I have two sons who are adult men now, but I remember them at twelve. My sweet little 12-year-old boys–smelly, audacious, shy, difficult at times but without a clue as to why. Silly, confused, confusing little boys.
I have a granddaughter Tamir Rice’s age, tall for her age, very grown up, very aware, entirely unaware that, for me. she is still a little girl. Just like her mother, my daughter, was at 12. Except her mother was never tall for her age. A self-possessed young woman on the half-hour, a shy little girl when met by strangers or not-fully-familiar relatives.
Unlike Tamir, my once-twelve children and my granddaughter are alive, never having been shot dead, you see, by cops while playing in the park. So people who do not know them don’t talk frothing shit about them.
I guess that’s the key if you’re a child and you don’t want complete strangers to talk horrible, hateful, flaming hot or coldly dismissive words about you. That’s the key: Not to be shot dead by cops. Especially not to be shot dead by cops while being Black.
How did we get to a place where the most horrendous, tragic, heartbreaking events in our nation now occasion the most toxic outpouring of filthy-minded, dog-whistling, carefully coded hate- or I -don’t-actually-care-speech?
But Tamir Rice was shot and killed. This child is dead. His family now–right now–is dealing with the terrifying, nightmarish reality that 12-year-old Tamir is just gone. Just dead. And they cannot wake up from it.
And that strangers are speaking hateful things about him. About Tamir. Who is dead. Dead?
Yeah. Really. Dead. Shot. Killed. Dead.
And strange people hate him now. Because he was shot by a cop. So now these strangers are speaking either cold or hateful words about him. About his family. About his community.
Somehow these strangers feel like they have to speak about him and can say what they want. As if in death, they have taken ownership of him.
He was shot playing with a thing he shouldn’t have been playing with in a place where he should have known better by cops who have dangerous jobs and protect dangerous neighborhoods where there are gangs and his parents should have taught him and a white cop shot him and he’s a black kid and that means things and he got himself shot and that put him on our TVs so he’s ours now that he got himself shot in a world where he’s not just a child but a BLACK child shot by a cop and on TV that means things so Tamir is ours now and we have things to say about him getting himself all shot and dead by cops and that means things that we want to say things about and we can and so we will.
Their little boy didn’t become an entertainer, didn’t become a celebrity, run for office, or court public notoriety. He was just their boy, and their boy just got shot. By a cop. So for some reason that means that now strangers talk shit about him and treat his name like they own it. Without a trace of shame or self-doubt, these strangers judge him and use their little boy’s dead body
I get that a lot of people think awful shit all the time and want to say it, but how does the killing of children–whether in a park in Cleveland or an elementary school in Connecticut–how does a killed child provide a context that somehow authorizes such vile shitspeak?
It has become a routine now. Why?
Because this: There is an element on the right that is now defined entirely by free-floating hate.
The following comments were posted over the last 20 minutes from Cleveland.com’s story, “Cleveland police officer shot Tamir Rice immediately after leaving moving patrol car”, featuring video of the shooting of 12-year old Tamir Rice.
Hey African Americans, how come black Carribean and African immigrants are able to make it in society, and don’t get into as much trouble with the law as your ethnic group does, if the system is so stacked against people of color?
Kristen Szabo LePrevost
The kid was walking towards them…that’s aggressive behavior
Gang members start out young. Not surprised the police would be leery.
Here’s an idea….Don’t go around waving a gun around and not expect to get shot… Called common sense morons.
Many posters talk like the “community” at issue is full of law-abiding citizens minding their own business, when the cops roll in and start killing indiscriminently. The reality is that these are dangerous places with many people who have no regard for their life or the lives of others. Then the “citizens” of these “communities” wonder why mistakes are made by the police. Clean up your community and the problems with the police will plummet. Oh, sorry, that would actually mean you would have to do something and admit that
Here comes another reason to loot, Rob and burn down innocent peoples business….becoming a joke and the media only fuels the fire.
Let’s not keep making this about race. The issue is how this kid, and many kids in that neighborhood are raised, by parents who don’t care, and don’t teach their kids right from wrong, or pay attention to what their kids are up to.
No matter what anyone sees or doesn’t see here, this could have all been prevented if someone was properly parenting this kid. All of this, including the shooting is reactive to a larger problem and that is who is raising or producing these kids, and should they be? We wouldn’t be having these discussions on most of the current situations, if parents took responsibility for what they are raising and quit being reactive at society because of a situation that most times they could have circumvented. It all starts there folks.
I decided to leave the live links to these commenters in here because fuck them.