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Why Won’t They Speak Her Name?

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

I keep seeing her face. I keep seeing her angelic and innocent 7-year-old face in a video praying that she does not get shot and is allowed to live.

Four years after participating in an anti-gun, anti-crime video while living in Chicago, 11-year-old Anisa Scott was shot in the head and murdered.

As I still see her face, I honestly wonder why LeBron James is not speaking to this tragedy. Where is the voice of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell? Why isn’t the name of this wonderful little girl written on the shoes and sneakers of all those athletes protesting the shooting of Jacob Blake? Why didn’t the NBA and the NHL postpone games in her honor? Why isn’t ESPN’S Kirk Herbstreit also shedding tears for little Anisa? Where is the American Airlines pin for her?

Why has most of the media and political class ignored her killing?

When did it become politically expedient to acknowledge some murders which fit a certain narrative while sweeping literally thousands of others under the rug? Since when did the killing of children become a crime to be discounted?

I was truly disturbed by the shooting of Jacob Blake and beyond horrified by the killing of George Floyd. Neither should have ever happened and there must be legal and remedial consequences for those actions.

While most of society may not have described either man as an “angel,” I believe Blake should never have been shot and Floyd should still be alive.

That acknowledged, most, if not all of society would describe little Anisa Scott as an “Angel on Earth.” An angel whose name seemingly must now not be spoken because her killing does not fit a political, partisan, or activist portrayal at the moment.

Do Black Lives Matter? Of course. Every single one of them.

As a white child I grew up in abject poverty and was homeless often. Because of the massive dysfunction in our lives, I was evicted from 34 homes by the time I was 17 years of age.

After a number of those evictions, I found myself living in a poor black neighborhood or project. Often, I was the only white child in my class.

That experience was not only a blessing, but one of the true highlights of my life. For it was at that time, and because of those interactions and friendships, I discovered that black America was truly a great America.

Within those neighborhoods and projects, I was simply one more desperately poor child looking to survive. I was accepted and befriended by all those around me and felt truly protected.

Within those neighborhoods and projects, I was also fortunate to witness the very personification of heroism in the faces and actions of single African-American mothers who often worked two or three jobs at a time and sacrificed their very happiness to provide for their children. Those courageous and strong women became some of my earliest and most enduring role models.

When I came upon the tragic story of 11-year-old Anisa Scott being shot in the head while riding in a car in Madison, Wisconsin, my first thought was of those incredibly heroic women and the children they raised.

Back then, they knew – as did all in poor and crime infested areas – that life could be very fickle and very fleeting. All the more reason to scream out in protest when an innocent child is struck down by hateful violence.

And yet, almost no one seems to be screaming out in protest and revulsion over the killing of young Anisa Scott.

How chilling is it now to see her face and hear her words simply pleading to live. A face, a voice, and words, some seek to bury with that precious child.

When she was but a 7-year-old child living in crime-ridden Chicago, Anisa Scott can be seen in that anti-crime, anti-violence, and anti-gun video saying and praying: “Heavenly Father. Can you please listen to me ‘cause I am so scared. God, no one else is fixing Chicago…I get all A’s in school. I’m really good. But can you do this for me, please? They won’t stop shooting. They won’t stop killing. They won’t stop it. God, can you make it better, please? I don’t want to die.”

Coming up on one month ago, she did “die.” She was murdered.

Why won’t the politicians, celebrities, athletes, activists, and the media protesting the shooting of Jacob Blake as they rightfully remind us that “Black Lives Matter,” not speak the name of this wonderful little African-American girl?

Why won’t they write her name on a shoe? Why won’t they wear a ribbon in her honor? Why aren’t they shedding tears for her? Why can’t they pause from their protests to make the killing of Anisa Scott matter? A little girl who only wanted to live.

Anisa Scott is the face of courage, character, and tragically, sacrifice. Honor her loss by speaking her name.

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