Black People : Zurana Horton was a hero – she just didn't look like one

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by RAPTOR, Oct 27, 2011.

  1. RAPTOR

    RAPTOR Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    "This blameless woman died saving children from gunfire, yet that was not enough to save her from being judged"

    Teresa Wiltz
    [​IMG]

    At first blush, it's the kind of story made for the insta-news cycle of 21st-century media: a mother picking up her kid up from school in Brooklyn spots a rooftop sniper, throws herself into the line of fire to protect a group of schoolkids and, while saving them, is shot and killed herself.

    Most likely, if Zurana Horton were white and blonde, she would have been catapulted to the top of the news, her short and tragic story the stuff of People magazine covers and breathless segments on the Today show. After all, we're a society obsessed with the stories of pretty white women and girls who come up missing or dead. Witness the endless coverage over Natalee Holloway, or Caylee Anthony, or the scary story du jour: missing baby Lisa.

    But Horton, who was 34, was neither white nor blonde nor particularly photogenic: the first published picture of her was a blurry shot where large sunglasses obscured most of her smiling face. Nor did she have the kind of squeaky-clean narrative that fits easily into the feel-good story mould. She was poor, unmarried and the mother of 13; she lived in Brownsville, one of Brooklyn's most notorious neighbourhoods. And she was black. On Monday, police charged three youths with the shooting.

    Instead of being heralded for her bravery, Horton's life is currently being held up for scrutiny and debate in the blogosphere. A typical post – Laurence Scott, a commenter on Global Grind, writes: "13 kids and pregnant and living in public housing. WOW. Rome is burning." Meanwhile, on the New York Daily News site, commenters attack her – and each other – with ferocity. "I wonder how much of my tax money, both NY and federal, is going to go to supporting those 13 kids for the next several decades," writes one commenter. "Hero? She would have been a hero if she had stopped at 2, at least to the rest of society that now has to pay for their welfare, education, Medicaid, food stamps."

    On The Root, an African-American website published by the Washington Post (full disclosure: I am the site's senior editor), some took the "blame the victim" route. Writes WandaDoesIt: "Where it is OK for unmarred [sic] women to have 13 fatherless children can pretty much expect to have boys and young men shooting up the place … It is so tragic, but we can't disconnect how she died from how she lived." Then there's BLKSeaGoat, who writes: "Her death was sad and the act heroic, but given the demographics of the neighborhood, coupled with the fact that she was working on her 13th [sic] child, can anyone honestly belive [sic] that this outcome wasn't to be expected?"

    Early reports that Horton was pregnant when she was killed didn't help matters (according to the Daily News, the medical examiner on the case disputed those reports). The image of a black woman living in the projects and working on baby No 14 conjures old, hoary stereotypes of the fecund "welfare queen" vilified by Ronald Reagan in the 1980s, who liked to talk about how the welfare queen had 80 names, 30 addresses, 12 social security cards, and collected benefits for "four nonexisting deceased husbands", scamming the welfare system out of "over $150,000".
    Read more:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/oct/26/zurana-horton-hero-children-gunfire
     
  2. Destee

    Destee destee.com STAFF

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    Brother RAPTOR ... thanks for sharing ... i had not heard one word about the story at all, till now.

    It is unfortunate that folk are propagating the negative, but that's often what we do to each other.

    In spite of the fact that all have something ... moments ... that don't leave them in the best light.

    Barack 'nem yesterday ... Zurana today ... and who knows tomorrow ... as we're all heros to someone.

    God bless her and her children / family.

    :heart:

    Destee
     
  3. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    Mom of woman who died shielding kids from bullets IDs daughter's body, struck with grief

    BY MATTHEW LYSIAK, SARAH ARMAGHAN AND RICH SCHAPIRO
    DAILY NEWS WRITERS
    Originally Published:Sunday, October 23rd 2011, 4:00 AM
    Updated: Sunday, October 23rd 2011, 1:05 PM

    [​IMG]
    A teary O'Niel Vaughn, ex-boyfriend of Zurana Horton and father of eight of her children. (Debbie Egan-Chin/News)
    Horton's loved ones said the devoted mother of 13 lived for her children. They ranged in age from 1 to 18.
    "She gave her life for those kids, and she would have done it all again because that's just the kind of person she was," said Horton's ex-boyfriend, O'Niel Vaughn, 43, the father of eight of the children, three of whom are disabled.

    Vaughn said his children's mother had long talked about moving her family out of the crime-infested neighborhood. She had 14 kids, but lost one to pneumonia three years ago.
    "She was worried about the violence," Vaughn said. "She said she wanted to move and buy a house for her kids. Those kids were her life."
    Many of Horton's kids still didn't know late yesterday that their mother was dead, Vaughn said.
    "I didn't tell the younger kids yet," said Vaughn, who lives with the three disabled kids, while the rest lived with Horton. "The older ones know. They're devastated."

    continued here:

    Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_crime/2011/10/23/2011-10-23_mom_of_killed_pregnant_hero_struck_with_grief_.html#ixzz1c1pn998y
     
  4. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    $15,000 reward offered for capture of rooftop gunman who killed Brooklyn mother of 12

    BY SIMONE WEICHSELBAUM AND BILL HUTCHINSON
    DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS
    Monday, October 24th 2011, 4:00 AM

    The NYPD's Crime Stoppers program, theUrban Community Council and 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement joined forces to put up the bounty in the wake of the latest gang-related shooting of an innocent bystander

    A $15,000 reward was offered Sunday night to spur the capture of the rooftop gunman who killed a Brooklyn mother of 12 as she shielded kids from bullets....
    ....Denise Horton, 54, kept up a brave front as she cooked and cared for her courageous daughter's grieving brood at her three-bedroom Bushwick apartment.

    "I've lost three children now all to the same thing - gunfire," she said, adding that two of her sons were killed in separate shootings.
    The grandmother's husband, Kenneth Thompson, 53, said they are determined to make sure Zurana Horton's kids are cared for. The father of eight of Zurana Horton's children has offered to raise five of the kids at his Brooklyn home.
    "It's not going to be easy, but we're gonna make sure these children are provided for," said Thompson, a maintenance man at a battered women's shelter. " .....

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_crime/2011/10/24/2011-10-24_15g_reward_gunman.html
    ...continued here:
     
  5. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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  6. river

    river Watch Her Flow MEMBER

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    Globally the white population has plummeted from 27% to 9% of the total Earth population. Of course, they're going to attack a Black woman who has 13 children. Can we expect them to praise her for saving children they don't think should have been born to begin with?

    We must keep people like Horton and Troy Davis on our minds. We can't expect the mass media to tell our true story. We must tell our own story. That's why it's called ours.

    http://overstandinguniversity.com/ourstory/
     
  7. RAPTOR

    RAPTOR Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Well sista Destee,

    While I won't equate legit criticisms that focuses on president obama's policies, both foreign and domestic, with
    misplaced focus on zurana having a number of children and not her act of bravery and sacrifice at the expense
    of being survived by her children, I am however, glad you took time to read this story.

    Certainly, her act of bravery should not go in vain.

    [​IMG]
    HoTeP