Trayvon Martin, doing better, gets astronaut degree

You all probably remember Trayvon Martin, the celebrated black youth who was shot while trying to pound night watchman George Zimmerman's head into the pavement. To the left, Trayvon is a hero, a young man who was shot simply because he was black. To everyone else, he was a thug, with all the evidence, including the bruises on Zimmerman's head, pointing to the fact that Trayvon was trying to kill  him when he got shot.

But now Trayvon has "turned his life around" and gotten a degree in aeronautics from Florida Memorial University. I think being dead helped him a lot with his studies; Trayvon won the degree posthumously, because he loved to fly.  I don't know about the flying part, but Trayvon sure loved to get high. Whether Trayvon could have earned the degree if he were alive was debatable. He was suspended from high school for getting into fights with others.

In the months and days before his shooting death, Trayvon Martin was getting into fights, getting high on marijuana, getting suspended from school and talking with friends about getting a gun, according to cellphone text messages that defense lawyers for shooter George Zimmerman released Thursday.

Trayvon’s chronically misspelled, slang-filled messages... [featured] pictures of a semi-automatic pistol, marijuana plants and Trayvon flipping his middle fingers....

And then there were his exotic tastes in fine jewelry:

In October, 2011, Martin was caught on a school surveillance video defacing lockers with obscenities using a magic marker pen. The police investigator said Martin was “hiding and being suspicious.” When the officer confronted Martin the next day he found Martin’s backpack contained some women’s jewelry — a watch, some silver wedding bands and diamond-encrusted earrings. Martin told the officer, “They’re not mine. A friend gave it to me.” Continuing his search, the officer found a large flat-headed screwdriver which the officer described as a burglar’s tool. The jewelry was turned over to the police and Martin was suspended for defacing school property.

Could Trayvon really have gotten a degree in aeronautivs from Florida Memorial University? F-U has only a 39% graduation rate.  Could Trayvon have really allocated enough time to study when his life was already busy smoking weed, beating up people, and stealing ladies' jewelry?

The Times had a "Diff'rent Strokes" photo of Trayvon:

When in reality, he looked more like a young Apollo Creed:

I predict that Trayvon will have a very successful post-life career. Now that his life can be fictionalized like a Cosby show character, I am sure he will get all kinds of Ph.D.s and other educational honors to celebrate what a scholarly and sagacious individual this young man would have grown up to become, if only he hadn't been cut down in his prime while he was trying to murder someone.

Questions for discussion:

1) F-U claims to have a graduation rate of 39%. What do you think the real graduation rate is if you exclude dead people?

2) If Trayvon had become an astronaut, would you fault his fellow astronauts for getting orbital concealed carry licenses?

Ed Straker is the senior writer at