By: Skylar Ribotsky
In the movie, The Dark Knight, Alfred Pennyworth states, “…they can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.” In the last month we have witnessed this quote come to life, and in the past week in places like Atlanta, New York, and Chicago the level of violence has peaked.
During the Fourth of July weekend, gun violence transformed some of the biggest U.S. cities into war zones. Approximately 160 people were killed at the barrel of a gun. In addition, 500 people were left wounded from Friday night to Saturday alone.
This all lies in the wave of political unrest we are all living in, as we watch states move forth to defund their police, and we hear the debates on whether that is a good idea or not. We here at The Ribotsky Institute whole-heartedly agree that there are certain things that should be curtailed or a certain amount of force that police officers should never be allowed to use. Though we also urge you to understand that the debates on how police are supposed to do their jobs make it infinitely harder for them to do them. We also urge you to recognize that one bad officer does not make the whole force bad. We are sorry to say it since we know many people don’t want to hear it, police departments, especially in high-crime areas, are an essential part of those resident’s well-being and frankly, their survival.
In the beginning, some of the new movements that have held violent protests seemed like something that had the potential to be incredibly powerful. You see what takes away from that power is the idea that we have so clearly seen the media and the left pick and choose which victims to support. It is troubling that it seems as though these lives only matter when they fit the narrative. They are only interested in this when it pins certain groups against each other, and it is time to wake up and recognize that. For us, the loss of innocent life is not about a narrative. The loss of life should never be about a narrative. Frankly, we just want to be given the truth when we turn on the news in the morning and feel that we shouldn’t have to do so much research to hear about the loss of innocent lives.
Just in the past two weeks, in Chicago, 87 people have been shot, 17 of them being fatal. Among that 17, is twenty-month-old Sincere Gaston, who lost his life on June 27th due to a senseless shooting. This is not mainstream news, unfortunately. Why? Because behind the gun, there wasn’t a white man, so the mainstream media isn’t going to talk about this little boy. The Gaston family’s pastor, Isaiah Miller stated, “what do you say when a mom and dad have to have a funeral for their 1-year-old son? What do you say? How do you console them?” We are grappling with the same thoughts and are sure many of you are as well. Though, the bottom line is a parent should never have to bury their child. Since the murder of Sincere Gaston, there have been many more murders, especially, with children as the most prominent victims.
Foster Friess states, “Chicago just saw its most violent day in sixty years. The media has been silent.” Now if that doesn’t anger you we do not know what will. The loss of life is not supposed to fit an agenda for it to matter, these are human beings who are not part of any known protest movement, who were senselessly gunned down. Shouldn’t that matter or be part of the news? Last time we checked this is the United States of America, not China. Does the word united no longer hold value? The murder of little children should anger you. We lost the lives of young kids that could have done great things and pretending that those deaths never occurred is a disgrace.
In New York, on just Sunday alone, there were thirty shootings with at least ten dead. How is one supposed to justify the evil that leads to thirty shootings in one day? Though yet again we see the media pretty much silent. Among those who lost their lives, is a twenty-nine-year-old man, Anthony Robinson who was walking down the street in the Bronx, hand-in-hand with his six-year-old daughter. Another man in a car driving past, rolled down the window, and pointed the gun at both Anthony Robinson and his daughter, his daughter survived, Anthony, did not. It is said that Anthony Robinson has had many prior arrests, yet we can’t help but think about the fact that his mistakes and criminal background have nothing to do with this tragedy. George Floyd had many arrests too, but no one seems to care that he held a gun to a pregnant woman. Does it also bother everyone that he was walking with his six-year-old daughter? It is possible that she very well could have been killed. Does her life hold no value?
Now try to remember being six, that little girl had her innocence stripped away that day, as she watched her father lay in cold blood in broad daylight. A child should never have to witness that yet, you won’t see anyone posting on social media about it, because again it does not fit their agenda.
On Sunday afternoon in Philadelphia, a six-year-old boy lost his life, among five fatal shootings in the span of just five hours. Where is the outrage in the popular media about this tragic event? Why does this six-year-old boy’s life not matter?
According to The Guardian, “Georgia’s governor, Brian Kemp, declared a state of emergency on Monday after 31 people were shot and five killed over the weekend in Atlanta. He authorized 1,000 national guard troops to ‘protect state property and patrol our streets.” Among these heinous acts, was a shooting outside of a Wendy’s, where many protests have been located. Eight-year-old Secoriea Turner was murdered because she happened to be in a car that was bombarded with multiple bullets. Atlanta Mayor, Keisha Lance Bottoms states, “you can’t blame this on a police officer. You can’t say this is about criminal justice reform. This is about some people carrying some weapons who shot up a car with an eight-year-old baby in the car. For what.”
Mayor Bottoms statement poses another point, since the death of George Floyd we have seen violence and destruction that cannot be compared to anything else and then we see it swept under the rug because it is for “criminal justice reform” or any other excuse they have used in the past couple of weeks. There are no excuses for this mass destruction and this gross violence. Reverend and civil rights activist Gregory Livingston, who moved to New York from Chicago last summer states, “Chicago is, woefully, a tale of two cities and across the country, it’s a tale of two Americas.”
White House press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, held a briefing on Monday, yet not one single question was asked by any reporter about these recent shootings, does that surprise any of you? This is not about this movement or that movement, it is an opportunity for violent people to be violent. Since the media doesn’t speak about the victims such as the ones highlighted in this article, it makes these violent people seemingly invincible and untouchable, which is just not ok.
To those of you who all posted black screens for Blackout Tuesday, where are your Instagram posts for these needlessly slaughtered children? Where are the protests for these people’s lives? To the media and to the left, where are your voices now? Your silence is disappointing, sad and you should be ashamed.
To all the families who lost loved ones due to these senseless actions, our hearts go out to you. The mainstream media may not be saying the names of these victims, but we here at The Ribotsky Institute promise to never stop saying them and to never forget them, because their lives mattered too. We are not sure what the immediate answer is but we are sure that something needs to be done and that staying silent lets these innocent lives go on being forgotten.