Trayvon Martin Tragedy: Today’s Media DEMANDS Us To Think More Critically Than Ever!

Trayvon Martin, Kony, and almost anything you see on the 5-o-clock news and cable news outlets, blogs, and twitter prove to me you must think critically. Well, if you want to react to the drama of skewed narrative like Pavlov’s Dog, just eat the buffet of fast-food news. Media requires us to be skeptical. But, that is not always fun. In fact, it actually is not politically correct and may cost you. Of course, Jon Stewart is amazing in his facility. Are we keen to learn, as well?

The tragedy of the killing of teenager Trayvon Martin has captivated us. Hoodies are being worn, even in Congress. However, it seems like some critical thinking might caution us to consider there is more to the story. This may be in conflict with the soundbite-laden story sold to us. Every frame of film is being analyzed by “media specialists” and, “news contributors” are available to pontificate on all potentialities. A tragedy occurred. Yet, we know little of the final results of the investigation. However, we are asked to cry foul as if the case is solved!

In looking at this critically, we need to understand that getting on a bandwagon might be popular, but is it honest? Being empathetic for the family involved surely is appropriate. Who would want this to happen again, anywhere? However, there is something we are missing. We have passed over in our media coverage the actual context of the alleged crime. The self-defense claim by the alleged criminal set off a sequence of events.

The Florida law that allowed the alleged perpetrator to not be held and officially arrested is the real problem here. The view of handguns and the ethics of when we are free to use them are also a real problem here. But, we wear hoodies and call for unlawful retrieval of the guy who pulled the trigger rather than look at the soil that grew this inevitable tragedy. Critical thinking would ask deeper questions and end up saying, “CHANGE THE LAW!” Bashing law enforcement for attempting to deal justly with a flawed legality is naive, and shows how we and our media today love to create a scapegoat. To the Left, Zimmerman’s 2005 arrest photo is the image of the child killer. To the Right, articles about Trayvon’s school work and suspensions become fodder. Shame to all y’all!

Race is not the actual issue here, is it? The young man who committed the act is apparently Hispanic. The neighborhood on closer examination is not truly a “white” neighborhood is it? Even Lionel Richie on CNN attempted to bring sanity to that incendiary narrative. But, we are always looking in our media to reduce things for us. It is like the strainer that takes a whole chicken through a sieve, creating a chicken mush that becomes nuggets of chicken at our favorite fast food joint. We cannot stop the addiction however gross it is. Or, can we?

Christians need to model critical thinking, instead we end up criticizing just like a political opponent does during a re-election bid. The Evangelical minds have not spoken out against many clear injustices, because we limit what things are injustices. Abortion is clearly one of those. But, why do we cower from the death penalty? Human trafficking is an injustice. But, why do we still stumble to foster the rights of the oppressed immigrant child? Remember the Bible’s word to us about how to treat foreigners?

Sometimes, the law is the issue of injustice. Had Florida valued human life enough to not keep a law as it is on the books a young man might be doing his homework this afternoon. But, we would rather demonize another young man who was foolish to act as he did and excuse millions of people in the state of Florida for their view of guns and low value of life. So, you see why the news outlets would rather myopically look at this. The real issue calls too many of us people out. And, we would never want that, would we?

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Rich Kirkpatrick

Rich Kirkpatrick

Writer, Speaker, and Musician. Rich Kirkpatrick was recently rated #13 of the “Top 75 Religion Bloggers” by Newsmax.com, having also received recognition by Worship Leader Magazine as “Editor’s Choice” for the “Best of the Best” of blogs in 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

30 comments

  1. I don’t think it was a racial issue at all. I think there is some weight to what the alleged perpetrator defense attorney said; basically, the attorney stated that Trayvon had attacked and his client reacted in self defense. Yes, his self defense may have been outlandish, but I believe that is was self defense. Not everything in this country is about race or racism. But the Media would like us to believe it is. This is simply my opinion. 

    1. The law is wrong. Period. This is the issue I am getting at. Our view of “self-defense” is flawed if we view human life so low. Shame on us! I never said race is not an issue. I just think it is not the main one here. A life was taken and it is a result of our cowboy view of life. Terrible tragedy!

