Tamir Rice was a 12 year old boy. The fact that I have to speak of him in the past tense is a goddamned tragedy.
The fact that I have to speak of him in the past tense because he was shot to death by people who are supposed to protect 12 year old boys from getting shot is an apostasy.
You can sit back and armchair quarterback this all you want. You can say he was a thug, just like you said about Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown. You can say he looked big for his age, just like you said about Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown. You can even try to paint him as the aggressor just like you did with Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown. But then you have to ask yourself if he looked so much older, even if he looked like an adult, what crime did he commit sitting there on his own in the park? Even if he was an adult, and even if he was carrying a real gun with real, live ammunition, what was his crime in an open carry state? An open carry law that groups like the NRA – oddly silent in the face of a person being murdered doing the one thing that they advocate for, the right to keep and bear arms with impunity regardless of the dictates of common sense – lobbied heavily for?
What did Tamir Rice do to deserve to die?
In seeing the footage of two cops who pulled their car up within less than ten feet of a 12 year old boy, and who took their guns out and fired before their car even stopped, can you really convince yourself that they didn’t arrive on the scene with the intent to kill? To shoot first and ask questions never?
And after they had gunned him down, why did they stand around as if they just finished a cup of coffee while a 12 year old boy, a 12 YEAR OLD BOY bled to death, crying in agony, making no move to render aid? Could it be that they knew that dead boys tell no tales? That if witnesses could not hear Tamir testify, could not hear him recount his pain and suffering, listen to the innocent voice of a 12 year old boy who had been doing nothing more than playing in the park when two men disguised as stewards of the law descended on him and opened fire – if he had a chance to be a PERSON to people, to tell his story – a story that would have significantly differed from theirs – that maybe they’d be held accountable for what they had done?
But he wasn’t a person to you, was he? He wasn’t a 12 year old boy to you, was he? Wasn’t some mother’s son, or some sister’s brother. He wasn’t even Human to you, was he?
No, to you, he was Trayvon Martin. He was Michael Brown. He was a black boy who scared white men.
And now he’s a corpse.