Obama’s Trayvon Comments Ignite Social Surge
Trayvon Martin was just another face in the crowd until a month ago. But now the teen’s name is a household one. Fueled by a racially charged social media outcry, the story of the 17-year-old from Sanford, Fla., who was shot and killed by a self-appointed neighborhood watch captain, is everywhere — and even more so after remarks from President Obama early Friday.
Obama spoke Friday about the shooting and expressed his feelings about the case. One quote from the speech took off in the social space and beyond:“If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.”
Immediately after he spoke those words, journalists, politicians and social media users from all walks of life re-shared and responded to the quote. Journalists seemed to all choose the sentence as the moment that stood out from Obama’s remarks.
“I can only imagine what these parents are going through,” Obama also said. “I think every parent in America should be able to understand why it is absolutely imperative that we investigate every aspect of this.”
Shortly after, Republican presidential candidates also spoke out on the shooting. Previously, only Newt Gingrich had made statements on the case, when he elaborated on it and defended the Florida gun laws the case has spotlighted.
Romney statement: “What happened to Trayvon Martin is a tragedy. There needs to be a thorough investigation …
— Chuck Todd (@chucktodd) March 23, 2012
Santorum comes out strong on Trayvon Martin. Says “stand your ground” isn’t what Zimmerman did. Says case was handled horribly.
— Nia-Malika Henderson (@niawapo) March 23, 2012
Geraldo Rivera, the host of Geraldo At Large on Fox News, also shared on Twitter his take on the shooting — and the Twittersphere has largely panned his claim that “Hoodies can get your kid killed.” The terms “#HOODIES” and “Geraldo” have been trending on Twitter since Rivera’s first tweet on the topic.
Justice will come to Zimmerman the Fla shooter-but I’m trying to save lives like Trayvon’s-Parents Alert: hoodies can get your kid killed
— Geraldo Rivera (@GeraldoRivera) March 23, 2012
He later apologized, tweeting that even his son was ashamed of his stance, but that he still feels “parents must do whatever they can to keep their kids safe.”
Lebron James of the Miami Heat took to Twitter to shake his thoughts on the matter. He shared a photo of his teammates wearing hoodies with the hashtags #WeAreTrayvonMartin, #Hoodies and #Stereotyped.
— LeBron James (@KingJames) March 23, 2012
Have you shared on social media your response to Trayvon Martin’s death and the investigation surrounding it? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments below.