Heroes look like this most of the time

Diamond Reynolds Deserves Millions For What She Has Endured Because $800K Doesn’t Cut It

Diamond Reynolds is the all-American hero nobody wants — and I explained exactly why last year when she made headlines after the gruesome video of her dying boyfriend — Philando Castile went viral.

Reynolds and her then four-year-old daughter who was strapped in the back seat — were subjected to unimaginable horrors after a Minnesota police officer Jeronimo Yanez fired shots directly at Castile after pulling him over for a traffic violation in 2016.

The reasons for the unwarranted violence still remains mystery — even after Yanez’s acquittal earlier this year.

Yanez — who is no longer patrolling the streets as a police officer claims that his tragic decision to murder a man that posed no threat except for the fact that he was Black and armed (most Americans carry guns) was due to the fact that he was certain that Castile was a threat:

“I, was scared and I was, in fear for my life and my partner’s life.” “And for the little girl in the back and the front seat passenger.”

Of course it’s safe to assume that Yanez didn’t care at all for “the little Black girl in the back or the front seat passenger” because there’s no doubt that if all the occupants of the vehicle were White — there would’ve been no need for such extreme measures.

The fact that a toddler had to hear the moans and screams of adults after witnessing what most of us can’t possibly tolerate without losing our sanity is beyond comprehension and woefully unjust.

Diamond Reynolds received very little support from the general public and was even shamed by Black men who doubted her sincerity and even ridiculed how poised she seemed under duress. A notable writer from The New Yorker also publicly criticized Reynolds in a way that was chillingly off-putting and tragically sad:

“How the hell does one remain composed enough to narrate the death of a loved one — and call the person who killed him as “sir?”

Reynolds had no choice but to be composed when you consider that she just watched her lover choke to death from the blood devouring his chest — while also dealing with the high possibility that she could be next — not to mention her child who was crying softly in the back seat.

Her superhuman prowess came into effect, which normally happens when Black women are being tested beyond reasonable capacity.

Instead of being hailed a hero and feted accordingly — she was brushed aside and dismissed as another Black American story with a horrific ending. There were no White feminists hashtagging their support with the fury that can only stem from the strength of loyal allies. The groups that have been assigned the role of governing the injustice that face their own — didn’t show up for Reynolds and her baby girl in a way that was supremely gratifying.

Even President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama were disappointingly silent when they should’ve taken the initiative to emphatically condemn a harrowing episode that puts a Black child in the line of fire.

Reynolds is back in the news and this time it’s on a positive note.

She has just been awarded $800K by the “city of St. Anthony and the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust on behalf of Roseville” — and this amount is supposed to compensate for “the emotional distress suffered during and after” the hellish experience she suffered at the trigger-happy reflexes of Yanez.

As heartwarming as it is to read of Reynolds’ good fortune, which is definitely overdue — there’s still a bittersweet element to the tale of a young Black woman who suffered through a systematic nightmare and emerged with the burden of truth of how her Black child will be forever haunted by her impending fate.

Quite simply put — Diamond Reynolds deserves millions for what she has endured because $800K just doesn’t cut it.

A chunk of my analysis about our societal ills is overwhelmed by the dire consequences of racial injustice and the biases that have been embedded so deeply in our consciousness that it has become the norm.

What Reynolds has navigated in the past year can’t ever be replicated by a White woman. No police officer in his right mind would dream of firing a gun in a car carrying a White toddler in the back seat with her White mother frozen in terror. No White man could encourage enough fear to hasten the clumsy moves of a policeman who suddenly and senselessly “fears for his life.”

There’s obviously no amount of money that can replace the life of loved one — and even the mere notion of attempting to pay off someone’s enduring pain is a savage contemplation. However, we can’t pretend that if by some severe deficiency in the planetary alignment — Diamond Reynolds happened to be a White woman — she wouldn’t have received a far more generous offer.

If she had been a White woman — the uproar surrounding her heartrending status would’ve been deafening and you can be sure that there would be every attempt to ensure that she and her precious girl were catered to without hesitation.

Unfortunately, Reynolds didn’t receive anything close to that and instead was abandoned and regulated as damaged goods — as she quietly tried to pick up the pieces of a life that was no longer recognizable or even bearable. Her battle to regain her disposition amid the rubble that included monetary difficulties and clashes with the law has been editorially highlighted — to no avail.

Now, that she’s $800K richer — there should be a sigh of relief, but it’s challenging to feel any sense of victory when you consider the roster of events that led to this moment.

Reynolds should be a millionaire. She should be awarded so much fucking money that it would be embarrassing to speak the amount out loud. Her daughter should have a trust fund and share the privileges afforded to those who never have to worry about a damn thing — ever in life.

When you watch someone you care about die in front of you with blood gushing out and the smell of gun powder dominating the space between you and your toddler — you deserve to be a millionaire.

They say that money isn’t everything — but in this case I absolutely disagree.

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