The death of Ryan Rogers should weigh on us all. It was our fault. A total failure not only by the system but also by us. A 14-year-old boy was murdered for being White by a homeless man with dozens of prior arrests, many violent, who should’ve never been allowed to engage with civilized society.
Of course people noticed, maybe they even worried for a moment that something like this could happen to them, they just didn’t care. Nobody wanted to get involved. Everyone just avoided the guy when they saw him, tried not to make eye contact, and held their breath. They walked away and went about their day, more uncomfortable than concerned. If you’ve ever been to a gas station in Florida, you know what that’s like. We deal with these people every day. The cops let him be, let him keep wandering around harassing people. It’s what they always do.
And now, Ryan is dead. Stabbed “numerous times in the head and face” by some soulless, transient freak because of “what they did to Black people about giving them syphilis.” That’s on us just as much as it’s on the police or the courts. We need to learn from this and stop looking away. Next time you see something, do something.