Friends, I am FIRED UP today. The world is a screwed up place right now, perhaps more than ever. I’m going to warn you right now: this post may very well include some cursing and some extremely sensitive, triggering content.
Let’s cover the facts first.
First and foremost, a little boy was murdered. Incredibly tragic, pointe blank range, on his own front lawn. Literally, a family’s worst nightmare. May Cannon rest in peace, as his life was absolutely taken too soon. There is little more horrifying to think, than a child, murdered, on their doorstep, in front of their siblings. Absolutely unthinkable.
Next fact; a neighbor committed the crime. It is absolutely important to how this is being spun, notably that this is a young Black male. Select (read: small number) reports are noting that he was not mentally stable, which is extremely important, when considering how the story is presented. Consider the dramatic disparity between “Black man shoots white five year old” and “young man who shot up a church is treated to Burger King on the way to jail, and was ‘mentally unstable.’”
Third, this man was apprehended and charged in HOURS. Not days, weeks, or months (like Ahmaud Arbery’s killers, who were only apprehended months after video surfaced of their unspeakable acts). He’s held ~without bond~ meaning that without some wild twist of fate acquitting him, this man was apprehended, unharmed, almost immediately, and cannot be bailed out on the good graces of a relative, friend or any individual who has more money than brains.
Now, lets cover the “Facebook conspiracy spin.” This is a horrifyingly racist, white-centering, biased, meme-filled coverage of topics that are used to promote topics in a harmful, divisive way.
“A black man killed a white child, and the media is silent” (meanwhile 50% of their posts are about how they don’t trust the MSM… what did I miss, they’re suddenly the beacons of truth and light??)
“George Floyd got a televised funeral and a gold casket, what did this little innocent child get?”
Maybe you’ve noticed this recently – I know my wise friends and I have. Someone shares a post that is actual, factual gaslighting. Highlighting a story, twisted in a manner that fits how they want it to sound. Its a horrifying trend, manipulative as hell, and it means information is skewed and emotional responses are forefront. Emotional responses are precisely that: zero consciousness. Just emotion. No actual thought. No discernment of bias. Just a spin on a story that is juicy as hell, in the moment.
The little boy, Cannon Hinnant, is mentioned, by name, over and over again, while the aggressor is rarely identified by name, but merely referred to as “Black man.” For the record, his name is Darius Sessoms. Essentially every news outlet in the country has covered this story, despite what your chaotic facebook friend may want you to believe. One of the greatest “disparities” that these gaslighting posts chooses to misleadingly focus on, is that “there’s no outrage, no coverage, no protests and riots, just a black man shooting a white child,” and “George Floyd, a drug user who rapes women, got a gold coffin and four televised funerals, while a white child is murdered by a black man.”
I’m sorry… did I miss where Sessoms was immediately apprehended without the opportunity to bail out?? Did I miss the part where he was on the lam for days on end? Where it took civilian or security footage to be released to the public to finally convince law enforcement to move in on him?? It IS tragic. But there has been precisely ZERO delay in justice. This family is enjoying what white people generally refer to as “justice” but are so willing to overlook the lack of it in other ethnic communities. White people have the expectation of swift, fair justice and are practically always afforded such.
On March 13, 2020, 154 days ago, Breonna Taylor, an innocent woman, was murdered while sleeping in her bed, by officers executing a no-knock warrant on the wrong home. The officers still walk free as of August 14. George Floyd perished at the hands of an officer; guilty or not, he was apprehended and overly aggressively restrained, and killed. It took four days of protests and outrage for Derek Chauvin to be arrested for this disgusting street-justice. Hennepin county attorney Mike Freeman was quoted to say, “this is by far the fastest that we’ve ever charged a police officer.” Is that not absurd to you that an officer is allowed to liberally dispense their own justice, and is simultaneously above being brought down by actual justice? On February 23rd 2020, Ahmaud Arbery was jogging around 1pm – the middle of the afternoon – and was shot by vigilantes in the neighborhood because he was “suspicious” and they were not arrested for two and a half months (two on May 7th and one on May 21st) just days after viral video surfaced of the murder. These are just three, high profile examples.
