Observatory’s sole trustee wants asteroid named after Trayvon Martin


In this latest example of the political left’s elevation of Trayvon Martin to martyrdom and sainthood, a trustee of a famed Arizona observatory proposes to name an asteroid after the dead teen.

William Putnam III, trustee of Flagstaff’s Lowell Observatory, known as the Discovery Channel’s observatory, wants Martin’s name to forever shine in the heavens. His reason? Putnam believes Martin never received justice, according to the Arizona Daily Sun.

The Sun reported on the asteroid’s discovery, and how Putnam came to his proposal:

It was an unusually warm night at Anderson Mesa south of Flagstaff on Oct. 2, 2000, when Lowell Observatory astronomers found the asteroid 2000 TM61. It was just one of hundreds that observatory’s researchers discovered as part of their search for Near Earth Asteroids.

The minor planet was placed into a catalog and forgotten until shortly after Martin, 17, was fatally shot in Sanford, Fla. The unarmed teen’s death sparked nationwide protests and renewed the race debate in America.

It also sparked disgust with Putnam.

William Putnam III
William Putnam III

“As I see it, the social fairness showed to Trayvon Martin was very sadly lacking,” said the retired broadcast executive, alpinist, author and Flagstaff resident. “Inasmuch as I am the sole trustee of an institution which has some naming privileges, I want to do my share to see that this lad is remembered in an appropriate manner.”

Putnam originally proposed that Martin’s name be used for asteroid 2000 TM61 after George Zimmerman was indicted for the teen’s death. The proposal read:

“Named in memory of Trayvon Martin (1995-2012), a student at Dr. Michael M. Krop High School in Miami, Florida. Unarmed, he was fatally shot in Sanford, Florida, during an altercation with the neighborhood watch coordinator.”

The Minor Planet Center and the International Astronomical Union rejected the request as “premature.”

Now that the trial is over and the dust has cleared, Putnam has now renewed that request.

Putnam’s quest for justice is admirable, but it’s wholly misplaced in this instance. There’s no question but that the Martin killing was a tragedy — but it had nothing to do with injustice.

If Putnam wants to name a heavenly body after someone who was denied justice, I have four names for him: Amb. Christopher Stevens, Glenn Doherty, Sean Smith and Tyrone Woods, the four Americans murdered in Benghazi.


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