A tale of 2 tragedies involving children: Aspen and Tyshawn. Where do we draw the line?


Yesterday I wrote about this “tragedy.”


A 15-year-old girl was stabbed to death at her family home in a suburban, predominantly White enclave, 30 miles east of Los Angeles.




Aspen Geurtz
Aspen Geurts




I reflexively labeled it a tragedy, yet, that noun did not surface automatically when reading about the equally tragic murder of 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee in Chicago. The young child was lured into an alley and executed.


What horror gives wrought to a world where children are “executed?” Why, the Black gangster world, of course. Is this why I did not automatically think of this as a tragedy?



…Chicago police Superintendent Garry McCarthy called the slaying “probably the most abhorrent, cowardly, unfathomable crime” he had seen in his 35 years in law enforcement.


McCarthy said police believe Tyshawn was killed because of his father’s gang ties and a recent series of shootings between rival gangs.


Law enforcement sources have told the Tribune that the bloody conflict involves rival factions of two of Chicago’s oldest gangs — the Gangster Disciples and the Black P Stones. Police believe the Terror Dome faction of the Black P Stones targeted Pierre Stokes’ son because his father, a convicted felon, reputedly belongs to the Gangster Disciples’ Killa Ward faction.



Tyshawn Lee
Tyshawn Lee




Perhaps in the case of an unlikely murder of a certain type of White child in a certain type of White neighborhood, the tragedy is considered, appraised, on the individual, familial level; but the murder of a Black child in an inner city Chicago ghetto can be appraised on a collective, group level.


Aspen Guerts’ tragedy belonged to her family home; Tyshawn Lee’s, to his ethnic subset group.


And of course, there is the natural inclination, in such a a situation, to find yourself thinking (privately, of course): “Would this young child grow up to be a gang-banging thug, just like his father?” You nod, presume yes, and excuse the murder as the indictment of a displaced group.


Something is not right about this country.