Joycelyn Rojas's Rescue By Temar Boggs Shows Not Everything is About Race
This past weekend, the legal system has disappointed the American people, who have endured the acquittal of Trayvon Martin killer George Zimmerman and a 20 year sentence passed down to a Florida African-American woman for firing warning shots to protect herself from an abusive husband. While some are participating in nationwide protests over these legal rulings, others are chalking it up to gun issues.
Following up on the events of legal and social injustices, the media has brought to our attention a more positive story. An African-American teen and his friend saved a five-year-old white girl from her abductor in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Although this triumphant story doesn’t directly relate to the Zimmerman trial or Marissa Alexander's self-defense case, it does shed light on the fact that a person's skin color shouldn't influence one's decision to save or take a life. The teens followed the suspect on their bikes and were regarded as heroes when finding the five-year-old Jocelyn Rojas.
According to Gawker, the hero, Temar Boggs, tells Lancaster reporters:
"[They] were just saying that I was a hero, that I was a guardian angel and that it was amazing that I was there and was able to find the girl," said Temar. "I'm just a normal person who did a thing that anybody else would do."
Unfortunately, the suspect drove off and police are still working to track him down. There is limited information on who the abductor is and his intentions in kidnapping the little girl. The media seems to shine the heroic spotlight on Temar Boggs, and not his friend Chris Garcia, who also helped in finding the little girl.
It appears as though the media wanted to make a public statement after the outrage of the discrimination based court decisions this past weekend. The implied statement being: race and/or gender shouldn't affect our judgments and decisions as human beings.
After rescuing the little girl, Boggs states:
"I just feel like I did something very accomplishing today.”
Indeed he did. The little girl's grandmother tells CNN that the rescue of her granddaughter is:
"Better than winning the jackpot … yeah … this is awesome."
Based on Boggs's statements, it's evident that he followed his instincts in rescuing the little girl, regardless of her skin color. If news focused more on people like Boggs and Garcia, individuals who rose to the occasion in honorable ways, perhaps prejudices would subside.
As a follow-up to cases like Zimmerman's, it will be interesting to see how long media coverage lasts of this feel-good story.