Every Monday in Citizenship Confusion, Alan Noble discusses how we confuse our heavenly citizenship with citizenship to the state, culture, and the world.

For more analysis from a Christian perspective, check out all our articles here: Christ and Pop Culture’s Coverage of the Trayvon Martin Tragedy.

Over the past few weeks, the tragic story of the killing of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman and the authority’s poor handling of the case have dominated the media. I waited to write on this to see what further information might come to light. I waited not because I doubted that racism still exists in our communities and government, but because I recognize that tragedies like this one are often deceptively simple.But on Saturday night, several friends of mine shared a shocking picture on Facebook that changed my perception of the case and convinced me that I needed to write on it.

Here’s the Trayvon the Main Stream Media didn’t want us to see:

Why didn’t the media tell us about this side of Trayvon Martin? The, F-U-17-years-old-6’2″-Thug Trayvon? Is it because they want to divide our country over race? Cause they want to sell a sensational story? Or are they caught up in the lynch-mob?


They didn’t use the thug picture because that’s not a picture of Trayvon Martin, at least, not the Trayvon Martin who was shot and killed by George Zimmerman. It’s another black, male, kid named Trayvon Martin (who attends Myers Middle School, not Norland Middle or Highland Oaks Middle schools, as the recently killed Trayvon did). And his public pictures on Facebook fit nicely with The-Liberal-Racist-against-Whites-Media-Is-Biasing-Us-against-Zimmerman narrative.
Whether or not these images were shared out of ignorance, the results have been horrifying, but also revealing about a few ugly truths about race and public discourse in an Internet Age.

This picture was picked up and used on a number of smaller conservative blogs (which eventually removed the pictures and admitted their mistake), on a few white supremacist forums, and all over Facebook. The popular version of this image (shown above) came from a Facebook user named John David Lee Brown. His image had been shared over 300 times when I first saw it. Less than 24 hours later, it had been shared nearly 700 times. If I’m lucky, my post will get 1/20th as many shares as these racist, fake Trayvon pictures on Facebook.

If Facebook users have on average 100 friends, that means around 70,000 people were exposed to an image which deceptively claimed that the “hysterical Race Baiter” media has hidden the real Trayvon Martin from us and also implied that perhaps Zimmerman was justified in killing the boy, since he really was a thug!

70k people. And the worst part about it? Even if Mr. Brown removes the picture and admits his mistake, the vast majority of the people who saw and shared it will never know.

Some people were sick of all the media talk about racism. They suspected that Zimmerman was probably innocent. They saw an image of Trayvon on Facebook which “exposed” him as a pants-sagging, rebellious, probably violent black thug. The image confirmed their suspicions, so they clicked “Share” and the misinformation moved on to spread further racist stereotypes.

For example, here are some choice comments from these Facebook pictures:

“So over these stupid accusations of racism every time some criminal gets himself shot.”

“Ya know, when I saw the picture of this kid, I thought it was too bad that the only picture they could find was from when he was a little boy. Never thought about the propaganda angle. Now, I can see why our president thought if he had a son, this is what he’d look like!”

“From what I’m hearing now is that Trayvon was a thug.”

“a good reason to have a ‘neighborhood watch'”

I have two observations from researching this picture and its spread across the Internet.

1. The Internet is absurdly dangerous for civil public discourse. It is far too easy to spread lies and incredibly hard to challenge them. Christians should be skeptical, charitable, and cautious about what they read and trust online. Don’t assume you’re hearing the truth, especially when that truth tickles your ears.

For more on the unique challenge the Internet poses for accurately sharing information, see this feature I wrote on Muslims and Pig Racing or this post addressing the question, Where are all the Protests against Black-on-Black Violence?

2. Whether or not racism played into Trayvon’s death, it certainly has surfaced in the backlash against those calling for justice. This picture and its popularity is an example of that backlash. Many people cannot stand to hear about modern racism towards minorities. Any mention of race immediately brings comments about “the race card” or “race baiting.” Their narrative is that the white race is really the race that suffers the most racism in America. And so, they jump on any rumor or alleged evidence which might confirm their belief that Zimmerman is innocent. They probably would never admit to being racist, and perhaps they don’t even believe that they are racist, but their passionate denial that race figured into this tragedy and their willingness to accept any “evidence” to support that presupposition suggests otherwise.

I am not saying that we must call for Zimmerman’s immediate arrest or punishment, or that we should join with those who are reacting in extreme and unproductive ways to this tragedy–we should, however, keep our governing authorities to a high standard and refuse to accept anything less than a thorough and expedient investigation–but I am saying that Christians must be open to admitting and accepting the ugly reality of modern racism, wherever we find it.

For more analysis from a Christian perspective, check out all our articles here: Christ and Pop Culture’s Coverage of the Trayvon Martin Tragedy.


  1. Small rant: the biggest problem I have with the entire Martin case [beside the race factor] is that it’s not up to the police to decide whether Zimmerman’s “self-defense” was justified under Stand Your Ground. That’s why we have courts. That’s why we have trials. The cops, in letting Zimmerman go that night, circumvented the courts. That, to me, is the scariest abuse of power in the whole thing.

    As far as the “thug” image, it’s been an extremely frustrating thing to see. As a person who lives in a heavily minority community – when I moved in, I was the only white person on my floor, though I am now one of three – I’ve been thinking a lot more lately about how my whiteness means I’m less at risk for certain things. I don’t have to worry about a racist cop deciding that I’m a threat and shooting me in the face (as happened to a local woman just this last week). I don’t have to worry when I turn my music up loudly in my car that other people are judging my entire race because of it.

    And I don’t have to worry that if, by some chance, I do get murdered, that people will scour the internet looking for ways to defend my killer – esp. if my killer is a different race from me.

    I’m so glad I haven’t seen that meme, and if I do, I now have a link to give them in response.

  2. Don’t get me wrong, if my kid posed in a picture with his pants falling off flipping the bird I’d be embarrassed as well. What further angers me about this is the fact that people want to caricature Treyvon Martin as a thug to justify shooting him in cold blood. Something about this reminds me of a rape case- “did you see how she was dressed. She was asking for it.” Thugged out and promiscuous aren’t the best ways to present yourself but I worry about people who believe that’s grounds to hurt someone. The point is even if someone were to pose for a picture like that they still (should) have the right to walk down the street to get some snacks without fearing for the lives from the people that are supposed to be looking out for them.

