Wednesday, April 18, 2007

If a child dies in the desert.....

Over a year ago, a colleague of mine who happens to be a very successful personal injury lawyer, was telling me about one of his more successful trials. Homeboy was explaining to me what a great case he had because the victim in this particular case had a very bright future and was from a very solid middle class family. In the personal injury world, that meant dollars, because the award for damages are often based on the future earnings of the victim in a particular case. (Think of the recent settlement for those NASA astronauts who perished on the Columbia space shuttle)

Fast forward to April 18, 2007. And I am thinking about those horrific killings up at Va Tech,and the poor families of those students. For some reason I started thinking about that discussion with my colleague. All those bright futures, all that potential, and all those dollars. I shudder to think what will happen if the first family that sues the University (and someone will sue) gets a favorable judgement. Virginians, your taxes could be going up soon. But this post isn't even about that. It's about the value we as Americans place on peoples lives based on who they are, or where they live. Looking back at it now, I still can't believe how matter of fact my colleague was when talking about that case. It was as if he was talking about a bunch of spread sheets, or profits and losses, and not someones lost loved one.

But isn't that par for the course with most Americans, and not just heartless lawyers? Unless of course,we are talking about upper middle class college kids in Blacksburg Virginia, or upper middle class high school students in Columbine, Colorado. A life is as valuable as a mere glance at the nightly news, or a passing eye on the front page while we make a dash to the sports section to read the latest scores. Let's think about it for a minute; 183 dead Iraqis today and counting, did we even give it a second thought? Of course we didn't. After all, they are just a bunch of Iraqis. They are not white, they are not well to do, and they are not smart kids in one of our finer schools. But does that make their lives any less precious, or their deaths any less news worthy? We certainly act like it does. We have become almost numb to the daily killings in Iraq, and the young black males in America's inner cities who seem to murder each other for sport. Only when something like this happens do we wake up and say; "what the f**k is happening in our country"?

How many will die in Darfur before I finish this post? "If a child dies in the desert and no one gives a damn will anyone make a sound?" I doubt it, because it's just some African child in the desert. But this isn't just another rant from the field who thinks he has all the answers, because I don't. And honestly, I am more curious than anything else; I am really not preaching here, I am just wondering, because I really don't know what to make of all this s**t.

So the beat goes on, we will be inundated for the next few days with more news about this sicko. (he even sent NBC News a f*****g press kit for crying out loud) and like everyone else, I will be watching, because I live in America, just like you do.

Before I go, I would like to say that I am so proud of a project that I am fortunate to be a part of. Five brothers and sisters, who to me, are some of the brightest and most insightful people blogging out here. They have started the AfroSpear, which is something that I and many other progressive black bloggers have been screaming to see for awhile now. Well now it's here, and the beauty of it is that everyone will be a part of it. Whether it's with links to your individual blogs, or comment posts, and even your own essays. It will be your page too, and your chance to truly become interactive with other like minded people out here.

We will be sharing ideas, thoughts, and different ways we think we can improve our race and ultimately, our country. And We will be wanting your input, as well as an honest no holds barred debate on the issues and subjects that we confront on a daily basis. Issues that are so important, that we just can't afford to ignore them anymore.

So head over there, check it out, and start writing!


Dangerfield said...

Yo Field we have been desensitized to the pain and suffering of non whites. As far as Im concerned thier is enough blame to go around for this so in that spirit I like to focus my energy and attention on doing what is going to have the most change in that regard. I say all black americans should look at the man or women in the mirror as Michael Jackson would say.

Good example would be Darfur that has been going on for far to long now and now what is happening in my oppinion is folks are willing to let the tragedy in Darfur continue because no knows what to do about foriegn goverments committing massacres of her own citizen. Especially in Africa were these type goverments are the norm and not the exception, especially in Sudan were thier has been war for the last 30 years or so. The general sentiment has become if African/black/muslims want to kill themselves and each other well then let them.

Its no different than the attitude towards young black men in America that has become if they want to kill each other well let them.

As for the virginia tech shooting it appears that the shooter had some serious, serious mental disorders, he had demonstrated strange behavior in the past and had even been refered for treatment. It also appears to me that VA tech security really goofed up big on this one.

Field you are correct VA tech is gonna see some law suits the likes of which theyve never seen before.

Go! Afrospear.

Not Your Mama said...

You're right, until we treasure every single life we'll never progress.

I came face to face with this when a woman I worked with lost 3 sons in a single night in a drive-by shooting. The lack of empathy for this woman and for the lives that were lost was something I don't even have words for.

Christopher Chambers said...

I posted part of the Cho manifesto on my blog, but it was to illustrate that this time of brooding savagery is part of makes us who we are. Darfur is an example of that. So is genocide, starvation, ecological ignorance, human trafficking. Cho just gave it a face here in the so-called greatest nation on earth...

And yeah F*&K LaShawn Barber!!! I want her buried at the bottom of a West Virginia mineshaft, along with most of these silly rappers, athletes like Pacman, Clarence Thomas, P Diddy, etc etc ;-)

Thousands of Va. Tech students and alums live in the DC area, dude--so it is crazy around here!

field negro said...

Mark, and not your mama, you guys are on point as usual.

Yo Chris, alot of people are writing off Cho's writings as just the ramblings of a madman, but they really need to read behind some of the sh** he is saying.~~Think about it~~

Ditto on L-i-e Shawn; what a fraud!

T.C. Dipped said...

First, my condolences to the families and friends of the VT murder victims and the VT community.

To echo what others have said, this country is one of the most violent on earth and yes, we are desensitized to it. EVERY YEAR, some of the sickest, most vile incidents go down in this country and powerful people build bigger and bigger walls around themselves and their interests while the poor and damn near invisible are left to pick up the pieces, to fend for themselves.

Violence going down in Iraq is in the interests of U.S. "national security" but drive bys in the hood are black on black crime to be closed off so as not to hit the burbs and/or gated communities and the Katrinas are unfortunate incidents, results of ghetto life.

This has got to change!

Woozie said...

The AfroSpear is a bad name; makes you sound violent.

Anonymous said...

woozie, I think it's a perfect name. I don'think it sounds violent at all. When I hear "spear", I think of something that has to pierce the conscience, and wake us out of this malaise that we have been in for so long.

Anyway, here is hoping that it grows on you ;)

Unknown said...

Fuck A Cho WOO SING LIN KIN. Nigga was weak and now he is on his way to hell in a muthafuckin handbasket. Ya Feel Me?

field negro said...

No "ayman", I am not sure I feel you.

I don't think he could fit in a handbasket.

Liz Dwyer said...

Yep, nightly news features the murders of people of color in poor communities every single night but we are truly desensitized. That's just normal now. We don't think anything of it anymore.

Jameil said...

i had this exact same discussion at work the other day. 33 people died on monday but 33 people die in iraq every damn day. how does this country and do people in general decide whose life is more important? people do horrible crap to each other everyday, in iraq and in our own backyards.

-=Topper=- said...

If I called the conditions in Darfur state sanctioned genocide, would I be wrong?

The demogague hypocrisy talks a good talk but says more in its inaction.

The Unites States and the elite could give a shit.

The people can only do so much, our government could do so much more, but would it?