How Mainstream Media Discards Justice For People of Color in Favor of White America
The cases for Nia Wilson and Chikesia Clemons are quietly pending
A Colorado man recently made a desperate plea on TV, asking for the safe return of his pregnant wife and two young daughters. Hours later, it was confirmed that he had in fact murdered the woman that he claimed was missing.
Ever since the news broke, there has been non-stop coverage; complete with the accompaniments of Facebook posts of the deceased, that depict the disturbing reality of how a seemingly “perfect” family could end up in a grisly nightmare.
There’s also the daily updates that supply the evidence of a deranged and desperate asshole who swears that he killed his pregnant wife only after he witnessed her strangling their two girls.
As that case ensues, we also have another unfortunate incident that has evolved into the topic of illegal immigration, as the body of the missing young woman from Iowa, Mollie Tibbets, was discovered in a cornfield. Tibbets went jogging on July 18 and never returned. Her killer is a twenty-four-year-old undocumented immigrant from Mexico.
The brutal murder of the University of Iowa student is expectedly catching a lot of attention from conservatives who are joining their morally corrupt Commander-in-Chief to trumpet the reasons why the mighty wall at the border is desperately needed.
Trump rallied the crowd in West Virginia with his mention of the “incredible and beautiful young girl” whose life was cut short by an illegal alien, which proves why the immigration crisis can only be solved by keeping “murderers” and “rapists,” away from innocent White Americans.
Media coverage for cases like these is definitely protocol, but what’s astounding is how very little time is given to young Black women, who are also victims of extreme violence.
When it comes to Black and Brown youth, the media does the bare minimum highlighting the missing, and there’s certainly not much offered in the form of follow ups or satisfactory closure. We’re just given a brief synopsis, and then it’s on to the next item on the list.
We’re not treated to the collage of heart-wrenching photos of the precious girl, or testimonies from bereft loved ones or the sentimental footage from social media platforms that capture what once was — and how unbearably tragic that the present could be so cruel.
It’s been weeks since the callous slaying of Nia Wilson, the gorgeous young Black woman, who had hoped her future would include being “a medical technician” or maybe even joining the U.S. Navy.
You wouldn’t be aware of what her future plans were unless scouring the internet for information is your thing. It’s hard not to wonder how much of her life would’ve been divulged on the nightly news if she had been White.
The eighteen-year-old Oakland resident was traveling on the BART system with her sisters, when a White man approached them just when they were in the process of transferring trains. John Lee Cowell proceeded his slashing fest, and by the end of it, Nia Wilson was dead, while her older sister Letifah was seriously injured. And it took some time after the deadly attack for us to realize that another sister, Tashiya, was also present, and while she luckily escaped the fate of her siblings — the emotional scars will never heal.
Cowell was eventually arrested, and charged with the murder of Nia Wilson as well as “premeditated attempted murder” for the horrific attack on Letifah Wilson.
But while that information was supplied almost a month ago, there’s the curiosity of where things presently stand. Why haven’t we been given the updates on the case of Nia Wilson in the same spirit that elevates the status of White victims, who are given solid coverage that leaves no stone unturned.
After surrendering to the convenience of Google, I uncovered the latest developments that reveal how Cowell will not only have to contend with the murder charge, but also “the special circumstance addition of lying in wait,” which is now necessary to prove how Nia Wilson’s untimely death was due to gross negligence on the part of BART — since the killer was able to bypass the turn-style and enter the area where vulnerable commuters were susceptible to imminent danger.
If convicted, Cowell could be looking at life in prison or even the death penalty. There’s also the pending lawsuit that the Wilson family have filed against BART as a to seek justice for a young Black woman, who suffered the deadly consequences of being at the wrong place at the wrong time.
According to attorney Robert Arns:
“What the family wants to do with this lawsuit, one of the main things, is make BART safe for everyone.” “If BART stopped criminal fare evaders, Nia would be alive.”. “What is the standard for BART? That they must use the highest care to protect passengers from assault.”
