Friday, July 24, 2015

Sandra Bland and the suicide narrative.

Since the suspicious death of Sandra Bland the media coverage has been a real swamp of information/misinformation/red herrings. The brutality of her interactions with the police have become increasingly transparent through video and transcripts.

There's also talk about mental illness, and the way it's being talked about in the media and on social media makes me worry about the intent behind using mental illness as a villain instead of focusing squarely on the police force.

Don't talk at me about depression and suicidal ideation when every instant of her experience with law enforcement was demoralizing, dehumanizing and hate-based.

I've been trying to stay abreast of this on twitter, Yves comments got me, because there's a lot of misrepresentation of suicidal ideation by the assumption that as they pointed out "someone that smart, passionate, determined, revolutionary etc wouldn't kill herself."

This is dangerous and hurtful.

If she did kill herself (which seems highly unlikely) that doesn't mean she wasn't brutalized by police, in a long, seemingly never-ending shit-show of racism and aggression.

If she did kill herself (which seems highly unlikely), that doesn't mean she isn't deserving of support, and that her death shouldn't be mourned as being devastating.

If she did kill herself (which seems highly unlikely), it doesn't mean that the entirety of the stress, violence and vitriol focused on her is a symptom of a racist, systemically unjust justice system.

There is a lot going on here, and there are fantastic writers and journalists writing on the subject. I'm going to try and educate myself the best I can. Black twitter and activist twitter is a fantastic resource for discussion and insight.

It is increasingly disheartening to see story after story of police brutality and murder coming up from the states. I just want to send my love and solidarity to those feeling directly targeted. It's just so overwhelming.

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