More Dangerous Than The Rest
There’s a lot of racism emanating from the high profile conservatives vying to replace Barack Obama as the President of the United States. Doing their best to prove their worth to their white constituents, or the non white constituents who strongly identify with their white compatriots, this year’s conservative politicians will stop at nothing to protect the status quo of white privilege. Although they have different ways of injecting racism into their contest of who can best protect old fashioned values and take us back to a time where black people knew their place, the message that black people need to stop taking advantage of the system. According to these politicians, the best way to stop black people is to destroy the government sponsored safety nets that keep people from going to work and earning a living. Almost every other day we hear some new racist rhetoric either recently uttered or something they have written or said back in the day.
Most recently is the racist rhetoric from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich that manifested during the South Carolina presidential debates. Mr. Gingrich claims that he has no clue that his statements that black people should want to earn a living and should want to get off food stamps or his statements that Mr. Obama, America’s first and only black President, wants to be the President of food stamps would be offensive to black people. In Mr. Gingrich’s less than esteemed opinion, it is a matter of fact that more people have ended up on welfare during Mr. Obama’s administration than any other administration in the history of the country, never mind the fact that in many people’s opinion it was Mr. Obama’s predecessor that led this nation’s economy down a path that resulted in so many people needing government assistance.
But not to be outdone is Texas Representative Ron Paul and his lame newsletter The New Republic that’s full of racist comments that reinforces all kinds of negative black stereotypes. One of the latest excerpts to come from Mr. Paul’s past says, “We don’t think a child of 13 should be held as responsible as a man of 23. That’s true for most people, but black males age 13 who have been raised on the streets and who have joined criminal gangs are as big, strong, tough, scary and culpable as any adult, and should be treated as such.” That’s a racially charged, prejudice statement. Mr. Paul advocates treating all black children as adults, never mind the fact that there are white children that are just as, if not more dangerous, than any adult. Does this means it would be okay to treat with children as dangerous adults? Case in point is the story of Alyssa Bustamante.
Alyssa Bustamante is a Missouri teenager who has been in jail for the past two years on murder charges for killing her nine year old neighbor Elizabeth Olten because she wanted to know what it felt like to kill someone. Alyssa made her confession as part of a plea bargain just a week or so ago as prosecutors reduced the original first degree murder charge to second degree murder. Instead of Alyssa having to serve a mandatory life term in prison, she is now eligible for parole in as little as ten years. Alyssa told the court exactly how she killed her little neighbor. Alyssa confessed that she initially strangled Elizabeth with her hands and then stabbed the girl in the chest with a knife. And then, after all of that, she used the knife to slit the little girl’s throat. When she was finally dead, Alyssa then buried the body in a grave she dug near her home. Authorities spent two days combing through the area in search of Elizabeth before Alyssa led them to the girl’s grave.
Alyssa listed her hobbies as cutting and killing people on an online profile which has since been taken down. Prior to committing murder she was admitted to psych ward after trying to commit suicide. Alyssa’s court appointed representative said that she had attempted to cut herself with her own fingernails while she was being held in custody after her arrest for Elizabeth’s murder and Alyssa showed signs of severe depression and anxiety. Everyone says that she was nothing but a poor girl in need of help and understanding.
Would anyone say that convicted murderer Alyssa needed to be treated like just another adult criminal or murderer? Not at all. She’s a little white girl with a troubled past who needs to be embraced and rehabilitated and put back out on an unassuming public. That is, unassuming for white girls who have committed murder in the coldest of blood. If Alyssa was black more than likely she’d be on death’s row. Why? As a society we have been programmed and conditioned to see white teenage girls as something that the majority of us can relate to and therefore we can share their experiences and relate to their behavior. They are redeemable. We can take a chance on their salvation. We will make the effort necessary to try and put people like Alyssa back into our midst. She was only trying to learn what it felt like to kill somebody. Who can hold her curiosity against her? She’s just a little scamp with homicidal tendencies.
But young black people? We already know young blacks are unpredictable and scary and are probably from a crime oriented environment without any positive role models to help shape their ethics and morals. According to some, like Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich, there is nothing worth saving here. We can cut our losses and shoot young black people on sight out of racial prejudice fueled by years of conditioning by people who will do anything and everything to convince the rest of us that black people are less than the rest of us. So if a black person is even looks like they can be accused of doing something outside their normally accepted behavior, we shouldn’t pass on the opportunity to put that person in their true place.