It has been a little over a week since we all heard the “not guilty” verdict for George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watchman who shot and killed Trayvon Martin. Since the verdict, and even during the case, social media has been political chaos with everyone voicing their opinions about whether or not Zimmerman should have been convicted. Social media has played a significant role in the trends across the world since the event occurred in February of 2012. Many of us have blacked out our profile pics, posted RIP pictures of Trayvon, taking photos of their children in hoodies, buying skittles and Arizona in Trayvon’s memory, retweeted, reposted, “liked”, prophesied, and more. My question is: are we really making a change or are we just social media protesters?
While observing the trends on the Internet, I began to compare our modern day protesting to that of our parents and grandparents back in the day. They didn’t have the power of social media yet they still had the power to gather hundreds and thousands of people together to protest the laws made against them. They fought until the death, literally, whereas we fight until the next big story hits. When the Trayvon case first hit the news, everyone went out and bought skittles and Arizona Ice Tea, attended a rally or two, and posted a pic of them in a hoodie on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram. After Zimmerman was finally arrested, everyone went back to their normal lives because to us the fight was won. Flash forward to this year and everyone hops back on the political bandwagon with their rallies, vigils, etc., demanding change. How many of us did research on the Stand Your Ground Law? How many of us held meetings with an action plan instead of having and event for photo ops? How many of us wrote to our local or state legislators demanding a change or asked how we can participate?
I can admit, I have participated in the social media protesting because it seemed like the thing to do. And now because I have done my research and understood what happened on the case, I can now do my part as a tax-paying citizen in seeking change and fighting until there is nothing left to do. Let’s all take a page from our grandparents’ books. Those who didn’t just join the fight because it was the thing to do, but because it was the right thing to do.