Society

Beware Of The Senseless Antonio West-Trayvon Martin Comparison Going Around The Internet

| by Jonathan Wolfe
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There is a message making its way around the internet this week on the story of Antonio West.

West was a 13-month-old baby who was fatally shot on March 21. You might have seen this message being passed around on Facebook or in the comment sections of news sites. Here are a few excerpts from the post:

You won’t recognize me. My name was Antonio West and I was the 13-month-old child who was shot at point-blank range by two teens who were attempting to rob my mother, who was also shot. A Grand Jury of my mommy’s peers from Brunswick, Ga., determined the teens who murdered me will not face the death penalty …  too bad I was given a death sentence for being innocent and defenseless.

My family made the mistake of being white in a 73 percent non-white neighborhood, but my murder was not ruled a hate crime.

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This judge looked an inmate square in the eyes and did something that left the entire courtroom in tears:

There is not a white equivalent of Al Sharpton because if there was, he would be declared racist, so there is no one rushing to Brunswick, Ga., to demand justice for me. There is no White Panther party to put a bounty on the lives of those who murdered me. I have no voice, I have no representation and unlike those who shot me in the face while I sat innocently in my stroller – I no longer have my life.

The post closes by comparing West’s murder to Trayvon Martin’s and asks readers to remember him and raise awareness for him just as people have for Trayvon.

The problem with the post is this: it tries to make a comparison out of two entirely different situations. Unlike Martin’s killer, the killers of West were arrested immediately and charged with murder. The post complains that the 17-year-old killers are not being sentenced with the death penalty, but that is because Georgia law prevents that from happening. Overseeing district attorney Jackie Johnson of the Brunswick, Ga., judicial circuit said in a statement that she would not seek the death penalty against the teens because Georgia law does not allow capital punishment for defendants charged with crimes committed before they were 18.

It seems a bit desperate to compare incarcerated, charged teens to a man — Zimmerman  who was acquitted of his charge.

What is interesting about West’s case, however, is the parents reaction to their son’s death. As Inquisitr notes, Sherry West, Antonio’s mother, apparently asked “How soon do you think life insurance policy will send me the check?” on the night of the murder.

If you want to be angry about West’s case, this is what you should be angry about, not a senseless comparison to Trayvon Martin.

Source: Inquisitr, Snopes