Stop Using Tragedies to Make Political Points

I saw a post about a Covid truther, who later contracted the disease and died. The general theme of the post was to let that be a warning to everyone speaking out against precaution. It didn’t take long for internet psychos to claim he deserved what he got. Fast forward a couple weeks later, I wake up to a world where a picture of a young boy’s face is plastered all over the internet. This poor child was murdered by a sick man, and to add insult to injury, his story had become yet another pawn in the political chess game that has consumed the nation. His face, the face of a murdered five year old kid, was used to make a point about bias in the media and to detract from the Black Lives Matter movement. 

Unfortunately, I can’t say that I stayed above the fray. In the groggy state of the early morning, I reposted and jumped into the fight quickly to explain why the two situations weren’t the same. It wasn’t until later that someone more cautious than I said “How do you think the parents feel about their son’s face being plastered all over the world”. This was a revealing moment for me. While my intentions were good, I instantly knew that what I had done was wrong. So I’ll pose that question to you. How do you think that child’s family feels seeing his face on every Facebook feed in the nation? I’m willing to bet that most of you, like me, didn’t hesitate to share his picture. We didn’t wait one single second to turn this into a political game. 

What in the hell are we doing in this country? Have we truly become so god damned stubborn and ignorant that we can’t allow a family to grieve their child’s unfair death without making him a national news story? Instead of just offering our collective thoughts and prayers, we decided to bicker about it in the comment section like a couple of adolescent school boys. For Christ’s sake, they can’t even turn on the news without seeing their child’s face. 

I know what comes next. If this reaches any substantial audience, there will be people claiming that they’re just seeking justice. Justice for who? The man was arrested, put in jail, and will probably be sentenced to death before the end of the year. There is no such thing as justice when a young life is taken so soon; however, the system provided the maximum level of justice it could. The only thing left is for the family to grieve, and we aren’t making it any easier. 

In all honesty, I don’t even know if I should be writing this. There is a conflict inside of me that is debating whether or not I’m helping or making it worse. I’m just throwing this out there as a last ditch effort of hope that we have some basic human decency left in us. Stop memifying this young kid. Stop using him as an easy political talking point. His life was worth so much more than that. If we’re ever going to improve as a nation, we need to stop putting the political win over what is morally right. This story isn’t a symbol; it’s a tragedy that deserves to be mourned, not abused. I cannot and will not speak for the parents. I have no idea what their opinion on all of this are. I can say that, if I was the father of this young boy, I would not want the last memory of my child to be used as political shrapnel in a never ending race war.

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