George Zimmerman has largely already been found guilty in the court of public opinion.
The unofficial neighborhood watch captain fatally shot 17-year-old Travyon Martin on Feb. 26 in what he claims was an act of self-defense. Now Zimmerman has created new website to gain support.
But it’s winning him few favors in that regard.
Sparsely written, the site contains no insistence of Zimmerman’s innocence. Instead, he states “I cannot discuss the details of the event on February 26th” and that “the fact will come to light.”
Zimmerman also included a PayPal link that doesn’t inspire confidence. He asks for donations to “provide an avenue to thank my supporters personally,” adding that “any funds provided are used only for living expenses and legal defense, in lieu of my forced inability to maintain employment.”
Perhaps most damning, however, is the “Album” section. It consists of just two pictures that show support of Zimmerman, and both have strongly offensive connotations.
The first is a cropped photo of hands holding a sign that reads “justice for Zimmerman.” According to a local news affiliate, that photo comes from a pro-Zimmerman rally hosted by Terry Jones, the pastor who became famous in 2010 after announcing he would publicly burn copies of the Koran.
The second is a picture of a building where someone spray-painted “Long Live Zimmerman.” Without context, it might be a simple message of support. It’s unclear if Zimmerman realizes this, but that the graffiti was written on the Ohio State University Black Cultural Center. University President E. Gordon Gee tweeted that the vandalism was a “deplorable act of intolerance.”
Naturally, Zimmerman’s site, which has a notable lack of pizzazz, has come under heavy scrutiny from online communities.
The Facebook group Justice For Trayvon, which has 50,000 members, opened up a discussion:
“George Zimmerman's website.. Classy or Trashy??? If you were in his shoes would you ask for donations for your living and legal expenses???”
“He's disgusting,” wrote Pamela Atkins. “Can you imagine if Casey Anthony had started a donation website?”
According to the analytics website Topsy, fewer than 500 people had tweeted a link to Zimmerman’s site. A number of those who did were simply making fun of it.
“Well it's official! George Zimmerman is a racist, because only racists are this bad at HTML,” tweeted W. Kamau Bell.
“Please tell me #Zimmerman didn't include the defacing of the black cultural center on his website. #ofcoursehedid,” posted Broderick Morgan.
Perhaps it’s because Zimmerman’s site has repeatedly gone down, but reaction on the social news service Reddit has been relatively muted. The little reaction on that site is mostly straight-up indignation.
“that makes me so mad !! why the fuck would anyone want to donate money to him??” asked misenigmatic.
For Zimmerman's sake, here's hoping he has better legal counsel than Web designers.
Screengrab via therealgeorgezimmerman.com