The tragedy of Jessie Marie Davis is not a reality-TV show. It's not about what you or I think may have happened on the day she vanished. We don't get to cast votes on what should happen to the person or persons responsible.
It is not about providing us with a public venue for our prejudices, be it against cops, interracial dating or unwed mothers.
And as much as some people might wish otherwise, what may have happened to Jessie Davis has nothing to do with race.
Laci Peterson's husband, after all, was white.
It doesn't make her any less dead.
The story of Jessie Davis is about uncovering the truth, no matter how painful. It is about justice and loss and sorrow.
It is about little Blake Davis, who, as a result of terrible decision-making on the part of a lot of adults, has become an orphan of sorts. It's about the toddler who will never meet his little sister, a 2-year-old boy who chatters to his dead mother on a toy cell phone, not realizing that she's never coming back.
CRIME AND RACE
However, Sunday's fatal shooting of Essence Green, 22, of Canton, is about race -- namely how a black crime victim rarely, if ever, receives the same degree of attention, public concern or sympathy; even less so if the crime was perpetrated by another black person.
How many of the TV satellite trucks and TV news crews that ringed the Canton Municipal Court on Monday for Bobby Cutts Jr.'s arraignment even bothered to venture just 15 blocks north to the 1300 block of Logan Avenue NW, where Green was shot down in someone's front yard Sunday night?
The murder of Essence Green is about poverty and the instability that it can sometimes inflict.
It is about the short, uphill life that one young woman endured before she died.
It is about a nation that yawns as its inner cities burn; that turns the channel as violence, drugs and despair trap people in an Americanized version of Fallujah.
It is about maintaining the illusion that such crime only occurs in Stark County's poorest, dead-end neighborhoods, and the assumption that the people to whom such things happen probably did something to deserve it.
It is about a popular culture that has historically embraced violence as the most effective means to solve a conflict.
It is about the casual way in which some irresponsible people live by the gun, brandishing it about like so much jewelry.
Like Jessie Davis, the tragedy of Essence Green is about a family that has been forever shattered. It is about a grieving mother, siblings and friends whose lives and hearts have been broken.
It's about a now-motherless 4-year-old girl who, unlike Blake Davis, is old enough to understand that her mother is never coming home.
It is about women like Essence Green, who are not deemed worthy enough to warrant even five seconds of airtime on "Nancy Grace" or "Larry King Live."
Jessie Davis and Essence Green both probably died at the hands of someone they knew. In a different life, their paths might have even crossed. Neither one deserved for her life to end so soon, and in the way it did.
Reach Canton Repository writer Charita Goshay at (330) 580-8313 or e-mail: