Renisha McBride’s Murderer Wants the Humanity He Doesn’t Deserve
Renisha McBride, 19, was an unarmed teen. She was looking for help while black. Theodore Wafer, 55, responded by fatally shooting her in the face through the screen door of his home. Now, as he stands trial, he has been coached to cry, whimper, wince, and cower as though she presented a threat to him that fateful night of November 2nd. We have seen this before. We may see it again. But, that doesn’t mean we have to pretend it’s okay.
I don’t want to make this conversation about Wafer. He doesn’t deserve sympathy. McBride’s family does. But, as is par the course for trials involving single white male shooters and young black bodies, the media, defense, and jury of public opinion will paint this all too common homicide as Wafer’s little mistake. They will painstakingly bend and contort themselves into human pretzels just to find plausible reasons why Wafer’s actions are not only okay but understandable. Using white fear (which trumps black and brown existence), Wafer’s attorneys will seek to paint him as a startled old man who was only clinging to his gun to protect his liberty, property, and livelihood.
Wafer Was ‘Overcome’ With Emotion
Wafer described that night saying he had never been so scared in his life. He called the shooting a “total reflex reaction.” He noted that he had previously been targeted by home intruders and that he was “not going to cower” this time.
When crossed, Wafer was forced to acknowledge the fact that when he spoke with authorities on the night of the murder, he showed little to no emotion. She contrasted his overt emotional nature on the stand with his stoic, nonchalance after murdering the teen.
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