One of the stories that’s getting moderate coverage locally in Pa is that a young pregnant woman was found dead with her uterus cut open. Another woman was caught with the baby. This is a terrible crime, but really the reason why I’m writing about this is the type of coverage. I want to compare the story of Kia Johnson with Bobbie Jo Stinnett–another young mother to be who was killed for her baby.
The details provided about Kia Johnson’s death are gory and detailed. Words like “eviscerated” jump out at you as you read the account. They call her a corpse. They note that the foul smell emitting from the body that was in “moderate decomposition” is how they found her.
Kia is an “eviscerated pregnant teen.”
What’s the difference between these two women?
One is a “mother” and the other is “corpse.” One has images of her pall bearers carrying her casket to its final rest, the other has images of the gurney being brought to the ambulance. I wish this didn’t hurt so badly. I wish I couldn’t see it. I wish the articles about Kia could see her humanity just as easily as they saw Bobbie Jo’s. I wish Kia could be seen as a woman too. I wish they could see her as a person. I wish they didn’t revel in her horrible last moments. I wish the social construction of black women wasn’t still alive, kicking, and denying their humanity. Why can’t we just be sorry for this senseless loss of life and leave the politics of hate behind?
I do not want this blog to be hostile to those that still have learning to do. At the same time, I do not want comments on this post to turn into an argument about the existence of racism. This just isn’t the place and to borrow a line “If my bringing up race makes you uncomfortable, then the problem lies with you, not with me”.
If you do not understand the implications and statements in this post, I have no problem explaining them and providing links to more information for further inquiry. I am not going to debate whether the sky is blue, likewise, I will not debate the existence of racism.