  3. I agree with Dianna. Whether Mr. Zimmerman was innocent or not should be up to the courts, not the police. Also, what’s sad is that even if these pictures were of the real Trayvon Martin, would that have justified shooting him in cold blood? This point is important. Just b/c a black male might embrace “thug” culture and dress like one, doesn’t mean he’s committing a crime. More than likely he’s, as I suspect with the 17 year old in this picture, just being immature and copying what he’s seen on MTV. That doesn’t justify shooting someone though.

  4. Hello,

    Forgive me but I am a bit confused and am hoping someone can clarify. Is the “thug” photo of the Trayvon who was, indeed shot and killed or are the photos of 2 completely different people who happen to share the same name?

    Thank you.

  5. Thank you so much, Alan. I honestly perceived this to be the case once I read the article but wanted to be certain. Again, thank you for doing the research on this very important issue.

  6. Your comments do not address the choice the media made in choosing a picture of Zimmerman. Maybe the people who are frustrated with media bias are racists; on the other hand, they may be people who are just frustrated with media bias. My guess is that the group of people frustrated with media bias is a large enough group to contain both racists and non-racists.

  7. Bonnie,

    That’s a complicated issue. First, the media will be restricted by the photos that they can obtain. If they received photos from Trayvon’s family, it’s reasonable for those photos to show the boy in a positive light.

  8. Alan, I’d like to add on to your response to Bonnie, if I may.

    The media has certain restrictions on the copyright of what photos they can and can’t show. It’s illegal for them to just go on Facebook and pull a photo from a person’s site (because, per some interesting copyright issues, that photo is actually the property of facebook and not that of the person in the photo, which is a whole different can of worms). Not all photos on the internet are in the public domain, which means media conglomerates can be sued if they use a photo that is not within their rights to use (I work for a place that has to work with stock photos and licensing quite a bit, so I’ve learned a lot about this in the past few months).

    It’s highly likely that the only public domain picture of George Zimmerman that’s available is the shot from his 2005 arrest, obtained from the Orange County Jail – mug shots and the like are public domain (matters of public record) and therefore the newspaper/magazine/media journal does not have to pay money in order to use that photo. It’s highly unlikely that Zimmerman has another photo out there that is part of the public domain, as private citizens very rarely have photos of themselves that are the property of a government entity – that’s because of lovely privacy laws. News organizations – which are private businesses and therefore liable to be sued – cannot use your likeness (ie, your picture) without your permission unless your picture is in the public domain (or has been sold to them by a photographer who owns the rights to the photo, which how paparazzi skirt privacy laws). Thus the prevalence of mug shots in discussions of criminal trials.

    Additionally, in the case of a victim like Trayvon, Alan’s response is right – the photos we have of Trayvon are provided by the victims family, and therefore news conglomerates have legal permission to reproduce them in their news broadcasts. They can’t – to my knowledge – legally go searching through his facebook and pull pictures from there.

  9. So because he has his pants sagging w his middle finger up he deserves to be shot?! Those pics are ignorant but isn’t making much of a point except for that ppl have the right to kill you if they assume ur a criminal b/c your pants are sagging. But the FACTS are he was unarmed and the police told George Zimmerman to stay in his car. All these other factors do not justify him being shot, period! And the only ppl tired of talkin about racism r the ones who dont wanna accept that its alive and well. Or they’re racists themselves.

  10. the pic of the kid throwing the bird belongs to a kid named trayvon martin, a middle school kid who lives in georgia. Not the same kid. you should verify things before you post them from stormfront

  11. Tash and jayBEe,

    Congratulations! You just won the, “I didn’t read the article but I left a comment” award!

  12. People who teach at universities should follow the Jewish commandment not to ‘go up and down as a talebearer’ (Lev. 19:16). This posting is based on a rumor spread by a neo-Nazi website.

  13. The Facebook photos are typical kid poses. I’m guessing you don’t subscribe to other teen facebook pages? I don’t care what race you are..White, black or orange with Green polka dots. Your assessment of this 17 year old as a thug is the lamest illogic imaginable. And you’re working on your doctorates? So much for education. Suggest you take logic 101.

  14. An epidemic of illiteracy has struck CAPC commenters. Be aware, illiteracy strikes without warning or conscience. You could be the next Tash, JayBEe, Barry, or John.

  15. Hey guys,

    Apparently it needs to be said again. You should articles not just look at the pictures before you make incriminating comments!

  16. And by “You should articles” I of course mean “You should read articles”!

  17. @John Egan and @Barry Schwartz. Way to actually READ the article. YOU are a perfect example of why our society is so full of idiots.

  18. Nice article. The fact that some people are willing to do all that they can to destroy the reputation of a young man that can no longer defend himself and was the victim in the attack is amazing. The picture from Stormfront is egregious but what do you expect from the ideological descendants of Julius Streicher and Josef Goebels. Racism is rampant and I get tired of people that accuse you of playing “the race card” when you point out the obvious.

  19. Jeez. Is it really that hard to *read* CaPC articles? They’re shorter than the articles at most other websites.

    Granted, if, as Seth said, illiteracy is the problem here, “Wow,” is probably the relative length of War and Peace.

  20. Alan, I’m so glad you are required to keep your posts under 500 words. Much longer and I would have to comment without reading them too.

  21. I’ve read that the ‘gangster’ photo is not of ~the~ Travyon Martin, but a different one.

  22. Excellent post sir. I stumbled across this post on facebook and didn’t really want to read it. I’m very sick of this subject and feel that it has been hijack by a multitude of people and entities on both sides that I don’t know if justice can truly be applied. I am horribly saddened for Trayvon’s family and wish them peace.

  23. The saddest thing about this is that there’s a bunch of black media pimps (“Rev’s” Sharpeton and Jackson come to mind along with a certain POTUS) who feel fine co-opting this sad event for their own means.

    The truth is coming out slowly, and it’s likely to be a mixture of the two polar views of this event.

    The media is doing its best to fan a race war in order to sell clicks. That’s pathetic.

