Trayvon Mural: Anti-Peace, Anti-Justice, Anti-Truth
Around the State
If anything could turn public opinion in George Zimmerman's favor, it's "We Are All Trayvon Martin," the 100-foot mural Miami artist Huong unveiled Friday at the Capitol.
At the unveiling Huong told ABC News, "... Justice, that's what we're sticking for. Justice for you. Justice for me. Justice for everybody."
What she really meant to say is, "Justice be damned. Money for me. Attention for me. Fame for me."
A more dishonest piece of artwork would be difficult to find. This is nothing but a sad and tasteless attempt to cash in on the tragedy in Sanford, Feb. 26, 2012.
Does this woman have any idea how Trayvon Martin died? Some of what happened that night will never be known absolutely. But one thing we can take to the bank is that a bullet fired from behind, into the back of Martin's head -- as vividly portrayed in this mural -- was not the way.
With a few strokes of a paint brush, Huong, the Vietnam War refugee and self-proclaimed "peace activist" opened a still-festering wound. Her mural is a spectacular mischaracterization of a day and a fight and a death in the life of Florida that never should have happened.
Already, Twitter World is alight with calls for Zimmerman to "Sue, Sue, Sue!" He probably won't want to pile on more pain and publicity with a lawsuit, and for everybody's sake, I hope he doesn't. But certainly you could understand if today he's feeling a tad litigious.
Here is a woman crying for "justice for everyone," yet she can't see fit to extend it to Zimmerman. There is no justice in rewriting history. This isn't what Zimmerman did. It's unjust, it didn't happen that way, period.
If Huong's objective was to evoke emotion, she nailed it. But that emotion hardly brings about peace. It hardly works to unify a diverse nation at war with itself on so many fronts. What she's done is engage in more race-baiting, more hate-making -- this woman who came in poverty to America from Southeast Asia, who even though a minority, found acceptance, achieved and lives the American dream in a beautiful melting pot of a city like Miami.
Sadly, race baiting has become a cottage industry. There's money in it. And look how it gets you on television. Huong's portrayal is a complete fabrication, she's a fraud, but what the heck, it's working for her. Somebody probably told her she has artistic license.
If a journalist recounted in words the death of Trayvon Martin, just as Huong did with her paint brush -- no matter how cleverly he wrote it, no matter how passionate -- talking about a bullet George Zimmerman fired from feet away into the back of Trayvon Martin's head -- that journalist would be done. Finished.
There is artistic license and there is fakery.
Huong got more coverage for her mural in the national and even international press than she did in Florida. It seems to me reporters in the Sunshine State did it right, assigning the unveiling exactly as much news value as it deserved. The artist will prefer the national attention, no doubt. She has plans to take the mural on the road and hopes to display it in Washington, D.C.
George Zimmerman, wannabe cop, has not been the world's most sympathetic figure, certainly not in my eyes. But on Friday, when Huong's mural was unveiled, for the first time I saw him as a victim, too. I have a feeling her painting will have the same effect on others.
Sadly, this sense of racial vendetta is now a common and predictable part of American culture.
Reach Nancy Smith at email@example.com or at 228-282-2423.