Disposability And No Denunciation of the Fact That There’s a Male Demand for the Flesh of Girl-Children
I have been following the Shaniya Davis story.
The father of the child is white. The mother is black. He has publicly separated himself from any real compassion for the black mother by reiterating that their relationship of conception was no more than a one-night stand. Judging by the stereotypical markers, his oldest child also has a black mother. Supposedly there is a brother as well, but I have not seen him yet. It may be safe to assume he is/was “into” black women. Just an observation.
It takes place in the south. A god-fearing area. A military town. Just last week, in the same town, a man killed a woman and her two children, then himself.
The father had custody of the Shaniya until recently. The story thus far is that the mother wanted to “be a mother” and that decision rested in the father’s hands. Not until the mother had a job for six months and got her own place to live did the father allow the child to stay with the mother. It was only a month ago (Oct 9th) that Shaniya went to live with her mother. A reporter asked the father about another tragedy in his past but he refused to talk about it. I wonder what happened.
Poverty for some time has plagued Shaniya’s mother, Antoinette Davis. The day she reported Shaniya missing, the authorities would not allow her or anyone else back into the trailer they were living in because of sewage leakage. The father (judging by stereotypical markers) appears to be living a little better than the mother (perhaps paycheck to paycheck and/or some kind of familial support system). The maternal grandmother (the black grandmother) has been publicly asserting her daughter’s innocence. I would like to say in loving tones, but unfortunately, it has an air of “Don’t blame me for anything she may have done.” Or I could just be projecting the type of support my mother would express.
Antoinette Davis has been charged with human trafficking and child abuse involving prostitution. In other words, Davis willingly sent her child out to be prostituted. This accusation makes me ponder a few things. Such as how society expects an automatic attachment/bond between mother and child while never demanding or expecting the same bond from a father. It is never asked in exasperated breath, “How could he break the father/daughter bond with his child by raping, selling and/or killing her?” But it is asked and expected of women who give birth. It goes as far back as the outrage directed at discarded eggs vs. the indifference shown toward the sperm dying on a 24-hour bookstore floor.
Evidently, there were men around Davis. She had a boyfriend and she knew the man, Mario Andrette McNeill who was videotaped carrying Shaniya in and out of a Comfort Inn room. Incidentally, Mario Andrette McNeill has been forthcoming in his role regarding the actual kidnapping of Shaniya Davis but is vehemently mute about anything further. This in my opinion means he wants to be completely separated from the actual murderer or it means he thought he could hurry up and cop to the kidnapping charge while hoping to avoid a murder charge if her body was never found. Also, it is rumored that Davis is currently pregnant by an HIV positive felon. What will happen to that baby? Someone needs to be thinking about abortion.
Then there is the issue of depravity. A concept I don’t truly understand, with or without religious connotations. I do recognize it enough to know that it comes up more often when the alleged perpetrators are black. Is it a sign of depravity when a woman who had been possibly mistreated and discarded all of life discards another life? At least in this case it does not look like Antoinette Davis killed Shaniya directly, unlike how it looks in the case of Casey and Caylee Anthony. Was depravity mentioned in the Anthony case? Or is the concept of depravity reserved for particular people (black mothers)? Can depravity be something that happens when human life is not valued but money and material things are? Is depravity an outcome of capitalism? If a society is saturated in consumerism and materialism is used as a maker of worth, then at what point does human life become worthless? Will you murder for a pair of shoes? And then expect to be acquitted by a sympathetic jury who can empathize with your desperation.
What a mess.
The father in this story is getting sympathy. I don’t begrudge that act of kindness. However, I don’t feel that mothers of dead children, especially when the fathers are the murderers, get the same level of public support and sympathy.
What I do know for sure is the concept of disposability. Regardless of who is doing the disposing, the disposed is most likely female.