Valuing Black Children
By Betty Fokker on September 12, 2013
I have some very good friends who live in Dallas, TX. They have three kids, and their oldest son is now a teenager. That friend and her husband are multi-racial. Their multi-racial son looks “Black”. They won’t let him wear a hoodie out of the house because they are afraid some racist jackass will decide he is a “threat” and and murder him. They have also taught their son what they only-half-jokingly call “how not to scare white people etiquette”. He, of course, calls shenanigans and wants to know why he should have to bow down to bullshit racist paradigms. He’s in the right, and his parents tell him he is morally right. But they want him alive more than they want to make a political statement. They want all their kids alive more than anything else in the universe, period.
My Sweet Babou and I understand that goal. We have one just like it.
An eight year old Black child in Dallas was shot in the face by a forty-six year old White man named Brian Cloninger last week. The third grader, Donald Maiden Jr, “was outside playing with other children when he ran inside to get some toys. The child was shot as he went back outside.” Donald Maiden Jr, know as DJ to his family and friends, “was shot “out of the blue,” according to his mom, by a man driving a pickup truck who’d been hanging around her apartment complex.” No one knows why DJ was targeted by Brian Cloninger. According to witnesses, Brian Cloninger, “whom neighbors did not recognize and was wearing only one shoe -- was handing out free firecrackers to children playing tag in the parking lot … The man had a brief exchange with Maiden, who then started running back toward his apartment. Witnesses said the man pulled out a handgun and fired twice at the child, hitting him once in the cheek.”
The shooting may not have been racially motivated, because Brian Cloninger could be mentally ill -- it could have been truly random. But I am 100% sure that this did nothing to make my friends feel more confident about their children’s safety.
Nor can my friends be sure that justice will be served if any of their children are harmed. It’s heartbreaking, but Black children don’t seem to have the same value as White children in the US justice system. Just look at the way Trayvon Martin’s killer, George Zimmerman, got away with murder. Now even more depressing news is coming out about the dog-and-pony-show of a trail that pretty much guaranteed Zimmerman would walk:
“Dr. Shiping Bao, the medical examiner who testified on behalf of the state … says Florida prosecutors forced him to keep his mouth shut on vital evidence. According to Bao’s lawyer Willie Gary, his client was subtly pushed to suppress evidence that showed Martin could not have been on top of Zimmerman when he was fatally shot. “He was in essence told to zip his lips. ‘Shut up, don’t say those things,’” Gary explained. Gary also said that Bao told him the authorities' "general attitude was that he got what he deserved" according to the WFTV report. Gary said Bao was [afterwards] made to be a scapegoat and was wrongfully fired from the medical examiner's office. He said his client was prepared to offer proof that Martin was not the aggressor.”
Gee whizzers, I wonder if the fact Zimmerman’s daddy was a judge had anything to do with the cover-up of Zimmerman’s past crimes and outright murder? Nah, surely not! After all, Zimmerman continues to display the moral turpitude that made the police believe him! Why, just recently he only threatened his estranged wife and her family with a gun … he didn’t even shoot them! Of course, they are White so maybe he was just afraid that even his Daddy couldn’t help him out if he killed non-Black humans.