“Murder” of Ma’Khia Bryant: the BLM storyline that didn’t check out

Ashley Herzog
4 min readApr 4, 2023
Photo by Chris Henry on Unsplash

Dear boujee media people covering the Ma’Khia Bryant shooting: please stop trying to downplay knifings in an effort to look “pro-black.” They’re already calling it the “murder of Ma’Khia Bryant” and referring to 16-year-old Bryant, who was chasing another black girl with a knife, as a “baby.” This is the epitome of pandering. Even OJ Simpson thinks you’re full of shit — and OJ Simpson knows a thing or two about how dangerous people with knives can be.

People like Joy Reid (who grew up as the daughter of a college professor in suburban Denver before heading to Harvard) apparently view black people in Southeast Columbus as excitable pit bull puppies who can’t help but bite when they feel scared. Therefore, a black teen just couldn’t wrap her head around the fact that attempted stabbing is serious business. I can assure you this is not true. As soon as I heard “Southeast Columbus,” I looked up the address because I used to spend every weekend there. My boyfriend at the time grew up there and owned a house near Brice and Refugee Road, and I was there all the time, getting to know the neighbors. I looked on Google, and it’s about 4 minutes away from where Ma’Khia Bryant was shot. I can tell you this is an area that was once slummy, but is now home to both black and white people, many of whom moved out of nearby bona fide ghettos and became solidly middle-class. This is a recently revitalized area that is racially diverse. I checked the demographics once, and it’s about one-third black, one-third white, and one-third “one or more races.” I hope this doesn’t come out wrong, but I have never seen so many interracial couples and biracial people in my life. It was weird for me at first, because I had never lived in a place where black and white families are living next door to each other; I grew up on the West side of Cleveland, which is totally segregated. I also loved it: this is a neighborhood where people still know all their neighbors and look out for each other. I have great memories of sitting around a fire pit in the backyard with all the neighbors.

At the same time, the people who live there are hyper-aware of crime. Nearly all of them have been victims of robbery, theft, or a break-in at some point. They will gladly tell you which parts of town are fine to visit and which parts are…

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Ashley Herzog

New account. I’m still a professional journalist, novelist, and radio host. And Catherine’s mom.