This Week in UGH: Week of April 1 – 7, 2018

The Poison

  1. Sasha Wall was Murdered in Her Car: We know that women of color, particularly black women, are more likely to be murdered by a man. As if this wasn’t bad enough, transgender women of color face higher odds of being fatally attacked. Sasha Wall, a transgender woman living in South Carolina, was found dead in her car with multiple gunshot wounds. As if this wasn’t tragic enough for her memory, visibility, and family, local media outlets kept referring to Sasha Wall as a “man.” She is the eighth transgender person murdered this year for being themselves.
  2. Unarmed Black Man Shot by Police: When will this stop? When will the police not resort to shooting unarmed people in response to a perceived threat? Do our law enforcement officers suffer from severe and untreated PTSD, do we not train police officers in deescalating situations, do we not hire the right people for the job, do we not ensure that implicit bias is contained, or is it a combination of all these things? Saheed Vassell, who was mentally ill, was shot while holding a pipe in the stance of a gun. Ten bullets took him down. I used to think that maybe police officers should take more time to get to know members of the community to avoid these scenarios. However, according a community member, the cops knew Mr. Vassell. As if this wasn’t enough, the Supreme Court just ruled that if a police officer perceives a threat, then they are free to use deadly force. This will be used as precedent in any legal proceeding that seeks to find police officers at fault for their use of weapons in cases where their implicit bias is driving their actions.
  3. Another Week, Another Shooting. This Time, YouTube was the Target: A woman walked into YouTube HQ and opened fire, wounding three people and then killing herself. While initial reports speculated she was a scorned lover in search of revenge (because misogyny), the prevailing theory after actual glimpses of her life and beliefs show that she may have been disgruntled with YouTube policies and her perceived censorship from the site.

The Antidote

  1. These hate crimes need to stop, but in order for hate crimes to stop, we must look inwardly into our implicit biases and work on not identifying them in ourselves, but those closest to us.
  2. Police need implicit bias training and better ways to deescalate situations. We’ve militarized the police, making them think that it is us versus them at all times. Something needs to be done, and the answer isn’t arming the police with more military-grade weapons or body armor. This is exactly what we fear about dictatorships in other countries, so why are we doing this in the United States?
  3. I will say it again: GUN CONTROL.
  4. BONUS: Icebox S’mores are a real thing and I’m IN LOVE.
Adriana WilsonComment