  24. “The Facebook photos are typical kid poses. ”

    Which is a large part of the problem.

  25. Jay Bree sounds really enlightened! I didn’t realize “black media pimps” was the new respectful way to refer to African American social and political leaders, but I’ll be sure to take note in the future.

  26. Jay
    The Facebook pictures were not the victim. Didn’t you read that. And by the way some national figures need to bring this up because if they don’t the story would be buried deeper than Trayvon Martin. They are not provoking any race war, people that stalk and kill kids when told not to by the police are the ones doing that kind of work, as are their right wing media accomplices. The racial politics are those of the right which is working to demonize this kid when he can’t defend himself while giving a pass to the man that killed him.

  27. Plz investigate n report on the white MSU student killed by 3 black males over the weekend. there is video on the shooting. It’s amazing u don’t see or hear the white race screaming arrest him. Thankyou

  28. I am aware of the legal head scratcher that is the Trayvon Martin case, but I thought I would put a post on here that added to the already full “random comment” theme building up in this comment thread.

  29. The conclusions people are jumping to are part of the problem in this whole tragedy. How do you KNOW Trayvon was shot “in cold blood?” How do you know he was “defenseless?” What eyewitness to his murder has given these accounts? I do believe the shooter has claimed he was defending himself, his attorney has detailed the wounds he received after Trayvon allegedly attacked him, and in this country you are innocent until proven guilty. So far I have not seen any PROOF that the shooter is guilty of murder, which means we assume his innocence until the evidence says otherwise.

    None of the above means that this was not a tragic loss of life. None of it means we should not investigate Trayvon’s death and make sure we know the details. But we need to make sure we know the details BEFORE we call for Zimmerman’s conviction. After all, if you were Zimmerman, wouldn’t you want to be treated as one who is innocent until proven guilty, as our justice system mandates? Unfortunately, the media is looking for a story they can sell rather than for a reasoned, systematic, rational approach to this tragedy. Next to Trayvon’s death, the greatest tragedy is how he is being used by nearly everyone to advance whatever agenda needs a voice.

  30. What really amazes me is the fact of all the killings in the hood, all the black on.black killing. Why isn’t Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton addressing that issue. So it’s okay by them that black males can kill other blacks and their voice is silent. But let a white male kill a black male and you dont hear their mouths running. It’s ashame that black males are being killed but when the black leadership don’t speak against it leaves one to wonder who is the racist. I for one don’t want a leader(s) that won’t stand up for the black communinty while blacks are killing each other.

  31. Twitchy, a website run by conservative blogger Michelle Malkin, posted the above photo — purportedly from Martin’s Facebook page — that shows Martin in saggy pants and flipping the bird. The photo, which spread quickly on conservative websites and Twitter, is intended to paint Martin as a thug. As Twitchy later acknowledged, it is not a photo of Trayvon Martin. I trust we will see a retraction as it is not very Christian to bear false witness.

  32. I dont care if this kid was a thug. I dont care if he had a rap sheet or was on his way to having one or not. Zimmerman called the police and the police told him to stand down. He then decided to chase some one he already thought might be trouble and mix it up.

    Wading into a fight the cops already told you to get the heck away from is not self defense, it is murder.

    People who show disrespect for law enforcement and go their own way are vigilantes. Vigilantes are criminals.

    A choice between a kid who might think he’s a thug and a guy who apparently thinks he’s Batman is not a choice functioning societies make. Lock the dumb bugger up.

  33. In response to some of the above comments, the police do not actually press charges, at least in every place I know about. It would be the District Attorney or their office who decides if criminal charges need to be pressed. The police merely process the information and evidence. Do the police have a role? Of course, but just because a cop thinks someone committed a crime and arrests them, doesn’t mean they will be tried in court.

    Also, this is taking it a bit to the extreme, but do you have to go to court every time a cop pulls you over? Or are there circumstances where maybe you did actually do something wrong, (speeding, etc.) and the cop let you go? Granted, someone’s death is far more serious than speeding. But there is also not a court case every time someone dies. I am not saying there should not be a thorough investigation, which would determine whether criminal charges should be pressed by the state or not. I am saying that due process has not necessarily been circumvented because the police did not make an arrest.

    Secondly, we all know that the media is known to be 100% accurate on their facts. (Please note the extreme sarcasm.) I have been majorly involved in national news stories, knowing the real facts, and seen that the news media didn’t get 50% of it right. In this case, yes the media should be demanding that a proper investigation happen. Maybe the cops did fail to get as much info as they should have. And the media rightly pushed this case to the forefront, but almost anybody tried in the court of the media is found guilty, whether it’s true or not.

  34. as i see it the stand your ground law is to blame! if the guy had no gun to begin with there would be no shooting. it doesn’t matter who started it. if there were no gun involved no one would have gotten shot. maybe a fist fight but no one would be shot dead!

  35. Ive said it before and ill say it again. An apparent/maybe innocent african american is shot by a thought to be white american now later a hispanic male and there is protesting and rallys all over. When constant black and black gun violence continues in dense African American communities. many many times innocent bystanding african americans are shot/killed in the crossfire or by mistakin identity. Time and time again you see the mother hovering over her child screaming “They killed my baby”..but no rallys or protest demanding the stop of it. untill 1 african american kid is killed by someone else other then African American.On one hand Now you have African americans across the nation rallying and protesting together demanding justice, but on ther other hand it happends day in day out in their communties and when police try to bring justice they get zero cooperation..the infamous ” I aint seen nuffin”..so what gives?

  36. From personal experience (my own) and from mentoring four young urban males (12-14) I can say that the images and perceptions I see and know of them and how they may choose to actually represent themselves on facebook and in their peer circles can be shockingly polar.

    This is part of learning, and I urge and plead with them that it not be, the hard way the line of how to walk as a man. Could Trayvon have been sagging his pants, wearing a hoodie and still being a sweetheart of a kid? Totally. Do I think hoodies are to blame or even a reasonable suggestion that they be taken away? No. But do I see the dangers in acting (not saying Trayvon did) tough or like a gangster and potentially running into consequences. Yes.

    I see those same consequences, risk and potential for conflict in my own history and it breaks my heart when I see it in the lives of the young men I mentor. They live two blocks from some of the most violent and volatile gang activity in my city. Throwing up signs, mean mugging and looking tough is a way of life in their direct cultural environment as well as popular media (hip hop, music, fashion).

