I write this on February 5th, Trayvon Martin's birthday, and despite all the things I would like to say to that young man, I'm going to say this one thing to you: don't you dare watch the George Zimmerman "celebrity" boxing match.
The word "celebrity" comes from the word "celebrate." When we celebrate people's accomplishments we call them celebrities. Ask yourself right now: Do I celebrate what George Zimmerman has done? If the answer is no -- and it damn well better be -- then you should already know that watching this match violates the memory of a 17-year-old boy whose life was taken violently and unjustly. But in case you need a few reasons why, I'll provide you with some here.
1. Watching this spectacle financially supports a man who gained notoriety by killing a black boy. Let me phrase that another way: the man who got away with killing a 17-year-old will get your money if you watch him on TV. You will be financially supporting George Zimmerman, the man who shot and killed Trayvon Martin.
2. Watching this spectacle will ensure we continue to see Zimmerman's face until the end of time. Do you think the media will rest at one match? No. As long as there is green in the udder of the cash cow, they will milk it. One boxing match becomes another boxing match becomes more television exposure becomes a reality show. You know how it is. Do you want to see George Zimmerman on TV for the rest of your life? No? Then do not watch this match.
3. You will be financially supporting George Zimmerman, the man who killed Trayvon Martin.
4. The match is being promoted by Damon Feldman, a guy who was charged with fixing celebrity boxing matches and promoting without a license. Do you really want to watch George Zimmerman win with a loaded deck? Again?
5. You will be financially supporting George Zimmerman, the man who killed Trayvon Martin.
6. You are going to make yourself crazy. Every time I see Zimmerman's face on TV or on the internet, I feel a little piece of my sanity start to burn. He is alive. Trayvon is dead. Zimmerman loses in the ring. Trayvon will still be dead, and Zimmerman will be even richer than he already is after all those donations from what I can only assume are members of Stormfront. The boxing match will change nothing. Not even for us, who would watch hoping for some twisted version of justice. We will not get it.
7. You will be financially supporting George Zimmerman, the man who killed Trayvon Martin.
8. By turning on something called a "celebrity boxing match" that features George Zimmerman, you are implicitly agreeing with the media's soulless categorization of Zimmerman as a celebrity. Your own soul will suffer.
9. You will be financially supporting George Zimmerman, the man who killed Trayvon Martin.
10. And 10. This is the most important point. By watching this boxing match, by giving in to the notion that George Zimmerman is indeed a celebrity, you are accepting the subtle message that what Zimmerman did does deserve to be celebrated. By resting your eyes on the program for one moment, you are accepting that black boys who are killed before their 18th birthdays don't deserve justice at all, that their killers should be allowed to profit from their crimes. By allowing George Zimmerman onto your television screen, you are contributing to a world in which the death of a black boy is one soulless scene in a shiny reality show; one meaningless event on a path to fame and fortune.
While Trayvon Martin is in his grave, George Zimmerman will be smiling for the camera. My greatest wish is that he will find himself there alone: the cameras unmanned, the opposing corner empty, the audience nonexistent: just roaches crawling in the stands waiting for popcorn that will never fall. My greatest wish is that, while Trayvon Martin is in his grave but wrapped in the love of all who preserve his memory, George Zimmerman will be alone in this world... wrapped in nothing.
Do not wrap him. Not even in your hate. Do not give his pockets a single penny. Turn your back on this spectacle, and turn your back on George Zimmerman. It's all that he deserves.
Olivia Cole is a poet, author and activist who writes regularly at oliviaacole.wordpress.com.