What does it mean to look "suspicious"?

It's a question a lot of Twitter users are asking on what would've been Trayvon Martin's 23rd birthday.

In case you need a refresher: Six years ago, Florida resident George Zimmerman — who was on local neighborhood watch duty after a string of local robberies — called the Sanford Police Department to report Martin for being "suspicious."


Martin, wearing a hooded sweatshirt, was walking home to his father's fiancee's house after buying a bag of Skittles and Arizona iced tea from a local convenience store. Minutes later, Zimmerman fatally shot him.

He was 17 years old.

Photo by Jessica McGowan/Getty Images.

Unfortunately, Martin's is just one name in a long list of young black men shot and killed after being labeled "suspicious."

As some Twitter users pointed out, it's a racial double standard that doesn't apply to his white counterparts:

But perhaps the most poignant remark in tribute to Martin's legacy came from Martin Luther King, Jr.'s daughter, Bernice.

On Feb. 5, the day after the Super Bowl, King took to Twitter to point out a troubling double standard in our reactions to mayhem erupting on the streets.

Philadelphia Eagles fans celebrated their Super Bowl victory by flipping over cars, toppling light poles, stealing trees, looting gas stations, and burning property — but despite all that violence, many media outlets brushed off these violent acts as being merely "rowdy."

Meanwhile, when civil unrest broke out in Baltimore after Gray's death in 2015, public officials, political commentators, and members of the U.S. public decried "rioting" protesters.

According to reports, cars and buildings were set on fire. The windows of local businesses were smashed and some were looted. But as King pointed out, those riots erupted out of a continuing trend of young black people being punished by extrajudicial killings and a system that fails to provide their family and communities with any justice.

Of course, the riots in Philadelphia weren't met with the same level of nationwide condemnation as the ones that took place in the aftermath of Gray's death or the verdict that set Zimmerman free.

Martin's death — and Zimmerman's eventual acquittal — helped give birth to the Black Lives Matter movement to fight against the trend of young black lives being systemically targeted and killed.

After hearing reports of the riots after the Super Bowl, Hank Newsome, president of Black Lives Matter New York, lambasted the hypocrisy in statements made to Newsweek on Jan. 5.

"Somehow, it seems there's a line drawn in the sand where destruction of property because of a sports victory is OK and acceptable in America," Newsome said. "However, if you have people who are fighting for their most basic human right, the right to live, they will be condemned."

As Twitter user @StarrburyMike suggested on Sunday evening, it's time to hold all Americans — especially those in positions of power — accountable for this racial double standard.

Moricz was banned from speaking up about LGBTQ topics. He found a brilliant workaround.

Senior class president Zander Moricz was given a fair warning: If he used his graduation speech to criticize the “Don’t Say Gay” law, then his microphone would be shut off immediately.

Moricz had been receiving a lot of attention for his LGBTQ activism prior to the ceremony. Moricz, an openly gay student at Pine View School for the Gifted in Florida, also organized student walkouts in protest and is the youngest public plaintiff in the state suing over the law formally known as the Parental Rights in Education law, which prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3.

Though well beyond third grade, Moricz nevertheless was also banned from speaking up about the law, gender or sexuality. The 18-year-old tweeted, “I am the first openly-gay Class President in my school’s history–this censorship seems to show that they want me to be the last.”

However, during his speech, Moricz still delivered a powerful message about identity. Even if he did have to use a clever metaphor to do it.

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Matthew McConaughey in 2019.

Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey made a heartfelt plea for Americans to “do better” on Tuesday after a gunman murdered 19 children and 2 adults at Robb Elementary School in his hometown of Uvalde, Texas.

Uvalde is a small town of about 16,000 residents approximately 85 miles west of San Antonio. The actor grew up in Uvalde until he was 11 years old when his family moved to Longview, 430 miles away.

The suspected murderer, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was killed by law enforcement at the scene of the crime. Before the rampage, Ramos allegedly shot his grandmother after a disagreement.

“As you all are aware there was another mass shooting today, this time in my home town of Uvalde, Texas,” McConaughey wrote in a statement shared on Twitter. “Once again, we have tragically proven that we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us.”

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Joy

Meet Eva, the hero dog who risked her life saving her owner from a mountain lion

Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva when a mountain lion suddenly appeared.

Photo by Didssph on Unsplash

A sweet face and fierce loyalty: Belgian Malinois defends owner.

The Belgian Malinois is a special breed of dog. It's highly intelligent, extremely athletic and needs a ton of interaction. While these attributes make the Belgian Malinois the perfect dog for police and military work, they can be a bit of a handful as a typical pet.

As Belgian Malinois owner Erin Wilson jokingly told NPR, they’re basically "a German shepherd on steroids or crack or cocaine.”

It was her Malinois Eva’s natural drive, however, that ended up saving Wilson’s life.

According to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva slightly ahead of her when a mountain lion suddenly appeared and swiped Wilson across the left shoulder. She quickly yelled Eva’s name and the dog’s instincts kicked in immediately. Eva rushed in to defend her owner.

It wasn’t long, though, before the mountain lion won the upper hand, much to Wilson’s horror.

She told TODAY, “They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying. That’s when the cat latched on to her skull.”

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