A Second Chance…Anthony Stokes WTF?!

Onyx Contributor:  Jean DeGrate (@JeanDeGrate)

Two years ago Anthony Stokes received a heart transplant due to much controversy.  See Anthony was a bit of a juvenile delinquent and at the age of 15 he had a criminal record along with numerous problems at school.  I remember reading the article stating how he was originally dropped from the donors list because of his behavioral issues (which is code for “nigga you ain’t about to be shit”) and was deemed a waste.  When I read the article I was heated, but this was after activists had already came in and saved the day without creating a hashtag movement, so my opportunity to speak out on the situation had already passed.  I was still upset, in my eyes it was unjust and this was without pulling the race card.  How could you possibly deny a CHILD a chance at life?  Where was the moral ethics at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta?  How do you tell a parent “We would save your child’s life but his conduct is kind of sketchy so we’re just going to skip over him on the list”?  I wanted heads to roll, I wanted people fired, but then I realized he got the transplant and I’m just a sometimes blogger, so maybe I should just relax.

This might be a bit redundant but Anthony Stokes….what the fuck dude!?

If you haven’t read the articles about this young man let me catch you up.  In 2013 he was happy to have a second chance at life and intended to clean up his act.  He wanted to finish high school and attend college then go on to start his own computer business.  He forgave the hospital staff for judging his character, because God says forgive, and he promised to stay out of trouble.  Yeah, people often find God when facing hardships, especially death.  Ok fast forward to Tuesday (March 31st).  Anthony Stokes is dead.  He crashed a stolen car into a pole during a police chase.  He was 17.  On his way out with a bang (for lack of a better word), in the midst of a home invasion gone wrong, he shot the resident of the house and hit a pedestrian prior to the crash that ended his life.  Aside from that, his Facebook account is littered with images of him holding guns, wads of cash and smoking weed; so the writing was on the wall.

Second Chances

I’m all for second chances, third chances, and fourth chances; EXCLUDING instances that are life effecting.  I don’t know who else was in need of the heart that Anthony received.  See when I read the original story I had a glass half full point of view and I expected him to turn it all around; I also didn’t put any thought into who would die so he could live.  I’m pretty sure it was another candidate on the list that wasn’t a criminal to say the least.  I’m pretty sure that there were several other candidates that would have truly cherished a second chance at life.  The doctors were playing God when they decided not to give Anthony a chance but isn’t that what doctors are paid to do?  Sure we can all say nobody could have known how this would play out, but be honest, we had a pretty good idea.  Would you choose Anthony for a heart over your law abiding daughter or next door neighbor or the teenager that always remembers your coffee order at the Starbucks across the street from your office just because his name was next on the list?

What’s a human life worth?

Sure the Declaration of Independence says “All men are created equal” but this was written by a bunch of slave owners so I’m not sure how much faith they had in the statement.  The truth is we aren’t equals.  Some of us are assets to society and our fellow man.  Some of us are drains on society and are the reason why car alarms exist.  No matter what type of person you are, I or anybody else would like to think we are; what we are is a sum of our actions.  Anthony was a juvenile delinquent at the time he was passed over by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.  He lived up to what he was considered to be and inflicted harm onto others prior to his own death.  Anthony didn’t just lose his life, he lost the life of the child that went without.

I hate it when we live up to what “they” think about us.

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