Here is the dramatic disparity: the murderers have been (or not been, in Breonna’s case) arrested only after significant pressure from the public. Cannon Hinnant’s murderer was apprehended the same day as the violence occurred. Held without bond. Not murdered by “street justice.”
This white family will enjoy swift justice against this man. They don’t have to wait months or years for him to be located, nor apprehended. They didn’t have to plead to the media. They didn’t need protests for their voices to be heard. There was no delay. There was no judge, lawyer, prosecutor, etc standing in the way of holding Sessoms accountable.
This is the difference. Breonna’s family is waiting for justice nearly four months later. Ahmaud’s family waited over 3 months. George’s family waited several days.
The last topic I want to address is community. The stark difference I’ve noticed between these situations is how the community has reacted. This is where the closet racists come out in blazing color. In the black community, people rallied. They surrounded the families, lifted them up, and sprang into action. Petitions were started. Crowd-funds were started. Emails, phone numbers, social media contacts were gathered. The media was notified. The family was taken care of in every way possible. The black community is used to a lack of justice. If that is not the most shattering thing I’ve mentioned, then you are not paying attention, and I’m frankly, not doing my job. This community not only takes care of its own, but knows it has to, because no one else will. George Floyd’s family didn’t single-handedly pay for a gold casket and tremendous media coverage. Breonna’s family hasn’t received the support and attention they’ve received because people sat around and waited for it to happen. In the white community, we abhor so-called “hand-outs” and simultaneously become irate when they aren’t immediately offered to us in crisis.
I’ll draw a comparison to my own life experience: my husband committed suicide in 2017. It was an incredibly trying and surreal series of events. A handful of friends snapped into action. By handful, I mean, I had between 5 and 10 friends show up at my house within hours – I don’t even know the full total. I’m incredibly grateful. You all know who you are. Then, I came to find some months later, that one of those friends was actually mad that another friend was starting a GoFundMe for my son and I. A little background – my husband left us with nothing. I came to discover that not only were we not legally married (I do have a certificate from the county, so in that sense it was legal, but to claim my survivor benefits, I’ll have to retain a lawyer), we were several months behind on the rent and the landlord was attempting a 10 Day Quit when he realized Matt had passed (you read that right, they were trying to evict me and my 3 year old autistic son, notifying us about 4 days after my husband died); I was left with literally the money I had earned that month in my MLM business to find a new place to live – first, last and security, keep food on the table, make sure the essentials were covered (electric, phone bill, etc), oh, and my credit was trashed still.
I am still insanely grateful to everyone who kept us from drowning. I will never not say that, and I do not mean to turn a nose to any one of you angels in our life – please don’t interpret it that way! Of the $10,000 “goal” of the GoFundMe and the money raised during a Cut-a-Thon at a local salon, less than $3,000 through all sources, was raised for us. I thank god every single day for that, because it got us through till the next month, when I could earn more through my business and my son’s survivor benefits were paid out. At the end of the day, I was left to fend for myself. No one put me on the news. We weren’t provided with HUD (still haven’t heard back from them, 3.5 years later). Even my parents said “it wasn’t a good idea” that we live with them until I figure out how to “adult” on my own. It was enough to get us by. Friends helped us move. The money raised helped pay first, last and security on our apartment. We got connected with different local resources. We didn’t technically need more, but would our lives have been dramatically easier if we had been blessed with more? There’s no question. And would I still have busted my ass to earn my trip to Cancun less than 2 months after this all transpired? Not a doubt in my mind. Caring doesn’t make people weak. It doesn’t ruin people to make sure they have what they need to survive. Sometimes there are no bootstraps to tug.
I know that I have gone on longer than my usual post here, but it felt incredibly important. This is micro-aggressive, closet racism, to be mad about the swift justice and the untrue assumption of lack of attention for a white child killed, and comparing it to the community response of a community used to a severe lack of justice and attention. The real bottom line here is this: if you are SO outraged by the treatment of Cannon’s family, then you have the moral obligation to do something. Why would you expect an organization focused on dismantling systemic racism against black persons to jump into action on a white family’s behalf? Its not their mission. It would be great for them to contribute; the real difference is that they literally do not have to. Justice is being carried out not even 24 hours after it happened. Get off your couch, get off Facebook, FFS, and make sure that little boy and his family have the future they deserve.
Much Love & Light ~Jess