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Anatomy of an absurdly racist Facebook meme

Jul 23, 2013

Over the weekend, I managed to come across a version of this post on Facebook. The one I saw had about 70,000 shares– all from people who felt it was one of the most “important” things they have ever read. They felt it really “opened their eyes” about racial inequality, and how “the man” conspires to privilege one race over the other. A Google search shows that various versions of it have been going around for a month now– it’s become so popular that it’s even been brought up on FOX News by Dana Perino.

It is also one of the most insanely racist things I’ve ever read in my life.

You won’t recognize me. My name was Antonio West and I was the 13-month old child who was shot at point blank range by two teens who were attempting to rob my mother, who was also shot. A Grand Jury of my mommy’s peers from Brunswick GA determined the teens who murdered me will not face the death penalty…too bad I was given a death sentence for being innocent and defenseless.

My family made the mistake of being white in a 73% non-white neighborhood, but my murder was not ruled a Hate Crime. Nor did President Obama take so much as a single moment to acknowledge my murder.

I am one of the youngest murder victims in our great Nation’s history, but the media doesn’t care to cover the story of my tragic demise, President Obama has no children who could possibly look like me – so he doesn’t care and the media doesn’t care because my story is not interesting enough to bring them ratings so they can sell commercial time slots.

There is not a white equivalent of Al Sharpton because if there was he would be declared racist, so there is no one rushing to Brunswick GA to demand justice for me. There is no White Panther party to put a bounty on the lives of those who murdered me. I have no voice, I have no representation and unlike those who shot me in the face while I sat innocently in my stroller – I no longer have my life.

So while you are seeking justice for Trayvon, please remember to seek justice for me too. Tell your friends about me, tell you families, get tee shirts with my face on them and make the world pay attention, just like you did for Trayvon.

Thank you.

This, friends, is what we call “false equivalency.” While of course the murder of a 13-month old baby is tragic—duh—the case bears no resemblance to the Trayvon Martin shooting. The people involved in the shooting were arrested almost immediately after it happened, and there was no long, ongoing controversy. It’s a different thing. This meme places a giant spin on the events and facts of the case in order to call out a completely non-existent privilege system.

You won’t recognize me. My name was Antonio West and I was the 13-month old child who was shot at point blank range by two teens who were attempting to rob my mother, who was also shot. A Grand Jury of my mommy’s peers from Brunswick GA determined the teens who murdered me will not face the death penalty…too bad I was given a death sentence for being innocent and defenseless.

WOW. That sure is unfair. I wonder why that might be? I wonder if it’s because our judicial system is so notoriously lenient on black people! Or, perhaps, it could be because they were underage and thus the death penalty was never on the table to begin with? That it was not, in fact, the grand jury’s decision to make? I wonder. Also, for serious– you’re going to claim that Georgia of all places has a bias against white people? Isn’t that where “Gone With The Wind” happened? Yeah.

Also, note– these people went to jail. George Zimmerman did not.

My family made the mistake of being white in a 73% non-white neighborhood, but my murder was not ruled a Hate Crime. Nor did President Obama take so much as a single moment to acknowledge my murder.

Maybe that was because it was not a hate crime? Antonio West’s mother was being robbed. Also, sorry, if the President acknowledged every single murder that ever happened, we’d get even less done than we’re getting done now. The Zimmerman trial was addressed because it had to do with a larger issue at hand.

I am one of the youngest murder victims in our great Nation’s history, but the media doesn’t care to cover the story of my tragic demise, President Obama has no children who could possibly look like me – so he doesn’t care and the media doesn’t care because my story is not interesting enough to bring them ratings so they can sell commercial time slots.

The Antonio West murder was covered by the media for several days, until they found the people who shot him and it was done and over with. There was no ongoing controversy to keep it in the news beyond that.

Also, are we now pretending that crimes against white people are kept out of the media because the media just favors black people too much? Because um, Natalee Hollaway, Caylee Anthony, JonBenet Ramsey, Shawn Hornbeck, Nicole Brown Simpson… I could really just go on and on and on– trust me, I watch a lot of ID Channel. Have these people seriously never seen an episode of Nancy Grace?

Not to mention, by the by, cases like the Susan Smith case, where the crimes perpetrated by white people are initially blamed on “big, scary black men.”

There is not a white equivalent of Al Sharpton because if there was he would be declared racist, so there is no one rushing to Brunswick GA to demand justice for me.

There would be people rushing there, I’m sure, if the perpetrators had gotten away with it and no charges had been filed. They haven’t. Case closed. It’s really not as though the justice system was all like “Oh, well, black people killing a white baby? That’s totally cool, we’ll just ignore that and not arrest anyone.” No, they’re in jail, and again, they’re teenagers so they’re not eligible for the death penalty. That’s a Supreme Court decision, ok? You want to change that (I don’t), take it to the Supreme Court.

There is no White Panther party to put a bounty on the lives of those who murdered me. I have no voice, I have no representation and unlike those who shot me in the face while I sat innocently in my stroller – I no longer have my life.

First of all, there totally was a White Panther Party, although I imagine it was not the sort of group you were hoping for. Quite frankly, there really isn’t much of a Black Panther Party either right now, and the New Black Panther Party has little to do with the old one, and there really are not that many members. Not nearly as many members in that as there are in the KKK.

There are lots of people out there standing up for the “rights” of white people– and yes, I think they’re racist. I think David Duke is a total racist– and if you buy anything in this meme, I think you’re a racist as well. Sorry.

So while you are seeking justice for Trayvon, please remember to seek justice for me too. Tell your friends about me, tell you families, get tee shirts with my face on them and make the world pay attention, just like you did for Trayvon.

Once again, there is no miscarriage of justice here. For the record, we did not get justice for Trayvon, as is plainly obvious from the fact that George Zimmerman is a free man.

So that’s that.

It seems curious to me, that with all the obvious unearned privileges that one gets just for being born white (or straight, or male, or Christian) that there is such a feverish demand by some in these groups to also have the perceived privileges of minority status. They want to be the persecutors while having what they see as the caché of the oppressed.

At the end of the day, it’s rather sick to use a murdered infant to try to create a false narrative about white people being systemically oppressed. It’s certainly not doing anyone any favors. One single murdered black teenager getting some media time is, I promise, not going to take away from all the other hours of air time fervently dedicated to missing white girls.

image: Heavy


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