Philando Castile was laid to rest today. We all know who he is by now, thanks to the video capturing his death at the hands of the police that sparked horror in all of us who saw it.Castile’s funeral was fit for royalty, complete with horse-drawn carriage carrying the casket to the soaring cathedral where it was held, Grammy award-winning performers and attendance by state and city leaders, including Gov. Mark Dayton, Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, and U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, along with more than 1,500 other attendees.
Meanwhile, miles away, another family is mourning the death of two-year-old Le’Vonte King Jason Jones, who — like Castile — was also fatally shot last week in Minnesota’s Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Le’Vonte’s 15-month-old sister, Mela Queen Melvina Jones was also shot, but survived.
But I bet you haven’t heard of the tragic shooting of these two innocent black babies.
As reported by the Star Tribune:A toddler was killed and another wounded Friday when they were caught in an apparent drive-by shooting in north Minneapolis, capping an especially violent week in the Twin Cities and around the country.
Witnesses said the shooting, which occurred about 11:30 a.m. at the intersection of Penn and Lowry avenues N., was gang-related. Minneapolis police spokesman Corey Schmidt said he couldn’t confirm that, but added that police believe that the two parties involved knew each other.
The children were shot as they sat in a vehicle driven by their father. Two-year-old Le’Vonte King Jason Jones died after the father rushed him to North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale. His 15-month-old sister, Mela Queen Melvina Jones, was shot in the leg and hospitalized in stable condition.
No one has been arrested. Police said they are reviewing footage from security cameras in the area.
And there’s no making sense of how two babies can end up in the crossfire, Givens said. “I’ve done my share of wrong in my life, but I can’t understand what would make someone say, ‘I’m going to get you even if you have kids with you,’ ” he said.
Pastor Jayme Ali of God of All Truth Church in Minneapolis was sitting outside the hospital minutes after the shooting when the children’s father ran into the emergency room with one of the bloodied children.
Of course, national attention has flooded this city — that, incidentally, I (Michelle Jesse) call home. President Obama has paid homage to Philando Castile in his remarks to Americans, and the woman who wants to succeed him even went so far as to praise the four-year-old daughter of Castile’s girlfriend, “who bravely comforted her mother while Philando died in front of them.” Castile’s death even warranted a visit from one of the original professional race baiters himself, Jesse Jackson, who rushed to Minnesota and paid a visit to Castile’s girlfriend and protesters outside the governor’s residence in St. Paul — even as Le’Vonte King Jason Jones lay dead mile away.
Funny how none of them uttered a word about the tragedy of these two black babies who were brutally shot — one murdered — while they promoted the cause of “Black Lives Matter.”
So why do the lives of two-year-old Le’Vonte King Jason Jones and his 15-month-old sister seem to matter so little to those who proclaim to be the champions of blacks?
Clearly, their deaths do not fit the narrative of police brutality toward blacks. Moreover, their deaths highlight the grim state of many of our nation’s inner cities after liberal governance for decades. Violence, much of it black-on-black, flourishes; in just the area where the Jones siblings were shot — a low-income, heavily black neighborhood known as north Minneapolis — more than 75 people have been struck by gunfire this year. We write frequently about a similar state of affairs in Chicago.
In fact, it would have been fair for Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton to say two-year-old Le’Vonte King Jason Jones might have been alive today had he been white.
Meanwhile, liberal leaders and organizations who use the plight of these neighborhoods to secure political points as well as funding seem more interested in further themselves than advancing the futures of these black lives. Just one recent poster child for this was a taxpayer-funded non-profit supposedly serving the community where Le’Vonte was gunned down — on whose board none other than U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison served. The organization’s ex-CEO was just indicted on charges he spent taxpayer grants, intended for the low-income community, instead on his own personal car, exotic trips and perks for friends and relatives.
Where’s the outrage about this other form of violence against the black community — some of it carried out by fellow blacks?
Nope, black-on-black violence in our inner cities does not fit the narrative of Black Lives Matter. And the exploitation of blacks at the hands of liberal leaders — an insidious and far-reaching form of violence — most certainly doesn’t fit the narrative. In fact, awareness of both (related) issues is downright inconvenient, even dangerous, to the liberal hold on blacks themselves and those citizens who truly care about black lives — all of them, not just the ones that further ideological agendas.
And that’s exactly why you haven’t — and won’t — hear about the black lives of two-year-old Le’Vonte King Jason Jones and 15-month-old Mela Queen Melvina Jones.
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]