It was a Sunday. It was evening time, about 5:30 pm, yet it was still warm out. The high of the day was 91, but it had dropped to 88. 5-year-old Cannon Hinnant, was riding his bike, when he was struck by a bullet and killed.
Almost immediately, there was outrage. Outrage about his senseless murder, yes. But mostly about why Cannon’s death wasn’t making national news, like say, George Floyd. There were calls for justice. There were comparisons and condemnations about BLM, as a whole. You see, Cannon was white, and his killer was a Black man. And because certain people cared more about trying to shun BLM, upholding racist systems and showing their disdain for the lives of Black people, than about honoring the life of Cannon – they used him as a prop. A prop used as the face of the “All Lives Matter” crowd. As a story, to accompany their wildly inaccurate claims of “I guess white lives don’t matter to people.”
In the midst of all of this, were posts with #SayHisName. A phrase that was originally coined to highlight the murder of Black women. But nothing of ours is sacred, we can’t have much of anything without it being appropriated or misused or used for purposes that it wasn’t intended for.
I watched conversations unfold, that had very little to do with mourning Cannon, and instead devolved into detailing the “savage nature of Black people.” They asked why BLM was quiet about this, but if you follow BLM orgs, then you’d know that many haven’t been. They asked why Black people, in general, were quiet about Cannon’s murder. And while some of us have been very vocal about it, many of us have been quiet – myself included.
For me, at least, it’s because the outrage about how Cannon isn’t receiving attention is fake. The faux outrage is being used to try and discredit Black experiences and Black pain. What reason do I have to speak up?
And most importantly, Cannon’s parents are receiving justice. His killer was apprehended in less than 24 hours, and will without a doubt, never see the light of day again. As it should be.
There was no need for protests. For declarations that his life mattered. No need for a public outcry, to shed light on injustice, so that a family could receive justice. Because innocent, brown-eyed, brown-haired, Cannon, received the type of swift action and immutable concern that Black people have pleaded for and are now demanding. Cannon’s death wasn’t the result of a system built on the harassing and killing of people who look like him, by the people who are sworn to protect him. Cannon is not a part of a group, that can credit this country’s need to control them and keep them enslaved, as what gave birth to policing in America. Nothing can soothe the pain of losing a child, nothing. But his family will have their day in court and his killer will pay handsomely- which is more than others can say.
Others like Breonna Taylor, who was murdered in her sleep by police officers 165 days ago. Whose murderers are yet to be charged.
Like Ahmaud Arbery, who was hunted and killed, by three white men. Who had to have national outrage and a video of his death released before anything was done.
Of George Floyd, whose prolonged murder, was broadcast for all to see. And whose murderers walked free, have been protected and have been given every excuse under the sun.
What about Danny Buckley, a 61-year-old Black man, who was shot and killed just YESTERDAY in Baton Rouge?
It was Sunday evening. About 5:10 pm, but it was still a pleasant 75 degrees out, when Jacob Blake was shot 7 times by the Kenosha police. He survived, but was left paralyzed from the waist down. It’s already been more than the 24 hours it took to arrest Cannon’s killer. I wonder if Jacob’s family will ever see justice?
When JanayB isn’t posting memes, scrolling through “wokebook” posts, ordering food and otherwise being your typical millennial, you can find her here destroying white tears and basking in her unapologetic blackness. Get in touch with her at JanayBsays@gmail.com.