    There’s never an easy solution and there’s never quite as simple as it seems.

    The thing I’m taking away from this more than anything is the powder keg of “be a part of something bigger than me-ism” that seems to be ripe in our country and our world. I’m not sure if it’s the ‘connectivity’ through social media, the 24 hr news cycle or something genuinely yearning to come alive at a heart level. My gut is that it’s a mix of the three.

  37. He shot an unarmed kid. Period. Kids walk around in hoodies all the time. I went to college with dudes that wore black hoodies and durags and were the some of the smartest people there! I used to walk around in dark hoodies and hats and sagging jeans when I was younger too because I liked the style back then. Countless kids do that whether they are black, green, blue, white or orange. Not saying this kid Trayvon was a saint or completely innocent little child however, a grown man shot an unarmed kid and is not being arrested. Who the hell cares if he’s 6′ 2″?? He could be 7′ 10″ and it doesn’t make it anymore right! Again, HE SHOT AN UNARMED KID! There are countless photos of kids posing like thugs acting like goofs, that doesn’t make a case or justify murder. I guarantee you, being black, if I were to shoot a white kid walking around in hoodie and sagging jeans who had “gangsta” pictures up on myspace, my butt would be in jail quicker than a bad check bounces. And I’m not being prejudice, that’s just the way it is unfortunately.

  38. Dianna, you are wrong., the police arrest and bring the charges ONLY after being able to collect evidence proving Probable Cause that a crime was committed. The the Da’s office prosecutes those charges.

    The problem we have here is that the police dept, the DA’s office and the States attorney’s office (Three separate agencies) have looked at the evidence and found that there is none to support a criminal charge. This is a problem…because LOOONG before these three separate agencies could arrive at that conclusion….all the race baiters wiped up a storm and now the fires are impossible t put out.

    We have nationally recognized news agencies, figures and politicians and of course the most credible of them all (All Sharpton and Jessie Jackson) calling Zimmerman and assassin and a racist.

    No mater if you agree with Zimmerman;s claims or not….what do you suppose our country is supposed to do “IF” the Gran Jury funds Zimmerman was defending himself lawfully? Should we just tell everyone to forget the horrific things lies they just said and ask them to go home?

    This is why we do not try cases in the media.

  39. There was a dead body of an unarmed boy and 911 records. How is that not probable cause that a crime had been committed?

  40. Just because someone is “unarmed” doesn’t mean there isn’t justification for a shooting. And a lot of 17 y/o kids are just as capable as an 18 y/o adult. We don’t know all the facts. With the ones the police and DA have, they let the guy walk that night. That typically doesn’t happen in a shooting. Maybe the whole problem could have been avoided if he stayed in the car, but that doesn’t mean that it was, or was not, justified by him getting out of the car.

    And about blacks killing blacks, that is an interesting point. Nobody says anything if it was a black that did the shooting, but if it was another race, the thing explodes. It’s related, but why do blacks tolerate and accept calling one another nig*** and if a white does it they call it racism? Every time I have heard it used, It’s been in the same context in both cases, whether a black says it or a white. Yet, it’s acceptable? Again, some sort of double standard that I don’t understand.

  41. all this talk of race war i hope it happens not because im racist or anything like that but because then our country can finally see how pathetic it is how incredibly fucking fat and stupid it is and then they can watch all of their precious politicians whom they adore fly to different countries on their private planes while shit has hit the fan

  42. so let me get this straight….this kid has a silly picture on his facebook like all of us do…..and that makes him a criminal……i forgot….most authority figures are beaten and bloodied with a bag of skittles and an ice tea can at least once in their life time. GET REAL. the dude killed the kid, i dont care if he has stupid pictures up, he took his life, he deserves the same in return.

  43. This case illustrates the yet fragile state of race relations in these United States. How could some people be so insensitive to the fact that a young person has been cut down? Whether Trayvon Martin posted thuggish pictures of himself on Facebook or not becomes immaterial to George Zimmerman’s defense, yet some many people seem to be searching for a reason to justify the killing of an unarmed child. The facts that are not in dispute seem to provide a clear picture that Zimmerman pursued then killed Trayvon Martin. A jury would likely conclude that Martin had a right to defend himself against an unknown assailant chasing him. At the end of the day, Zimmerman had the only weapon. Zimmerman has offered no evidence that would suggest that Martin retaliated in such a way as to warrant the use of lethal force.

  44. People will believe what they want to believe, and they will ignore all the facts that don’t support their beliefs, or they will twist the facts to support them.

    There was an eye witness whose testimony to police lined up with Zimmerman’s story and the evidence that they had. When all of that checked out, there was little reason for the cops to arrest Zimmerman.

    As the facts come out, it’s beginning to look like this was just a big misunderstanding between two not-so-level-headed people. There had been crime in the neighborhood over the last year, and one of the members of the Neighborhood Watch saw a stranger walking around by himself at night. He went to investigate, called 911, talked to an operator, decided that he had lost sight of the kid and would return home. The kid noticed someone following him, decided to take matters into his own hands, and attacked the guy. Adrenaline and testosterone prevailed, a fight ensued, the teen fights dirty, the other man fears for his life, adrenaline prevails, and he pulls the gun on the kid.

    Zimmerman is most likely not completely innocent here. He probably deserves a manslaughter charge. At the same time though, the way the facts look now, Martin was far from the perfectly innocent angel who was murdered in cold blood that people want to turn him into. He sat on top of a man and beat his head against the pavement (per the witness testimony). I don’t carry a gun, but if somebody started to beat my head against the pavement, you better believe I’d fear for my life and do what I could to preserve it.

    Finally, for the 1000th time, the police did not tell Zimmerman not to pursue Martin. He was talking to a 911 operator who said that they didn’t need Zimmerman to pursue any further. There is a big difference.

