The killing has all the elements of a headline news story – except the media virtually ignored it.
Imagine: A 5-year-old little boy, Cannon Hinnant, who was riding his bike in the yard between his house and that of a neighbor was shot in the head at point-blank range, killed by that neighbor. The boy's two sisters were there and saw the whole incident.
The shooting suspect is the neighbor of the Hinnant family, 25-year-old Darrius Sessoms. The North Carolina police report confirms that the boy was shot point-blank, as he sat on his bike that Sunday, Aug. 9.
It's an incident that's made for headlines and screams for justice.
Except this is 2020, and that's not the way things are because of one issue – race.
The little boy was white, and the man who shot him is black. There is no doubt who did it – the issue so far is why he did it. His parents speculate their son was high on drugs at the time.
So far, there are no reports of problems between the two families, and in fact, there is the report that Sessoms had dinner at the Hinnant house the night before.
While the legal wheels turn to investigate the case, the fact remains that the killing of Cannon Hinnant in North Carolina has been virtually ignored by media – broadcast and print. My local newspaper has not printed one word about it, nor have most print outlets, and as for broadcast, forget it. It's been almost totally ignored.
What is there about this case that would lead media to ignore the horror of such an unprovoked murder? Do you think it has anything to do with race that media are afraid to report the deliberate killing of a white child by an adult black man?
Do you think there are people who will think the law will not treat the shooter fairly? If so, you would be right. In fact, there was a Facebook group (now shuttered) supporting the killer – it was called "Justice for Darius Sessoms."
It collected more than 20,000 members – many who called Sessoms a "political prisoner" and accused the "system" of "persecuting him unjustly." As reported in Breitbart, some even "mocked the dead 5-year-old."
Not everyone sided with the killer. A GoFundMe fundraiser group thus far has raised more than $800,000 for Cannon's family but that doesn't bring back their child.
Cannon's mother wants the death penalty for her son's killer, and of course, she is pilloried for that belief. However, no mother should have to bury her 5-year-old, especially one who was brutally murdered for no reason.
The issue of race is there. Just this week, Fox News reported that a black detention officer in New Jersey made a Facebook comment about the shooting, saying that "Cannon should have ducked"(!) and avoided being shot.
Officer Rome Smith, 49, wrote: "He shuld've ducked. Y'all always trying to sneak diss and discredit a black person being killed innocently by police. Blame cannons' parents for not watching him!!!"
County officials confirm that Smith's social-media accounts were disabled. He has been suspended, and there is an investigation – but just think about what he said.
Mainstream media are ignoring the horror of this case, and it seems to me the issue IS race. I have no doubt that had the races been reversed, and a black child was killed that way by an adult white man, it would have been, and would continue to be, headline news. This is a sad reflection on what has happened in this country as media take sides on racial issues, and "Whitey is always guilty."
As someone who has worked in television and radio broadcast news for many years, I have seen the changes in news coverage, and I'll be honest with you: I don't like what has transpired.
When I began, there were still journalistic standards of non-partisanship in news coverage. The audience didn't know the politics of the reporter – it was our job to cover the story honestly and without bias. As for the news anchors, it was also their job to be unbiased.
I never talked about my personal politics in the newsroom, and quite frankly, no one knew what I really thought about things. That was what was expected of me and what I lived up to. It wasn't until I got into talk radio that I literally had to discipline myself to recognize that it was now OK to be partisan, to let the audience know what I thought so we could debate issues.
But through it all, it was the job of the main news outlet to report the news and not take sides.
It isn't that way anymore. Personal views have infiltrated news; political correctness is rampant; and now, with the Black Lives Matter influence, it seems that just about every issue is seen through the lens of "race."
What it all adds up to is that the public is not be getting accuracy in reporting, and the victims of crime will be judged by the color of their skin, regardless of their age.
Never forget the name "Cannon Hinnant" – the little white child sacrificed on the altar of Black Lives Matter. His life didn't matter because he was the wrong color, and the media ignored his death for that reason, although they will never admit it.
It will be interesting to see what happens with the killer, how he is charged and what kind of "justice" he ultimately faces.
I'm not expecting much.