Another Black kid shot. Another police officer in trouble. Troubling facts.
Millions of dollars paid to victim’s family. Police officer is in jail for murder.
Outrage in Chicago! Black Lives Matter!
Did Black Lives Matter when Laquan McDonald was growing up?
From a cursory study of this young man’s history, it was a rough upbringing.
- He was taken from his mother at age 3 in 2000 because the agency had deemed that his mother didn’t provide him with proper supervision. He was placed in a foster home;
- He later moved to his great-grandmother’s, and returned to his mother in 2002. But citing physical abuse by the mother’s then-boyfriend, the state again took McDonald away;
- From around age six to 16, he lived with his great-grandmother and then stayed in the same house with an uncle after his great-grandmother died in 2014.
- Arrested for possession of marijuana in January 2014, he was in juvenile detention until May 2014;
- On the night he was shot, police suspected him of breaking into vehicles and stealing radios. He allegedly slashed a tire of one of the squad cars with a knife. An autopsy report later said small amounts of PCP, a hallucinogenic drug, were found in his system.
On the night he was shot, he was walking the streets whacked out on PCP causing trouble. Where was his family and support system THEN?
Did he deserve to get shot? From my uninformed view, the officer overreacted. A Court or jury will make the ultimate decision. But everything the civil (paid out $5 mil to mom) and criminal (officer in jail charged with murder) system could do has been done.
My question: Rev. Jackson, et al are rallying around to lecture us that Black Lives Matter. Who gave a damn about this young Black life when he was growing up?
His family didn’t care much. Mom couldn’t/wouldn’t take care of him. Mom allowed a boyfriend to physically abuse him. Mom (or some “family member”) is collecting $5 mil because of his death.
His extended family appeared to try to help. But there’s only so much us old folks can do when we are called to raise our children’s children. I’m sure they did what they could, but who the hell helped them then?
Then the big, bad “system” intervened to try to help this kid. He probably had nowhere else to go. Paid foster parents are sometimes questionable. Where was the outrage when this Black Life Should Have Mattered?
From where I sit (I’m an adoptive parent and have also done foster parenting) it looks like there are whole generations of kids growing up who no one gives a damn about.
Do Black Lives Matter? Of course they do.
But maybe we should start caring about them earlier. Families, communities, and social services can step up to show that Black Lives really do Matter by making sure kids are taken care of when they are young.
Yes Black Lives Matter. From conception right on through. When will we start acting like it, day by day, and not just as a reaction to the latest tragedy?