The Lakeland Mirror

Minority Report: A race for innocence

Benjamin Wilks, Sports Editor

I never thought race a factor when trying to assess the age of a person, so when I found out that black boys beginning at the age of ten are viewed as being responsible for actions for which their white counterparts would be still viewed as children, I laughed.

It sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it, that some calculate the innocence of a child based on the color of their skin? I continue to laugh, because nobody could possibly believe such nonsense.

Even as I write this a couple of chuckles leave my mouth, but a sad reality is beginning to settle in.  It’s a reality most try to ignore, that most try to explain with the best of intentions, only to sound completely like the evil that they’re commenting on. No one can be that shallow, so maybe it’s a little bit deeper than what I make it out to be.

Is it because you have this preconceived notion that the lives of black children are harsher, therefore they are tasked with the duty of knowing things well before their time?

Is it that, instead of changing the societal expectations that we put on little black children so they don’t have to understand concepts well before their time, you are comfortable with just saying, “Well, they should know better.”

I wonder if the cop who shot and killed Tamir Rice would have taken into consideration how old he looked if he was white? Hell, would he have even been called if Tamir was white?  How could he have possibly assessed the situation with the amount of time between the cop pulling up and shooting him?

A twelve year old, playing with a toy gun in the park, and all of sudden a cop car speeds up on the curb. He turns around and is shot as orders are barked at him, but he should have known better.

It’s funny (it’s really not) how my race is perceived as dangerous when, according to data gathered by Mother Jones magazine, over sixty-four percent of the mass shootings in America since 1982 have been committed by white males. That’s information that can’t be overlooked, but you want me to believe that I, alongside with the rest of America, should fear boys like Tamir Rice, but not a terrorist like the Charleston Church shooter Dylann Roof? Why?

Hell, Mike Brown was closer to the age of Dylann Roof (terrorist), and the media destroyed his image like he killed 9 people in a church, and all he did was possibly steal some two dollar cigars. For those who don’t know, Brown was eventually killed by police officer (and I use that title loosely) Darren Wilson.

If you can find sympathy for a piece of s**t like Dylann Roof, then you can find sympathy for a twelve year old boy minding his own f**king business in a park.

Maybe he would have lived if he occupied it like some of our patriotic Americans in Oregon.

Who am I kidding? The only way he would have survived that encounter was if he could have changed the color of his skin and that’s pretty pathetic, America.

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Minority Report: A race for innocence