Do Black lives matter? You bet they do. Every single one of them in one way or another.
As a White child, I grew up in abject poverty and was homeless often. By the time I was 17 years of age, we had been evicted from 34 homes.
After a number of those evictions, I found myself living in a poor African American neighborhood or project. During those times, I was often the only White child in my class.
I was blessed to discover at a very early age that Black America was truly a great America. I can honestly state that I was never happier as a child than when I was in those neighborhoods, projects or classrooms. Ever.
I was accepted and befriended.
As that child, I also got to witness the very personification of heroism in the faces and actions of single African American mothers who often worked two or more jobs at a time and sacrificed their own happiness to provide for their children. Incredibly strong and courageous women who became my earliest and most enduring role models.
I thought about those times, those women and their children when I happened upon the tragic and truly heartbreaking story about the killing of 11-year-old Anisa Scott. A precious, African American girl who was shot in the head while riding in a car in Madison, Wis.
What is truly chilling and disturbing about this particular murder of this particular child is that just four years earlier while living in crime-infested Chicago, then 7-year-old Anisa Scott was featured in an anti-crime, anti-violence and anti-gun related video. A video where she can be seen praying and asking God to “fix Chicago.”
“I just want to go out and play, like a 7-year-old is supposed to do,” pleaded the innocent little girl in the video. “They won’t stop the killing. They won’t stop it. God, can you make it better? I don’t want to die.”
Last week, at just eleven years of age, she was murdered.
Surely the celebrities, activists and politicians who have called attention to and openly supported the “Black Lives Matter” movement will invoke little Anisa’s name and speak to the senseless and avoidable tragedy of her killing. Surely her life and her murder, matter.
It has been alleged by the police that the driver of the car young Anisa was sitting in was the intended target of the shooters.
And what about the alleged killers? A 16-year-old boy and a 19-year-old young man. One really still a child himself and the other, a teenager.
Their incarceration and pending prison sentences are also a tragedy of a connected but different order. Do their lives matter? They should.
Could someone have gotten to them and changed their mindset for the better before they allegedly shot and killed an angelic 11-year-old girl?
A girl who but four years before she was taken from this earth, prayed for nothing more than a normal childhood and life.
All Black lives matter. Every single one of them.
Most especially, the lives of wondrous children simply begging to … live.