During the height of the George Zimmerman trial, when media attention was focused heavily on Stand Your Ground Laws and the question of whether or not a white man would be found not guilty of killing an unarmed African-American teenager, the shooting death of 13 month old Georgia infant Antonio Santigio, also made national media headlines. After the mother, Sherry West, told police that her baby was killed by two black teenagers, the right-wing went crazy with this story. Meme’s about the killing could be found on every social media web-site, public page and in every group where the Trayvon Martin story was discussed. Most of these meme’s showed photos of the infant side by side with one of two accused African-American teenagers.
This reminds me of past stories the media ran crazy with prior to getting the whole story. There is so much competition between stations/newspapers to “break” the story that sometimes they do not adequately check their sources. It is almost like they ignore stories that are not as glamorous, or contradict what they initially reported. Remember Susan Smith (I’m sure everyone remembers her), or Charles Stewart (Roxbury section of Boston, Ma.). Both reported African-Americans as being the perpetrators of their respective crimes in an attempt to direct the investigations away from them.
Ms. Smith is serving life in prison (still think she should be executed for her crime), and Mr. Stewart committed suicide when they exposed his lies. What amazed me is some individuals were quick to go with the story as originally reported. Is it racism or is it blind obedience? Do we just believe or buy into what the media reports?
Sherry West’s daughter reported her concerns to police. If there is truth to this article, Ms. West has some serious mental health issues. She should be locked up for the rest of her life. Whether it is prison or a mental health facility, please do not let her out! I attended numerous 2-day seminars at John Jay College of Criminal Justice during the 80s. At one of the seminars pertaining to Child Abuse, I spoke with the facilitator who is a New York City police officer and psychiatric nurse. He told me psychiatric patients are never truly cured; they control them with drugs (his words). He further explained when they release patients after curing them; the patients equate feeling better as a reason to stop taking their medication. When that occurs, their respective issues return. With that issue explained, let me go on to my other concerns.
Do I believe racism if alive and well in the United States? Yes, I do, but it is alive and well in all races. Do I believe African-American males are a targeted race? Yes, I do, but it is not just the police, but other citizens, as well. Sometimes I feel the police get the “short end of the stick.” Do I believe some police officers are racist? Yes, I do (It would be naïve of me to say otherwise.), but I believe it goes much deeper. Police officers are not the only individuals who profile people. Just sayin’! We need to have an open dialogue in regards to racism, and it has to “real.” All sides need to come to the table ready to be totally truthful.
In closing, I’ll speak briefly on the Travon Martin/George Zimmerman case. Do I think Mr. Zimmerman targeted Mr. Martin because he is African-American? Yes, I do. What was Mr. Martin doing to raise suspicion? According to all reports, he was walking and had a hood pulled over his head because it was raining. He also had in his possession one (1) bag of Skittles and one (1) container of soda. Mr. Zimmerman contacted 911 and reported his suspicion. When asked, by the dispatcher, to stay with his vehicle. He ignored the request and the rest is history. They allowed Mr. Martin’s past to be brought out in court; however, that was not the case with Mr. Zimmerman’s. According to reports, he does have a past. One last thing, Mr. Zimmerman was able to give his side of the story, but Mr. Martin could not because he is dead.