Above is the iconic picture we’ve been become accustomed to seeing everywhere in the media, used to represent the recent Trayvon Martin shooting in Sanford, Florida. From everything the public has been told, Trayvon Martin was a fresh-faced, innocent looking teenager and the visage of the man who shot him, George Zimmerman, is right out of a booking photo.
The media narrative being sold is quite clear, Trayvon Martin is the innocent victim here and George Zimmerman is a horrible bigot who attacked the young man for doing nothing more than buying skittles while being black. Even Barack Obama seems to accept the fresh-faced innocence of Trayvon, stating, “If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon.” More on that later.
It’s becoming more and more clear however that the innocent appearance the mainstream media is so desperate to apply to Trayvon isn’t at all accurate. The picture we’re used to seeing to represent Trayvon Martin appears to be a far cry from how he actually looked once he was a few years older.
Extended School Suspension
There has been a lot of analysis about the character of George Zimmerman in the media, and surprisingly little about Trayvon Martin.
For instance, a few days before he was killed, Trayvon was suspended from school for ten days.
Still, Trayvon had nonviolent behavioral issues in school, and on the day he was killed, he had been suspended for 10 days from Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School in North Miami-Dade. “He was not suspended for something dealing with violence or anything like that. It wasn’t a crime he committed, but he was in an unauthorized area [on school property],” Martin said, declining to offer more details. Before that, Trayvon attended Miami Carol City High School near his mother’s home in Miami Gardens.
There has been very little follow-up in investigating exactly why Trayvon was suspended for such a long period of time for what seems to be the relatively minor offense of “being in an unauthorized area.” In most schools, something like that would be a detention, or one-day, in school suspension at most. Not ten days.
Of course, this is why Trayvon was staying as his Father’s house, so far away from school. And it also explains why George Zimmerman, who by all accounts seemed to stay on top of everything that happened in his neighborhood, didn’t recognize him that evening, Trayvon didn’t really live there, and was only in town because of the suspension.
It seems we may not find out more anytime soon, as a lawyer representing Trayvon’s family has sealed his school records.
To learn more about Trayvon’s character, we have to look to his friends and family to offer clues. Unfortunately, it seems as if most people who knew him are intent on cleaning up his image, rather than discussing what Trayvon was really like.
Even though Trayvon was only 17, he already was sporting gold teeth, and several large tattoos. This one was on his wrist, apparently of his girlfriend’s mother’s name.