A fascinating piece in today’s NY Times on Skittles, Wrigley, and the Trayvon Martin murder in Florida: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/29/us/skittles-sales-up-after-trayvon-martin-shooting.html.
Wrigley, the parent company that manufactures Skittles, is trying to figure out how to balance the sad notoriety coming from the murder of Trayvon Martin and that crime’s connection to his final purchase of a bag of Skittles. On the one hand, Wrigley is enjoying a surge in sales as communities sell the candy to raise money in support of Trayvon Martin’s grieving family and to just sort of brandish the candy as a way to identify with his loss. On the other hand, someone is dead, for the apparent “crime” of being a black youth, and does Wrigley really want their sweet to be associated with racist murder?
On the third hand–there is always a third hand, you just have to look for it–it may be that in taking hold of the Skittles as a symbol of Trayvon Martin’s murder, protesters will subvert the image and make it their own. Think of it perhaps as a cross that crucified someone only this time it’s colorful candy, so to speak.
As for post-racist America, I think that one big difference between now and then is that then there was less dialogue between the races about injustice and now there’s talk. Lots of talk.
Talk about candy.