It's a story about a crime--a teen-aged boy watching tv at a friend's house is shot and killed. Five bullet holes in the side of the house, and one of them hit the victim. But the reactions from people around the scene are what makes this story a little different for me:
'No one shoots into a house in Boca Raton'What is so special about Boca Raton that these people would be so surprised by the kind of violence that many cities not far from there deal with every day? It's not really a dificult question--Boca is rich and white, and this sort of thing just isn't supposed to happen in rich, white cities.
"His family didn't deserve this"
"This is Boca Raton," Hopkins said. "As bad as it can get is a fight. No one shoots into a house in Boca Raton."
Notice the privilege that's rolling through this story. The victim had been enrolled at a Life Skills Center, which meant he was a high school dropout, and he had withdrawn from that before completion. But he wasn't identified as a dropout--he was, instead, "a very intelligent person" who "had trouble with school." He'd also been arrested three times in the last two months, once for cocaine possession, but he wasn't a menace to society--he was a person who had trouble "jumping through hoops."
Why? Because he was a white kid from an upscale neighborhood. If he'd been a black teen living in Overtown, this story doesn't get written. Maybe there's a blurb about another murder with possible ties to drugs. Maybe. Because houses get shot into all the time in Overtown, but never in Boca Raton.
Labels: privilege in the media