  45. A few things on a more serious note:

    1) If a guy was following me around at night and kept doing so after I tried to avoid him, I’d jump him too out of fear for my own safety. Thus, the whole, “Well Martin was beating on him” makes literally no sense in light of the circumstances

    2) What started the whole thing is that he saw a black kid in a hoodie walking in a white neighborhood. Bias and prejudice (not saying he’s a racist, merely that our society enforces certain stereotypes) led him to follow this young man, which led to tragic events. Had he just called the police and left it alone, at worst we’d simply be dealing with the police talking to a young man and possibly giving him a ride home.

    3) This is not a black and white issue (no pun intended). It’s an issue of what happens when we distrust our fellow man rather than trust him. It’s a matter of buying into stereotypes and letting fear rule us rather than reason.

    4) The Church has failed and is epic failing right now in handling this issue. Rather than speaking up and showing that racism has no part in society and that ultimate healing is found in Christ (who shares in our human nature), we’re simply sitting back and making judgements on either side of the issue. In short, we’re being great conservatives or liberals first before being great Christians. Sometimes being a Christian means you must abandon your ideology. Scratch that. Being a Christian means you must always abandon your ideology.

  46. First of all all of these racial discussions, and whether Mr Martin was a thug or not is irrelevant to the law. I don’t care if Mr Martin was a gang leader, and if he didn’t even belong in the neighbor or lived there. It all doesn’t matter in the face of facts.

    It doesn’t matter if a politically motivated New Black Panther organization is trying to capitalize on the media coverage of this case. The bottom line that obviously matters to police is what are the facts.

    Now that facts are being leaked out, it is becoming apparent Mr Martin was not shot in cold blood. The fact seems to be that Mr Martin attacked My Zimmerman. Sure many people will be bothered by the fact that someone is following them in a truck, what would most of you do if you were Mr MArtin? You would call the police in most cases right? Or you would just have continued home.

    Mr Martin did the absolutely wrong thing, he went to confront Mr Zimmerman. According to Mr. Zimmerman, Mr Martin exchanged words with him and then sucker punched him, and he fell to the ground where Mr Martin proceeded to try and bash his head into the pavement.

    As the facts are been present, and verified by third part eye witness statements, Mr Martin was the aggressor, and Mr Zimmerman had the right to self defense. These are the facts the police have, and people with political agendas want to turn this into a racial thing.

    Why would police want to let a man with hispanic background go, to prove a racial agenda?

    Unfortunately if Mr Martin had only continued to go home, he might still be alive. From the facts, that have been verified by the police themselves, I have to side with Zimmerman in this case.

    Every citizen has the right to defend themselves, when there is fear of great bodily harm and or death is present. Bashing someones head against the pavement in my opinion qualifies for this legal rule that is even present is “criminal friendly” gun laws.

  47. Kyle, for a person who seems to like the word “fact” I think you should check your”facts” before making such bizarre sentences. Your facts are coming from a month long spin machine that is doing everything it can to the blame from the guy who pulled the trigger to the kid holding a bag of Skittles…

  48. The pics are indeed of Trayvon Martin – “THE” T-M.

    His “Funeral Program” noted his nickname of “Slimm”

    He had a Twitter account (now gone, but well-documented, Google is your friend!) entitled “SLIMM (@NO_LIMIT_NIGGA)” which used the gold-tooth shot as its “profile pic”.

    The matching “Twitpic” profile is still there, and was set up MONTHS before he died (so it’s not a “ploy” or whatever….).

    His older Brother has a long history of tweets to and from “SLIMM”, including a number since he died telling him to “Rest Eternally” and DAYS BEFORE saying “You ain’t told me you swung on a bus driver” – indicating there was still more to his 10-day suspension than marijuana, a pipe with residue, burglary tools and apparently-stolen jewelry.

    There’s also an old myspace page showing his family, and pics of his tattoos, which has apparently been defunct since late 2010 – this was the source of the “funeral” pic which – like all the others – is at least two years old, some of them as old as FIVE!.

    The liars have been caught again – this whole “that’s not the same Trayvon” is yet another bold-faced LIE.

    It *IS* HIM!

  49. Now that I’ve read the other comments, I’ve got to touch on a couple of other things.

    All the facts – that Martin struck first, broke Zimmerman’s nose then mounted him and proceeded to bash his head into the pavement repeatedly then tried to take Zimmerman’s gun from him before being shot – were learned by the police the night of the incident, or the next day. The police report further notes Zimmerman bleeding from his nose, lip, and the back of his head, and that he had grass and grass-stains on his back, which was also wet from the dew – all of which physical evidence corroborated Zimmerman’s story.

    Zimmerman received stitches the next day, and the police also interviewed two witnesses – one of which witnessed the whole thing and corroborated Zimmerman’s story, the other of whom saw Zimmerman on his back underneath Martin before running off chasing his escaping dog and thereafter hearing a gunshot… He too corroborated as much of Zimmerman’s story as he’d seen.

    Still further, ALL OF THIS WAS REPORTED ON MIAMI AND ORLANDO TV WITHIN DAYS AFTER THE SHOOTING, including audio of interview with the main eyewitness!

    The only “spin” going on is the race-baiting being performed by the usual suspects (sharpton, jackson, farrakhanm, etc) with the enthusiastic assistance of the national media and the leftist political machinery all the way up to the _resident, King Barry the First.

    These people are determined to start a race war.



    The pics prove the lying, the truth about his history isn’t “blaming the victim” it’s simply pointing out that the truth does not match the lying narrative!

  50. @Dianna: “Fair Use” allows pics to be used for education – among other purposes – and the news uses pics pulled from Facebook and other sites all the time!

    It’s JUST NOT POSSIBLE that they didn’t know about this-as I noted, they even REPORTED most of it on the local news within a day or two!

    Nope. The lying is deliberate, all part of the agenda.

  51. @Alan Noble lol…you’re absolutely right. My bad…I’ve just seen that pic posted one too many times online. This case is very personal to a lot of us who have lost family members and/or experienced similar profiling…and the way they are trying to paint the victim is disgusting to me…

  52. Dedicated Dad…the pics of the kid with his pants sagging are not the deceased Trayon Martin. I’ve seen the page that the pic came from…the young man has on the same hat in another picture but you can clearly see his face. The gold teeth pic is him but…so what? Does having gold teeth make him a thug who was out to get Zimmerman on Feb. 26th? Yes…Zimmerman had injuries…but ya know…just because he got his @ss kicked doesn’t mean that he didn’t start the fight,

  53. This is part of why BLACK people on this earth are SO special. To survive the past we survived and still be willing to work with others shows a testament of our great strength. Trayvon Martin is the latest casualty in “the war on black males”. The crucifiction on black males started with our beloved bedrin Jesus The Christ all the way up to Dr. Martin Luther King jr. In 2012 and the years to come this new modern day racism or sophisticated lynching would be at its full strength. For more info on that search ” michelle alexander”.

