It’s open season on Black People. I’ve said this several times over the past few weeks. Now before you roll your eyes and stop reading, just hear me out. I promise there is solid, concrete evidence to support this theory. And I intend to make my argument clear enough for even Stevie Wonder to see it.
Think back to November 2008. For the first time in the history of this country, a Black man was elected into the highest position of power in the Free World. Fox News predicted the end of the world and looting in the streets as every major news station (except them) called the race in favor of President Obama. In the days immediately following, self-proclaimed racists vowed to move to Canada. Texas began a petition for secession. Political cartoons of monkeys in the White House began to circulate across the internet. Hunting season began.
Trayvon Martin. We all know the name and we all know the story. Other than the trial of OJ Simpson, never has a trial of this proportion divided the country so clearly down the lines of color alone. Black America clung to the innocence of a teenager merely walking to the store to get a can of Arizona Tea for himself and a bag of Skittles for his little brother. White America assumed that here was some thug who managed to overpower a neighborhood watch patrolman, twice his size. Instead, here was a boy, a mere child. Knowing what we know now about the additional encounters with George Zimmerman, I wonder how many have come to question this outcome. How many people even understand the despair of this mother and father who laid their son to rest just because he went to the store. He was guilty of what we call “(______) while being black.” Hunting season is open.
Black children no longer have the luxury of just being children. Sure, we think little Riley Curry is cute and sassy as she exerts her independence during post game interviews. She side eyes her Dad and gives plenty of attitude. How cute are we going to think Riley is ten years from now when she questions the police officer at the pool about her First Amendment Rights and her freedom to assemble?
Michael Scott, Tamir Rice, Akai Gurley, Kaijeme Powell, Ezell Ford, Dante Parker, Michael Brown, John Crawford III, Eric Garner, Victor White III, Yvette Smith, McKenzie Cochran, and Jordan Baker are all Black Americans who have been unarmed and killed by police since January of 2014. Some of these cases have been dismissed finding in favor of the officers. Some are still awaiting decisions. All are tragedies. The recurrence of wrongful shootings is so frequent that many conversations on the subject begin with, “now which one was that one?” Open season.
Now that we have established the background, let me add some context. Insert the media. Some say the media is liberal. Most liberals would disagree. The media is sensational at best. Sound journalism practices flew out the window with the need for speed – the need to beat Social Media and TMZ with breaking stories. Sound journalism rooted in investigative reporting has been replaced with sound bites and op eds. Stations like Fox News have created a spin on news reporting that further divides and can even be deemed dangerous. Hunting Season.
So then let’s talk about what happened last night. Why would a 21 year old white male, with less than a ninth grade education, who has read all kinds of propaganda, witnessed the degradation of Black People from the police and the media, commit the heinous crime yesterday in South Carolina? Why would this young man claim, “You rape our women. You have to go”? Fox News questioned the fact that this was being deemed a “Hate Crime.”
Why? Because in his mind, Black Lives Don’t Matter and it’s Open Season on Black People.