Thursday, February 6, 2014

Zimmerman, DMX to Fight...Really, Can We Just Not? No, seriously.

You've probably heard by now that George Zimmerman and DMX are set to fight.

You know George Zimmerman? The guy who shot and killed an unarmed black teenager walking in his own neighborhood? Who then went free for six weeks before finally being arrested, was tried and ultimately acquitted last year? Whose lawyer took an ice cream selfie with his kids after the court victory? Yeah, that George Zimmerman.

Oh, and DMX. AKA Earl Simmons, popular rapper in the 1990s and early 2000s of It's Dark and Hell is Hot fame? Super classy? Yeah, him.

They're gonna fight. It will be a "celebrity boxing match" backed by celebrity boxing promoter and crappy person of the year Damon Feldman.

Originally, Zimmerman wanted to fight Kanye West, pretty much because he's a bigger deal right now and it would guarantee more viewers. But oh well, he'll have to settle for Dark Man X. 

I know what you're thinking. "Wait, all I have to do is murder someone, and I get to be considered a 'celebrity?' How long before I get to be on Dancing with the Stars?" You're probably also thinking, "Why didn't someone come up with this sooner! What a great way to finally exact justice and bring peace, reconciliation, and understanding when the legal system failed us! Finally! Thank you Black Jesus!" But in all of this, I have one question:

Can we just not? And by that I mean, can we, collectively, agree not to watch?

I know, I know. Horror fascination goes a really long way. And who doesn't kinda want to see Zimmerman get the shit beat out of him? Totally understandable. But here's the thing...well, aside from the fact that Zimmerman is trained in six martial arts, increasing the chance that he could be pretty formidable in the ring...

By tuning in to the detestable circus that will be this match, we are putting money in Zimmerman's pockets. Yes, yes, he will supposedly be donating proceeds to charity, though The Daily Beast's Dean Obiedallah worries about which one exactly. But even if the money does go toward philanthropy, Zimmerman will still be reaping the benefits of exposure and buzz which will most likely line his pockets in the end.

Still, both opponents will undoubtedly be paid well for the fight, but only because its sponsors can reasonably assume that it will attract a helluva lot of viewers. Well, let's prove them wrong. Let's not watch. Let's send the message that we will not be participants in the travesty that is George Zimmerman's continued pop culture relevance.

Guys, Zimmerman is trying to capitalize on having murdered an unarmed teenager and inspiring one of the biggest outcries against racial violence and injustice in recent history. So if we watch, not only will he have gotten away with it, but essentially, he'll be getting paid for it.

So. Can we not?

As nice as it might be to see that man get knocked down a few times, how satisfying would it really be? It would be on Zimmerman's terms after all, since he called for the fight. And it won't give Trayvon Martin's parents back their son. It won't end prejudice or racial profiling either.

Trayvon Martin's murder was shameful, tragic, and wounding - wounding to our nation, our progress, and to what we, as a country, have the potential to be. Zimmerman's acquittal was salt in the wound. 

This fight turns a recent tragedy and injustice into an all-out freak show. It is indecent to continue to validate Zimmerman and his attention-seeking antics. It is indecent to confirm to the fight's sponsors that this venture is anything better than depraved. 

Let's make them sorry for even giving it a second thought, and maybe next time, instead of giving their money to a murderer, they'll use it to fund education and community programs that will help make tragedies like this a thing of the past.  

The Zimmerman/DMX celebrity boxing match: Please, for the love of all that is decent and right...Don't. Watch.                                    

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