      1.  I agree. I think that there should be no reason why he needed to pull a gun. Are you also upset that lawmakers are piggybacking on this to get their agendas across, or even making this a part of their agenda so that they seem like they care more about the people, just in time for elections. Again, I view it that way. Just curious if you felt that too. And there is nothing wrong with being inspired to change, because of a tragedy.

      2. I agree with you completely, Rich.  The law allows almost any kind of outlandish claim of self-defense to stand up because there is only one story and one remaining witness — the man with the gun.

  2. I don’t think it was a racial issue at all. I think there is some weight to what the alleged perpetrator defense attorney said; basically, the attorney stated that Trayvon had attacked and his client reacted in self defense. Yes, his self defense may have been outlandish, but I believe that is was self defense. Not everything in this country is about race or racism. But the Media would like us to believe it is. This is simply my opinion. 

    1. The law is wrong. Period. This is the issue I am getting at. Our view of “self-defense” is flawed if we view human life so low. Shame on us! I never said race is not an issue. I just think it is not the main one here. A life was taken and it is a result of our cowboy view of life. Terrible tragedy!

      1.  I agree. I think that there should be no reason why he needed to pull a gun. Are you also upset that lawmakers are piggybacking on this to get their agendas across, or even making this a part of their agenda so that they seem like they care more about the people, just in time for elections. Again, I view it that way. Just curious if you felt that too. And there is nothing wrong with being inspired to change, because of a tragedy.

      2. I agree with you completely, Rich.  The law allows almost any kind of outlandish claim of self-defense to stand up because there is only one story and one remaining witness — the man with the gun.

  3. I don’t think it was a racial issue at all. I think there is some weight to what the alleged perpetrator defense attorney said; basically, the attorney stated that Trayvon had attacked and his client reacted in self defense. Yes, his self defense may have been outlandish, but I believe that is was self defense. Not everything in this country is about race or racism. But the Media would like us to believe it is. This is simply my opinion. 

    1. The law is wrong. Period. This is the issue I am getting at. Our view of “self-defense” is flawed if we view human life so low. Shame on us! I never said race is not an issue. I just think it is not the main one here. A life was taken and it is a result of our cowboy view of life. Terrible tragedy!

      1.  I agree. I think that there should be no reason why he needed to pull a gun. Are you also upset that lawmakers are piggybacking on this to get their agendas across, or even making this a part of their agenda so that they seem like they care more about the people, just in time for elections. Again, I view it that way. Just curious if you felt that too. And there is nothing wrong with being inspired to change, because of a tragedy.

      2. I agree with you completely, Rich.  The law allows almost any kind of outlandish claim of self-defense to stand up because there is only one story and one remaining witness — the man with the gun.

  4. I don’t think it was a racial issue at all. I think there is some weight to what the alleged perpetrator defense attorney said; basically, the attorney stated that Trayvon had attacked and his client reacted in self defense. Yes, his self defense may have been outlandish, but I believe that is was self defense. Not everything in this country is about race or racism. But the Media would like us to believe it is. This is simply my opinion. 

    1. The law is wrong. Period. This is the issue I am getting at. Our view of “self-defense” is flawed if we view human life so low. Shame on us! I never said race is not an issue. I just think it is not the main one here. A life was taken and it is a result of our cowboy view of life. Terrible tragedy!

      1.  I agree. I think that there should be no reason why he needed to pull a gun. Are you also upset that lawmakers are piggybacking on this to get their agendas across, or even making this a part of their agenda so that they seem like they care more about the people, just in time for elections. Again, I view it that way. Just curious if you felt that too. And there is nothing wrong with being inspired to change, because of a tragedy.

      2. I agree with you completely, Rich.  The law allows almost any kind of outlandish claim of self-defense to stand up because there is only one story and one remaining witness — the man with the gun.

  5. I don’t think it was a racial issue at all. I think there is some weight to what the alleged perpetrator defense attorney said; basically, the attorney stated that Trayvon had attacked and his client reacted in self defense. Yes, his self defense may have been outlandish, but I believe that is was self defense. Not everything in this country is about race or racism. But the Media would like us to believe it is. This is simply my opinion. 

