“Black” is a magical word.
Black is an adjective. Black is a noun. It is a verb, an adverb, pronoun, preposition ... It is all the parts of speech in one. Yes, “black “ is a magical thing.
In America, that simple word can render a thing invisible. It can make a whole human disappear into thin air and render an entire life worthless. Just one word. Watch how powerful it is.
According to AL.com, On Sunday night, 7
young people black teenagers were shot at a teen party in Birmingham, Ala. It was not called a “mass shooting.” It was not covered by CNN. There is no march scheduled for later this afternoon. No politicians showed up at the hospitals.
And no, this did not happen at a nightclub or a house party with drunken revelers. This happened at a public establishment with security guards and was hosted by a high school sorority. The victims were treated at a local medical facility, Children’s Hospital, where dozens of
family members blacks gathered to check on injured teenagers, who were black, so they were not called “survivors.” They just got shot.
“We don’t believe most of the persons injured were actually involved,” said Birmingham Police Department spokesman Johnny Williams. “One of the injured persons was taken into custody after he was treated. He will be held as a suspect in this shooting.”
Whoever did this will be labeled a criminal or a thug ... or both. Unlike the white school shooters, no one has checked to see which video games he played, whether or not he has a history of mental illness or when he broke up with his ex-girlfriend. No one has called the suspects “challenged young men” or “clean-cut American kids”
They are just black.
This happened in Birmingham, Ala., where nearly three out of four residents are black, and fewer than one in four are white, according to the U.S. Census. This is in the heart of white, Republican America, so there will be no calls for common-sense gun laws. No one will hold a rally or use the survivors to spread the message about gun reform.
And even though the city is largely responsible for keeping an alleged pedophile out of the U.S. Senate and electing Doug Jones, Alabama’s first Democratic senator in decades, Democrats don’t give a fuck either. They have not sent well-wishes like they did for Parkland students. They have not rallied around the bullet-riddled black students who just wanted to dance with their friends. The blacks in Birmingham have been sent nary a thought or a single prayer.
Blackness does not deserve reflection or supplication.
And because of their blackness, no one blames the NRA, violent movies, television shows, XBox Live or Alabama’s damn-near-nonexistent gun laws. It’s rap music. It’s the parents. Blackness did this.
“Hiring more police officers is not the answer. It comes from the way we address the problems in our homes and the way we are raised,” Birmingham Councilwoman Sheila Tyson
explained said blackly, apparently unaware that black parents don’t gather their children around the dinner table and teach them how to bust caps at twerk parties.
And in all of the limited coverage, no one points to the inarguable facts. Every expert in the field of crime, homicide and gun violence will tell you that there are three factors that cause this kind of violence:
- Poverty and inequality: Nearly every study proves that violent crime is a socioeconomic phenomenon. “You all hear about poverty, but inequality is another measure of economic well-being. And there is a strong correlation between homicide per million and income inequality,” explained Mark Kaplan, a professor of social welfare at UCLA Luskin.
- Mental health: 25 percent of African-American children exposed to violence meet the criteria for post traumatic stress disorder, according to the American Psychological Association, but are more reluctant to seek help. Black children are less likely to kill themselves, but twice as likely to have thoughts of suicide, hopelessness or violence, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
- Guns: Gun violence isn’t as important an issue in white communities as it is in black America. Black men are more likely to die by guns in homicides, whereas white men were more likely to die by guns in suicides, according to the Annals of Internal Medicine. Yet no one thinks of the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis or the disturbingly large number of trans women of color as issues of gun violence.
But this specific incident is different. There will be no national coverage from liberals who own safety pins and at least one Black Lives Matter T-shirt. Conservatives will point to this as proof of the savage nature of the lesser race, not as a gun issue.
There won’t be any marches or moments of silence in Birmingham because there was no mass shooting here.
Some niggas got shot.