by Lavern Merriweather
This post may seem somewhat insensitive in light of the recent tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, at Sandy Hook Elementary, but any time I hear about stuff like this happening ,I have some difficulty feeling sympathy for those involved, mainly because those same people wringing their hands and crying over how such a horrific tragedy like this could happen in such a nice town are singing a much different song when anything like this happens in poor, black, urban areas. There is immediately a rallying cry that such behavior was bound to happen and because of black people’s ‘culture of violence’ that we supposedly love so much will always leads to this. We are just natural born thugs who can’t let one minute go by without causing as much chaos and mayhem as humanly possible.
Not once have I ever heard a young or older black male who commits an act of violence labeled as crazy or mentally unstable. I don’t think the shooter at Sandy Hook was either. I think, if anything, he was very angry. Maybe he was someone who felt wronged or was wronged many times in his life. So, he wanted payback and what better way to get it than the path of least resistance.
However, as much as I would like to go there again with the privilege of white male violence which still is on full display any time something like this happens, this post is more about the victims than the shooter. Let’s not kid ourselves here. The main reason why we are told that as a nation we should give an outpouring of love and support to the parents and family members for Sandy Hook is because their kids are what we call or consider ‘cute’. Since these kids resemble the children of Madison Avenue, we should obviously care more about them than we should those who don’t quite fit the mold.
Plus, they have more traditional sounding names. There is no rush to shed tears or hold candlelit vigils for Shauniqua, Melvon or Lamishiea. Trust me, the kids with those names will get no attention or sympathy from the greater public, and they for damn sure won’t have politicians angrily demanding that the laws be changed, nor have doe-eyed celebrities practically on the verge of tears rushing to speak out either.
Black parents, for the longest, have always had to deal with their suffering in silence, and if their case does become public, ala Trayvon Martin, then it is met with racism and scrutiny from the dominant society. The mentality of ‘blame the victim’ becomes the norm, Something that you won’t see in Newtown or Aurora. Just like you’ll see little to no blame being put on the parents either. Granted, Adam Lanza’s mother is no longer alive and can’t be held accountable, but I have a sneaky suspicion that she never would have been anyway despite the fact that this woman had a freaking arsenal in her home and on many occasions would take her son with her to the gun range.
When a little black boy brought a gun to school, and then, subsequently shot and killed a classmate who was a little white girl, the outrage was enormous, and the boy’s uncle who owned the gun that he had access to was immediately arrested and jailed. There were also self-righteous media bigots both liberal and conservative who used it as yet another opportunity to harp on how growing up in that kind of environment breeds a criminal element. When two white boys, Mitchell Johnson and his friend Andrew Golden, murdered several classmates and a teacher with a gun that Andrew got from his grandfather’s gun collection, there was not ONE adult in handcuffs and an orange jumpsuit, nor was there the coded language that usually comes from the media or white people in the suburbs who will continuously say that they moved there to get away from the violence or that they moved there because they thought it would be safer. I hope they are really feeling safe now!
They might as well have said we thought that because there were no Negroes around. That meant we would be on easy street. No danger my ass!
And it’s not just shooting victims either. I distinctly remember when fellow blogger Jay Anderson who goes by the moniker Average Bro once said that CNN should just go ahead and rename itself “the missing white woman’s network”. Truer words were never spoken only damn near all the major networks should call themselves that seeing how if you are anything but a young, thin, pretty, blond white woman from a well off family, you might as well not even exist. And you certainly shouldn’t expect for the media to talk about you 15 hours a day and 6 days a week. So, sorry Tameka Houston we don’t care about you and won’t be covering your story, have countless volunteers looking for you in the woods or talk to your friends, parents and family as if the world is supposed to stop because you went missing and are now presumed dead.
One time New York resident and white female Kitty Genovese was brutally murdered 48 years ago yet she is still remembered today by many whites as a symbol of urban apathy when it comes to crime. I’ll bet there is not one black female that was killed around the same time that we could ever say that about. Must be because we are the ones they prefer not to spend too much time giving a crap about.