Tristan Breaux, president of the Norfok chapter of the NAACP, is being asked to step down because of a mildly critical remark about Trayvon Martin he left on his personal Facebook page.
The Facebook entry is from Friday, before the Zimmerman verdict of “not guilty” was delivered.
“To the majority of the African-American community, I would find it offensive,” said Norfolk City Councilman Paul Riddick.
Tristan Breaux, 25, was sworn in as president of the Norfolk NAACP in January. He is the youngest president in the branch’s history, but members of the organization are calling for him to step down.
“He obviously does not have the maturity when to speak and when not to speak,” Riddick added.
The controversy started Friday morning. Breaux’s posted a comment on his personal Facebook page about the George Zimmerman trial. The remark quickly spread.
“My initial reaction was that it wasn’t true, that somebody had gone on his Facebook and had planted this,” Riddick said. “I just couldn’t imagine the president of the Norfolk branch of the NAACP making a statement like that.”
“I wonder why it is that we are always willing to say someone who clearly had a shaky past, was the victim,” Breaux asked in the Facebook post, referring to Trayvon Martin.
“I think this should be tried in the courtroom and not on social media,” said former Norfolk NAACP President Bob Rawls.
Rawls says he is worried how the statement reflects on fellow members.
“If he had been talking to another person or two or three people and voiced his personal opinion that’s different,” Rawls added. “When you put it on social media so somebody in Florida, California, Oregon or New York is reading, this, that is wrong.”
The post went on to ask if people are blinded to why Trayvon was staying with his dad and why he wasn’t at home at at time of the shooting.
Poor Mr. Breaux. He is finding out that hard way the consequences of thinking for oneself. By straying from the dominant narrative about Trayvon Martin — an innocent teenager shot by a racist gun nut — Mr. Breaux is experiencing a backlash from the guardians of groupthink.
God forbid that blacks in Florida, or California, or New York would get the idea that all the Norfolk NAACP members have been infected with this heretical opinion. Ergo, Mr. Breaux must go.
In answer to Mr. Breaux’s thoughtful questions, the reason the “black leadership” constantly plays the victim card is because that’s how their constituents want to be seen. Being actual victims of racism apparently isn’t enough for many in the black community. The narrative must be stretched to the breaking point in order to include members of the community who create victims as well. This sort of mindless solidarity unites the community and reinforces the notion that the world is against them and that safety is to be found only in unanimity of thought and opinion.
Mr. Breaux’s major sin appears to be that his individualism embarrassed his fellow Norfolk NAACP members. By their lights, Mr. Breaux may indeed have committed a serious enough breach to deserve removal or forced resignation. But stepping back and viewing his comments in context, the agitation for Breaux’s scalp says a lot more about his detractors than it does about one thoughtful rebel.