Photo: Martin’s family.
The social media managers at Skittles and Arizona Ice Tea appear to have gone deaf and blind following the death of Trayvon Martin, the Florida teen who was shot by a neighbourhood watch captain even though he was armed only with a bag of candy and a canned beverage.The fact that Martin was carrying only tea and candy when he was killed has become part of the meme surrounding his death—he couldn’t have been doing anything more innocent until he encountered George Zimmerman on Feb. 26.
Both companies have made statements expressing sympathy for the family and declining further comment on an issue that, in fairness, has nothing to do with either brand.
But the operators of both companies’ Twitter and Facebook accounts don’t seem to have thought very carefully about some of their post-Martin tweets and status updates.
Both companies asked their Facebook followers for what they would do before giving up their “last” bag or can of Skittles or Arizona:
Some responses on Skittles’ Facebook Wall have been brutal, such as this one:
There are many others like it. Here’s a selection:
Shoroq Shosho: kill me
Soloman Campbell: Shoot Me !
Tamela Tammy Stallworth: ASK TRAYVON
Mike McGinn: Get shot by a racist.
Lisa Jones: Ask Zimmerman…
Tamika K SmallClough: I wonder if that’s why the dude killed Trayvon…for his Skittles. Skittles is still very silent on this. I am not buying skittles until you do or say something. No one is killing me for mine!
Jonathan Arnau: Apparently a gun, and a badge. #FACT
Yesterday, Skittles tweeted that it wished it was living in an alternative universe. It was a joke, but if you come from the context of the shooting it doesn’t feel funny:
And the explanation for this tweet from Arizona appears to be that a company staffer really enjoyed seeing an alternative rap group from Brooklyn perform at Austin’s SXSW festival. But unless you’re familiar with the band, it feels weird:
As McDonald’s discovered recently when it asked people to share their #McDStories, it doesn’t take much to become the laughing stock of the internet, however innocent and well-intentioned you are. Skittles owner Mars/Wrigley and Arizona don’t seem to have figured that out yet.
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