As a Black person, I hear every day how we, as a people, are stupid, lazy, criminals, worthless, less than, subhuman, animals, inferior, dumb, shiftless, good for nothing, ne 'er do-do-wells, miscreants, thugs. I hear how we commit the most crimes, have the most children out of wedlock, can't hold down a job, depend on welfare and other government handouts, don't have proper diction, are ugly apes, are repulsive - on and on and on, ad infinitum, ad nauseam. The only things we are good at, it seems, are having sex, playing sports and singing. Wow, that's pretty sad, isn't it?
I find it pretty nerve-wracking when non-Black folks - it seems it's ALWAYS non-Black folks - spout this stuff about how everyone is valued and worthy, when we Black folks see and experience life totally different. Take crime, for example. Punishment is based on the race of the victim, not the perpetrator. If a Black person kills a White person, especially a child, a cop or an elder, that person will most assuredly be punished to the fullest extent of the law, especially if the perpetrator doesn't have money (OJ got off due to a combination of his money and questionable cops - had he been poor, he'd be sitting on death row). A White person who kills someone Black might go to prison - maybe - and - I've not heard yet of a White person getting the death penalty for killing a Black person - not that I'm a proponent of the death penalty, but you know what I'm saying. If a police officer or other law enforcement officer is killed by anyone, Black, White, you name it, in some states, the perpetrator is automatically subject to the death penalty if they are convicted. Talk about some lives being worth more! I could go on an on, but you get the picture, right?
So, of course, when I hear something good about a Black person, I'm going to take notice and appreciate it. I get REALLY angry when people try to downplay the fact that Mike Brown was about to go to college - they sure play it up when a White kid dies! Look, the fact that Mike was headed to college is important to me. Contrary to popular opinion, education is VERY important to us Black folks! Many of us who manage to go to college are the first in our families to do so. So many of us want to go, but cannot afford to. So, for me, yes, Michael Brown's death WAS that much more of a tragedy!
I feel the same way about so-called "good" people. When all you hear about your race is how horrible we are, it is especially sad when someone is murdered who has no blemish on their life - the cops can't dig up stuff to sully their name or reputation. They didn't, or weren't suspected of being a gangbanger, stealing something, being a mean person - whatever. These days, even small Black children who are murdered can have their name dragged through the mud, so when I hear of a Black person who was pretty much pristine, yes, I'm going to feel that person's death more deeply.
Are these people's lives more worthy because they had, or was getting an education or because they were good people with unblemished records? Of course not! But, until a Black life is valued the same as a White life, good or bad, I've go to take what I can get, so yes, the death of a "good", educated or otherwise exemplary Black person IS that much more tragic to me.