After George Zimmerman was acquitted of the second-degree murder and manslaughter charges in the death of Trayvon Martin, some public figures have made very controversial comments in response to the verdict.
Political personalities, rock stars, athletes, and even the brother of George Zimmerman have spoken out in provocative ways.
‘Toni Braxton, Go be an African’
In the wake of the “not-guilty” verdict for George Zimmerman, Grammy-award-winning singer Toni Braxton turned to Twitter to express her sympathy for the Martin family. Braxton tweeted,”Today I am embarrassed to be an American…my heart goes out to the Martin family.”
Braxton’s tweet infuriated Florida Tea Party member Danita Kilcullen, who took to Facebook to respond.
“Yo girl, you can’t take America’s justice system? Go be an African!” Kilcullen posted, according to Billerico.
Ted Nugent attacks Trayvon Martin
On Monday, rock musician Ted Nugent called Zimmerman’s actions “the purest form of self-defense there is” in reference to the killing of Trayvon Martin.
In a post written for a conservative blog, Nugent referenced Martin as “a 17-year-old dope smoking, racist gangsta wannabe.”
Nugent claimed that Martin had a motive for violence and a racist chip on his shoulder.
The rocker gave his account of Zimmerman and Martin’s infamous altercation as follows:
“George screams frantically for help as Trayvon Martin pummels his face and head furiously, inflicting damaging and potentially life threatening wounds. Fearing for his life and about to lose consciousness at the hands of an enraged, violent attacker, George Zimmerman does what anyone who wishes to live would do, and he reaches for his concealed handgun, firing a single shot to neutralize the deadly force being wreaked upon him.”
George Zimmerman’s brother responds on CNN
Immediately following the verdict, George Zimmerman’s brother, Robert Zimmerman Jr., appeared on Piers Morgan. At the end of his interview, CNN anchor Don Lemon asked Zimmerman if he or his brother planned to take action to heal the racial divide now that the case is closed.
In his answer, Zimmerman said:
“…I want to know what makes people angry enough to attack someone the way that Trayvon Martin did. I want to know if it is true, and I don’t know if it’s true, that Trayvon Martin was looking to procure firearms, was growing [drugs].. marijuana plants or was making ‘lean’ or whatever he was doing. I want to know that every minor, high schooler, that would be reaching out in some way for help, and they may feel it’s by procuring firearms or whatever it is they may be doing, that they have some kind of help.”
Roddy White rant
Many athletes made their opinions known on Twitter after the jury announced their verdict. For instance, Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White had some words for the jury. In his series of tweets he said:
“[Expletive] Zimmerman got away with murder today[,] wow what kind of world do we live in[?]”
“All them [sic] jurors should go home tonight and kill themselves for letting a grown man get away with killing a kid[.]“
White later offered this apology: “I understand my tweet last nite [sic] was extreme. I never meant for the people to do that. I was shocked and upset about the verdict. I am sorry.”
Wide receiver Victor Cruz also took a lot of heat for his expressions on twitter. Cruz said Zimmerman would not survive a year because “the hood” would eventually “catch up with him.” The New York Giant then deleted the tweet and quickly apologized with several follow-up tweets.
Rush Limbaugh wants to say the n-word now
After Rachel Jeantel’s defense of her friend Trayvon Martin’s n-word use, Rush Limbaugh claimed that he should be able to use a variation of the word.
In an interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan, Jeantel said that Martin was not being racist when he used the slur in reference to Zimmerman.
Limbaugh later mocked her argument that the n-word takes on a different meaning when it ends in an ‘-a’ as opposed to ‘-er.’
On his morning radio broadcast Limbaugh said, “… Well I think I can [use the n-word] now. Isn’t that the point? ‘Cause it’s not racist.”