    P.s this world would not know peace until the power of love over powers the love of money. .
    European men is intoxicated with power, like a kid running a household. No parents to tell him wats good or bad, he just make decisions off emotions. What’s sad is we have to wait n suffer until this child grows up.

  54. When I was in high school, we did a study on how the New York Times portrays and stereotypes youth. What we noticed as we were reading through several articles in the New York Times: Every time they had an article on a caucasian youth who had committed a crime, they always showed a high school picture and the article spoke about the person’s goals in life, sports played, etc. However when it was a person of color, they would show a mug shot or the person in shackles in the courtroom and the article would speak of the person’s criminal background. This study was done several years ago and it wasn’t done by someone with a facebook because there wasn’t facebook back then. The internet is indeed dangerous and can be used in such harmful ways, people can spread such lies, but this has been going on for years not by average Joes, but professionals who get paid to publish these articles and pictures.

  55. it’s always more complicated than it seems. from what i understand, he made good grades. how does that fit in with the photo and the suspensions. zimmerman has an assault charge against an officer even though he clearly aspires to be an officer, of sorts. i think it was right for the public to question why things appeared to be handled differently in this case, but now we all need to let the system do its job.

  56. There is a picture of me on Facebook in which I am dressed like a witch for Halloween. That doesn’t mean that tying me to a stake and burning me is justified. A person’s appearance does not justify stalking or killing. Nor do a smile and a tie make an innocent man. This battle over pictures and images is very telling of how far we have not progressed in becoming post racist. If the victim had been blond haired, blue eyed and in a polo shirt and the shooter black and in a hoodie, would it have made a difference? Do you think the shooter would have walked, especially with a record like zimmerman’s?

    In this case forensics should easily be able to tell the story of who was on top, who was punching. The problem is that the police skipped all that, skipped gathering evidence for the trial that should have delivered the verdict, and the justice system declared him innocent without due process. He was declared innocent and released before all the witnesses had been interviewed, and several important steps were skipped, such as a toxicology exam. If my son was shot while armed with nothing more dangerous than a bag of skittles, I would want to at least see the shooter go to trial.

  57. Alan, perhaps you should write another post about how we all need to read an article before we decide to comment on it! I can’t believe how many people commented on this article without even bothering to read it!

  58. Wow listen to some of the white guilt in here, and listen to some who are living in denialville. Sad. For every possible case of white against black we can find 100 or more the other way around-and 10 times worse, it just hardly ever gets reported in the media and we all know it-because it doesn’t fit the narrative. So yes, you’d better believe-the white race DOES suffer the most racism in America today. The tables have indeed turned. Everything from whites getting set on fire, to torture and murder, to rapes, to acts I can’t even repeat.

  59. You call yourselves Christians? It’s been confirmed that this photo you’re spreading is not a picture of the murdered boy. Trying to mislead is disgusting behavior. This article should be retracted and an apology issued Stop disgracing our faith.

    [Note from the editor: We’ll apologize just as soon as you read before commenting.]

  60. If Trayvon were white, this would not be an issue. People like Sharpton and Jackson help fuel the already tense racial issues in the community. They need to STFU and keep out of it.

  61. @SickofYouGoodForNothingInbreds GOOD LORD! Read the freaking article! Did you read ANYTHING of the article!? The whole purpose of the article is to say that the picture is the wrong picture!

  62. Reading is in fact fundamental. Sure glad I still can.

    Great article. Wish more posters would read more, speak less.

  63. As an outsider there are several things that concern me about the Martin case. Paramount is the attempt – primarily by black Americans – to bend everything into a race war. Rather than face the facts that demographically, they have some horrendous socio-economic stats that are mainly of their own causing, they continually blame mythical whites for their problems. Slavery was NOT a white thing. Slavery was – and still is – a practice common to many African and Middle Eastern nations. Yes, whites did go to the slave markets and purchase slaves, but the slaves they bought were captured from neighbouring tribes by their fellow blacks. Whites did not start slavery; they ended it. But facts don’t count with this gang of thugs and opportunists who are bent on using race and tribe for personal gain. In my country any person issuing a bounty as happened in this affair, against George Zimmerman, would be immediately charged with conspiracy to commit murder. The person who published what he thought was Zimmerman’s address would be charged with violation of privacy laws. Obama, who commented that ‘if I had a son he’d look like Treyvon’ would be charged with incitement to riot. Perhaps most Americans haven’t noticed, but their country is becoming ‘Africanized’. By that I mean it is becoming increasingly like that bastion of misery, poverty, lawlessnes, criminality, and injustice that is Africa. Any day now I expect our External Affairs office to begin issuing travel advisaries cautioning us about travel to the US, as is done for many uncivilized places in the world. After all, if bounties can be placed on anyone’s head, with apparent immunity from the law because they belong to a favoured racial group empowered, molly-coddled, and enabled by endless affirmative action programs, then indeed, it is no longer safe to travel to the US.

  64. Barney,

    Though you have a point that the black community needs to own up to some of the issues within their own community and stop blaming whites for everything, your overall tone is horribly ignorant, both of the issues in America, and your description of Africa as a “bastion of misery, poverty, lawlessnes, criminality, and injustice.” Africa has it’s issues, too, but you can not at all paint it with such a broad and simplistic brush.

  65. My my my Barney, you certainly are clueless about this country. A dear British friend of mine just t spent a couple of weeks in LA with his sister who has cancer and found our optimism and desire to succeed so refreshing as compared to Britain. I am a historian as well as a Padre and if I recall the British Empire was quite the bastion of human rights and when I think of how failed and racist British and European colonialism in Africa, Asia and the Middle East is in large part the broader world is a mess I find it incredulous that you spout this as if you can be judge and jury. I’ve been to Britain quite a few times since the 1970s and your racial problems make ours look paltry because despite our own idiocy on the subject I do think that most Americans of every race actually want to get along. Yes we have problems but we will get through them, so piss off and enjoy your bad weather, bad food, lovely relations with your racial and religious minorities and lest I forget that inbred Royal Family….

