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Whose Lives Matter?

The sweet, innocent face of 5-year-old Cannon flashed onto the TV screen. Riding his bike with his 7-year-old sister, he didn’t know what hit him. His sister, however, will never be able to erase the terrifying image.

My heart broke, along with any other human being who heard the news. I sobbed and tried to sleep. Tossing and turning fitfully, I tried to ignore the gruesome images flashing in my mind. The pain, the sorrow, the injustice!

Evil knows no race. A few months ago, we witnessed a horrific, shocking scene and the world exploded. A supposedly good cop—notably white—murdered a black convicted felon who was currently on probation. George Floyd became a national hero as our cities were looted and are still burning. Thousands of people have been vandalized and ruined and hundreds have been murdered, many of them children.

Cannon was white, the man who shot him point blank in the head was black. If ever there was a reason to protest, this was it. Yet, I’m willing to bet that very few people reacted more than a brushed tear. I doubt many people even knew his name. One of the reasons for that is that Cannon is among so many children murdered in this misbegotten cause. When a 4-month-old is shot in the face, or a 1-year-old in his stroller, it’s easier to tuck the images away somewhere in the back of a drawer with the rest of the numerous child victims—most of them black—that we don’t want to think about.

Murals have been painted across the nation with the faces of supposed victims of police brutality. Faces of people who have committed serious crimes. One of these faces is of a young man who was wielding a Samurai sword when the police shot him. I remember his devastated mother insisting that he was just playing around. A few weeks ago, I read about a man with just such a sword. In a silly conflict over rent, he decapitated and dis-armed his roommate. The bible says, “Live by the sword, die by the sword,” and I might add, or a bullet.

The fact is that every mother loves her son and will usually give him the benefit of the doubt. Plaster his face on a wall, put it on a T-shirt, ignore his crimes, forgive his sins, glorify his name and make him a hero. Well guess what? Every mother whose child has been a victim of these appalling crimes loves her child. Where are the protests? Where are their faces painted? Where are the T-shirts? Where is the justice?

Cannon was about to start Kindergarten. I have a 5-year-old grandson about to start kindergarten as well. His name is Canyon, and incidentally, his mother is black. All of these child victims were just beginning their lives. This has got to end. Where do we stand? As you look into Cannon’s eyes, ask yourself this question: Whose lives matter? When will good people have the courage to stand up and say "ENOUGH!"

R.I.P. CANNON