The death of Stephon Clark does what many black men’s deaths at the hands of police do: rally the troops to protest why, for some strange reason, black lives seemingly don’t matter. There’s no way for us to think otherwise when Clark was shot down in less than seven seconds in his grandmother’s backyard.
But then the internet did what it always does: Someone started digging and found Clark’s old tweets in which he shared his lack of desire for black women.
Well, then. These poisonous tweets are 3 years old. Stephon was 19 when he sent them out. And while there’s everything wrong with the tweets, Clark still didn’t deserve the fate he faced at the hands of trigger-happy police officers.
Understandably, many black women took offense at the sentiments expressed in the tweets, snatched back their support of Clark, and refused to march or protest for his life. Clark had no idea he would die this way. I’m not saying we should turn the other cheek to support blindly, but Clark’s death is bigger than him and the unsavory things he tweeted three years ago. If tweets decided whether someone lived or died, then your president ... never mind.
Check out this week’s Judge of Characters as I dig into the question: Should we put Clark’s misogyny and rude jokes about black women aside to fight against the racism that killed him?