  66. ok. so any teenage kid who thinks he or she is a “thug” should be accused, followed, assaulted and shot? only a racist who make that assumption.

  67. “Now imagine Trayvon dressed in a hoodie (disguise) stalking a neighborhood on a rainy night.”… the caption reads (excerpt). More importantly… now imagine that he was being stalked, but a guy with a gun, and a pick up truck, on a rainy night.

    If this kid did have the most thugged out, and I mean, depraved, pictures on the internet the world were to ever see… that doesn’t make his murder worthy. Were he to spew cursewords and tatoo his face, he shouldn’t be killed. An image of a person is not who they are… more importantly… a person’s image, or the perception of that image, doesn’t give another person grounds to cause them bodily harm. Besides all of that… George Zimmerman never save Trayvon’s facebook, or twitter, or myspace, or email… he saw a youth with a bag of skittles and an Arizona Iced tea…

    ….how menacing. Let the issue be the issue.

  68. barney…I see you are not too well educated on how slavery worked in America. Most slaves were not “bought from a slave market in Africa”. Most of them were born slaves…right here in America. Also…what makes you think that Black people want a Race War? We are severely outnumbered. We have never pushed for a race war…only equal treatment and opportunity. Sure, some of us have done things to incite violence…but it has never been a wide spread thing.

    As far as being a “favored” group…lol…Trayvons death, and his killer being set free based on his word doesn’t indicate that he belonged to a “favored” group. You’re on the outside looking in and you really don’t know as much as you think you know.

  69. Lol, yall talking about a race war???everytime there’s a problems YOU PEOPLE are the only ones racing to war!!! Get it??? Here’s another joke. This is the same state “florida” that locked up a 15teen year old BLACK BOY for accidently killing his 8year old friend with a wrestling move. He was arrested lest then a hour!!! Where’s the kicker. The state tryed to charge him as a adult even when after the victom mother said it was an accident!!! They still got six years out of him. LoL.YOU PEOPLE are so funny. Racist people like zimmerman is not the problem, you can b racist if u want, as long as u keep ya hands to yaself and don’t force ya beliefs on anyone everything should be cool… But if u are a KKK racist and harm others over ya beliefs then a system must be in place under law (which it is) that protect the people from such crimes.

  70. Racial bias goes both ways, i was the minority in an African American High School. Just go to an elementary school yard during unsupervised play and you will see ridicule for being too fat too skinny, too smart, too stupid, curly and straight hair, etc.

    It’s not about race but man’s falleness and selfishness (love of self) instead of love of God and His Creation, including others created in His Image. We are all guilty.

  71. Obviously this guy is a wannabe cop. I have a 17 yo son who has a mohawk and dresses like that as most of them do, he is also 6ft 2 and and 155lbs. It’s not alright to shoot some unarmed person when you were told not to follow. It’s nieghborhood watch not neighboehood kill. If you look at my sons face book you will see similar pictures as well as his friends and murder is murder and should be dealt with in the same way. Black, White. Hispanic or asian.

  72. I also forgot his family said he had a broken nose, where is the blood he already lied and said he was calling out for help but 2 independant voice analasists ruled Zimmerman out.

  73. “Their narrative is that the white race is really the race that suffers the most racism in America.” What makes you think that because I believe blacks are more racist than whites, at least in many cases including the election of Barak Obama, that my motive is racism? You are clearly judging against whites when, not waiting for the facts, you say that blacks are calling for “justice.” If Zimmerman is also a minority, and was being attacked, what makes you think he was racially motivated? How is the aftermath against him NOT racist, when black-on-black murders are commonplace? No matter what Trayvon looks like, he was on top of a hispanic guy beating him and allegedly threatening his life when he was shot. To tell people that they are racist but just don’t know it is ridiculous and arrogant. To think that one color is more racist than other is wrong-headed. To act holier-than-thou about the whole subject is disgusting.

  74. Jesse

    As a White Male combat veteran whose family owned slaves and qualifies as both a Son of the American Revolution and Son of the Confederacy I just have to wonder what kind of idiot that you are? But then how many kinds are there. Racism played a part in this no doubt, but even more a miscarriage of justice at the local level that was only partly rectified by national figures like Al Sharpton getting involved after being asked to come when it appeared local prosecutors, police and media were going to the the case die. Zimmerman killed Martin, that much is sure…Zimmerman is alive and free, Martin is dead and 6 feet under. What don’t you get? Zimmerman pursued and killed an unarmed teenager after being told not to pursue by the police. Even if Martin threw the first blow he certainly would be covered by the “Stand Your Ground” law if he felt threatened. Anyone here can call me whatever they want but the facts are that Zimmerman killed Martin after ignoring the police. If Martin was not black I’ll bet that Zimmerman would have never even called the police at all and certainly not pursued him. Call me whatever Jesse, but I will call you what I believe you are. Ignorant and stupid. Since you don’t need to be a racist to be either of those so I won’t call you a racist. You can repent of racism and you can choose to become something other than ignorant, but stupidity can’t be remedied.
    Have a good day.
    Padre Steve+

  75. No matter what you claim – the boy in your picture with white shirt IS the Martin who was shot.

  76. Tore, from what I understand the picture of Martin in the white undershirt is indeed him. The picture below that in the same image, however, is not him.

