Racist Business Profits From The Killing of Trayvon Martin

When news of the tragic murder of Trayvon Martin began to emerge, there were indications that the admitted killer, George Zimmerman, was motivated by racial bigotry. Although there is no irrefutable proof that Zimmerman killed Trayvon because he was an African American, there was a certain segment of the population that considered Zimmerman innocent solely because the teenager was Black and in their minds, a thug. The idea of a business profiting from the a tragedy or anyone’s misfortune, although not illegal, is a sign of low moral character, and no matter how immoral a business owner may be, they would not benefit from a tragedy without equally immoral consumers. This past week, an unidentified entrepreneur admitted that selling paper gun targets designed to resemble Trayvon Martin on the night he was murdered was motivated by his desire to “make money off the controversy,” but there is more than just profit involved.

A Florida-based news station found an ad for the targets on a “popular firearms auction website” and although the ad was since removed, the seller reported that the targets sold out in two days. The target’s seller is reported to be a Zimmerman supporter who believes “he is innocent and that he shot a thug,” and apparently there are plenty of racist gun owners who agree with the seller and take pleasure in shooting a Black teenager represented by the targets. The target features a black hoodie similar to the one Martin wore, and although no face is evident, the bag of Skittles in the pocket and can of iced tea leave no doubt it represents Trayvon Martin. The fact that the targets sold out so quickly informs that racism is still alive and thriving in America and that there are Americans who would love nothing more than to kill young unarmed African Americans.

Zimmerman’s lawyer called the targets the “highest level of disgust and the lowest level of civility,” and that “this type of hatred is going to make it more difficult to try this case.” At least the lawyer, Mark O’Mara, recognizes the level of racial hatred among a segment of the population, and his characterization is borne out by another report last week of a National Guard soldier training neo-Nazis in close-quarter combat training and “Army-approved tactics” for a coming race war against “Blacks, Jews, and immigrants at a fortified compound” in St. Cloud Florida near an amusement park south of Orlando. Ten members of the violent white-power group, American Front, were arrested and charged with hate crimes and paramilitary training, and it is disturbing on many levels, but primarily because of the link between a white-supremacist group and a U.S. military employee according to the arrest affidavit. However, one soldier engaging in a white supremacist group does not represent the military by any stretch of the imagination and the real issue is the depth and breadth of racism that drives these hate-inspired bigots to prepare for war against American citizens.

There is an alarming rise in the number of domestic and extremist hate groups in America and they have grown to record levels in 2011 because of a surge in anti-government extremism and opposition to an African American sitting in the Oval Office. The number of so-called patriot and militia groups has exploded since 2008 from 149 to 1,274 and the Southern Poverty Law Center attributes most of the increase to “anger and conspiratorial rhetoric directed toward President Obama.” The FBI and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are growing more concerned about the threat from a subset of anti-government extremists called “sovereign citizens,” and together with white supremacist groups pose a significant danger to the stability of this country.

The racist aspect of these hate groups has been stoked throughout the Republican presidential primary by all the candidates who promoted the idea that President Obama was taking assets from “good white Americans” and giving them to African Americans. Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, and Willard Romney used racially-tinged remarks that may have gone unnoticed by main stream voters, but for racists, the message was loud and clear; minorities, immigrants, and liberals were hijacking the country because of President Obama’s policies. Many pundits claim racism is not as bad as it once was, and to a point they are not incorrect, but the deep-seated racists are as full of hate as their parents and they are not relegated to the Southern United States. The Trayvon Martin targets are an indication that the idea of killing African Americans has transcended hate groups intent on a race war and coupled with increased sales of assault rifles does not bode well for this country’s security.

Racism has no place in a civilized society, and in lieu of rounding up known racists and presumptive presidential candidates using a KKK slogan as his campaign motto, concerned citizens can pressure the makers of the Trayvon Martin target to cease production and sales. The targets contain an image of a bag of Skittles, and contacting Mars Inc. whose subdivision, Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company produces Skittles to demand they take legal action for trademark infringement on the part of the target’s manufacturers is a good first step to express the outrage decent Americans are experiencing. The company that sells the targets, the Hiller Armament Company, must be pressured and there is a petition to stop the sale of the targets by urging Mars Inc. to “take legal action for unauthorized use of Skittles brand candy in a product sold by Hiller. The Skittles brand is clearly seen on the paper targets sold by Hiller intended to depict Travyon Martin, the unarmed 17-year-old shot to death in February in Sanford, Florida.” If there is one thing Americans have learned since the tragic murder of Trayvon Martin, it is that the threat of losing revenue is a powerful motivator and the last thing a large corporation wants to suffer through.

There is little any American can do to assuage racism because it is a generational disorder passed down  from parents to their children, and left unmolested, it will rip this country apart. Maybe pressuring a corporation to halt the sales of a target depicting Trayvon Martin will not stop white supremacist groups preparing for a race war, but it sends a message that Americans will not tolerate hate or a racist profiting from a family, and a country’s tragedy. Profiting from selling the Trayvon targets is as morally wrong and reprehensible as the presumptive presidential candidate using the KKK catch phrase in his campaign, and nearly as dangerous for the well-being of a country still struggling to overcome blatant racism.

20 Replies to “Racist Business Profits From The Killing of Trayvon Martin”

  1. I get emails from the “Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms” and they do their best to make Trayvon out to be a thug and someone who deserved to die because he beat up poor poor zimmerman.

    These people will do anything to make Trayvon out to be someone who deserved to die. Jackets, bulk emails and speeches. These are our gun toting tiny dicked conservatives

  2. I haven’t seen them for myself, but I have been told by a couple people I trust reasonably well that they’ve seen people shooting at a range using targets of President Obama.