    1. The law is wrong. Period. This is the issue I am getting at. Our view of “self-defense” is flawed if we view human life so low. Shame on us! I never said race is not an issue. I just think it is not the main one here. A life was taken and it is a result of our cowboy view of life. Terrible tragedy!

      1.  I agree. I think that there should be no reason why he needed to pull a gun. Are you also upset that lawmakers are piggybacking on this to get their agendas across, or even making this a part of their agenda so that they seem like they care more about the people, just in time for elections. Again, I view it that way. Just curious if you felt that too. And there is nothing wrong with being inspired to change, because of a tragedy.

      2. I agree with you completely, Rich.  The law allows almost any kind of outlandish claim of self-defense to stand up because there is only one story and one remaining witness — the man with the gun.

  6. Race is a tangential issue here and it’s distracting everyone from the real issue … that we have devalued the “other” to such an extent that having unchallenged “Stand Your Ground” laws on the books  allows a person to shoot a defense-less person and get away with it.  It’s tangential and distracting us from looking at what the NRA has done to our communities by twisting the 2nd Amendment to such an extent.  It’s distracting us from the idea that we have escalated winning any interaction to a place where it’s okay to kill one’s opponent (literally and figuratively).  Did racism play a role in this event?  Absolutely.  But it’s a distraction rather than the central issue.

    1. The central issue with that law and with race issues in general is the heart issue of our ethics of how we value people–or not.

  7. Race is a tangential issue here and it’s distracting everyone from the real issue … that we have devalued the “other” to such an extent that having unchallenged “Stand Your Ground” laws on the books  allows a person to shoot a defense-less person and get away with it.  It’s tangential and distracting us from looking at what the NRA has done to our communities by twisting the 2nd Amendment to such an extent.  It’s distracting us from the idea that we have escalated winning any interaction to a place where it’s okay to kill one’s opponent (literally and figuratively).  Did racism play a role in this event?  Absolutely.  But it’s a distraction rather than the central issue.

    1. The central issue with that law and with race issues in general is the heart issue of our ethics of how we value people–or not.

  8. Race is a tangential issue here and it’s distracting everyone from the real issue … that we have devalued the “other” to such an extent that having unchallenged “Stand Your Ground” laws on the books  allows a person to shoot a defense-less person and get away with it.  It’s tangential and distracting us from looking at what the NRA has done to our communities by twisting the 2nd Amendment to such an extent.  It’s distracting us from the idea that we have escalated winning any interaction to a place where it’s okay to kill one’s opponent (literally and figuratively).  Did racism play a role in this event?  Absolutely.  But it’s a distraction rather than the central issue.

    1. The central issue with that law and with race issues in general is the heart issue of our ethics of how we value people–or not.

  9. Race is a tangential issue here and it’s distracting everyone from the real issue … that we have devalued the “other” to such an extent that having unchallenged “Stand Your Ground” laws on the books  allows a person to shoot a defense-less person and get away with it.  It’s tangential and distracting us from looking at what the NRA has done to our communities by twisting the 2nd Amendment to such an extent.  It’s distracting us from the idea that we have escalated winning any interaction to a place where it’s okay to kill one’s opponent (literally and figuratively).  Did racism play a role in this event?  Absolutely.  But it’s a distraction rather than the central issue.

    1. The central issue with that law and with race issues in general is the heart issue of our ethics of how we value people–or not.

  10. Race is a tangential issue here and it’s distracting everyone from the real issue … that we have devalued the “other” to such an extent that having unchallenged “Stand Your Ground” laws on the books  allows a person to shoot a defense-less person and get away with it.  It’s tangential and distracting us from looking at what the NRA has done to our communities by twisting the 2nd Amendment to such an extent.  It’s distracting us from the idea that we have escalated winning any interaction to a place where it’s okay to kill one’s opponent (literally and figuratively).  Did racism play a role in this event?  Absolutely.  But it’s a distraction rather than the central issue.

    1. The central issue with that law and with race issues in general is the heart issue of our ethics of how we value people–or not.

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