Savagery dressed up, and in plain sight
While the press has inundated the American public with images of ISIS savagery, terrorism and the Boston marathon bomber, it has little room to point fingers. This system remains silent in the face of horrific and savage cold-blooded murder on the part of its arme
d bodies of men (the police). In Cleveland, the city government struck a new low recently, blaming 12-year-old Tamir Rice for his own murder, while playing in a park near his own home.
However, some of us shouldn’t be surprised, it’s a message that this country has tried to send to us since the beginning of our time on this continent. We are to blame for our own victimization. Africans shipped themselves over and said don’t just enslave us, pretend we aren’t human. The Indians committed genocide on themselves. After all, they could have left when we got here.
It reveals yet again that this society is not as civilized or humane as it would lead others to believe. Of course, we Black folks should know better by now, but we are so busy chasing trinkets and fake status that we continue to convince ourselves of what we know is just not true.
Now, it’s one thing for Timothy Loehman, the cop who killed Tamir Rice, to make up some wild story about how Rice was a threat less than two seconds after he rolled up on the kid. But it’s another thing altogether for a city government to blame the child for his own death.
As it turns out, the evil that was done to Rice in the first place — shooting a boy within two seconds of arriving without any assessment of the situation, refusing to give him medical assistance, assaulting his sister who came to help and arresting her — is backed up by the system which says, “Hey, the Negro brought it on himself.”
The Cleveland city attorney’s response to the Rice family lawsuit charging the city with wrongful death, incredibly claimed that Rice caused his own death “by the failure…to exercise due care to avoid injury.” How could the kid know that playing in the park with a toy gun by himself could bring about death?
Fortunately, the Rice family responded to this insult and called a press conference to tell the world about the disrespect they felt, otherwise we might not have known about the city’s heartless accusation. The three-term Black mayor, Frank Brown said, “This is not the character or personality of the city of Cleveland to be that insensitive to the family or even the victim.” He also said that the city was apologizing to the Rice family and the city “for our poor use or words and our insensitivity.”
However, the Black mayor is lying, the institution that is Cleveland, which is a part of the institution that is the United States, is that insensitive. It is why Tamir Rice is not alive today.
If you think I exaggerate by saying we don’t live in as civilized a society as we think, check out the words of Cleveland Police Federation head Steve Loomis, “Tamir Rice is in the wrong,” he said as only an amoral barbarian could. “He’s menacing. He’s 5-feet-7, 191 pounds. He wasn’t that little kid you’re seeing in pictures. He’s a 12-year-old in an adult body.”
The struggle for a just and equitable society is far from over. The killing of Rice and others by the police and the subsequent cover up and attempt to smear the victims are not isolated events. This is part of a pattern to keep the poor and the Black and the Brown and the other, in their respective places and remind us that this is what we will get if we challenge their authority.
Mel Reeves welcomes reader responses to firstname.lastname@example.org