On the Internet, everyone is trying to get their 15 minutes of fame, or desperately hold on to the public’s attention for as long as they can. There are staged viral videos, fake controversies and even in politics, we have stupid questions about a candidate’s hair. It is a sad fact that something as useful as worldwide access to information is probably used more for watching cat videos (I’m guilty of indulging in this one) and sharing “1 like = 1 pray” images of sick children that make spammers a lot of money.
The Internet has prolonged the media shelf life of many people who should have slithered off into obscurity, and a prime example of this is George Zimmerman. Perhaps it is the fact that the guy’s life is pretty much a dumpster fire at this point, and the media knows that everyone is just waiting for him to end up in a body bag.
Now George Zimmerman is back, and he’s counting on using his notoriety to sell Confederate flag prints to support himself, as well as Andy Hallinan, the Florida gun store owner who is being sued after announcing that his shop was a “Muslim-free zone.”
Via WFTV Channel 9:
“The first flag I painted on this canvas was an American flag, but (I) decided to repaint over it with the Confederate flag when I heard Andy was getting sued by (the Council on American-Islamic Relations),” Zimmerman said. “The second flag I painted was the battle flag, which we need in America in order to protect the first.”
According to the website, Zimmerman and Hallinan will split the proceeds, which will go toward “their legal funds, living expenses and advancing their mission to change the country.” A percentage also will go to the Boys and Girls Clubs, they said.
According to Zimmerman, his last painting sold on eBay for more than $100,000. (Source)
I don’t think that Zimmerman really believes in a lot of this nonsense, or at least he didn’t when he first started off, but he knows that there is a lucrative market out there for things like poorly-painted Confederate flags with cliche statements about guns and free speech. There are millions of angry white people out there who listen to right-wing media and are convinced that gays, Muslims, atheists and other minority groups are trying to take away their America.
I have previously lived in Florida and I can tell you that outside of the culturally diverse metro areas of Miami, Tampa, and Orlando there is very solidly conservative base of support and money these two are trying to tap into. Even here in Louisiana, people are selling anything with the Confederate flag on it, because they know that there is a market for it, including this travesty of a rebel flag and horse from a local online swap shop.
So leave it to George Zimmerman to insert himself into the Confederate flag controversy as well the fading one that the Inverness, Florida gun store created on their own to get attention. Unfortunately, that is the nature of the Internet, and George Zimmerman is making a living now by catering to gun fanatics, Islamophobes, and the racists who support him for shooting Trayvon Martin.
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