Friday, July 19, 2013

Comparing the Trayvon Martin Killing to the Marley Lion Case Doesn’t Make Any Sense

I’ve been reading about the Marley Lion case and how some are comparing it to the Trayvon Martin case, and frankly, this has me perplexed.

Elizabeth O’Neill, a mother from James Island, South Carolina, created and posted to her Facebook page an infographic contrasting the two cases, and that’s got some people talking.

O’Neill claimed that she wasn’t thinking about race when she created the infographic. However, the infographic shows pictures of Martin, a black teen shot and killed by a Hispanic man, and Lion, a white teen shot and killed by black men, and then asks in big letters, “You tell me … what is the difference?” so no way am I buying O’Neill’s wide-eyed “Who me?” routine. She can keep it. Her “race neutral” assertion simply doesn’t pass the smell test.

O’Neill is quoted as saying "It doesn't matter what color your skin is. Everybody bleeds red. It doesn't matter. Two mothers still lost their son."

And her point would be what exactly?

Seriously, I don’t get it. Should we all just stop talking about the Martin case? Would that make O’Neill feel better? More to the point, would it make those who grieve Lion’s passing feel better? I doubt it.

And if I were O’Neill’s Black Friend, I’d tell her “Friend when you act in a way that is clearly motivated by race, don’t deny it. It makes you look really, really racist and the worst kind of racist, too, which would be the CLUELESS racist who swears up and down that her actions are neutral when anyone with eyes to see knows better. And the clueless racist makes black people crazy, friend, because we know there’s NO hope of race relations improving if people like you keep doing shit and then claiming they haven’t. At the very least, friend, can you own your shit? At least then we can have a conversation.”

Ironically, O’Neill’s actions, which supposedly serve to demonstrate the inappropriateness of focusing on race in the Martin case, will only serve to cement the opinions of those who’ve been crying out the loudest against the trial’s outcomes. Heck, I’d deliberately not formed an opinion, and now I’m starting to feel a certain kind of way.

I’m not dismissing the tragedy of the Lion case. This young man was minding his own business, napping in his car, when he was approached by THREE thugs (three—what a  bunch of cowards) who wanted to rob him. (A fourth suspect was later charged as an accessory after the fact.) What gives them the right? I hope their asses stay locked up and the state throws away the key.

However, to compare this case to the Martin case is to compare apples to oranges.

After Lion’s murder, local law enforcement promptly investigated the crime, enlisting the aid of the Secret Service and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, I might add, and the suspects were arrested and jailed and are awaiting trial.

In other words, the system worked exactly as expected. 

And nobody from the community is defending these thugs. Nobody’s jumping up and down claiming Lion’s murderers should be set free, that they were only arrested because they’re black and Lion was white. No. By all reports, black folks are just fine with the way things have turned out.

But in the Martin case, a seemingly ordinary citizen fatally shot an unarmed teen. The shooter claimed self-defense, but there were no witnesses to what started the altercation, and the victim had no criminal record. Was it wrong to ask a few questions, here?

Apparently there are those who would answer in the affirmative.

So O’Neill can protest all damn day long, claiming she only wanted some justice for Lion, but I think that’s crap, because there’s no reason to think his murderers won’t get exactly what’s coming to them. Again I ask, what is her point?

Let me tell you her point, okay? And then we can all go home.

Her point is, “I’m sick of all this talk about this black boy! Who is he? Look at this white kid over here. Some black animals killed him. That’s what’s important, and does anyone care?”

Yes, O’Neill, a whole lot of people care.

But I’m betting you knew that already. 


  1. Great post. She sounds like someone who is in cahoots with Paula Deen. "I didn't know it was bad." Wow. I mean justice for the white kid and none for the black one? No difference, really? Well no difference from all the years before in this country. But hopefully someday those of us who want improved race relations will outweigh the good 'ole boys and other racists who keep passing it down by the mouthful. Thank you for your words!

    1. You're welcome gurglingthoughts--love that! Yeah, O'Neill's claim is pretty incredible to me, too. And I hadn't made the comparison to Paula Deen, but I think you're right.