Saturday, July 25, 2015

systemic hopelessness

I woke up this morning, thinking about Sandra Bland, and the growing evidence that it really was a suicide.  Evidence gathered by the very people who may have killed her.. but still, enough of it to look like they might be telling the truth.

..this time.

It seems almost worse, in a way. I realized that it's even more depressing, the more I started thinking about it.

She was supposed to be starting a new job.  She'd moved across the country for it, and they took that from her, as soon as she got there.  Her dreams kicked to pieces by a racist pig, trampling the rule of law he was supposed to be upholding, for the ego trip of dominating a defenseless black woman.

We hear of this happening all the time.  People thrown in jail over minor infractions, and broken window policy.  Perpetuating a cycle of poverty, where even if they have a job, they end up losing it, for trivialities that other people only get a warning for.  If they're even stopped at all.  We hear of people committing suicide in jails and prisons, all the time.  We know that the abuse and mistreatment of incarceration can be psychologically destructive, but all the more so, when it's so oppressive and unjust.

When this is levelled at someone who hadn't even commit a crime worthy of a fine, sitting in jail indefinitely, treated like garbage, like her life didn't matter.  Alone in her cell, still suffering her untreated wounds, inflicted when she was dragged from her car and beaten at the side of the road.  Someone who may have been vulnerable to begin with, but was trying to get her life together.

I think we underestimate just how traumatizing it must be, to be dragged out of your car, assaulted at the side of the road, hauled off to jail, enduring more abuse while there, and for what? Because some psycho cop saw a black woman with Illinois plates and decided to go fishing.

We're not just talking a bad day, here. That's gotta be fucking soul crushing.

I don't know if she killed herself, but even if she did, the people who did all that to her are absolutely still responsible. At the very least, the guards who failed to protect her charged with criminal negligence, the cop who arrested her, fired and charged with assault, elevated to a hate crime.

1 comment:

Dusty Dog said...

I still find it impossibly hard to believe that she actually committed suicide. They're covering their asses, and because of the sentiment you express here, which they know oh so well, they'll likely get away with murder. My frustration is similar to yours. It's just depressing, really. But, as depressed as she may have been, being suicidal is a real stretch.

If by chance she was suicidal, having been found hanging in her cell by a garbage bag (ridiculous as that sounds), they say she articulated that when she was locked up. If so, why didn't they put her on suicide watch? I hope her family sues the royal hell out of the fucking incompetent police department. I hope they become very wealthy off her death. And I hope that is the catalyst for the change that we all hope for.