Thursday, February 26, 2009

Do Not Dispose

Early this morning I awoke to the usual drone of the morning’s local newscast, and one of the first stories that caught my attention, was another tragic tale of an African American child shot in the chest while sitting in his mother’s car. The suspect in this shooting is a young, teenage African-American male. Sad--- yes, but unfortunately, it’s a too-common occurrence. Thankfully, doctors think the 12 year-old victim will survive.

As disturbing as this story is, it took a turn for the worse when the news anchor closed the story by stating that the victim has a police record for drug sales. My first thought is--- What the hell does this have to do with him being shot while sitting in his mother’s car? In my opinion, this little zinger was code for--- No need to worry about this young child… he had it coming to him. The comment screamed---- HE’S DISPOSABLE!

In all of the stories I’ve read about this incident, none have intimated this child was engaged in a drug sale while sitting in the car, yet by ending this news story with a reference to this boy’s past infringements, undoubtedly colors how people will process this story.

This pains me; in fact, I’ve been twisted all day after hearing how this story was handled. Our children are not disposable. Yes, they’ve got to learn not to use guns to handle their beefs, but using thinly veiled coded language and dismissing them as unworthy only adds fuel to a fire already out of our control.


yonidoc said...

That's amazing that we picked up on the same thing; I heard that story and thought "well what was the point of that???" What did his prior arrest record have to do with his being shot? Why was that necessary as a part of the story?
It TRULY sounded like the anchors were saying "Well y'know, he probably deserved it..."
What justifies attempted murder?

Thank you for putting into words that punched-in-the-gut feeling I had listening to the report.
You summed it up and i'm tired of people inferring that our young black boys are disposable.

Did you see Soledad O'Brien's piece on the Violence Intervention Program in Baltimore? We need more Dr. Coopers. Check it out :

QueenGeek said...

Somedays I feel the world is just broken...too broken to be fixed. Behind all the racisim, sexism and any other ism you can imagine, we are all people..struggling to survive. Out here in AZ, it's not young African-Americans that make the nightly news but the young Hispanic population because they make up the largest minority excluding the Native American Indian population.

However, the story is the same. Those that fall into the "have-not" and poorer communities are treated with less decency and respect than others. The cycle continues and only when a program that offers hope & solution comes along, does anything change.

Excellent write-up. Everyday I think of how I can make a difference and I've been working on a plan. Hopefully, it will come to fruition soon.