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Death and Racism

Hat tip to Glenn Robinson for tweeting out the article.

The article on The Root hit me hard;

 Reject the “He was a good kid” or “He was a criminal” narrative and lift up the “Black lives matter” narrative. Those who knew him say Brown was a good kid. But that’s not why his death is tragic. His death isn’t tragic because he was on his way to college the following week. His death is tragic because he was a human being and his life mattered. The good-kid narrative might provoke some sympathy, but what it really does is support the lie that as a rule black people, black men in particular, have a norm of violence or criminal behavior. The good-kid narrative says that this kid didn’t deserve to die because his goodness was an exception to the rule. This is wrong. This kid didn’t deserve to die, period. Similarly, reject the “He was a criminal” narrative surrounding the convenience store robbery because even if Brown did steal some cigars and have a scuffle with the shopkeeper, that is still not a justification for his killing. All black lives matter, not just the ones we deem to be “good.”

It caused me to think back about why, during the George Zimmerman case, I did not debate nor defend against accusations that Trayvon was a “thug.”   Here we are again with Michael Brown, and there are folks trying to posture Michael as deserving of death because he was not a “good kid. “

The quote above explains what I have not been able to put in words.   In essence, those arguments for justification convey that there are good Blacks who deserve to live, and bad Blacks whose lives should be cut-short. That standard is defined by people through racially bigoted eyes that are never satisfied. If they cannot find anything to use to criticize the victim, or when their attempts are proven false, they attack the family, and even attack extended families. Read the rest of this entry

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