Being Black is Enough

Being Black is Enough
Fecha de publicación: 
7 June 2023
Imagen principal: 

Reviewing the news, one truly catches my attention. First, it’s about a boy who was shot, my mind flies and I think that an 11-year-old boy should never die, it’s one of the most painful events in life, to see how he departs when he just got into this world. It's what a parent should never put up with.

I kept on reading, and then with each sentence, I went from surprise to sadness to annoyance. He did not die, he is now recovering, but it’s not a child injured because it was his time, it was not by chance: they shot him directly on the torso. I get even more outraged, but I keep reading until I got speechless. He is a child who was shot on the chest, by a police officer, in the United States. Color fact: the child was black, how strange!

It all happened a few days ago, when Aderrien Murry, the boy, called the emergency services of his country to request assistance at his house, in the city of Indianola, state of Mississippi, where an episode of family disturbance was taking place. Police officer Greg Capers responded to the call and in less than two minutes Aderrien was seriously injured, with damage to his lungs, ribs, and liver.

The report published in various media refers that there was no resistance, but that the policeman arrived with his weapon drawn. From what has been described, it seems that Capers was surprised by the child when he left through a corridor, after ordering everyone to come out of the house. In other words, Aderrien was only complying with the indication, but the shot was not to neutralize but to kill. I wonder then, how an adult person, law officer, can let this situation get out of hand? How can an eleven-year-old boy, unarmed, posed a threat to overcome? How can a law enforcement officer not have the sense to assess the context, to anticipate it, to moderate it? How does a policeman not take his own security measures and how can’t he restrain his impulses?

The fact is still under investigation, but so far the police officer involved keeps his job. Fortunately, the child received immediate medical attention and is safe, however, the balance could have been catastrophic, like so many events in the United States.

This, although shocking, is not a coincidence. According to statistics, it really strikes me that in the neighboring country blacks have a high probability of dying from firearms and also at the hands of the police, this is not new either. Blacks continue to be viewed as a threat based solely on skin color. Especially for whites, but also for the mestizos themselves.

The Los Angeles Times published a study a short time ago that refers to this hypothesis, and supports it with figures. He assures that for every thousand blacks in the United States, one could die in circumstances similar to those of Aderrien. Let’s remember names like Michael Brown, George Floyd, Tyre Nichols, Anthony Lowe Jr., and so many more that join a long list of murders in variable circumstances.

In any case, the basic problem, in addition to racism, lies in the fact that we are talking about a highly armed nation, with easy access to firearms, and a society with fear. Such a combination can only have a bloody result followed by the excessive use of force.

In the first three months of 2023, according to the Mapping Police Violence site, 61 black people lost their lives in encounters with the police. In 2022 there were 275.

Translated by Amilkal Labañino / CubaSí Translation Staff

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