the realist mind the case is over. We can finally move on. There may be some agreement with the activists in that it is time to take action on the laws and injustices that have affected this case, but otherwise they have nothing to say.
The realist will see each side of argument but keep in mind that this trial is over and there is no need to continue debates and arguments. These are also the individuals that never really posted about this current event and are anxious for others to finally let it die.
The realist can be perceived as negative. Maybe they are but real is real.

The Antagonist

The antagonist is the less polite version of the realist. While the realist keeps from rocking the boat the antagonist will give their opinion straight up with no chaser. The antagonist thoughts are unpopular. They will play Devil’s advocate stating truth even though we may not want to hear it.

Antagonist truths:

  • The atheist tells us that the Zimmermans have benefited more from God’s favor
  • Reminds us that Trayvon was a flawed teenager
  • The militant antagonist provides us with a harsher bigger picture
  • Disagrees with the protests and rallies
  •  Draws our attention to other serious matters and causes we have failed to rally for
  •  Debunks every inaccurate “fact” thrown out for us to ponder. Decides that they will be the voice of reason. The rest of us have let emotions take over.
  • Finds humor, irony, and dismay in most displays of solidarity.
  • Will wonder out loud how long it will take us to be distracted
  •  Points out the shortcomings of our race and the failure to hold ourselves accountable.
  • criticizes our beloved celebrities, pointing out their failures to take a bigger part in the cause
  • Points out that symbolic activism is encouraging inactivity
 We can ignore everything the antagonist is saying. We can listen and take their opinions with a grain of salt. This may not be the time or place for their politics, but they are still entitled to their thoughts.

 The Supporters 

The black supporters remind you of the black mama that beat your behind even if you were right as pie because a white man had seen you act out. White is right. The white supporters come in racist form or just believe that the law prevailed.
Some quotes I’ve read:
“Trayvon would be alive today if he was active in the church.”
“We can’t escape the pathological thoughts people have about the inherent danger of black people.”
“Black people are scary.”
“If Trayvon Martin were white and Zimmerman black & facts were same & Zimmerman found not guilty, would the people protesting be celebrating?”
These individuals are still entitled to their opinions.

The Devastated

The devastated are the most emotional of the groups. They are going through every stage of grief due to this trial and the verdict. Sympathetic is the best way to describe this group’s reaction. Tears are shed for the loss of Trayvon and the grief of his parents.

This is the type of story this group can best relate to: http://www.blackyouthproject.com/2013/07/trayvon-martins-father-speaks-out-on-verdict/. They can relate because a connection to Trayvonn’s parents is felt
Some feel this pain because they too are parents. Some are charged with raising little black boys. They look on as their own sons play and become fearful as they imagine what this verdict means for them in the future. Even if their children are white and “safe” the pain is felt because their children are being raised in an unjust world.
Old wounds are re-opened for some as the matter of race is discussed. Almost everyone if not all have stories of racial profiling and unjust treatment. They may even remember fighting for our rights the in the Civil Rights Movement. They grieve because these rights were ignored for Trayvon.
The devastated are not only heartbroken because of the verdict but watch sadly as America is being divided.
The Activist 
The activists are the result of sadness turned to anger and then anger caught fire. They are working continuously and tirelessly to encourage everyone’s involvement.
The activist will remind us of points that we have forgotten and should still be angry about.

  • the gun that killed Trayvon Martin  will be returned to George Zimmerman
  • George Zimmerman  was a criminal before he “slaughtered” Trayvon
  • no matter what Trayvon did or did not do,  he is not at fault for his death
The activists will organize the rallies and protests. They will gladly tell us the companies to boycott and cheer for every small victory and involvement on a larger scale.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/16/showbiz/stevie-wonder-florida-boycott/index.html

The activists also:
  • Urged the Department Of Justice to take action
  • Shows us the bigger picture
  • Direct white liberals to the nearest seat. Now is not the time to compare our struggles
  • Is a cornucopia of races.
  • Call for solidarity
  • Stress the need to be vocal about major social issues at all times not just when something happens
  • The activists that are also writers use their talents to tell the stories of  their pain and anger, provide raw coverage of issues and events as they happen, and keep us abreast the events that require our action.
The younger generations have a voice too. They pour out candy and iced tea in memorandum of Trayvon. A twerk team is being organized to stop traffic. I want to cringe every time I see a supportive distasteful  tweet, meme, post or gif, however their entitlement is still the same.
Undeniable is the activist’s ability to provide hope.
From whatever prospective the case and now the verdict is viewed from, it is  unfortunate that Trayvon lost his life. Everyone has the right to react and or take action however they see fit. No matter the point of view the fact still remains that there is a mother aching for her son. No matter how social media perceived Trayvon, or what the defense said about him, and how the verdict affects the state of America, Sabrina Fulton still lost her son.
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