Over the last couple of years #BlackLivesMatter has been yelled from coast to coast in defense of the senseless murders taking place against our young black community. Now while Black Lives Matters is a very important movement, many public figures have been speaking out about the lack of concern for black on black crime. It does come off a bit contradictory when we’re pleading for law enforcement to respect our lives, when we as a race have no regard for each other’s lives.
While these kinds of discussions regularly take place on social media, a few public figures have chosen to use their platforms to shed light on how the change starts within us. Aside from Bill Clinton, former Baltimore Raven, Ray Lewis, took to his Facebook to voice is frustrations on the black on black crime taking place in society.
“I’m trying to figure out why no one is paying attention to black men killing black men,” stated Lewis. “I’m just asking this one simple thing: When will we appreciate who we are? When will our skin color start paying attention to our own skin color?” he continues.
Many of the points Lewis made in his 10-minute speech were very valid and that brings me to speak on a very sensitive and recent situation that took place in my hometown of New Orleans, LA.
Former New Orleans Saint’s player, Will Smith, was gunned down on Saturday, April 9th after a hit and run car accident transitioned into an argument that resulted in his death.
In case you’re not updated as to what happened, we’ll give you a brief run down of how this tragic even originated and eventually spun out of control. It all started on Saturday night after enjoying the French Quarter Festivities with his wife. Former Saint’s player, Will Smith, was leaving dinner with fellow player Pierre Thomas and former police officer, Billy Ceravolo. Smith was allegedly intoxicated after leaving the restaurant causing him to rear end the soon to be suspect’s orange Hummer H3 and then speeding off. Hence, a hit and run.
The driver of the Hummer, who was later identified as Cardell Hayes, followed Smith’s Mercedes G-Wagon in an attempt to get the license plate information and contact the authorities. Hayes ended up rear-ending Smith’s vehicle and once that happened a confrontation ensued.
Witnesses claim that Smith got out of the car and approached the driver of the vehicle behind him and both drivers began arguing. It was then that shots rang out leaving Smith dead and his wife, Raquel, wounded. Cardell remained at the scene until police arrived and took him in for questioning. He was booked on second-degree murder.
It is said that upon Will Smith approaching Hayes’ vehicle, words were exchanged and that the argument got so heated that Smith threatened to go back to his car to retrieve his weapon and that is when shots rang out and Smith was that killed. It was in fact discovered that Smith did indeed have a weapon in his vehicle.
Hayes’ lawyer is pleading self defense to the courts and is confident that one all of the evidence is presented, Hayes will no longer be looked at a the monster that everyone is portraying him as.
Many speculations have been floating all over the media but one in particular comes from fellow New Orleans native, Tyrann Mathieu. Mathieu is the current corner back for the Arizona Cardinals. He took to his twitter to share his sentiments for Will Smith and his family as well as to shun Hayes and his “cowardness”.
“I know that dude, he been a hating a** coward…Never knew he’d grow up to be a killer tho…May you get what you deserve coward,” stated Mathieu via Twitter.
Now while much of what he said was true, a few of his comments immediately struck the nerves of many natives that were close to Cardell and knew him personally. Tyrann claims he’s been received death threats and only “flys in and out” of New Orleans because of how scared he is to walk the streets.
Media personality Rich Eisen allowed Tyrann to stop by and nationally discuss his stance on the city of New Orleans and how the lack of guidance for our youth is the cause of all of this violence.
What sparked the outrage and “death threats” toward Mathieu was the lack of knowledge he had of the details of the situation before speaking out so publicly about it.
A lot of what Tyrann said in his phone interview was very true. Being a product of my environment and losing so many of the people I grew up with to senseless violence, it annoys me a bit when I see people screaming Black Lives Matter when our actions show that they don’t. There’s only out rage when someone of another race or higher stature takes one of us but it almost seems to go unnoticed when we take one of our own. How can we expect them to take us seriously? Aside from Chicago, New Orleans is probably one of the cities with the highest murder rate in the country. It’s so sad that to hear about someone getting murdered is almost normal and doesn’t even seem to phase our community any more. We just sort of shake our head and start the next conversation. Children are losing their fathers and mothers are losing their sons.
We keep screaming Black Live Matter, but do they really? We’ve got to do better.
RIP Will Smith. Prayers up for his Wife, Rockie and their 3 children.