January 14, 2019

ANALYSIS: SAD BUT TRUE. Black lives matter, until they’re ended by black people.

It’s clear why the narrative around Jazmine’s murder should attract so much furor. The life of a black child being taken by a racist in a post-Charleston, post-Pittsburgh America should anger us. Yet it’s less clear why this furor should suddenly desist upon the revelation that the suspected killer is not white, but black. Black lives do matter — but the backlog of ignored tragedies in Houston similar to Jazmine’s case suggests that attention given to black lives by some within the activist movement is more selective than it seems.

In February 2017, eight-year-old De’Maree Adkins was killed by bullets that struck her while she slept in the backseat of her mother’s car. In June 2017, Messiah Marshall, a 10-month-old baby, died in his father’s arms after being shot outside his family’s apartment complex. The next month, 14-year-old O’Cyrus Breaux was shot and killed at his own birthday party. Within days, he was joined by 14-year-old Jaquan Neal. Then in January 2018, 16-year-old Stephen Verdell Jr. was shot and killed after leaving the Victory Prep Academy. In March, eight-year-old Tristian Hutchins became the victim of a drive by shooting while sitting in a car with his sister. She survived with a bullet injury in the leg, but Tristian died after a month-long battle at Memorial Hermann Hospital.

Though all similar to Jasmine’s case and in proximity to one another, these murders garnered a different response — if there was a response at all. National media didn’t provide blanket coverage. They were never mentioned by Mr King. Their names didn’t trend on Twitter. Activists didn’t crowdsource investigations. And their families didn’t receive any donations from celebrities. Why don’t these black children matter to ‘racial justice’ activists? Because without exception, their killers are also known or believed to be black.

This is the cruelest, most negligent form of the soft bigotry of low expectations.

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