Murder in Black and White
A few days ago, a white woman was murdered in St. Louis.
You may have heard about this tragic story. It was posted everywhere. The 23-year-old woman, a former college volleyball player, was attacked in the front seat of her car in a parking lot and killed. She was shot to death. No one knows why. The killer is still at large.
Everyone described the young woman as a wonderful person. She was pretty. She was popular. She had her whole future ahead of her – tragically cut short in an act of utter senselessness. Her photo is posted above.
But what else happened that same day? What else happened on the very day that Megan Boken died?
About 9,000 black people are killed in this country each year.
That grotesque figure translates into about 25 black murders per day in America. Since Megan Boken was killed this past weekend, about 100 blacks have also been murdered over the past four days – most of them just as senselessly.
Did anyone who saw the Boken story hear about any of these other murders? Just one? Were the black victim’s photographs posted all over the Internet as was the case with tragedy in St. Louis? Were there innumerable expressions of outrage in local communities to hunt down and capture the killers of the black people?
Odd that a few dozen blacks dying every single day is hardly worth a mention. Black deaths almost never make national news — unless it’s a celebrity or a scandal. But the story of a pretty and popular white girl being murdered instantly grabs national headlines and gets everyone in an uproar.
Consider how widely the Megan Boken murder has been reported so far, not just in the Midwest, but nationwide. It’s no surprise this was the lead story in St. Louis during the past few days – which is where the murder actually happened. But the story also ran in the New York Daily News, The Palm Beach Post, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, The Huffington Post (online), San Antonio Express-News, and on several local newscasts and smaller newspapers.
The question is – why? Why would people in New York, or Florida, or Texas care about this story?
The answer is obvious. In America, white lives are more valuable than black lives.
Most white people don’t like to hear that. You’ll think about closing this page. You’ll roll your eyes. You’ll complain that someone is “playing the race card” again.
Well, go ahead and get angry. If you’re angry — if you’re sick and tired of reading about it, I can assure you that I’m even more sick and tired of writing about it. There is something to this. The evidence is too clear.
How else do you explain the 25-or-so black people who died that same day barely got mentioned in all those newspapers, television reports, and online stories? Please explain it to me. What makes the Megan Boken’s story — horrible as it is — so special?
If there’s still any doubt that crimes of this nature are disproportionally reported and covered based on race, consider the case of someone you’ve likely never heard of. Her name is (or was) Vanessa Thrasher. She was from Lithia Springs, GA. She was murdered on the same day as Megan Boken. Her photo is posted above.
Anyone notice a difference in the two women? Look closely. It will come to you.
According to my unofficial count, Boken’s murder has reported by about 30 times as many news outlets. THIRTY TIMES. It’s a national news story. Meanwhile, Thrasher’s murder was only reported in the Atlanta area, where the crime happened. She didn’t get mentioned in New York or Palm Beach or Chicago or San Antonio.
Here we have two women, actually two accomplished women (one — a volleyball player and recent college graduate, and the other — a successful business owner and well-known community activist) who were killed in an almost identical manner, at roughly the same time, in two cities of about the same size. But look at which tragedy triggered the most tears.
Let’s get one thing straight. Megan Boken’s death was a horrible tragedy. That story deserves coverage and the killer needs to be caught quickly and punished to the full extent of the law. But where is our collective outrage when similar crimes occur in OTHER neighborhoods? You know what I mean by other neighborhoods. Why are similar crimes – perpetrated against blacks – almost never as widely covered?
The answer is as obvious as it is disgraceful. It’s as clear as it is disturbing. And, it’s as indisputable as it is revealing. A pretty white girl getting murdered is news. A typical black man or woman getting murdered is not.