Every so often I come across a story on the interwebz that gives me hope for the future; and those stories usually involve young people standing up for what’s right, what’s equal, what’s fair, what’s peaceful. And I think, for a brief moment, that maybe the world will change for the better.
Then I read stories like this …
his friends were outside a hamburger restaurant last week when, according to one of McKenzie’s friends, Harry Smith, they got into a little verbal scuffle with a group of white teenagers. The argument that ended rather quickly when the white teenagers left, but then they came back to the restaurant and started chasing McKenzie and his friends through the streets of Staten Island.
“They were calling us n—-rs. I just heard a lot of racial slurs. They were mixed — some white, some of them were Hispanic. But nobody was black.” — Harry Smith
McKenzie showed signs of distress. He’d forgotten his inhaler at home and suddenly he was on the ground unable to breathe.
He died at the scene and while the cause of his death hasn’t been confirmed, many believe he died from an asthma attack.
“To me, it’s murder. They were chasing him — that’s a crime. You’re hunting them because they’re black … You’re calling them a n—-r.” — Diana Fatigati
And Tisha Richardson, McKenzie’s mother, also wants someone to take responsibility for what happened to her son and so, after an initial round of interviews by police, who say that the racist language was not mentioned when they conducted the first round of questioning, hate crime investigators have begun interviewing witnesses again.
Tisha Richardson said her son was an aspiring rapper, a comedian and loved playing basketball …
“A kid with many talents. Anything he wanted to do, he would do.”
Except walk the streets of his home town without being chased through them like an animal.
I still have some hope that times will change, that people, younger people will do better, but we all need to strand vigilant and confront this kind of hatred, this kind of racism, when we see it.
Say something and maybe the next young kid hunted in the streets won’t end up dead.