William Filene and his friends thought it would be funny to re-victimize the family of slain Trayvon Martin. The 25-year-old Filene dressed for Halloween in a grey bloodstained hoodie; complete with a bullet hole and black painted face.
His friend, 22-year-old Greg Cimeno, who posted the picture of the trio, wore a George Zimmerman outfit complete with a neighborhood watch t-shirt. He even poised his fingers in the shape of a gun and held it to Filene’s head.
Cimeno, who called the costume hilarious, said it was the best Halloween costume of the year.
The Internet was already buzzing angrily after photos of actress Julianne Hough, who thought the blackface was appropriate, surfaced. Hough has since apologized after being attacked so aggressively by the social networking world. Blackface costumes are simply not acceptable in 2013.
A post on Tumblr about the Trayvon costume criticizing not only the use of blackface but also the cruelty associated with dressing as a murdered teen as a Halloween joke, has more than 12,000 notes. The Tumbler post reveals the names of the teens who dressed in these costumes along with the location of the girl’s job. Twitter users have already bombarded the girl’s job with phone calls and FaceBook messages.
Although they’re at the center of the controversy, these three weren’t alone in their quest to dress as Martin and Zimmerman for Halloween. In fact, dressing in blackface as the slain teen is starting to look like a trend.
As a citizen of these United States of America we are all allowed according to the Constitution the freedom of expression and speech. Even if it means being callous, insensitive and in horrible taste.
I doubt it would be as funny if the shoe was on the other foot. It’s unnerving that this trio would find joy mocking the unfortunate death of a young man; regardless of race.
It’s sad that they could be so nonchalant about harping on a still very infected wound that continues to stir racial dialogue. This type of distasteful behavior is not new to the African American community; it has long been considered highly offensive.
At this age in their lives all three should be embarrassed that they would even consider participating in this dehumanizing stunt.
The fact that they would take the liberty to rub salt in the open wound of two fellow citizens who lost their son is sickening. These two parents showed nothing but class and conducted themselves as decent, upstanding, individuals while grieving through a trial centered around their son. They have to find a way to deal with their loss while the world continues to hinder their healing with such heinous acts as these.
No one in their right mind would consider perpetrating a murdered “black face” a good idea or funny. It’s not even necessary to delve into the dynamics surrounding the Zimmerman case to realize that this could only be minutely funny to someone who has never had to deal with any type of racism, bigotry or bias.
George Zimmerman was found not guilty of murder after fatally shooting 17-year-old Trayvon Martin through the heart on February 26, 2012.
This post is not about innocence or guilt, liberal or conservative, red or blue states; it has everything to do with being a decent human being.
A group of white friends have ignited social media frenzy by posting a photo of themselves dressed in costume as George Zimmerman and slain Trayvon Martin in a sick and callous opportunity to get a laugh.
There’s nothing more to say but God bless these fools and these United States of America.
By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)