  3. I have just followed the link and signed the petition. I advise everyone here to do likewise.

    Vjack, I don’t doubt you. I’ve heard of it too. It’s time to trace that down and expose it. Can somebody get in there with a cellphone camera?

  4. Suing the company into bankruptcy seems appropriate. Send a message to others who might think they should profit off the inbred yahoos. Any firing range owners that allow Obama targets should be rounded up and sent to Gitmo for treason and terrorism. Those gun owners who are not crazy should be taking photos of this stuff and informing the CIA of where and when this was allowed.

  5. Those targets… now that I know about them, I’ll keep my eyes open for them. I expect that even if the one company may have stopped printing them, there are other small firms (with racist connections) that probably will start printing “unauthorized” copies.

    Uggh. I’ve been relatively out of touch over the last three days, and this is the first I’ve read that the racists arrested had been teaching paramilitary crap at St. Cloud (and about those targets). That’s not too far from here (but knowing the area, I’m not surprised – if anything I’m surprised it wasn’t somewhere in this county if not within a few miles of our neighborhood).

  6. vjack – there was an article a few months ago about some guys that got investigated by the FBI for doing just that.

  7. I can’t belive they are this stupid, I support the second admendment, but people like this make respectable gun owners, look like gun toting wackos, waiting to bag their first black teenager in a hood with skittles and Ice tea. What stupid ass thought this would make a good target to shoot at? I’ve got paper targets, I shoot at, mine are of Osama bin Laden, lifesize, now they are fun to shoot at, I don’t know any shooters that feel that Trayvon targets are a good idea. Making money on the tragedy of Trayvon Martin, is truly a low point in Capitalism and decency!

  8. I note, incidentally, that the Hatewatch site has been attacked repeatedly since about 8:30 A.M. yesterday. It was briefly functional this morning, then went down again. Sound familiar, anyone?

  9. While I agree (and at one time was mad enough at Osama the terrorist that I would have considered said targets), at the same time, I think that targets depicting actual people is not a good idea.

    It may be cathartic but it’s not the sort of thing that should be encouraged… as the targets depicting our president are chilling to anyone with a hint of common sense.

  10. Well, you can take some solace in the fact that fools are being separated from their money right?

    These target sales are certainly grotesque, as is the Black Panthers putting a $10,000 bounty on that “cracker” Zimmerman’s head. It’s funny how that didn’t make its way into the southern poverty law center’s report. Selective outrage over racism is in itself racist, Rmuse.

    Also, don’t you think that much of this racial distrust is fueled by those who twist the facts in order to pit people of different races against one another? Let’s say, for example, someone was to take the Zimmerman 911 transcripts and alter them to read, “he’s a black male…Something’s wrong with him…These assholes, they always get away”. Don’t you think such examples of blatant contextomy could have ill effects on race relations?

    Also, when you say, “although there is no irrefutable proof that Zimmerman killed Trayvon because he was an African American”, you seem to suggest that there is some proof, it’s just not ironclad. I would be interested to know what proof you are referring to. Is it your own mangled quote from above?

    Hey, here’s a quote by you from this very article, “Trayvon Martin….teenager was Black….a sign of low moral character”. My, my that is super racist.

  11. Julia, dear, the SPLC did, in fact, publish the very article you said they didn’t. And now, why don’t you learn to do something more constructive with those buggers you’ve been picking out of your nose, such as paste them to the quilted wallpaper you doubtless have, and waiting till they’re fit and proper before you eat them?

  12. why do you insinuate that racism has ever gone anywhere, but underground, sometimes, in this racist country? “informs that racism is still alive and well”. Well, what a revelation. I grew up in segregated times in this country and everything is still the same, in the minds of those who see blacks as a threat when they carry skittles and cans of iced tea. GIVE ME A BREAK!

  13. no surprise there. good white christians, males especially, believe their hold on undisturbed entitlement has been destroyed by the simple fact of 1600’s current resident.

  14. It’s funny how you just blocked out the facts of what Zimmerman said to the 911 dispatcher and his history of calling the police on black people. What exactly would you say his reason for suspecting tray on was? Was it the skittles?

  15. Now, this physician has released a “report” indicating that Zimmerman suffered severe injuries, including a broken nose. I find that highly suspicious, since there were no signs of such injuries on the police tape, and he was shown getting out of the police car with ease around 30 minutes after he shot Trayvon. He has changed his story a number of times, which I sincerely hope will play right into the prosecutor’s hands. The folks defending Zimmerman, including the jacka$$ who came up with the idea of this target, cannot do so without twisting reality in order to make Trayvon Martin out to be a criminal or thug. They are the very people who claim others who don’t agree with them not be so quick to judge Zimmerman, while they are extremely quick to judge this kid with unflattering and unfounded comments about his so-called criminality.

  16. Now let’s just assume, for the sake of the argument, that Mr. Zimmerman, did indeed have a broken nose. Let’s just say he had two black eyes, and a laceration on the back of his head. First of all, how hard is it to break a nose? Not very. Second, if his nose was broken, his eyes are going to be black. That’s what happens when your nose is broken. He may have never been touched in the occular region. Third, who really cares! He shot an unarmed child! Remember people. The idiots that argue that Zimmerman had just cause are the same morons that think corporations are people. Impossible to reason with them.

  17. Dan, the prescient point to this murder is that Zimmermann armed himself, stalked Trayvon, and killed him. Trayvon defended himself and many Americans would take action if they were tracked down like an animal. You’re right though, bump your nose, catch a football with your face, and the cartilage in the nose breaks and eyes bruise.

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