In addition to the madness of shooting and killing a 12 year-old kid because the fake gun he was holding “looked” like a real gun, then suggesting that the cop didn’t make a mistake in shooting him, there’s always the fact that when law enforcement gets involved in dealing with the Black community, every living soul is at least 30.
Now this would be as funny as that scene in Bananas where the new communist leader of fictional San Marcos declares that “all children under 16 years-old are now 16 years-old!” if it weren’t for the fact that more often than not, Black lives are on the line.
I remember clearly reading in the New York Daily News “Voice of the People” section how some presumably old, presumably white lady was complaining that the pictures that the media was showing of Trayvon Martin were pictures of him as a baby and that, in the interest of integrity, they should show his “real” pictures.
How to explain that to a vast section of society, a soul exterminated at 17 years-old was still a “baby” when he died?
Now we’ve got an incident in Newark, New Jersey where 10 year-old Legend Preston was mistaken for a 20 year-old man, then subsequently chased and harassed by the Newark police.
Turns out, the cops were chasing the actual suspect, then saw the kid and were like, “Why not?” and gave chase to him as well.
Only able to understand, I’m sure, why an innocent would run from the police would be another Black person who, despite innocence, might also decide that a confrontation of any sort with the police is not worth the possibility of being stopped, beaten, arrested or killed and take off him or herself.
Psychological testing done specifically on white police officers and undergraduates found that they’re likely to view Black children as both older and less innocent than white children.
In many cases, the estimator chucked an additional four and a half years on the actual age of the kid who’s pic he or she was was viewing.
With this situation in Newark, another ten years was added.
Couple that with the notion of “Black don’t crack”, a slogan designed to represent the comparatively gentle aging process Black people experience in contrast to, most directly, white people on whom the ravages of age are allegedly more easily seen, and you’ve got a race of people that, like bumble bees, are born fully grown then, like The Picture of Dorian Gray, don’t age a bit for the rest of our lives.
The Picture of Dorian Gray may, in fact, be a poignantly apt comparison if only because the wickedness and cruelty of the fictional Mr. Gray were seen as byproducts of the very fact that he did never age.
So perhaps, all this helps you now understand why, when a crime has been committed and the suspect has been described as Black, the police seem indiscriminate in who they arrest or harass.
It’s because all 42 million of us “fit the description”.