Minnesota is in the news again. This time, for the police killing of another Black man just ten miles from where George Floyd lost his life last year. Of course, just like George Floyd, this victim has already having is character destroyed by the conservative trolls on social media. While it is true that Daunte Wright did have a warrant out for his arrest, it wasn’t as dangerous as people make it seem. In 2019, the then Daunte Wright was arrested for possession of marijuana, he plead guilty. He was ordered to pay a fine of $75 plus $81 in fees. He was put on a payment plan but during the pandemic, he had defaulted in payments and it had went to collections. Because of this, they opened a warrant for his arrest. A warrant for his arrest in a city that decriminalized marijuana. A warrant for his over a single joint, in a country which more than 60% support legalizing marijuana.
However, this isn’t the first time they tried to ruin a black person’s character to justify killing them. They did it to George Floyd by painting him as a drug-addict who robbed a pregnant woman, which had been proven false. They did it to Ahmuad Arbery trying to make him look like a criminal for bringing a gun to an after school event years before his death. They did it to, Breonna Taylor simply because her ex boyfriend was a drug-dealer which social media had claimed she was involved in drug-dealing, which as proven false by her ex-boyfriend. They did it at the trial of George Zimmerman painting his victim, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, as a violent marijuana-smoking teenager, when neighborhood watchman, George Zimmerman shot him on his way home from the convenience store.
Most of these accusations do not even support the reason for the use of deadly force. These cops and vigilantes lives weren’t in danger. Breonna Taylor was sleeping, Ahmuad Arbery was running, George Floyd was already on the ground with handcuffs behind his back. Why must we, as black people, must be cookie-cutter to be worthy of humanity? How come if we, or a family member does one thing wrong, we are deemed as violent and our deaths “well deserved”? When white men commit atrocities, we still try to make them seem innocent. When Brock Turner went to trial for the rape at a frat party, the media painted him as an innocent upper middle-class school boy with a bright future. They said that Atlanta spa mass shooter, Robert Aaron Long, was “just having a bad day”. They painted Ethan Couch as a victim of his own privilege because he couldn’t he couldn’t understand how his underage drinking and drunk driving killed four people and gave one of his friends permanent brain damage.
When white men commits a crime against humanity, we humanize him. We talk about the sports team he was on, his activities involving church, or how he wanted to go into the army. When we speak on the murder of a black person, we often justify their death with their past. We bring up anything that they did in their lifetime that was bad. Even if it was something as small as smoking marijuana, we use that against them to make it seem that they were a burden to this world. They brought up Trayvon’s use of marijuana but didn’t bring up his hopes of becoming a aviator. They’ll bring up how Breonna Taylor may have been involved in dealing drugs but won’t talk about how she was an award-winning EMT. They’ll speak on Oscar Grant’s stint in jail, the fact that he was a high school dropout but not how he was a loving father who was trying to change his life around. This is all just to rob us of our humanity.
Thing is, Daunte Wright wasn’t the first black person to lose his life to police brutality and he most definitely isn’t going to be the last. However, We must hold these vigilantes and police officers accountable instead of trying to blame the victim for their death.