It was another sad day when we learned about the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. When I first heard the news, it reminded me of what my mother went through not too long ago. It happened January 10th, during winter break. My mother was in her evening class at California State University, San Bernardino when a sniper in the mountains began firing shots at the campus. Fortunately, no one was injured, but the sniper was never caught. Immediately, speculation began to surface about the perceived characteristics of the shooter. Many people began to link it to the ISIS San Bernardino shooting in 2015.
I’ve appreciated my peers’ responses on my last post about school security measures. However, that discussion ignores the fact there is racism that manifests in the media everytime a shooting happens. Misrepresentations of people of color in the media have resulted in the recycling of stereotypes that suppress communities of color and uphold white superiority. This image is a reference to the media representation of Nikolas Cruz and Tamir Rice. 12-year-old Tamir Rice was playing with a toy gun. An officer fatally shot Tamir Rice less than 2 seconds after exiting his police car. I strongly suggest doing research on this case, and you will notice so many different opinions. However, when compared to Nikolas Cruz, there is no reason Tamir Rice should have been shot. Although one fact is that Tamir’s toy gun didn’t have the orange cap on the gun that would signify it being fake, it still doesn’t ignore the fact that he was treated differently because of the color of his skin.
Nikolas Cruz was instantly described as a broken child. Why wasn’t he described as a terrorist? Only Black and Brown people can be terrorist in this society.