  77. So what u telling me is I can’t pose for a Facebook picture without being called a thug. That picture doesn’t matter who it is George Zimmerman should have backed down when the actual police told him too. You don’t know anything about growing up being stereotyped in this country,. The worse crime is being a broke african american in this country because of the technicalities this country has set up for us. We a country that pay taxes on land the government stole from God and charge americans to live on it but u go other countries there are no personal property tax. Im sure you have people in your family that where raggedy jeans but none calls them trailer park trash when they get in a situation. You are just like the media u don’t know what to believe. What was his criminal history ? Did he go to church? What are his grades in school explain that before u call someone a thug. Glad it won’t my son cause I would expose you on national tv my damn self. Go look me up on Facebook …Bodiddley Bowen Sims

  78. Im horrified by the number of people who think Trayvon was just some innocent kid. People make choices and put themselves in situations where things can go wrong. That is exactly what he did, he was a thug who was spending his suspension from his Miami High School in Sanford. He was suspended for possession. His twitter and facebook were filled with hateful words and violent innuendo. He was a THUG.
    Live by the gun, die by the gun, it’s what thugs do.
    Just like people had the audacity to be shocked Tupac was shot and killed. That’s what happens to thugs. If Tayvon had been a decent, studious, clean cut kid this would have never happened.
    This isn’t about black or white, it’s about right and wrong. No one can change the fact that Trayvon is dead and no one can change the fact, regardless of how hard the media and all his supporters try, that he was a thug, plain and simple.

    1. If Zimmerman had stalked me while I was innocently walking home, as he did with Trayvon, I would have beat his ass down too if he had confronted me. Point is, he reported the incident to police and was told to stand down. He didn’t, Proceeded to take Teayvons life, and must now pay for his wrongful actions. If you are in fear for your life, you do not go chasing danger. This is an individual, who by his own actions, was intent to be a vigilantly.

    2. Whatever, it would have been the same outcome. Why are you defending a gangster thug? Are you one yourself?

    3. Yeah, Zimmerman shouldn’t have done anything. He was only going to die.

      [In case you weren’t aware, head being smashed into the ground]

    4. In case you weren’t aware, George had a gun. I’d fight to stay alive too.

    5. Zimmerman followed him when he was told not to. Did Treyvon do wrong if he attacked him, yes but he deserve to die, no

    6. I’m a black man and all I can say I was embarrassed from the start. We have a Zimmerman/Martin situation in our community all day long. No protest no marching. My friend was car jacked waiting for food in a Jack in a box drive through. He gave the guys his keys and walked away. He was still shot in the back three times and died. I was almost shot in a drive by on my way home from junior high. I can tell you we both were not in a gang, just hard working kids trying to make it. I teach my kids never ever use the race card. I also teach my kids do not lump one race together if you have a beef with someone you have a beef with that person not there ethnicity. The truth is the truth, Zimmerman never should have been charged. The media are vicious fools and most but not all of my people (blacks) are taking this hook line and sinker. We are being laughed at. I bet if it was Aaron Hernandez killing Martin and not Zimmerman it would not be a story (no marching no protest) And stop with the Emmett Till comparisons (that is an insult to Emmett Till and his family), the Obama in a hoodie (stop), if Martin was white photos (stop). Lets clean up our own communities. So many good people have died in our communities over bull but I guess that would be hard to do.

  79. On the evening of September 20, 2009, six Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) deputies came to my apartment, 444 Paula Dr North, #135, Dunedin, FL 34698 (5 miles north of Clearwater, FL), and accused me of being a burglar in my own residence. On Sept. 3, 2009, I recorded the Power of Attorney (POA) from my roommate, Tom Cousineau, which designated me as his live-in aid in the Pinellas County Recorder’s Office. We are both military veterans: Tom, Army (Viet Nam); me, Marines (1976). I signed the lease at Scottish Towers as Tom’s POA, and signed my own name, Lawrence Kelley III, in the presence of the apartment leasing office manager, Taylor Seals. In spite of that, these deputies accused me of “violating a trespass warning” and thereby committed burglary of my own residence. Imagine that, if you can. Tom testified at my jury trial that he never, ever spoke to the PCSO deputies at any time, and never accused me of committing a crime against him or our home.

  80. I had discovered that Tom’s ex-wife, Diane Manley, of Grand Rapids, MI, had been running an identity theft scam, using Tom’s name after their 1988 divorce, to buy & sell over $5M in real estate in Tom’s name since 1988. Tom was on a Section 8 HUD voucher & had never given his ex-wife any authority to buy & sell real estate in his name after their divorce. In spite of that, the deputies drilled out the door locks, came barging in like storm-troopers, and ordered me to the floor. (I would not let them in after they PCSO came to the door.) I was wearing a t-shirt with President Obama’s photo on the front. One deputy exclaimed on seeing my t-shirt: “It’s a coon, shoot it!,” while I was on the floor on my knees putting my hands to the floor to comply with their orders. They shot me with a tazer gun trigger jolting me with electrical shocks. That was a criminal civil rights violation, period. I was horrified further listening to their anti-Semitic remarks about my Jewish indicia in our home. I am Jewish and a Christian believer.

  81. I was thereafter charged with burglary of my own own home, and then “failure to appear” for this entirely false charge. I spent over 15 months in the PCSO jail fighting these false charges, in spite of the fact that I filed a criminal civil rights complaint (18 U.S. Code sections 241 & 242) with the Dept. of Justice on October 19, 2009 with Eric Holder, US Attorney General, and took a plane to Wash, DC. I can tell you that Florida is an extremely racist state and the court systems here are beyond belief as to how much corruption goes on. I love my country and Florida. But it is the New Age Republicans who are have destroyed this state since taking over 30 years ago. I am also a sincere Christian. I suffered this anti-Christ assault and false imprisonment due to this coruption. Do not be deceived by this Jewish propaganda seen here. The Tryvon Martin case is just a “false flag” to further the unholy interests of these people who defy God and refuse to let us live in peace. I love the God of Israel and Jesus Christ. Do not believe these false stories designed to divide you.

  82. My case is on appeal with the 2nd District Court of Appeals in Lakeland, FL, Case No. 2D12-2790, Kelley v, State of Florida. But the Pinellas County State Attorneys office and the FL Attorney Generals office have refuted my claim of tampered transcripts. Please help me fight this clearly racist decision to declare me as a criminal IN MY OWN HOME. These people swear in God’s Holy Name to do justice (Zech 5:1-4), but then do this kind of thing. I don’t know what happened in the Zimmerman/ Martin case. But I can tell you assuredly, the law enforcement in Florida is way beyond the reach of the law. My life has been destroyed by this Evil act and there is no judge except Jesus that will vindicate me. Do as Jesus commanded, and love each other as disciples of Jesus, or they will destroy you without hesitation. I am reduced to nothing, and yet proclaim Christ as my Saviour. The End is Surely Near.

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