if someone told you that your toddler had been molested by a neighbor?  According to an article in today’s New York Times a dad in a quiet Connecticut suburb did what so many of us say we would:  he killed the neighbor.  I said “say” in the previous sentence because most of us are slightly more rational than that.  If we were not there’d be many, many more murders in the USA than their currently are.  We talk a good game, but when it comes down to it we count on our disaster-of-a-judicial-system to be there for us and punish the person accordingly.  Black people find themselves hoping against hope that in horrible cases such as child molestation and rape, especially against children, that the system that has failed us on countless occasions will somehow come through for us when we need it most.  We have no reason to believe that the courts will look out for our children, all we have is hope and some semblance of rationality.

I’m sure the guy that killed his neighbor thought of himself as rational too, until he heard that his two year old may have been the victim of child molestation.  Then, it appears, all reason was thrown out the window.  He snapped.  He’s a lawyer, a husband, and a father living in a suburb, not exactly the profile of a murderer.  I want to know what happened in his mind the moment he decided to stab his neighbor to death.  I have a three year old and I cannot imagine hearing what he heard before he did what he did.  The story may play itself out in the media, and we may find out more details about the dad that aren’t so favorable.  He may turn out to be a jerk. As of today, however, I hope the judge is lenient (he’s white so the odds are definitely in favor of leniency – if he were black he would have already been convicted).

I can’t help but wonder if that could have been me pushed into a murderous rage.  I would do anything for my son, but would I do that?  I certainly hope I never find out.