Have you heard of the story of a white woman, mugged by two African American teens, who – after begging for her baby’s life to be spared – witnessed her baby callously murdered by her “thuggish” attackers?
Chances are, if you get on any form of social networking websites, you have heard about this story. While you might have missed it when it first appeared on the news, there is no doubt that you have heard of it since the George Zimmerman verdict.
During the height of the Zimmerman trial, when media attention was focused heavily on Stand Your Ground Laws and the question of whether or not a self-described “white” man would be found not guilty of killing an unarmed African-American teenager, the shooting death of 13 month old Georgia infant Antonio Santigio, also made national media headlines. After the mother, Sherry West, told police that her baby was killed by two black teenagers, the right-wing went crazy with this story. Meme’s about the killing could be found on every social media web-site, public page and in every group where the Trayvon Martin story was discussed. Most of these meme’s showed photos of the infant side by side with one of two accused African-American teenagers.
For months, right wingers have leveled accusations of reverse racism against the President, the Department of Justice and even the media, which did not touch the Trayvon Martin case until public outcry was so widespread that the media could not ignore the protests, rallies and celebrity calls for an arrest to be made. Never mind the fact that these youths were arrested immediately, as soon as they were fingered for the crime, rather than 45 days later. Never mind the fact that they never confessed to the killing as George Zimmerman did. Never mind the fact that unless the following – breaking – evidence is spread far and wide to demand a fair trial for these young men, they will almost certainly be convicted, in spite of all of the damning evidence that implicates the parents in the killing (as you will see).
In spite of the social media “outrage” and the right-wing media narrative, however, the Baby Santiago case only illustrates just how prevalent racism really is in the United States. Just days after Sherry West told police her 13 month old was shot and killed by two black teens, West’s 21 year old daughter went to police to tell them that she suspected her mother may have killed her infant brother.
Ashley Glassey told CBS News in March, that her mother has serious mental health issues. These include a diagnosis of bi-polar with accompanying schizophrenic tendencies. West also talked with the media about how she was removed from her mother’s care at the age of 8, because of abuse and neglect in the home.
Immediately after the shooting, Glassey said West began asking questions about how long it would take her to collect the insurance money. West’s daughter also told both media and police that her mother made conflicting statements to her, regarding the child’s death – including different stories about who was shot first. West’s inconsistencies and suspicious behavior caused her own daughter to tell police and reporters that she suspected her mother was not telling the truth about how the infant was killed. CBS News reported several days later that police had not followed up with Glassey, nor had they taken her statement. A follow-up call by the press to the police, was never returned.
In fact, both the father and mother of baby Santiago, had gunshot residue on them the day their son was killed, according to the state’s forensic report obtained by CBS affiliate WTEV.