As the media litigates the difference between Roseanne Barr’s horrendously racist comment from Tuesday verses Samantha Bee’s off-color remark against Ivanka Trump meant to highlight her tone-deaf tweet from Memorial Day when she effectively spat in the eye of migrant mothers being forcibly separated from their children, racism has reared its ugly head and showed why Barr’s words are worlds worse than Bee’s comment.
Another young life has been lost to the callous disregard for people of color, with social media posts documenting the tragedy.
A white 18-year-old man (not a child, since that’s usually how these stories spin) bragged to his friends on social media about hitting and killing a black man. Police in Vernon Parish, Louisiana find his comments “morally wrong,” but not in violation of any laws.
According to Lousiana’s KALB, the victim was Sherell Lewis Jr., who had pulled his car off to the side of the road to do what Leesville Parrish Sgt. James Anderson called a “good deed” — cleaning up debris on the side of the road so it would not affect other motorists.
That’s when notable racist Matthew Martin struck Lewis – who was celebrating his 31st birthday – and stood idly by, joking with friend’s on Snapchat about the incident.
Lewis, known to family and friends as Rell, died en route to the hospital.
The Snapchat messages in question show Martin joking that he had hit and killed “some n***er.” This admission, which would normally elicit compassion from anyone with a soul, prompted his friends to ask about the state of his car, prompting another “joke” from Martin.
“I feel bad for the family and all,” a Snapchat message supposedly sent from Martin reads, “but now I gotta buy a new windshield a whole bunch of other stuff.”
The priorities of white supremacists are… skewed, to say the least.
Here’s the other two screenshots from Matthew Martin. pic.twitter.com/FF3vWjhMPw
— Jeremy Stevens (@jeremyastevens) May 31, 2018
According to Shaun King, Martin is a Trump supporter, which predictably meant his comments only get worse from there.
“The guy die on impact or what?” inquired a friend.
“Yes sir 😂,” Martin joked, utilizing an emoji meant to signify laughing until you cry.
“No,” he clarified, “he died [on the way] to the hospital.”
According to Vernon County Parrish Sheriff Sam Craft, the posts about the incident that occurred in his jurisdiction are “appalling,” but do not violate any known criminal code.
Negligence. The word absent from this report is “negligence.” Run a stoplight and police will follow for miles until they issue a ticket with a hefty fine. Run down a black man and there is “no violation” of criminal code.
“I am appalled at the content of the social media messages that were posted after the incident,” Craft said. “This post is unacceptable and has no place in our society. The inflammatory words that were used were morally wrong. I have the utmost confidence in the Louisiana State Police and their ability to thoroughly investigate this incident.”
Hopefully, for the late Martin and the family and loved ones he left behind, justice will be served. But knowing how empowered racists have become since Trump took office, it seems unlikely.
Rest in power, Rell Lewis.