The story of Tamir Rice has absolutely horrified me. Yes, so many unarmed blacks have been killed just within the past couple of years that I have lost track. However, this story really makes me irate.
Ok, yes, say that Tamir was armed because he had a “gun” even though it was a toy. Yes, especially from afar, those guns can look very similar to real ones. This is not the point. Right-wing loonies have advocated (recently,anyway) in a way that makes it seem like they would be happy if every person on earth had a gun in their possession. To protect ourselves from criminals and those pesky government officials that we don’t like.
The narrative seems to be different when it comes to black and brown people though. Whites can go around armed with AR 15s and nothing happens. But John Crawford couldn’t look at/hold a toy gun in Wal Mart without getting shot to death. The same is true for Tamir.
He was 12 years old. A boy. A child. And while many in the media have tried to make Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, Mike Brown, and others out to be fully grown men, you cannot do this with Tamir. He was seen on newly released video, walking around at a park by himself. He clearly looks like a child in the video. His is curiously playing with snow and playing with what could be a new toy.
Here’s my issue. Has anyone talked about this? How is one supposed to play with a toy gun? If we want to ban all toys that resemble real world weapons, fine by me! But don’t give a kid a car and ask him to play with it like it is a piano. Do we expect these toy guns to just lay on one’s lap? It is obvious that he is a kid just trying out this toy and seeing how to use or play with it. The person who initially called police on Tamir stated that he was probably a child and the toy was probably fake but the chief says this wasn’t relayed to the arriving officers.
In what can be described as an almost drive by, the officers pull up right to Tamir, fastly, and start firing before the killer cop can even fully stand up out of his car. Tamir never had a shot. The way we perceive blacks is and has always been as dangerous. The media and government has made a concerted effort at this.
White children can have real guns. Outside, wherever. White adults can have them in crowded places like shopping centers and no one says anything. You know, because thy are just red-blooded real Americans exercising their 2nd Amendment Right.
When racism DOES exist and negative stigmas are associated with black and brown people, this produces real world consequences. Things like the shoting death of a 12 year old at a park.
Some people just continue to believe that all of these shootings are not race based. These people are called morons. There are numerous studies as well as the obvious factor we can call logic, that prove these people wrong. How many whites have a genuine, terrifying fear of getting pulled by the cops? Versus how many blacks have this fear? The fact that trolls on Twitter can recycle the same one or two names when they complain about innocent whites getting killed by police, shows that this is not the gargantuan problem that it is for the black/brown community. Even social justice advocates cannot name all of the unarmed or unjustly killed blacks because that number is growing so much every single week.
This is NOT about over racism. Very few people now would admit to being a racist. And even Darren Wilson, in all of his socio-pathic ramblings, said that he would have acted the exact same way if Mike Brown were white. We can never truly know if this would be true, but we can guess that it is not. These people are convinced that they are colorblind. That race simply doesn’t matter. The issue is that it does. Study after study after study shows that we do not view blacks positively. They are seen as dangerous, criminal, lazy, etc. Whites are not seen this way. And these views are often even held by racial minorities as well. I can name these stories, cite them, but this is not a scholarly article. Feel free to contact me for these examples if you are still part of the ignorant community who just thinks racism is over.
Let us break it down for you, as many of you may have already heard. But it is worth restating: James Holmes had an arenal of heavy duty weapons and artillery on his body and in his car when he walked into a movie theater and killed 12 people and wounded 70. KILLED 12 PEOPLE and WOUNDED 70! An incredible act of mass terror. He was 24. Twice the age of Tamir Rice.
Tamir Rice was 12 years old. He was playing with a toy gun. By himself. In a park. No one injured. No one even threatened (to our knowledge). Police roll up on him and shoot within 1.5 seconds. Killing him.
A Christmas Story?is one of the most beloved Christmas movies of all time. A big portion of the movie surrounds Ralphie’s gift of a bb gun. He is extremely happy to receive it. He goes outside and plays with it, points it, etc. This is not demonized. This movie plays 24 hours consecutively on Christmas day. It is a staple in our culture and a family tradition.
White and black realities are often VERY different. This is not debatable. There is nothing cute about a black person much less a kid with a gun. It never has been. Whether the gun is fake or real. We already are seen as vicious animals. Demonic (in the words of Darren Wilson). We cannot afford to exercise any 2nd Amendment rights without putting ourselves at an extreme risk.
Let us know your thoughts at the Liberal America Facebook page. Sign up for our free daily newsletter to receive more great stories like this one.