Saturday night on Twitter I ran across the picture to the left.
The tandem costume, complete with blackface, portrayed Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman as a part of Greg Cimeno (Zimmerman) and William Filene’s (Martin) Halloween festivities.
Until several hours ago, it was also Mr. Cimeno’s profile picture.
Clearly he was very excited to show off his handiwork.
The photo was posted on Instagram and quickly went viral.
Obviously the details of the the individuals in the pictures were bound to come out and it seem the Twitterverse (myself included) was none too pleased with Mr. Cimeno’s and Mr. Filene’s choice of costumes.
Per his Facebook account, Mr. Cimeno was rather pleased with the notoriety his costume was bringing him—including the death threats—and railed against intolerant liberals and political correctness.
Unfortunately those posts were taken down or deleted before I could get a screen shot.
Before the wheels come off of this discussion, let’s get one thing clear—Mr. Cimeno is a citizen of our great country and is allowed by the Constitution the right of freedom of speech and freedom of expression. I wholeheartedly support his right to be insensitive, callous, and in poor taste
Nonetheless, I wonder what type of reaction Mr. Cimeno and Mr. Filene would have received had they gone as victims or the alleged perpetrators of the Boston Marathon bombings?
I further wonder why they feel that the tragic death of a teenage boy deserves to be mocked in such a nonchalant manner?
Yet as angry as this vile picture makes me, I feel sad for those young men.
I feel sad that they don’t recognize that they’ve reopened a barely bandaged wound in the racial dialogue of this country.
I feel sad that they’ve embraced a dehumanizing stereotype long considered by black people to be horribly offensive.
But most of all I feel sorry that at the moment they decided to go down this road they rubbed salt in the wound of two people that have lost their son. Two people who have shown nothing but decency and class during the most nightmarish of circumstances.
This has nothing to do with liberal or conservative, left or right, red state or blue state. It’s just simple humanity—simple decency.
Try as some might, you can’t put a label on that.
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