Via The Root:
Another unarmed black boy has been shot down by police. Absorbing the ongoing news of the investigation Monday morning, I listened to eyewitness interviews and looked on as the media flashed pictures of Michael Brown, the 18-year-old gunned down by a Ferguson, Mo., police officer over the weekend.
The repeated refrain in so many of the accounts is, “Brown was supposed to start college on Monday.” In the photos accompanying stories from outlets more sympathetic to his plight, he’s often pictured in a high school graduation cap and gown. Social media posts use his planned next steps to underscore the tragedy of his life cut short. His educational status even makes its way into headlines, sometimes to the exclusion of his age, his name or the word “unarmed.”
OK? And what if Monday was to have been his first day of standing on the corner not doing a damn thing? Would his death be less of a loss?
Let me be clear: Unarmed college hopefuls don’t deserve to be shot. Unarmed kids heading to work or trade school don’t deserve to be shot. Unarmed kids floundering aimlessly through life don’t deserve to be shot. Unarmed kids who have been in trouble—even those who have been nothing but trouble—don’t deserve to be shot.
The act of pinning the tragedy of a dead black teen to his potential future success, to his respectability, to his “good”-ness, is done with all the best intentions. But if you read between the lines, aren’t we really saying that had he not been on his way to college, there’d be less to mourn?