Once upon a time, black families would go to great lengths to instill in their children the dangers that are specific only to them in this country. Usually, that danger comes in the form of an armed white man or an irate white woman.
On Thursday, 14-year-old Brennan Walker woke up late and missed his school bus. He attempted to walk to school but got lost. His mother took his phone from him, so he had no GPS. As a last resort, the teen decided to knock on a door and ask for directions.
Unbeknownst to him, he was knocking on the door of American history.
“I got to the house, and I knocked on the lady’s door. Then she started yelling at me and she was like, ‘Why are you trying to break into my house?’ I was trying to explain to her that I was trying to get directions to Rochester High. And she kept yelling at me. Then the guy came downstairs, and he grabbed the gun, I saw it and started to run. And that’s when I heard the gunshot,” he says.
Thankfully, the man missed. Brennan kept running, hid, then cried.
“My mom says that black boys get shot because sometimes they don’t look their age, and I don’t look my age. I’m 14; but I don’t look 14. I’m kind of happy that, like, I didn’t become a statistic,” he says in retrospect.
Indeed, thank goodness he didn’t become a statistic. Thank goodness he didn’t end up on a t-shirt. Thank goodness Al Sharpton didn’t have to speak at his funeral. He said his mother told him black boys get shot because they don’t look their age, huh? She put a little “Momma’s sugar” on that one young Mr. Breenan. Black boys get shot because they’re black, period.
This situation is an eerily similar the tragedy that occurred in Dearborn Heights, Michigan in back in 2013 when 19-year-old Renisha McBride knocked on a door after crashing her car a block away. She was shot dead by homeowner Ted Wafer.