I haven’t been able to say anything about the killing of Renisha McBride for the same reason I haven’t been able to write my reaction to seeing 12 Years A Slave.
It’s too real and too much pain involved. I needed a little time to compress and process. Now that I have, here’s what I have to say.
Your name is Renisha McBride. You are 19 years old and you live in Detroit. You are in the suburb of Dearborn Heights and get in a car crash. Your cell phone is dead. You’re injured and bleeding. You go looking for help and knock on the door of a house. Someone opens the door armed with a loaded gun, shoots a woman in her face and then claims it “discharged by accident?”
I call “bullshit” on that.
A gun doesn’t aim itself and triggers don’t pull themselves. Human beings do that.
Scared, stupid, racist human beings who can kill an injured and unarmed woman and two weeks later the killer still hasn’t been arrested or even identified.
Smells like George Zimmerman chillin’ at the crib for nearly 45 days after blowing away Trayvon Martin all over again only this time it’s a remix with the bizarre circumstances of the Jonathan Ferrell shooting of a few months ago. As if Black people needed yet another reminder of how cheaply their lives are regarded by the injustice system here comes a hard slap across the face.
Yes, it’s a different situation from the Ferrell shooting in that in this case if was a homeowner, not a cop, who blew Renisha McBride away.
Otherwise, what’s so different?
The overarching lesson here seems to be if you’re Black and you get in a car crash at night and your cell phone is out of juice and you need help, DON’T go knocking on the door of any nearby homes unless you want to get shot.
Just sit there in the wreckage of your vehicle and suffer. You’ll still be injured, but you might not end up dead.
All things considered, is slowly freezing to death or dying slowly of internal injuries so much worse or any less than being shot in the face with a .12 gauge shotgun by some trigger-happy cretin?
Each of these cases have more than one thing in common. They each have a White shooter (with the exception of Zimmerman) and a Black victim and all of them united by the supposed fear of the shooter of the victim.
Each of these cases shows how “laws” like Stand Your Ground have been designed to protect the killers, not the victims. There is a culture of death that already plagues the Black community as they die by violence perpetrated among themselves, but White fear of Black people has become legally sanctioned as reason enough to kill them with impunity.
The American system of jurisprudence is blind, but it is not color blind. If the race of the shooter and the victim were reversed there is no way a Black man would not be arrested for shooting a 19-year-old White female in the face as she sought help after an auto accident.
We don’t know why Mr. X shot McBride. We know he is 54 years old and a White male. His attorney says he feared McBride was trying to break into his home and he shot her accidentally which if you believe that, I have some nice property in the Everglades to sell you.
Where is the evidence Renisha attempted to break into the house of the man who shot her?
Self-defense only applies when someone needs to defend themselves (or at least it did before SYG laws turned the concept upside down). Renisha was injured, disoriented and unarmed. Where is the threat? Or is knocking on a door now grounds to shoot someone in the face?
Trayvon Martin. Jonathan Ferrell. Renisha McBride. Scared shooters. Dead Black people.
Trayvon Martin. Black male. Racially profiled. Shot by vigilante. Dead.
Jonathan Ferrell. Black male. Car crash. Seeks help. Shot by cop. Dead.
Renisha McBride. Black female. Car crash. Seeks help. Shot by homeowner. Dead.
Once is accident. Twice is coincidence. Third time is proof.
People whom are not protected by the law will soon have no respect for the law. If that is the lesson America wants to teach its Black citizens, they should know they are building a hothouse where only discontent, rage and hate will grow.
When it reaches full bloom it won’t be pretty to behold. That’s not a warning. That’s a prophecy.
- Dream Hampton on Renisha McBride and ‘Criminalizing Black Corpses’ (colorlines.com)
- Justice for Renisha (whyracestillmatters.wordpress.com)
- Renisha McBride And Kym Worthy – OpEd (eurasiareview.com)
- Autopsy: Renisha McBride blasted in face; still no charges for shooter (salon.com)