Philando Castile was laid to rest today. We all know who he is by now, thanks to the video capturing his death that sparked horror in all of us who saw it.
Castile’s funeral was fit for royalty, complete with horse-drawn carriage carrying the casket to the soaring cathedral where it was held; Grammy award-winning performers; and attendance by state and city leaders, including Gov. Mark Dayton, Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, and U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, along with more than 1,500 other attendees.
Meanwhile, miles away, another family is mourning the death of two-year-old Le’Vonte King Jason Jones, who — like Castile — was fatally shot last week. Le’Vonte’s 15-month-old sister, Mela Queen Melvina Jones, was also shot but survived.
But I bet you haven’t heard about the tragic shooting of these two innocent black babies.
As reported by the Star Tribune:
A toddler was killed and another wounded Friday when they were caught in an apparent drive-by shooting in north Minneapolis, capping an especially violent week in the Twin Cities and around the country.
Witnesses said the shooting, which occurred about 11:30 a.m. at the intersection of Penn and Lowry avenues N., was gang-related. Minneapolis police spokesman Corey Schmidt said he couldn’t confirm that, but added that police believe that the two parties involved knew each other.
The children were shot as they sat in a vehicle driven by their father. Two-year-old Le’Vonte King Jason Jones died after the father rushed him to North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale. His 15-month-old sister, Mela Queen Melvina Jones, was shot in the leg and hospitalized in stable condition.
No one has been arrested. Police said they are reviewing footage from security cameras in the area.
National attention has flooded Minnesota’s Twin Cities metro area recently. President Obama paid homage to Philando Castile in his remarks to Americans, and the woman who wants to succeed him even went so far as to praise the four-year-old daughter of Castile’s girlfriend, “who bravely comforted her mother while Philando died in front of them.”
Castile’s death even warranted an appearance from professional race baiter Jesse Jackson, who paid a visit to Castile’s girlfriend and protesters outside the governor’s St. Paul residence — even as Le’Vonte King Jason Jones lay dead just miles away.
Funny how none of these “Black Lives Matter” promoters uttered a word about the two black babies struck by tragedy.
So why do the lives of two-year-old Le’Vonte King Jason Jones and his 15-month-old sister seem to matter so little to those who proclaim themselves champions of blacks?
Clearly, their deaths do not fit the chosen narrative. Moreover, their deaths highlight the grim state of many of our nation’s inner cities, following decades of liberal governance. Violence, much of it black-on-black, flourishes; in just the area where the Jones siblings were shot — a low-income, heavily black neighborhood known as North Minneapolis — more than 75 people have been struck by gunfire this year. We write frequently about a similar state of affairs in Chicago.
In fact, it would have been fair for Minnesota’s Gov. Mark Dayton to say two-year-old Le’Vonte King Jason Jones might have been alive today had he been white.
Meanwhile, some leaders and organizations who use the plight of these neighborhoods to secure political points, as well as funding, seem more interested in furthering themselves than advancing the futures of these black lives.
Just one recent poster child for this was a taxpayer-funded nonprofit supposedly serving the community where little Le’Vonte Jones was gunned down — on whose board none other than U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison served. The organization’s ex-CEO was just indicted on charges he spent taxpayer grants, intended for the low-income community, on his own personal car, exotic trips and perks for friends and relatives.
Where’s the outrage about this other form of violence against the black community — some of it carried out by fellow blacks?
Nope, black-on-black violence in our inner cities doesn’t fit the narrative of Black Lives Matter. And the exploitation of blacks at the hands of liberal leaders — an insidious form of violence — most certainly doesn’t fit the narrative. In fact, these issues are downright inconvenient to those who would use black lives as political pawns rather than treat them all equally as lives deserving of dignity, regardless of narrative served.
And that’s exactly why you haven’t — and won’t — hear about the black lives of two-year-old Le’Vonte King Jason Jones and 15-month-old Mela Queen Melvina Jones.
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]