Wednesday, 24 June 2015

'Small' deaths are scarier than the big ones

"Daniels notes that contemporary examples of the defense of white womanhood look horribly similar to the murder of Rubin Stacy [In 1935]. She points to the 2013 shooting of Jonathan Ferrell in Charlotte, North Carolina as an example. After crashing his car, Ferrell extricated himself, and knocked on the door of the first house he came upon, to ask for help—as any of us might do in such a situation. “A white woman, thinking it was her husband knocking, answered,” Daniels writes. “When she saw Ferrell she shut the door, hit her alarm and called the police. Ferrell, who was unarmed, was shot ten times by a Charlotte police officer.”

Another shooting massacre has happened in America and the internet is filled with opinions. Most of them are (thankfully) rational discussions on how these occurrences can be stopped. They touch on racism, feminism, mental health and legal powers. Terrifyingly, these reports don't shock me.

Every time someone in America (and other parts of the world, but mostly America, what does that say?) opens fire in a church, or a school, or a shopping centre I don't flinch. It is a sickening mark of the state of the world that these events concern me, but don't shock me. They seem like a 'normal' part of life, and they really shouldn't be.

But bigger and better researched articles are being written by people both more eloquent and wiser than me about these massacres. Enough of them address the issues of mental health and social issues for me to feel that we might move forward.

What terrifies me is the story I opened this blog with. In 2013 a black man was shot ten times for knocking on a white woman's front door. This is the kind of casual racist violence that should terrify and sicken us. Imagine living in a world where you had to watch your every act. I doubt it even crossed Ferrel's mind that by knocking on someones door to ask for help she would call the police. And following that he would never expect to have been arrested, let alone shot ten times.

As humans it is hard for us to process tragedy on a large scale. We see tragedy as larger when it happens to an individual, than a group larger than 20(ish, if you ask Google you'll find some interesting studies about it). I'm not trying to draw attention to an individual over a multitude of deaths. I'm horrified by the circumstances. 

How fucked up is our world that women are afraid of opening their front door? That a black man is shot dead merely for asking for help? When shooting massacres occur, we can confidently say that the perpetrators is mentally unbalanced, and lacking in social and emotional support to be a functioning, rational member of society. When an unarmed man is shot dead by police for knocking on someones front door? There is no logic, no explanation.

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