Saturday, August 29, 2015

On why all deaths need vigil, and some need protest.

I wasn't going to say anything about the officer murdered in Houston. But it's getting politicized, ( so let's go there.

Every single time a human is killed it's a tragedy. Every single life matters. Every human lost too soon hurts us all. Every grieving family deserves to be supported. Every person who dies deserves to be spoke well of. Every victim deserves to have their murderer brought to trial.

Because there are too many murders for us to globally lament and protest and vigil and raise holy hell on social media, we've developed a very, very important, imperfect, but important way of dealing with murders. We publish articles in the local newspapers that speak well of the deceased. The family and loved ones gather for funerals, the local community gathers for vigils. The justice system works to find the murderer, to bring them to a fair and speedy trial, to punish them. When these things happen, it's what we have designed as our best way to deal with the situation, and it's a good thing.
This ALWAYS happens when an officer is murdered. We honor their life. Everyone knows their life mattered. It's newsworthy locally, but our system is working.

When the system doesn't work, when the local newspapers don't note the death, or blame the victim instead of praising them, when the local community doesn't notice, when the justice system doesn't work to bring the murderer to justice, and may even be complicit or the perpetrator of the crime, that's when the system isn't working and it's time to make some noise and protest. And when we see a pattern of this happening to a particular group of people, that's when it's time to raise holy hell. Because the systems that we put in place aren't working to show their life mattered, that's when it's time to shout that their lives DO matter.

When this has been happening to a group of people because of the color of their skin for centuries, it's time to protest and pray, time to disrupt the flow of chatter as usual.

When we see a pattern in the murders that comes from a culture that devalues certain lives, such as the lives of transgender women, we need to ask serious, hard, loud, persistent questions about those patterns.

That's why we say ‪#‎BlackLivesMatter‬, and ‪#‎BlackTransLivesMatter‬, even today.

Honor the fallen police officer. His life mattered. Do what we need to do. But don't you DARE turn it around on protestors asking that we do the same for every person killed.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for getting this framed in words and posted. I wouldn't have had the energy to do it myself.