“Why Was She Out At 4 am?” Is Not An Appropriate Response To The Murder Of Tyson Gay’s Daughter

October 17, 2016  |  

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Sunday morning, news outlets reported a terrible tragedy: Tyson Gay’s daughter was killed in a Lexington, Kentucky, shooting. The 15-year-old daughter of the U.S. Olympian was shot in the neck after a group of men in two cars opened fire on each other in the parking lot of a Cook Out restaurant and then fled the scene, Lexington Police told CNN.

Condolences rang out for the rising track star who was a sprint runner at Lafayette High School, the same school where her father ran years prior. But at the same time came questions — namely what was Trinity Gay doing out at 4 am? I’d answer getting something to eat, given the scene of the shooting was a restaurant. But that’s not the response people are looking for; they’re seeking to blame Tyson, Trinty’s mother, Shoshana Boyd, and the teen herself for her own murder.

Asking why Trinity was out at 4 am is like asking why Trayvon Martin was walking to the corner store to get skittles and a can of Arizona tea? It implies these teens’ everyday activities led to their deaths when the reality is Trayvon was murdered by a wannabe cop and Trinity’s young life was cut short when three careless men, two of which were a 38-year-old father and his 19-year-old son, openly fired shots in a parking lot during an altercation. The questions we need to be asking are why these men sought to settle a dispute with gun violence? Why these individuals demonstrated such reckless regard for human life? Why a convicted felon was able to get access to a firearm? And why a 15 year old can’t eat a meal with friends at any time of day or night (regardless of curfew laws) without the threat of being a victim of random gunfire? Or why that type of violence is expected, even by Trinity whose second to last tweet was “Of course they start shootin.”

I imagine Tyson and Shoshana are already beating themselves up for not protecting their daughter from what used to be an inconceivable nightmare for parents but has become more of a common occurrence: losing a child to gun violence. Just this once, let’s choose empathy over finger-pointing, unless we’re pointing our fingers in the right direction: At Dvonta Middlebrooks and Chazerae and D’Markeo Taylor, the people truly responsible for Trinity’s death.

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