The Racist Foghorn of the Justice For Cannon Hinnant Movement
What happened to Cannon Hinnant is unimaginable.
The way some have used what happened to that little boy is unconscionable.
I won’t give space in this article to the memes that were passed around. Unless you have been quarantined without the Internet you’ve probably seen enough of them anyway. In case you haven’t, Imagine the face of a young boy on one side and George Floyd on the other.
Misspelled words all across. According to several right-wingers I spoke to, the message is that we ought to be upset that young Cannon was killed.
Yes, we absolutely should be upset about a young life snuffed out so senselessly in an episode of gun violence. That should Include young lives like Secoiria Turner, Royta De’Marco Giles, and Natalie Wallace? These are just three of the many children who have been killed over the past weeks across America. Each of them, and so many more, the victims of gun violence.
Secoiria was sitting in the car with her mother in Atlanta when she was shot. She was eight.
Seven-year-old Royta was one of four innocent bystanders caught in the crossfire in an Alabama mall.
Natalie Wallace, also seven, was shot in the head while playing in the yard. Much the same way young Cannon was killed.
Is it okay if we are upset about them too? Because we’re not.
If the memitization of Cannon Hinnant had been done to bring attention to the idea that too many of our young people are being killed that would be great. A campaign for that cause would have my attention, my vote, and if it came to it, my pitchfork.
But that is not the point. Making that point would require us to admit that we have a gun violence problem in the US. We won’t admit that.
Nah, it’s not about gun violence. The Cannon memes – and seemingly the whole justice for Cannon movement – is a misguided attempt to generate outrage based on a false equivalency and not surprisingly, outright lying.
Of course, the scampaign included the false claim that the media refused to cover Cannon’s death. That’s to be expected. Invoking the complicit media trope is step one in the right-wing bologna manufacturing manual.
In fact, a quick web search reveals multiple news reports. The media did cover his death just as they covered the deaths of Secoiria, Royta, and Natalie.
The Cannon crusade’s denigration of George Floyd is also expected. The intent is twofold. the first of course is to dehumanize him. The other reason is to make those who protested his murder at the hands of police feel that they were wrong.
It is an insidious victim-blaming ploy we have seen put in play over and over by the White Supremacists and then scattered across social media by the white plight dupes. It’s all done to press the lie that police brutality is not a thing, that Georg Floyd, just like all the other people deserve what they got because their toes crossed the line.
This is not about justice for Cannon any more than it is about gun violence. This is white privilege standing on the porch shaking its fist and hollering “How dare you get upset about a black junkie who died of an overdose and not take up pitchforks over the murder of a precious white boy. All lives matter Damnit!”
The utter falsity of the equivalence the meme attempts to draw would be laughable were the intent not so nefarious.
Yes, again, Cannon Hinnant’s death is horrible. No parent should have to go through that. So too is the murder of George Floyd. The pain his daughter feels is equally unimaginable.
But one brazen fact makes these two murders undeniable unequal. George Floyd was killed by an officer of the law. Whether Mr. Floyd was high, if he resisted arrest, what kind of person he was are all immaterial. The police are there to protect and serve. Officer Chauvin showed a blatant disregard for duty and for human life. Worse yet other officers looked on. Perhaps in training.
Cannon’s killer was captured and behind put behind bars within 24 hours. That is how justice should always work. Especially when there is no question who the killer is, as is so in both of these cases.
Remember, Floyd’s killer was not arrested for four days despite videotaped evidence. Without the protests, it is possible Chauvin and the officers who looked on would be on the job today Police Officers are rarely charged when they kill people and they are almost never convicted.
So, what is it about Cannon’s death we are supposed to get outraged over?
Furthermore, how much white privilege punch does a person need to drink before they have the nerve to tell people what they should and shouldn’t be upset about? And why should I listen?
Besides, the protests were not solely about Mr. Floyd. Yes, his name was on the fuse, but the explosion was in reaction to hundreds of years of injustice. The demonstrations were against police brutality regardless of the skin color of the victim.
They are about people being tired of justice that is dependent on color or class or religion. Yes, in part they were about George Floyd, but they were also about Breonna Taylor, Amaud Aubrey, Philando Castille, Stephon Clark, Dillon Taylor,and so many others.
If you need to draw equivalencies then why not compare the death of Cannon Hinnat with that of Tamir Rice? Tamir was much closer in age at twelve years old. He was shot while he was playing.
Or, how about Aiyana Jones who was seven when she was killed by a bullet to the head. Neither of their killers is behind bars. Where is their justice, where is the outrage over their deaths?
When you say we are wrong to be upset about the death of George Floyd you are saying we are wrong to be upset about the deaths of Tamir and Aiyana. Because both of them were killed by cops. They were not junkies, they didn’t resist arrest. These were young children.
And again, what makes you think your white privilege card lets you tell anyone what they should be mad about. Where do you get off?
To be clear this is not directed in any way against the parents or loved ones of young Cannon. I won’t pretend to be able to imagine the pain they are in. Cannon’s mother is calling for the death penalty. I think it is appropriate and I hope it gives her closure.
The Justice For Cannon movement has brought a lot of attention to the go fund me campaign. As of this writing, the grandmother’s fundraising effort has raised more than $817,000 dollars from more than twenty-three thousand people. Good for the family, may they spend it well.
Those who are sharing these memes are intentionally pushing a wedge into the racial divide even though Cannon’s mother has denied a racial motive.
There is nothing well-meaning or even thought-provoking about these memes or this movement. This is done by despicable racists who can’t bear the thought that maybe, just maybe a tiny bit of progress is being made against the cancer of racism and the blight of police brutality.