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I Know It’s Not The Death Decathlon But Laken Riley Deserves More Outrage Than George Floyd

I remember how America reacted to George Floyd’s death. I remember how America reacted to Freddie Gray’s death. I remember how America reacted to Trayvon Martin’s death. I remember how America reacted to Kate Steinle’s death. I remember how America reacted to Mollie Tibbetts’s death. And I’m watching America react to Laken Riley’s death.

 

And if America is the white supremacist nation we’re told it is, how does anyone explain the disparity between the way our country reacts to the death of innocent white women at the hands of illegal immigrants versus the death of anyone black killed by anyone that’s not a black criminal.

 

I say black criminal because it’s an important distinction.

 

Most black Americans will die at the hands of black criminals. But when a black police officer kills someone black – like in the case of Freddie Gray – the situation is still ripe for exploitation. There’s still an opportunity to blame police as a whole and use tragedy to advance an agenda.

 

Using and abusing death to push policy isn’t exclusive to one party or ideology. Both sides are guilty of this. While I could recognize Mollie Tibbetts was dead as a result of illegal immigration, I was irritated by the way people I agree with were talking about her. It’s like she was just a prop to them. They looked at a lifeless corpse and all they saw was a mascot to parade around for political points.

 

But the difference was in the outcomes. Sure, people were upset about Mollie Tibbetts and Kate Steinle, just like they’re upset about Laken Riley. But there weren’t nationwide demonstrations for them. Their funerals weren’t televised. Nothing was named after them (with the exception of Kate’s Law that congressmen are still trying to pass almost a decade after her murder). And worst of all, there were no real consequences.

 

There was no meaningful change in policy or sweeping reform following the murders of these American citizens. Sanctuary cities weren’t abolished, our borders weren’t closed, there weren’t mass arrests or deportations.

 

The world just kept turning, and before we knew it, we were back to business as usual.

 

Compare that to what happened after George Floyd’s death. Our country changed forever. Police were on the retreat in major cities across the country. Crime exploded. DEI overtook every institution in American life. And all for a man with a rap sheet a mile long that died high out of his mind on a meth/fentanyl cocktail.

 

I want to be clear: I’m not saying that George Floyd deserved to die because of his drug use or criminal past. I know that every life has inherent value, and that God created the best and worst of us in His image. But Laken Riley and Mollie Tibbetts were jogging, and Kate Steinle was on a walk with her dad. Maybe it sounds judgmental, but the better choices someone was making in life, the more outrage and action I think they deserve in unwarranted death.

 

I know that probably isn’t a Christian position, and it’s something I’m working on. I know I should probably feel as much grief for the George Floyds of the world that I do for the Laken Rileys of the world. But I don’t.

 

The logical part of me doesn’t care about “socioeconomic factors.” It doesn’t care who gets farther in the oppression olympics. It cares about what’s right, what’s wrong, and the delivery of justice. 

 

I think of death in general as a tragic event, and I wish that George Floyd could have lived long enough to truly turn his life around. But I also understand how his choices put him in a position to die the way he did.

 

But Laken didn’t do anything to put herself in that position. Our politicians did. But if she gets the same treatment as Mollie and Kate, her memory will fizzle and fade with tweets and speeches but no legislative response. And it’s so infuriating because to properly honor the memory of women like Laken, Mollie and Kate, literally all we need to do is enforce our existing laws. That’s it. You can skip the TV specials, the holidays, the bizarre ceremonial displays. Close the border, and deport people that have no right to be here – starting with violent offenders. Maybe an automatic death penalty or lifetime sentence with no parole for any illegal immigrant convicted of killing an American citizen. I’m just spitballing.

 

But the same people that want you to believe we live in a white supremacist nation will sit back and brush aside Laken Riley’s story precisely because she was a white girl killed by a brown illegal immigrant and it’s politically inconvenient. They’re more upset that Joe Biden called her killer illegal than they are at the 🗣 ILLEGAL 🗣 for killing her. 

 

I used to roll my eyes when right of center influencers said that America was systemically racist against white people, because while I’ve never denied the existence or seriousness of racism against white people, that take struck me as hyperbolic and out of touch with reality. But when cities burn for George Floyd and Laken Riley gets a t shirt and a botched shout out at the State of the Union only for him to turn around and apologize for correctly categorizing her killer, I can’t help but think they have a point.

 

In all fairness, when blacks and Hispanics are killed by illegal immigrants, their stories seem to gain even less traction, so maybe it has more to do with the media’s commitment to open borders than the race of the victim.

 

I just want to live in a country where the safety of citizens trumps sensitivity to criminals, and the publicity a death receives has more to do with the absurdity of circumstance than the victim’s pigment. 

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