Any child’s death is a tragedy. To read my March 24th letter as a response to people’s grieving was a misreading of the letter. I cannot ever imagine losing a child or a grandchild and whether it is believed or not my heart hurts every time I hear of such events.
But again, to read my letter as a critique of how people grieve misses the point of the letter.
The point of the letter was the trivialization, the glorification, and the manner in which people hear of a tragedy and all of a sudden they are intimately connected. To be honest, it cheapens the tragedy. It is as if people enjoy the drama of knowing someone who has been tragically killed. And then how quickly we forget. We forget that a child was senselessly killed because as soon as the next tragedy comes along, we “knew” that child too.
And then there is this: The amazing difference in how society responds to whether it is a white child or a minority child. It is the same sociological effect we see when a black person kills a white one. Check into the statistics of the justice system and how prejudicial it is in the above case. Now check into the statistics when a white person kills a black person.
African American children are one of our countries greatest victims. They are senselessly killed by firearms many are so desperately trying to keep legal. How much public outrage is there regarding this? How many times do you read of the small African American child getting shot in inner city Chicago?
My letter wasn’t to diminish the grief that is felt over the loss of a child. My point was to bring to light an aspect of American culture that is broken. Do we want to take seriously the lives of our children? Then let us grieve and grieve deeply, but let us remember that every day in this country children die senselessly and in ways that we could work to stop.