Guns, Race, and a Blind Boy’s Point of View  


Guns, Race, and a Blind Boy’s Point of View                                                           © Jerome DeVonni Wilson

The I.C.E.B.E.R.G. MOVEMENT recently divulged that there was a study conducted that involved adolescents from around the country. The youth were ages 13 to 16. The study originally called for the use of one Black youth and one white youth from each state, but the authors of the study didn’t like the possibility of the results of the survey having a 50/50 ratio, so they added another child, giving the odd total of 101 participants.

This raised the question of what racial identity the 101st youth should be; Black or white? And where should the youth come from? The logical answer was that since they already had two children from each state, he should come from Washington, DC. To answer the Black or white question, he would be biracial, thus continuing the balance to that mandate.

What the research found was almost as astonishing as when a poll was given to a distinguished group of youth on what color the mark should be on shooting targets used by police and armed forces. An overwhelming percentage said black.

In the instant study, the kids were given four pictures:

1) A picture of a white male

2) A picture of a Black male

3) A picture of a gun

4) A picture of a body bag on a medical table

The participants were then told to pair the pictures up with the other picture they felt it went with, meaning that out of the four pictures they would be making two pairs. They were also told that their answers would not be shared with anyone else.

All of the white kids put the gun with the white man and the Black man with the body bag. The reasoning behind their way of thinking varied. One 15-year-old participant, when asked why he saw things that way, responded, “It’s just the narrative that I’m used to. I mean, let’s be honest, the news isn’t covering Black cops going around shooting unarmed white men.”

When reminded by the surveyor, “But we never said the white man was an officer. As a matter of fact, he and the Black man are dressed exactly alike.” 

The youth responded, “Yeah, but back to the narrative: a pistol, a white guy, a Black guy, and a body bag? Are you serious? Don’t Blacks kill more Blacks than white people?”

With the exception of one Black adolescent, the rest also put the gun with the white man and the Black man with the body bag. When the exception was asked to explain his way of thinking, he responded, “Just…why does it always have to be the Black people? I just looked at it like I didn’t want to see another Black person shot, so I gave him a gun to protect himself and felt that I prevented a Black person from being killed.”* 

The director of the study had made a small oversight in that the biracial child was blind. To compensate in all fairness, they provided him with a survey written in Braille, verbatim to the surveys provided to the other youth, the only difference being that they had to also give him descriptions of the pictures in Braille as well. The blind child put the Black and white men together, and the gun and body bag together.

When asked to explain his reason for doing so, he responded, “If we could get the men to come together, we could put the guns in the bag and bury them instead of the people.”

Maybe the next study should be about whether the blind can actually lead the blind?

And that’s on everythang!!!

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