Tears for Tamir Rice

I wasn’t planning on writing anything today, I was just too tired from working all of the holiday weekend. But this is my hot take on #TamirRice.

A Grand Jury today decided that no officer will be indicted for the MURDRER of a TWELVE year old boy, Tamir Rice. On video, police pull up on scene, get out of their car with guns drawn and shoot this little boy down. On tape, they don’t comfort him. On tape they leave him lying dead on the ground. On tape they explicitly ignore and dehumanize a twelve year old boy.

Multiple things don’t add up. Tamir was playing with a BB gun without a black tip (in Ohio,an open carry state), neighbors called the police and said a boy was playing with a toy gun but was shooting things so they expected the police to show up and talk to him, tell him not to be shooting his BB gun around people. Instead, they didn’t say a word, just opened their car door and came out guns drawn and opened fire. They claim he pointed the gun at them, on the video I saw he did not. He wasn’t living long enough to point the gun at them. The prosecution explained how even though he was twelve, he was big for his age and looked like an adult (see: Trayvon Martin), the defense broke down why black children don’t get to be children. Why black people are not allowed to be humans.

Twelve years old is a child. At twelve years old I was still scared to say curse words within 100 feet of my house. At twelve years old I still played Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon. At twelve years old I didn’t think anything of BB guns besides toys. At twelve years old, a buddy and I used to play with BB guns at his house all of the time. If a cop had pulled up, and opened fire on me, would people be justifying my murder? Would I be big for a 12 year old (Tamir wore size 36 jeans supposedly, I wore a 32)? Would I be a threat? Would a grown adult, a trained white cop be justified in saying he feared for his life when they saw me? Would the BB gun be what put that fear in him, or would it have been my blackness? Would my mom and dad have to watch as their now deceased little boy was called everything but a little boy by a nation of people and their government?

Blackness scares the state. State violence against black people is evidently on camera and somehow prosecutors still turn the trial into a discussion on whether or not black lives matter. When Trayvon Martin died, the discussion wasn’t about George Zimmerman, but about Trayvon. Same for Tamir. Why is this case labeled the Tamir Rice trial, when Tamir isn’t on trial? What’s the name of the officer who murdered him? What’s the name of his partner who watched him do it? What size pants des he wear? Did he like to play cops and robbers? Are we going to overanalyze his life and dehumanize him in front of his parents? Black people don’t get to be children. We don’t get the same passes that white children/people get. Had that child been white, the NRA would have thrown a fit (given that Ohio is an open carry state, so Tamir having the gun isn’t enough to justify the shooting). People would be outraged. But instead a twelve year old is a thug. Not a child. Not a human.

Rest in power Tamir. Peace to your family in this trying time. May our tears and your death not be in vain. I’m sorry your state failed you. I’, sorry your country failed you. I hope one day it doesn’t fail my own son.

We matter. I don’t care how much the state tells us we do not.

“Is it genocide? Cause I can still hear his momma cry.”

-Kanye West

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One thought on “Tears for Tamir Rice

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