Entertainment And News

Media Slammed As ‘Racist’ For Using Innocent Photo Of Suspected Michigan School Shooter Praying

Photo: Oakland County / Twitter
Ethan Crumbley

Media outlets are under fire for being “racist” after using a seemingly innocent photo of Ethan Crumbley praying when reporting on the Oxford High School shooting.

Crumbley, a 15-year-old sophomore at the Michigan school, is accused of shooting and killing four people and wounding seven in the 28th school shooting this year.

Crumbley was charged as an adult with two dozen, including murder, attempted murder, and terrorism causing death.

Yet, it seems like most people are still trying to paint Crumbley in a more sympathetic manner.

Photos of Ethan Crumbley praying distract from the nature of his alleged crimes. 

Ethan Crumbley isn’t a victim in the gruesome crime that left four teenagers dead, and the other students traumatized for the rest of their lives.

It might seem trivial, finding a problem with a simple photo, but the photo speaks volumes for a country that is constantly making excuses for white people.

When Trayvon Martin was killed by George Zimmerman, the media released photos of him smoking, as if to try and justify the fact that he was a “thug” instead of the innocent Black teenager who was shot and killed.

RELATED: Video From Inside Oxford High School Shows Students Fleeing Through A Window After Shooting

Major media outlets routinely present a distorted picture of Black people — portraying them as ‘thugs’ or ‘gangsters’ — while white people are described as being mentally ill, or given other excuses to justify their behaviors so they don’t have to be labeled as the perpetrator.

We didn’t hear the word “terrorism” used when 21-year-old Dylann Roof murdered nine members of a Black South Carolina church in 2015.

Instead the media coverage described Roof’s crime as a result of his mental illness.

He was humanized, called a victim of inadequate mental health resources and the environment in which he grew up in.

Roof was escorted by police wearing a bulletproof vest, while Tamir Rice, 12, was shot for playing with a toy gun in a park just seconds after police drove up.

Trayvon Martin was wearing a hoodie and was “as much responsible for [his] death as George Zimmerman,” Fox News’s Geraldo Rivera said.

Michael Brown stole cigarettes, and Eric Garner sold loose cigarettes, which was a “ bad decision” according to New York Post columnist Bob McManus.

RELATED: ‘You Will Get Shot': Oxford High Student Shares Alleged Threats That Made Him Stay Home Ahead Of Shooting

People brought up George Floyd’s criminal past after he was murdered, the defense attorney’s for the three men who killed Ahmaud Arbery made comments about his “dirty toenails.”

Black people seemingly morph into these menacing headlines, even if they are the victims, especially Black children, while white mass shooters are given words of sympathy.

Many news outlets have already begun to speculate that Crumbley was “bullied” at his high school, using that as a motive for killing four students.

That’s not an excuse, but that seems to be the one that people use whenever a white person is involved in a mass shooting. 

When James Holmes, a 25-year-old white man, shot dozens at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado in 2012, the media used words like “a normal kid” and “a smart kid” to describe Holmes.

Not using the correct verbiage to describe murderers and white people who commit heinous crimes, and instead labeling Black people with those terms, especially if they are the victim, is extremely harmful and detrimental.

Ethan Crumbley shouldn’t be the recipient of sympathy or excuses because at the end of the day he chose to walk into his high school with a gun and end four young lives. 

RELATED: Suspected Michigan School Shooter Accused Of Posting Photo Of Victim & Images Inside Cop Car After Shooting

Nia Tipton is a writer living in Brooklyn. She covers pop culture, social justice issues, and trending topics. Follow her on Instagram.