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A tragic reminder of racism and gun violence

By Izayah Morgan

Staff Writer


Ralph, a Black 16-year-old in Kansas City, Missouri, was sent to pick up his younger siblings at a friend’s house on Thursday evening.


However, after he ended up mixing up the address, he found himself in front of a house on Northeast 115 Street by mistake, instead of Northeast 115th Terrace. His family attorneys, Lee Merritt and Ben Crump would go on to later state he was shot twice after he rang the doorbell.


Ralph Yarl, a 16-year-old African American, is currently a student at Staley High School. Superintendent Dan Clemens had nothing but praise for Yarl saying in a statement released on Monday, “He maintains a stellar GPA while taking mostly college level courses." He was heavily involved in the school's jazz program and competition band.


College professor Megan Lilien, who taught a college-level chemistry-based science class and spent about three hours in the lab with Yarl stated, “He would want to study chemical engineering in college.”


Andrew Lester shot him in the head, through the window, according to prosecutors. Not much is known about Lester, well that is until his grandson made statements to the Kansas City Star about Lester being “radicalized” by Fox News. He would go on to say that his grandfather fell “further down the right-wing rabbit hole as far as doing the election-denying conspiracy stuff and COVID conspiracies and disinformation, fully buying into the Fox News, One American News Network kind of line.’’

Allowing this blatant misinformation and biased news only strengthens the racial divisions in this country. This misformation must be challenged not just by words but through actions and education.

After being shot, through pure will and grace, Ralph made his way, bleeding, to three nearby houses. He was turned away from multiple houses.

James Lynch had just gotten out of the shower Thursday night and was getting ready for bed when he could hear shouting outside. He looked out of his window to investigate and saw a young boy screaming knocking on doors for help.

"I heard somebody screaming, 'Help, help, I've been shot!'" Lynch said.

Lynch, who is a father of three, sprung into action. Thanks to Lynch’s Eagle Scout training, he was able to help Yarl. He stayed with Yarl until the proper help arrived for him. Through the action of this man, Yarl was able to see another day.

Yarl’s mother, Cleo Nagbe, joined Gayle King on CBS Mornings to discuss the effects of the shooting on the family and give an update on Ralph’s current condition.


Nagbe said, “The residual effect of that injury is going to stay with him for quite a while. He’s home, but I want to remind everybody that Ralph is home because he is surrounded by a team of medical professionals. I’m a nurse for almost 20 years. His aunt is a physical therapist, his uncle is a medical professional. That is why he is home.”

Yarl is another tragic example of the racism and gun violence rampant in this country.


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