Media

Laughable: Rumor of Tea Party Boycott of Ebony Magazine Spreads After Trayvon Martin Cover

Ebony's response: Uhh, we don't have any Tea Party readers.
Anna Wintour, eat your heart out. Ebony Magazine has one-upped the entire idea of a September issue with four covers dedicated to continuing the conversation surrounding Treyvon Martin. Not exactly light beach reading, but it will do.
 
Ebony unveiled its four different September covers on Wednesday, and they feature various famous African-Americans with their sons (director Spike Lee and his son; actor Boris Kodjoe and his son; NBA star Dwyane Wade and his two sons; and Trayvon's own mother, father and brother) with the words "We Are Trayvon" stamped on the bottom in red.
 
The issue is largely dedicated to Trayvon, but its pages feature larger conversations considering the notion of race in contemporary America, with an article about racial profiling, interviews with the cover subjects detailing how they approach the topic of race with their sons (who will likely be profiled.) The issue even features a poem dedicated to Trayvon, written by spoken work artist Jill Scott.  
 
Naturally, the covers are not sitting well with those who still want to blame Trayvon for his own murder. Tweet-aggregator Twitchy posted about the Ebony covers, featured the comment that "it's much easier to slap on a hoodie and pretend to fight for social justice than to recognize a Black American is more likely to be murdered by another Black American than some 'White Hispanic' man." 
 
The comment prompted a social media rumor that the Tea Party was planning a nation-wide boycott of Ebony Magazine's september issue—a non-threat considering that Ebony readers and Tea Party members have zero overlap. The first official mention of the boycott was traced back to a tweet from Tom Head, a columnist on civil liberties and Ph.D holder from Edith Cowan University. From there, the tweet picked up steam when Dreamgirls star Anika Noni Rose (what is happening right now?) made mention of a potential Tea Party boycott as well, leading to #WhitePeopleBoycottingEbony to become a trending topic. 
 
Soon after, Ebony Magazine itself released a tweet responding, acknowledging the miniscule number of Tea Party members that make up the magazine's readership, and the non-effect a boycot would have, and followed it up with a far more intense tweet that compared a Tea Party gathering to a "klan meeting."  
 
“As a mother of a young Black boy, the tragedy of Travyon Martin affected me deeply,” said Ebony’s Editor-in-Chief Amy Barnett in a press release regarding the cover. “We simply cannot allow the conversations on this issue to come to a standstill. As the leading source for an authoritative perspective on the African-American community, at Ebony we are committed to serving as a hub for Black America to explore solutions, and to giving readers the information and tools they need to help ensure a bright future for all of our children.”
 
Ebony's covers mark the first time that a major news outlet has covered the Trayvon Case outside the context of the Zimmerman verdict in the weeks following the controversial decision. The cover utilizes one of the case's now-infamous visual elements, namely the hoodies, and proves to be a dynamic image that declares the conversation far from over. 
 

Rod Bastanmehr is a freelance writer in New York City. Follow him on Twitter @rodb.