Violence Against Black Women: When Will It End?

The family of Miriam Carey (Michael Graae/Getty Images)
The family of Miriam Carey (Michael Graae/Getty Images)

In the aftermath of the shooting death of unarmed Miriam Carey by police, The Nation's Mychal Denzel Smith writes about how America routinely condones unchecked violence against black women.

The US House of Representatives applauded the death of Miriam Carey before they knew who she was. They didn't know about her postpartum depression, or that she talked about "wack men" on Facebook, or that she had been fired from a job last year, or that she lived in Connecticut or that she had been called a great mother. They simply applauded the unpaid work of the DC police in shooting and killing her.

Carey caused a panic last Thursday when she allegedly attempted to ram her vehicle through the White House barricades. Early reports were that a shooter was on the loose, giving everyone paying attention flashbacks to just a few weeks ago and the Navy Yard shooting. But early reports are almost always unreliable, and we eventually learned that Carey was not a shooter, did not have a gun, had her 1-year-old child in the car with her and was shot as she stepped out of the vehicle. This is what our Congress stood up for and clapped.

In the aftermath, with more facts at their disposal, has there been any great sense of remorse? Does the House regret that standing ovation? Put another way: has finding out that the police shot an unarmed black mother changed anyone's perception of this fatal incident?

It should, but by and large, it won't. This is America. Violence against black women is routine and unchecked.

Read Mychal Denzel Smith's entire piece at The Nation.

The Root aims to foster and advance conversations about issues relevant to the black Diaspora by presenting a variety of opinions from all perspectives, whether or not those opinions are shared by our editorial staff.

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