Who Places A Lower Value On Black Lives?
Would that be a police officer who accidentally shoots and kills a black woman, or that woman herself, a mother of six children by five different drug-dealing fathers, who takes up with yet another drug dealer?
That woman's most recent boyfriend, Anthony Terry, was arrested and pleaded guilty in March to charges of drug trafficking. And yes, before him, all the fathers of her children were drug dealers...and this according to her mother!
Her sister managed to find a bright side in Tarika Wilson's, uh, strong values system. From a Christopher Maag story in The New York Times:
Tarika Wilson had six children, ages 8 to 1. They were fathered by five men, all of whom dealt drugs, said Darla Jennings, Ms. Wilson's mother. But Ms. Wilson never took drugs nor allowed them to be sold from her house, said Tania Wilson, her sister.
"She took great care of those kids, without much help from the fathers, and the community respected her for that," said Ms. Wilson's uncle, John Austin.
Maybe if the community disrespected women who live this sort of lifestyle she would've been less likely to get knocked up six times by a bunch of drug dealers, then taken up with yet another.
And while I'm not a fan of our drug laws, and I agree with reason's Radley Balko that these door-break searches too often have tragic consequences, and for those who are not perps...the fact remains that the police generally don't seek to break down the doors of homes of women who've had five boyfriends who are all, say, accountants, architects, or managers at Subway.
Not surprisingly, black leaders are outraged. Also not surprisingly, their outrage is not directed at women in the black community who squeeze out litters of fatherless children, or the men who fuck and run, or fuck, deal drugs, and go directly to jail. From an AP story on MSNBC:
Following the shooting, many residents accused the police department of being hostile and abusive toward minorities. One group led a series of marches through the city to protest what they said was mistreatment by police.
The Rev. Jesse Jackson visited the city and demanded that the officer who fired the fatal shots and those who planned the raid be held accountable. Chavalia was the only person charged.
'Low value on black lives'
Local black leaders had criticized the two misdemeanor charges as too lenient.
"It's another example that there's very low value on black lives in this community," said Jason Upthegrove, president of the Lima National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. He said he was sickened but not surprised by the verdict and he hopes it won't reflect poorly on the city.
Arnold Manley, pastor of Pilgrim Rescue Missionary Baptist Church, said he and other black clergy leaders have been trying to work with police and city officials since the shooting, but that he was unsure whether that would continue.
"I'm hurting deeply," he said. "The message I got out of all this is that it's OK for police to go and kill in a drug raid," he said.
Pastor Manley should be "hurting deeply" that there's a need for drug raids in his community, and should maybe start speaking out about that. Again, the police aren't targeting black dentists, black cable TV techs, or black newspaper columnists.
It's awful that this woman was killed, but the fact remains: Lie down with drug dealers, wake up with drug raids.
Thanks, lujlp and purplepen!