“You have to look at it from every child’s point of view that was raised in the hood. You have to understand … how he gonna get his money to have clothes to go to school? You have to look at it from his point of view.”
—Nautika Harris (above, right), the cousin of a 17-year-old teen shot dead by a 54-year-old Miami woman as he tried to exit her home, which he had entered to burglarize.
Miami-Dade police say that Trevon Johnson, 17, burglarized the home of a 54-year-old old woman last week.
She was not in the house when the break-in occurred, but after being alerted by her surveillance system, she rushed home and found Johnson climbing out of a window. She shot him dead, and his relatives are outraged.
“I don’t care if she have her gun license or any of that. That is way beyond the law … way beyond,” Johnson’s cousin Nautika Harris told local radio station WFOR. “He was not supposed to die like this. He had a future ahead of him. Trevon had goals … he was a funny guy, very big on education, loved learning.”
And loved burglary, apparently.
There is a disconnect here, and a deadly one. It is the same cultural malady that caused Michael Brown’s parents, apparently with sincerity, to describe their son as a gentle, lovely young man with a bright future despite his proclivity for getting stoned, shaking down store owners, committing petty theft and battling police officers. Teens who, like Nautika and her dead cousin, have been taught to believe that burglary is a reasonable pursuit in order to “get money to have clothes” do not have a future, and their goals will be blocked by the warped and anti-social ideas injected into them by an ethically stunted environment, encouraged by an entitled, perpetual victim’s mindset.
The community that taught Trevon Johnson that American society was obligated to ” look at it from his point of view” when he was robbing their houses doomed him as surely as his killer’s bullet. The Golden Rule is not “Do unto me as you would want to have done unto you if you were as devoid of civilized values as I am.”
The homeowner did not have to shoot Trevon, and should not have. It was not as if he was discovered in the house while she was there alone; he was not armed; he posed no threat as he tried to escape. Burglary is not a capital crime. She was wrong, and I would have no problem if she were charged with manslaughter for using excessive force, though apparently she will not be. Trevon’s family, however, and his community, have no basis for anger and indignation. Based on the words of his cousin, they taught a young man, because they apparently believe, that committing crimes to acquire other people’s property is reasonable, not at all inconsistent with having “a future” and “goals,” and that the rest of America should accept that.
As long as young black men are taught to think this way, tragedies like this will keep occurring, and people like Nautika will insist that white people just don’t understand.