With Twitter and Facebook continuing to explode with posts purporting to contain the address of George Zimmerman, property records and interviews reveal that the home is actually the longtime residence of a married Florida couple, both in their 70s, who have no connection to the man who killed Trayvon Martin and are now living in fear due to erroneous reports about their connection to the shooter.I haven't commented on the Trayvon/Zimmerman incident previously, because, well, I don't know anything that can't be readily found in numerous news reports and blog posts. The story is still moving pretty fast, and the facts appear to be a moving target, and subject to quite disparate interpretation.
The mass dissemination of the address on Edgewater Circle in Sanford--the Florida city where Martin was shot to death last month--took flight last Friday when director Spike Lee retweeted a tweet containing Zimmerman’s purported address to his 240,000 followers.
The original tweet was sent to Lee (and numerous other celebrities like Will Smith, 50 Cent, and LeBron James) last Friday afternoon by Marcus Davonne Higgins, a 33-year-old Los Angeles man who uses the online handle “maccapone.” Higgins included the direction, “EVERYBODY REPOST THIS.”
However, it's pretty clear that "certain elements" in the media, including Spike Lee, have raced to make this a racial and partisan issue (pun observed). Ginning up massive public indignation against the "other side" for political gain is trick used by all (think Sandra Fluke/Limbaugh and Operation Fast and Furious). Wearing my Spock ears, I'll observe that humans are an emotional species, and emotions are a powerful motivator. Asking people to refrain from abusing this is useless.
While this tweet did not originate with Spike Lee, he was, by virtue of his celebrity status, in a position to be able to boost it's circulation enormously. Like Spiderman says, "With great power comes great responsibility". He shouldn't have been retweeting Zimmerman's address to incite mob violence, and worse, before retweeting any address at all, he had a responsibility to determine its accuracy. He owes the couple an apology at a minimum, and maybe monetary damages for turning their lives into hell.