Before you read this, there are two things you should do: 1) check the coverage out here if you haven’t already and 2) understand that this is completely my opinion and this is my perspective on the entire situation.
First of all, my prayers go out to the the families, victims and those harmed by the shooting in DC this morning. Know that people are praying for you and that you are not alone in this.
Now, I found out about the shooting from Buzzfeed. Yup, this was the first “article” I saw on the subject, which is a bit mind boggling, but not surprising seeing as though I am a part of a generation that is always so plugged in. Even though I tend to get very frustrated with news, I decided to immediately turn on CNN to see what was going on.
After about 5 minutes of watching, I was disappointed. An anonymous tip had been given claiming that the suspect was a “6 foot 1 male, bald and African American.” Less than five minutes later, DC police were interviewed saying that the description of the suspect given earlier, was in fact not confirmed by them and may not be correct. Of course. The same thing happened during the Boston Bombings, and CNN was the trusted new-station that made this mistake.
You may be thinking “What’s wrong with that?” as a black female in America, I cringe every time I hear a mass murder, shooter, or any kind of criminal is black. Why? Because it makes me look bad. Maybe that’s selfish of me, but I can’t help it. These people, doing these awful things, paint a face for an entire race in a matter of minutes, on top of killing innocent civilians, it isn’t fair.
Being black in America comes with its own set of challenges. As if there are some list of rules you have to follow in order to make sure you fit in. Don’t be ghetto, but don’t be too bougie. I guess what I don’t understand is why I have to fit in those two small groups and why my race really has anything to do with it.
The reality is, the gunman (or gunmen) could very well be black, but is that more important than their motive, or the lives lost? I understand that a suspects race can be very important in identifying who they are, and hopefully capturing them, but when you immediately put a face on a potential criminal, and that description fits any black man walking around the metropolitan DC area, it becomes a problem.
Maybe I am taking the CNN anchor’s description too personally, maybe I shouldn’t be offended by it. But unfortunately, I’ve dealt with this all my life and to have yet another suspect be wrongfully identified as a black American, only makes it worse for those of us trying to do right.