Social Issues

Tamir Rice’s Mother Awarded $6 million: Was it enough?

Hulk Hogan was awarded $115 million after Gawker released a secretly recorded sex tape in which Hogan was a participant. Erin Andrews was awarded $55 million by a jury after some pervert found out where her room was and drilled a hole in the wall and recorder her while she was changing. Paul Walker’s daughter was paid $10.1 million by the estate of the man who was driving the car that Walker was riding in at the time of his death.

Yet…

Tamir riceSome people are complaining that Tamir Rice’s mother shouldn’t be given the $6 million that Cleveland agreed to pay her family as part of a settlement.

Now, I am not saying that those mentioned above do not deserve the money they received. I think they should get every penny that is owed to them. Hogan lost endorsements and his job with the WWE as a result of the tape. Ms. Andrews is scared every time she checks into a room, and endured a humiliating invasion of privacy. Paul Walker’s daughter lost a father.

But look at those numbers – $115 million, $55 million, and $10 million. Now compare that with $6 million. $6 million is a lot of money, but it isn’t simply a payoff. It isn’t a “sorry for your loss, here’s a gift.” It is meant to be an acknowledgement – the Cleveland Police Department killed a boy playing with a toy gun, even after being told that it probably wasn’t a real weapon and that he was probably a juvenile. Call it racism, call it poor training, call it whatever. The fact is a boy that had the world in front of him was killed, leaving a mother to mourn her child. For those who believe that racism doesn’t exist in America, check out what many are saying about Tamir’s mother. And people wonder why the #BlackLivesMatter movement continues to gain momentum.

I am a man

The point is not that these people were paid too much. In fact, I think Ms. Andrews deserves more. But so does Tamir’s mother.  We are a free market society, and a sign of how much we value something is how much we are willing to spend on it. Why is the #BlackLivesMatter movement important? Because apparently society values a person’s reputation more than it values the life of a black child. And until that changes, there is work to be done.

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5 comments

  1. I didn’t realize when I first read your post that you’d written something about this.
    As the mother of a little black boy, who happens to only be about three years younger than Tamir was when he was murdered; I can honestly say that my heart aches every time I think about how horribly he died out there alone, cold on the ground without so much as an offer to hold his hand to comfort him.
    I often think, that could be my son one day, mistaken for a thug due to the color of his skin – and you KNOW I’m far from the thug land.
    But I have seen the extremely judgmental comments about Tamir’s mother. How she “should’ve taught him better”, or she was probably at home getting high while her son was out playing with a gun… When in reality, she’s a working mother, who like me, doesn’t allow her son to play with guns!! He disobeyed her- which all kids do from time to time and unfortunately it cost him his life.
    Tamir’s story made me realize that I have to train Mace very differently. I can’t allow him to go out into society as is thinking that everyone is always going to give him the benefit of the doubt. I try to do it gently, I don’t want to scare him or make him think that people who are different aren’t ok; but he HAS to know that he may not be given a second chance to explain himself so act accordingly and always follow the rules. I wish it were different, and I pray that we as a society start to value lives PERIOD!!
    But in order to do so, we need to ask ourselves would $6 million dollars feel like enough money if it were your child??
    Thank you again Jason, for writing such a poignant and tasteful piece. You didn’t have to speak out on Tamir’s behalf at all, yet you did. You’ve always been a stand up guy. Glad to see that nothing has changed:)

    Liked by 1 person

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