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Friday, February 17, 2006 

"It was a natural death": should have know, part ii

Several months ago I posted a snippet on Kevin Francois's suspension for refusing to end a call from his mom (who happened to be actively deployed in Iraq at the time) while at school. The post focused on the ridiculous nature of the news coverage and the very important omission of the boy's race in light of certain statements made about his behavior ("very belligerent and very threatening").

Now we come to this story on CNN.com (*NOTE* this story is currently developing, and the posted link is dynamic - so later versions of the story are different from the one I am responding to). The family of a 14-year-old west Florida boy claims that
Bay County sheriffs brutally beat their son, Martin Lee Anderson, to death while he was at a local juvenile boot camp. The coroner’s office claims that he died from complications arising from a blood disorder. The article completely omits any mention of Anderson's race/nationality. Ten paragraphs into the fifteen paragraph story, the boy's "blood disorder" is finally names: sickle cell anemia. Legions of authors have written on white-supremacy's complicated, layered structure, facts demonstrated so very clearly in this instance. A major evolutionary advancement is reduced to a "blood disorder;" the prison-military-industrial complex is reduced to four words: "juvenile detention boot camp"; and the neo-colonial killing of a fourteen-year-old is presented as "a natural death."

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