It was February 26st when a seventeen year-old from Stanford, Florida, called Trayvon Martin walked home from buying Skittles and ice tea at a local store. On his way he walked through the streets of a suburban gated community, which was preserved by community watch coordinator George Zimmerman. Trayvon’s whereabouts and appearance scared Zimmerman so he decided to call the local police. When the police arrived at the scene Trayvon was already shot and killed.
Zimmerman is an experienced community watch coordinator and he was armed. Trayvon carried nothing but Skittles, Ice Tea and some change. Zimmerman stated to the police that a confrontation between the two took place, which forced him to shoot Trayvon out of self-defense. This means that if the forensics can’t otherwise, Zimmerman will be a free man and that he’s allowed to await the results of the forensic research at home. This procedure upsets lots of (Arican-)Americans, which led to several demonstrations all over the US.
Zimmerman suspected Trayvon because of his appearance. He walked around late at night wearing a hoodie. That while many of young (African) Americans wear this type of clothing on a daily basis. Are all of these people suspicious in the eyes of someone like Zimmerman? This question caused people in New York to organize the Million Hoodie March. Thousands marched along wearing hoodies to protest against the stereotyping that caused Trayvon’s death.
It’s disappointing to see that the poor race relations still have a major impact on the behavior of some Americans. I experienced first hand how narrow minded some white and black American’s are when it comes to ‘others’. At the same time I’m incredibly inspired by the initiatives taken to comment on Trayvon’s death. For instance Miami’s NBA basketball team the Miami Heat published a picture where the entire team wore the hood of their sweaters to show their sympathy for the protesters.
This painting is depicts how I feel about Trayvon’s story.