Concept Artist and Facility Designer Associate at Walt Disney Imagineering, Nikkolas Smith had created a very powerful photoshopped image of Martin Luther King Jr. wearing Trayvon Martin’s hoodie when the unarmed boy was killed by George Zimmerman in 2012.
But when Zimmerman was not found guilty in a verdict announced this Saturday on July 13, Smith put up this picture again with the following statement:
“The Dream will never die. It is more powerful than fear or violence. It can never be swindled away or destroyed. It is one of Love, and therefore timeless.”
Former Obama administration official Van Jones posted the image on his Twitter account to express his support for Trayvon Martin. One retweet led to another and the photo went viral all over again. It was also shared by rapper Common on his Facebook account where it was shared and liked by many people.
While some people find the image ‘disrespectful’ Nikkolas Smith thinks that it’s the best way to send out his message because he believes MLK Jr. definitely would have supported Trayvon. The hoodie has been an important symbol of this case. The slain teenager, who was staying at his dad’s house in the gated community, went to buy Skittles and iced tea wearing a hoodie in the drizzly night and that’s when George Zimmerman saw him and thought that the kid ‘was up to no good.’
In 2012, following the kid’s death, a ‘million hoodie’ march was also held by Trayvon’s supporters who protested against Zimmerman’s racism. Demonstrators wearing hoodies took turns calling out “Am I suspicious?”
Nikkolas Smith is sending out a somewhat similar message with the help of MLK Jr. who was the leader of African-American Civil Rights Movement.
What do you think of the picture? Do you find it offensive or moving? You can share your opinions in the comments section below.