Western Courier

Acknowledge James Shaw Jr, Donald

Destiny Kerr, Courier Staff

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The Tennessee Waffle House shooting was just another example of why military style weapons should not be distributed to civilians.

Once again, a white male armed with an AR-15 rifle walked into a restaurant and began to open fire, killing four people and leaving three injured. The attack is believed to be racially motivated, for all the victims were people of color. However, the hero of the day was not a police officer, but an unarmed black man who saw a chance and jumped at it.

It’s ironic how black men are the most targeted and discriminated against out of any other group of people in the nation. They are shot, beaten and killed in countless acts of racial profiling all over the country by white armed officers. A lot of times they don’t even do anything wrong. Just walking down the street or holding a cell phone, for example, can cost them their lives. Not to mention the stereotypes that depict all black men as violent thugs who terrorize their neighborhoods. But in this particular instance, the black man without a weapon was the one to stop the armed white terrorist in a great act of heroism.

Twenty-nine year old James Shaw Jr. was the man responsible for disarming the Waffle House shooter with only his bare hands. Travis Reinking, also 29 years old, was in the middle of reloading his weapon when Shaw Jr. charged at him and wrestled it away, throwing it over a counter were he wasn’t able to recover it. The courage of this single man saved the lives of many other people who could have been hurt or even killed by the disgusting act carried out by Reinking. Not only does Shaw Jr.’s actions make him a hero, but it just proves to the rest of America the power of the black man. Whether it’s fear, hatred, or both, that leads this country to mistreat African American men, Shaw Jr.’s valiance proves how even the most feared man on Earth could be a hero.

Of course our sorry excuse for a president has yet to acknowledge Shaw Jr. for his actions during that heart wrenching occurrence. Either he’s too caught up in his tweets or he’s too busy creating a third World War. However, people all over social media are furious with Trump’s ignorance and are not holding back on revealing their rage. New York Times best selling author Keith Boykin tweeted “If a Mexican, Muslim, or an African American had been arrested and released by the Secret Service and later killed 4 people in Tennessee, Donald Trump would be tweeting about it night and day. His silence on the Waffle House shooting speaks of his racism.” The Justice Democrats also had much to say about Trump’s hush, “Donald Trump is silent on the killing of 4 black Americans shot up by a white gunman…because it doesn’t serve his racist agenda.”

There were thousands of tweets containing similar messages about the president’s behavior. He hasn’t even sent out his condolences to the families of the victims who died as a result of the shooting. As of now, Trump’s actions shouldn’t even come as a surprise. What matters most is that the people recognize Shaw Jr. for his bravery and are giving him the respect and the credit he rightfully deserves, and that justice is served for those who are.

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The independent student newspaper of Western Illinois University. Serving Macomb since 1905.
Acknowledge James Shaw Jr, Donald