In order for the lawsuit to be initiated, the claim that alleges how Cowell should’ve been accosted before his ill-fated encounter with the Wilson sisters at the train’s platform — has to be acknowledged by BART within six months of the filing.
And as part of the deal, the Wilson family is asking BART to create a program known as the Nia Wilson Crime Statistics Notice. This will be an actively informative mechanism, that will arm commuters with pertinent information and recommendations— that will keep them alert and readily familiar with the security measures of their environment.
This initiative will guarantee that every BART station displays statistics of criminal activity in the last four years, and this extends to “parking lots, platforms, and on cars.” And most importantly, in order to ensure that what happened to the Wilson sisters won’t be repeated, the claim tasks BART with the responsibility of drastically improving “safety measures,” and solving the staffing deficiencies that led to the ease with which Cowell was able to enter the platform area without paying the fare.
It’s astounding that Nia Wilson’s name and image has vanished from the national spotlight, despite the unfolding saga that contains enough vital substance to give newsrooms the incentive to highlight her case. If anything it would be patriotic to honor someone whose brutal slaying has led to symbolic activism that will prevent future loss of life for all Americans.
Another sore subject is the fact that when Wilson’s bloody massacre made the headlines in the immediate aftermath, there was the assumption that her killer targeted her and her sister based on their race. And while there have been suggestions that his fragile mental state was the culprit — there’s the unrelenting belief that whether or not he was driven by “brain illness,” the fact that he previously threatened other commuters — but gruesomely attacked two Black sisters, killing one of them, seems to be a strong indication that he was specific with his choice of victims.
Either way, it’s appalling that Nia Wilson like most young Black women who are fallen by the mechanics of an ultra-violent society, only get the casual mention, before they fade into oblivion, without revisits that prove how and why the victim will be lovingly remembered as much more than that.
America’s obsession with White men who kill overtakes the media landscape, as online portals douse timelines with the image of the latest monster who unleashed the unthinkable, and the home videos automatically activate with the laughter and smiling faces of the ones he wronged for life.
When young White women are declared dead after weeks of vanishing, the nation is rallied into the mourning period, with the aid of well-packaged segments that are rightfully affecting, and the weeks that follow, keep up that momentum — until there’s some resolve.
It would be nice if this adherence to justice could be translated into the narrative of Black and Brown, and how those lives also deserve to be endearingly recalled. Those cases also remain open with populating info, that could turn into an inspiring American tale of how a senseless murder became the blueprint for lifesaving measures for commuters, who will be forever grateful for the guiding light of Nia Wilson.
Chikesia Clemons isn’t dead. She managed to survive her terrifying ordeal at the hands of police brutality. But her unjustifiable beatdown left her battered and bruised, and with the heaviness of injustice after being found guilty of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
Again, this is something that could never be assigned to a young White woman, who simply exerts the right to be serviced by employees of an establishment who are paid to perform those duties.
The graphic video, showing the White cops over-powering the helpless and unarmed Black girl, who was valiantly fighting to keep her clothes from leaving her body as she accommodated the fury of the assault — went viral. But that doesn’t do very much outside of giving gawkers another excuse to gawk, with appreciative fascination.
We used to believe that if the ugliness of our existence played right in front of our very eyes, it would sober us up and challenge our willingness to do better — but that was a lie.
The case of Chikesia Clemons is no longer active as the media turns its back after the initial reporting, even though it’s clear that the injustice she’s enduring after being physically abused by police officers who should be charged for their damning actions — is abhorrently unjust.
We have to be fair across the board when it comes to the exposure that’s given to those who’ve earned the privilege of our time and empathy because that’s the only way to bridge the gap between the valued population — and the section that’s deemed dispensable.
Until, that happens, we can’t tolerate those who insist that #AllLivesMatter in America, because that’s an inaccurate summation, and by now you should know the reason why.