“We Are Not Trayvon Martin”

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trayvon“We Are Not Trayvon Martin” is a tumblr. blog created by Joseph Phelan, who in the hours after the Trayvon Martin verdict, grappled with his own emotions, resulting in a blog that moves the discussion about the case to the much more gritty issues of white privilege in America and how it plays out in society. In a country filled with far too many examples of disparity and disproportionality we at the Network find this tumblr blog refreshing and on point. 

The tumblr blog has gone viral and contributions are coming in at a rapid rate. In addition to inviting posts from people across the globe from of all walks of life, Joseph asks a simple question on the blog - It's not enough to know you aren't Trayvon. What will you do to change our country?

Here’s an image of Joseph from an article about his tumblr. blog in Jet Magazine and an excerpt of his first post that set off the viral discussion.

trayvon2"I will never be Trayvon Martin. Look at me. I am a white-man from New York. I wear boat shoes and white t-shirts.

When I walk down the street in Brooklyn I am not seen as a street thug or a criminal, I am seen as normal.

I get all the things normal people expect to get – the cops don’t randomly stop and search me, strangers are generally respectful to me, and people in stores, restaurants, movie theaters etc. call me sir.

Oh yeah, no one has ever stalked me in their car and shot me to death and then been found innocent of any crime related to my death. The likelihood of that happening to me is zero. 

But I don’t need to be Trayvon Martin to know that what happened to him, and James Byrd, and countless other Black men is simply wrong. I don’t have to be Trayvon Martin to stand with those who are Trayvon and say enough is enough."

Visit the tumblr. blog and let us know what you think.


  1. Ruth Appleton's avatar
    Ruth Appleton
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    This is of paramount importance Joseph. As a young woman I was once told I had no right to criticise the government because I had been allowed in as an immigrant and should be grateful! I pointed out I had payed my taxes, worked hard and earned respect and that if I was expected to be grateful all my life I'd be a second class citizen and I had no intention of doing that. The young man who accused me was upper class and I think learned something from me. We need to do more of the teaching and encourage whites to learn from migrants. They may need to migrate themselves one day. His narrow attitude breeds division and unrest. Better to share with neighbours for they may turn out to be angels!
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