Estimated reading time: 6 minute(s)
It was 2015 summer. My family and I went down to Myrtle Beach, SC. On one of the days we were there, my siblings and I went down to this little playground. Nothing spectacular; just a few slides and mini stairs. Architecture was a little to be desired.
Now, we weren’t the only ones there. A white family was nearby with younger children about 6 and 4 years old. They had these toy guns that actually made a noise when “shooting”. One of them came up to me and started to shoot. Instinctively, I took it away.
“Hey, that’s mine!” he said. Judging from how his mother and some random security guard were looking at me, I gave it back while saying,”Be careful with that”. He smiled and asked,”Why?”
As dramatic as it might sound, I started thinking back on Tamir Rice. I thought about how the police didn’t give him a chance to even speak before shooting him. I thought about the racist individuals justifying his death due to the toy gun he had.
But it dawned on me that the white child would never experience this. If he were in the same situation, we wouldn’t even get in trouble. Police won’t be called for his toys. He had a standard of innocence set for him when he’s born, growing up with him as he ages.
If (God forbid), he grows up and shoots up a movie theatre, he’ll be labeled mentally ill and treated as such. If he shoots a church, he will be given burgers as a reward.
There is no harsh punishment for him. The double standards isn’t surprising.
We live in a world that favors whiteness under any circumstance. It’s a privilege handed down to white people as a literal “Get Out Of Jail Free” card, or even a school hall pass. We see examples of this often in the media. We see the imagery of angelic white people excused after killing people. Yet, if a black person were to do the same, we would see them being labeled thuggish, and racial slurs would be repeated all down Social media timelines. We are dehumanized, while whites are sympathized.