Friday, December 21, 2012

Do Some Lives Mean More?

I gave it some time. As the detail's of this narrative began to unfold, I began to peel back the layer's. But I decided that I would give it a week before I revealed and elaborated on my critical, and analytical thought process. No matter what my own conclusions are, children who are murdered, whether they are black, white, purple, or green is nothing less than horrific. But the same level of concern, as well as the since of urgency for a solution to gun violence is conspicuously absent when African-American children are part of the discussion. Of course gun violence had always been the focal point of many discussions in the black community but it is a rarely discussed by society at large. When it is, the discussion's are not as solution oriented, as much as they are an indictment or validation of stereotypical views of African-American youth. But there are still young lives lost that should not have been, and their death's are just as horrific, and just as tragic. This year, 8 teens were shot in Detroit in 1 week in November. Four teen's were shot on a playground in Brooklyn. In July, a 4 year old was shot in the Bronx, and a 15 year old boy was murdered in Oakland. Three teen's were shot & killed in east St. Louis just month's ago, and in Chicago, 102 kid's under the age of 20 were murdered due to gun violence. These were all precious young African-American lives who were the victims of ignorance, apathy, and gun control laws that are just not stringent enough, and their stories received very little coverage in the media. It's almost as if their lives didn't matter, and their futures yielded no possibility of promise.
To me one of the most disturbing aspects of the Newtown tragedy is the fact that from the beginning there seemed to be an almost deliberate attempt to relieve Adam Lanza of some of the responsibility. First it was revealed that his mother purchased the assault rifle. As if the fact that she was the one who bought the weapon some how made her culpable in her own murder and the massacre of those young children. Another unsettling aspect of the media coverage is the fact that Lanza has often been referred to as a troubled young man. When I hear this description it conjures up images of an immature adolescent boy who did not understand the magnitude of what he was about to do. A juvenile delinquent who is prone to egregious behavior because of a troubled past. While Adam Lanza was troubled, and is by definition a young man, he was also over 18, in fact he was 20, which legally makes him and adult, who should be held as accountable in death as he would have been in life. The latest far-fetched theory is that Lanza may have been suffering from lime disease, of all things. It is entirely possible that this is just an attempt to try to make sense of something senseless but that doesn't make it right. That just makes it worse.


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