Since the tragic shooting spree in the Naval Yard in Washington, D.C., a meme has been circulating around conservative social media, Twitter in particular, of users comparing President Barack Obama‘s statements after the death of Trayvon Martin to the events that occurred Monday.
Seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed in early 2012 by George Zimmerman, in what the shooter claimed was an act of self defense. Martin was unarmed. Zimmerman was charged with manslaughter and second-degree murder, but a jury acquitted him of all charges.
In the wake of nationwide debate over the case, the president addressed the nation with some prepared remarks in March 2012. During his statement, Obama stated that “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.“
Conservatives have been seizing onto the president’s words ever since as an example of what they consider his racial bias. Now, with the massacre in D.C., some of Obama’s critics have twisted his famous phrase in reference to Alexis, tweeting: “If Obama had a son he’d look like Aaron Alexis.”
Aaron Alexis, now deceased, was confirmed to be the shooter who killed 12 people. Alexis reportedly had a history of violence and mental health issues but was still able to purchase and carry firearms.
Here are some tweets that have surfaced following the release of the shooter’s identity:
If Obama had a son, he would look like Aaron Alexis.—
Travis The Tank (@travmac94) September 16, 2013
What, Obama is going to react to local news, again? "If I had a son, he would have looked and acted like Aaron Alexis."—
Elizabeth Nelson (@ElizabethNels0n) September 16, 2013
Follow Carrie Healey on Twitter @CarrieHeals.