There was a time, not that long ago, when the despicable murder of a 5-year-old boy would have been top-of-the-fold, headline, national news for weeks. But in these days, when the mainstream media is scared to run any story that might paint a black person in a bad light, most Americans are completely unaware that 5-year-old Cannon Hinnant was executed in broad daylight in Wilson, North Carolina on Sunday evening. After all, little Cannon – whose death penalty came as a result of riding his bicycle – was a white boy and his killer, 25-year-old convicted felon Darius Sessoms, is black. That just doesn’t fit the narrative.
As a result of the media’s blackout, #SayHisName trended on Twitter this week as outraged Americans questioned why Cannon Hinnant’s death is not THE headline story of the moment. A little kid was murdered riding his bike outside of his own home in a friendly neighborhood? Murdered why? What could possibly explain – much less justify – such an evil action? We may never know, because journalists have absolutely no interest in covering the story.
On Twitter, Cassandra Fairbanks may have put it best: “Just so everyone understands: a lone woman calling the police on a stranger threatening her/her dog in a park is considered national news. The murder of #CannonHinnant is not.”
Add to the things more nationally important than this tragedy: A kid in a MAGA hat smiling at a drum-beating Native American; a congressman called Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez the b-word; a career criminal died of a drug-induced heart attack while being arrested in Minneapolis.
But let’s hear again how the phrase “black lives matter” isn’t racist or exclusive. Let’s hear again how it’s really saying “black lives also matter.” And then let’s wonder why literally no one at The New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC, or the big three networks think that this particular white life matters at all. Curious.
Pause to reflect on what the nation would look like today if, on Sunday, a white guy came out of his house to shoot a 5-year-old black kid at point blank range. Protesters would burn the whole country to the ground.
We can be thankful that justice will almost surely be served in this case; Sessoms has been arrested by the U.S. Marshals and charged with first-degree murder. If he ever sees freedom again, it’ll be a miracle. Given how child-killers are treated in prison, he may not be long for this world in any case.
Can’t say he’ll be missed.