After reading numerous reports about alleged mass murderer, James Holmes, I’m wondering whether he should receive the benefit of numerous in-depth back stories about his life. Is it our job to figure out why he went into a movie theater to kill and destroy people’s lives? Will knowing his motive satisfy our need to understand? What difference does it make whether he received straight A’s? Or that he was smart and shy? Why do we care whether or not he was a nice guy? Was he just a nice guy that allegedly killed twelve people and then shot and injured another 58 people?
In contrast, when you look at the on-going violence in Chicago and other inner cities we don’t get back stories. Why? Because presumably we know that black people aren’t deserving of humanizing commentary. We kill each other and the media points its journalistic finger to the world to say see how these people live, what these people do to each other. There’s no sorrow or hand-wringing for the victims in these on-going, never ending tragedies.
While there’s a loud call for gun control when alleged killers like James Holmes kill innocent people, there’s never a loud enough voice for real solutions for inner city shootings and their victims. Where are the memorial crosses for victims killed by stray bullets? Remember, Sanford, Florida residents even moved Trayvon Martin’s memorial.
Have we gotten so used to black people dying at the hands of cowards with guns that we just keep it moving?
The media can show all the wide-eyed, smiling photos of James Holmes that they want. They can interview his kindergarten teacher and his lunch partner from grade school and interview FBI profilers, social workers, and psychiatrists. Here’s what doesn’t change- he allegedly planned to hurt innocent people- and did; that’s the only story I need.