We Are Not Trayvon Martin

New single-serving Tumblr features white users acknowledging the privileges that 17-year-old Martin never had.

Ever since George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26, 2012, one the most popular forms of expressing solidarity with the slain teenager has been the slogan “We are all Trayvon Martin.” 

On Monday, just days after Zimmerman was found not guilty of second-degree murder charges, a single-serving Tumblr has emerged to proclaim the opposite.

We Are Not Trayvon Martin is a blog where users outraged by Zimmerman’s acquittal can submit their own tales of how their lives have benefitted from being different than Trayvon Martin’s. The Tumblr has already received more than 100 submissions despite being less than a day old.

According to its anonymous creator, the Tumblr was started to further highlight how much the Zimmerman case and his subsequent acquittal stemmed from the color of his—and Martin’s—skin. 

“So much of the coverage and trial has been about race, Trayvon’s race, and what that meant for him,” he explains

“But all [too] often those of us who get the benefits of racism can’t see. We can’t see it because the world just appears normal. Living a ‘normal’ life means I don’t have to think about race.”

Being aware of one’s own white privilege dominates the majority of the submissions.

“I am a middle class white man, who will never fully grasp what that type of privilege has meant for me,” admits one man.  

“The doors that were opened, at least not closed, that I never even had to really perceive.   When I was younger I had shaggy hair, I wore concert t shirts and ripped up jeans.  I saw how even that—as a white suburban kid—could get me unfairly harassed by store owners, by the police.  But I never had to worry about being shot, because I was a white kid in ‘stoner’ clothes, and not a black kid in a hoodie.  I long for peace, but I will demand justice.  Justice for Trayvon is justice for America. “

Others chose to highlight their differences from Martin with photographs of themselves.


Photo via I Am Not Trayvon Martin/Tumblr

The most effective notes on the Tumblr, however, have come by those who used the platform the platform to explain how being white allowed them to get out of a particularly serious situation. 

“I am a 22 year old upper class white female I have red hair and a trust fund,”  begins one of the most chilling accounts of benefitting from being white.

“They do not know that 2 years ago, I daily transported heroin across state lines. I could be in prison, just like any other junkie. I am not Trayvon Martin, but was the person he was suspected of being.”

The sentiment behind the Tumblr isn’t a new one. In March 31, 2012, just days after Trayvon Martin’s death, YouTube user 13emcha—a young white woman—eloquently describes why claiming to be like Trayvon Martin rings false. The video in question has amassed 387,501  views since it was first uploaded.

Photo via I Am Not Trayvon Martin/Tumblr

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The NAACP posted the petition shortly after Zimmerman was found not guilty of all charges in the killing of black teenager Trayvon Martin.
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