By Sowmya Krishnamurthy
Hip-hop artists and public figures are coming together to support the case of murdered teen Trayvon Martin. There has been national uproar around the incident in which a neighborhood watch volunteer, George Zimmerman, shot and killed 17-year-old Martin in Sanford, Florida last month. Martin was walking home through a gated community, unarmed, when Zimmerman followed him. According to the LA Times, Martin was carrying only a cellphone, Skittles and iced tea. Members of the hip-hop community, including Questlove, Big Boi, Wyclef Jean and John Legend have all been rallying on the teen’s behalf via social media.
Zimmerman shot Martin and is claiming self-defense. Many are pointing to racial profiling as the reason Zimmerman (who is Hispanic) was following Martin (who was Black) in the first place, and critics argue that race was a main factor in why Zimmerman has not been prosecuted.
The case has taken on new life online and via social media, including an online petition to prosecute Zimmerman which has over 700,000 signatures to date. Filmmaker Spike Lee retweeted a link to the petition yesterday as did Big Boi of Outkast on March 21.
Actress Tichina Arnold tweeted out, I will tweet EVERY Day about #TrayvonMartin EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I still hear his SCREAMS 4 help. Unbelievable. He could have been YOUR child.” Questlove of the Roots and John Legend have also taken to their Twitter profiles to share links and their outrage about the case. On Wednesday morning, Wyclef Jean retweeted a link informing his followers that there will be a march for the slain teen in Manhattan’s Union Square. “
@wyclef tonight they will be marching in Union Square for #TravyonMartin. Let’s show our support from 6PM-9-PM.”
Yesterday, the NY Times reported that the Department of Justice has opened an inquiry into the shooting.