Have you read the story about the 14-year-old Michigan boy who overslept, missed his school bus and started to walk to school, when he realized he was lost and knocked on a door to ask for directions. The woman who appeared began screaming that someone was trying to break into the house, which awoke her husband, who ran downstairs, armed with a shotgun. When he spotted the weapon, the young teen immediately (and smartly) sprinted off, then hid. He heard shots, but luckily he wasn’t hurt.
“There’s a lot more to the story than what’s being told, and I believe that will all come out in court,” the man with the gun told the judge after his arrest. “I was in bed yesterday morning when my wife started screaming and crying… ” The judge didn’t let him finish. The man was charged with assault with intent to murder and a felony firearm charge, local news outlets reported, and his bond was set at $50,000. He faces as much as life in prison.
Can you guess the races of the teen and the couple? Of course you can. Do you think the husband is going to concoct a tale that justifies his actions? Of course he is.
A video of the incident taken by a security camera reportedly reveals exactly what happened. I didn’t see the video, but the mother of the teen did see it. Interviewed for a local news show, she said she heard the woman who answered the door say, “Why did they have to choose our house?” How despicable is that? The young boy was so rattled by the incident that he broke down in tears. Coming across as an unassuming kid, he said he rang that doorbell because he saw a neighborhood watch sticker on the house, so he assumed it would be safe to knock on the door.
The frantic, screaming, and undoubtedly bigoted woman who answered the door sure helped get her husband in a heap of trouble. Imagine if the teen hadn’t reacted as quickly as he did when he saw the shotgun; he might have been murdered, simply because he knocked on a door to ask for directions. He was glad he didn’t become a statistic, he told the TV reporter who interviewed him and his mom.
My daughter is married to an African American man. It is unnerving to think that their five-year-old son–my darling, innocent grandson–could ever come into contact with people who have knee-jerk reactions like the Michigan couple.
AND THEN THIS
Two men were arrested in a Philadelphia Starbucks, in an upscale part of town, because they asked to use the men’s room, but didn’t order anything. The store manager called the police. The police arrested the men. Just. Like. That.
The woman manager was fired. The CEO of Starbucks met with the men and apologized. But what are we going to do about people who simply look at a black-skinned man and treat him like he doesn’t deserve to inhale the same air? Or even to ask for directions.