Elijah McClain and the invisibility of ‘different’ Black and brown boys

By WHYY, | July 18, 2020

Former Emerging Leader Fellow Kee Tobar recently authored an essay for WHYY about the murder of Elijah McClain and its broader implications for neurodiverse Black and brown men and boys.

They don’t see him. They can’t see him.

Those were my first thoughts when viewing the disturbing video of the police assault and subsequent murder of Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old, Black violinist from Aurora, Colorado.

My immediate next thought was of the daily invisibility suffered by the many “different” Black and brown men and boys who I represent in courtrooms. My clients are all too often not seen for who they are, but rather viewed as reflections of stereotypical Black masculine prototypes.

Teachers, school administrators, judges, therapists, psychiatrists, are all seemingly impervious to the unique and individual needs of these neurodiverse, special and “different” Black men and boys.

View the full article