We are often, in death, enlarged far beyond what we were in life. This is nowhere so true, or hyperbolic, as when a progressive narrative is being furthered. As a holy social justice martyr, Trayvon Martin continues to be depicted as a helpless and innocent victim of racism, gun violence, and no doubt these days, Trump. But did you, gentle readers, know Martin was an aspiring pilot? As long as I have immersed myself in this case (the Trayvon Martin archive is here), this is the first I’ve heard about it. RT.com reports:
Florida Memorial University has announced it is awarding Trayvon Martin, a Florida teenager killed by George Zimmerman in 2012, with a degree in aeronautical science. Martin had a ‘love of flying,’ the school says, and had aspired to become a pilot.
And how many hours in a cockpit, in the air, did Martin log? The article is weak on Martin’s actual relationship with any of the training or dedication necessary to actually become a pilot.
Sabrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, Martin’s parents, will accept the degree on their son’s behalf at Florida Memorial University’s commencement ceremony on May 13, the school announced this week. Born in February 1995, Martin would be 22 years old, an age many US college students attain a bachelor’s degree.
And why Florida Memorial University?
Fulton is an alumnus of the school, and the university already houses the Trayvon Martin Foundation, co-founded by Trayvon’s parents.
Oh. FMU is also a historically black university. And just what is the Trayvon Martin Foundation? This from the foundation’s website, which is rather sparse:
The Trayvon Martin Foundation is a social justice organization committed to ending senseless gun violence, strengthening families through holistic support, S.T.E.A.M. education for women and minorities and mentoring. Our strategy is to move from intervention to reform. Positively changing the lives of youth and their families through strategic programming and perpetual services is at the core of our existence.
Even though I’m a teacher of the mother tongue, and reasonably well read, I have no concrete idea what any of that means. What sort of degree did Martin receive?
The bachelor’s degree in ‘Aeronautical Science with a concentration in Flight Education’ will be conferred to Trayvon Martin, the school said, ‘in honor of the steps he took during his young life toward becoming a pilot.”
‘Trayvon had an obvious love of flying’ and had taken aviation classes as a high school student, a university spokeswoman told CNN.
See what I mean by “weak on Martin’s actual relationship with any of the training or dedication necessary to actually become a pilot?” We are apparently to remain in the dark about Martin’s “steps. ” RT.com helpfully provides this background:
On February 26, 2012, Trayvon Martin, 17, was fatally shot by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida, where Martin and his father were visiting a friend.
The night of Martin’s death, Zimmerman spotted the teenager and reported him to authorities for alleged suspicious behavior. Zimmerman then followed and confronted Martin against a police dispatcher’s orders, eventually shooting the unarmed teenager amid a scuffle.
This will matter not at all to the social justice set, but for those willing to consider the actual record, Martin and his father were “visiting” his father’s then current girlfriend because Martin was serving a ten day out of school suspension after being caught with drugs residue, having vandalized the school, and found with jewelry stolen in a nearby burglary, as well as burglary tools. This would no doubt have taken Martin away from his love of aviation classes.
There is no doubt Martin’s behavior was suspicious. He was casing a home that had recently been burglarized, and doing it while under the influence of marijuana, while carrying two of the three ingredients necessary for an illicit drug concoction he bragged on social media about using, while standing in the rain. When Martin became aware Zimmerman was watching him, he ran off toward his father’s girlfriend’s home. Zimmerman followed because the dispatcher told him to keep him informed about what Martin was doing, and Zimmerman hoped to keep him in sight for the officers he was told were on their way. When the dispatcher told Zimmerman he didn’t need to follow Martin–Martin disappeared before then–Zimmerman immediately gave up, despite the dispatcher having no legal authority to tell him to do anything, and began walking back to his truck.
There was no “scuffle.” Martin, who had more than adequate time to have been inside, never to be seen again, hid in the dark and the rain and ambushed Zimmerman, breaking his nose, repeatedly beating his head on a concrete sidewalk, and viciously assaulting him, “MMA ground and pound” style as an eyewitness testified. Zimmerman was not able to defend himself or deliver a single blow. Flat on his back, in danger of losing consciousness and his life, Zimmerman fired a single round that ended the attack. Rt.com finishes:
Martin’s murder and Zimmerman’s subsequent acquittal were catalysts for the Black Lives Matter movement and unrest across the US regarding systemic racism and police abuse.
Well, at least something good–BLM, etc. are good, right?–came from all this. Oh, and it’s a small point, but the prosecution in the Zimmerman case actually proved he acted in self-defense. Martin caused his own death when he picked the wrong man to try to beat to death.
In response to an earlier, 2013 attempt to canonize Martin, I provided additional information about Martin:
Martin’s social media name–“Slimm@No Limit Nigga”–is also, taken with his on-line persona, suggestive of a young man trying to live the thug lifestyle with all of its negative and destructive connotations. Many of his communications were clearly disrespectful to women, photos displayed him wearing false gold teeth and displaying obscene gestures. There were photos of marijuana plants and probably the stolen jewelry he was caught with. There was even the photo of a hand holding a semiautomatic pistol. In fact, several of Martin’s communications revealed his attempts to obtain handguns–illegal for him due to his age–and even his father was apparently involved in that pursuit.
As I earlier noted, there has not, to date, been any indication of an interest in aviation in Martin’s life. During the period after his death and during the trial, when the media, the Scheme Team, the Obama Administration, the racial grievance industry, and every social justice warrior in the country were portraying Martin as a veritable saint, if he actually was a scholar assiduously working toward becoming a pilot, it surely would have been front and center in their canonization efforts, but there was no such PR campaign.
One would think universities would be more cautious about the awarding of honorary degrees, but with the way things are going on campus these days, apparently anything goes–except actual academic accomplishment, that is. Regular readers familiar with my work on Martin know his interests ran to the thug lifestyle, drug use, burglary, and bragging about beating others. While I can’t say with certainty that Martin had no interest in aviation, at the time of his death his school record indicates he certainly had no interest in scholarship in general. Becoming a pilot requires the kind of scholarly dedication lacking in the last years of Martin’s life. Following his death, the media labored to depict Martin as a budding scholar, but soon dropped that narrative, no evidence being available to sustain it, and much available to refute it.The most meaningful lesson the short life of Trayvon Martin can provide is the dangers of behaving like a racist thug, drug user, and criminal. Of course that doesn’t help the BLM, nor does it keep the racial pot stirred “regarding systemic racism and police abuse.” Martin’s parents, and those using Martin for their political and personal enrichment, continue to build Martin’s legacy on lies.