The Terrible Tragedy of Tyshawn Lee, and Crocodile Tears from Pigs

November 30, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


A nine-year-old boy on his way to his grandma’s house stops at the park to play on a swing. He sets his beloved basketball on the ground. A Black child’s fun day turns into the darkest nightmare. Tyshawn Lee is lured from the park and shot multiple times. Chicago authorities allege the shooter was a member of a gang retaliating against a rival, Tyshawn’s father. It makes your heart ache... for his parents and friends who lost a child... for the entire community that is horrified it has come to this—a child coldly, deliberately murdered in a cycle of revenge killings.

No more generations of our youth...BAsics 1:13

But the authorities denouncing Tyshawn’s murder as barbaric are shameless in their hypocrisy. They are using his tragic death to demonize young Black men to justify the police reign of terror and murders. Laquan McDonald’s hard life and police murder of him, and the cover-up by the authorities, prove that they do not care about the lives of these children. They do not care about Laquan McDonald, Tyshawn Lee, or millions of children like them here and all over the world. This system is waging a grinding genocide against Black people: millions of children in this country live in deep poverty, go to miserable and failing schools, and are funneled into pipelines from school to prison. The entire community is brutalized and terrorized by the police to keep them penned in on the bottom of society.

The person who murdered Tyshawn Lee was not born a monster. There was an invisible hand that shaped all this. The hand of the system. If, in fact, this was a gang killing as is being reported, it is not that the system literally forced a banger to make the choice to commit murder. But that system did put the idea in their head of what life should be all about and it put them in conditions where picking up a gun to get revenge, to get over, to protect “yours” poses itself as a terrible and vicious reality. It is the values and ethos that flow from and permeate this whole capitalist society.

There is no excuse for killing Tyshawn Lee. He did not and should not have been killed for any reason. What is necessary to break out of this madness is revolution to uproot a system that creates the conditions and the “system think” where this keeps happening—where the system is killing us and having us kill each other. It is way past time to stop fighting each other and start fighting the system and transforming ourselves for revolution that puts an end to the hundreds of years of oppression that Black people have suffered since being brought to these shores as slaves.

This system commits monstrous crimes using the same gangster logic all over the world. How is this different than when the U.S. sends drone strikes on a village in Iraq or Afghanistan, killing children as well as adults to “punish” them all? How is it different than exploiting children as young as five years old in other parts of the world to make cheap goods for a profit? How is it different than the police gunning down Laquan McDonald in a hail of bullets and then engaging in a massive cover-up?

The Chicago PD police chief cynically held a press conference to announce the arrest of the alleged shooter right before thousands of people flooded Michigan Avenue to disrupt shopping in the heart of Chicago on Black Friday. It was not like the alleged shooter had just been identified—he had already been taken into custody and identified as the main suspect days before, held on a million-dollar bond, just not charged with murder. All day on the news the murder of Tyshawn Lee ran as a counterpoint to coverage of the protests rocking the streets for the police murder of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald and to justify whatever they do in rampaging through the community. The police threatened that all the members of the two rival gangs had “signed their death warrant.”



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