There is an old cultural myth in the South, of a farmer protecting his fields from theft by kids with a shotgun loaded with rock salt. Of course this was in the times before the NRA armed every moron in America with lethal weapons or mass murder, and the racist right terrorized the public into committing, what has become genocide. The farmer certainly realized the loss of a couple of ears of corn wasn’t worth taking someones life, and was seeking to install a moral lesson by way of a painful warning.
As a kid growing up in an area which still had a fair amount of rural expanse – I can certainly remember a few times when a motorist knocked on the door in need of a phone to call for help due to a breakdown or accident. This was the days before we all (or anyone) had cell phones, little ones. As an aside, I can remember as a really little guy of about 5 or 6 visiting my Uncle’s farm in the country, and they had Party Lines. Of course in those days before the terror induced by he gun crazies, the first response to someone knocking on the front door, wasn’t to grab you gun and shoot the visitor.
Now, I have been a gun owner since I was 7, and with relatives who lived in rural areas of the Tidewater and mountains, grew up with folks where hunting and fishing was a way of life. In those days before the Tea Bagged Reich created the Jim Crow “Stand Your Ground” excuse for murder, we had what was called a “Threshold Law”. Ergo, if some Republican decided to dance buck naked on your porch and howl at the moon – it was a matter for law enforcement. If same Republican forced their way into your house (across the threshold) then you were within your rights to use deadly force if necessary. Of course a pot of hot water, or the Al Green Treatment (a pan full of hot grits) would likely prove to be a sufficient enough re-education lesson for all but the most “Cruz”esque of intruders…
But then, in the fast-food infected modern America, a pot of hot water might be pretty hard to come by.
Renisha McBride’s toxicology report is out and now we know the 19-year-old had a blood-alcohol level that was more than twice the legal limit for driving. This would explain why, according to her family, she was involved in a single-car accident.
However, it does not explain why Theodore Wafer shot her in the face.
McBride’s family says she was seeking help after the crash and knocked on the door of Wafer’s house in Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. The 54-year-old Wafer, who is white, told investigators he feared McBride, who is black, was trying to break in.
There are too many unanswered questions to know exactly what happened that night. But we do know this: If a black man told police officers “self-defense” was the reason why he shot an unarmed white teenage girl in the face with his shotgun, it would not have taken protests, national media attention and nearly two weeks for authorities to reject that excuse.
And this is why McBride’s death — ruled a homicide after protests and national media attention — draws comparisons to that of Trayvon Martin, the Florida teen shot and killed by George Zimmerman, who is of white and Latino heritage, last year. Continue reading