WASHINGTON WATCH ROUNDTABLE: The Impact Of Social Media On The Case Of Trayvon Martin (VIDEO)

Roland Martin and the Washington Watch roundtable discuss the death of Trayvon Martin, stand your ground laws and the impact that social media has had in keeping Trayvon’s story in front of Americans.

This week’s Washington Watch roundtable features Republican Texas State Representative Stefani Carter; Karen Finney, MSNBC political Analyst; Elroy Sailor, co-director of the J.C. Watts Companies; and principal of IMPACT Strategies, Angela Rye.

MR. MARTIN:  All right, folks.  Welcome back.

So, I want to pick back up on the Trayvon Martin, “stand your ground” [issue], and I want to also go to another aspect, and that is we saw so many people who were engaged.  I also think the role of social media played in this case – it sent a signal to mainstream media.  “You guys can’t just keep deciding what the stories are going to be.”

To your point about pressure, social media [are] also going to be driving folks in terms of rallying them.  Change.org – their petitions against ALEC as well.  And so that also, I think, showed folks how the game has now changed.

MS. RYE:  I think that’s true.

I think the other thing that has to happen next is people have to pay attention to what happens after the social media push.  There’s always kind of this build-up, and then there’s fallout.  I’m not paying attention –

MR. MARTIN:  There’s a moment –

MS. RYE:  — to what happens.  Yeah –

MR. MARTIN:  — versus a movement.

MS. RYE:  — that’s right.  And I think that on social media especially, those movements are short-term.

So, now that the Florida commission has come back and said, “We’re upholding the law.  We’re not going to change it [in] any way, shape or form.  We’re not going to recommend any changes,” what’s next?

MR. MARTIN:  Right.

MS. FINNEY:  I think, to that point, I mean, again, there were bigger questions that the Trayvon Martin case, I think, opened up:  in terms of “stand your ground” in other states.  In the same way that we’ve seen the pressure continue to be applied when we’re talking about gun safety – I mean part of the only reason we’re still talking about it after Newtown is because people have continued to apply pressure.

MR. MARTIN:  Right.

MS. FINNEY:  Media [have], therefore, had to cover it.  Part of what we’ve seen with Trayvon Martin is it’s not national news anymore.  We get little drips and drops here and there, but we’ve got to continue to apply the pressure and make sure the story stays in the mainstream media.

MR. MARTIN:  Absolutely, folks.  All right.

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