—Let's Talk About Your Hair
One of my favorite songs right now.
So this kid I went to high school with was found in his car shot in the head on some street in northeast Baltimore.
I’ve seen enough episodes of The Wire to know that the only reason people get shot in the head in Baltimore is over some drug stuff. My suspicions were confirmed by some hearsay that the dude drove down to Baltimore to do a drug deal and was set up.
Now on Facebook people are grieving over this guy’s murder. A family friend has started a fundraising website for his parents to offset the cost of his funeral and burial. I’m conflicted by this.
On one hand, he was somebody’s son and brother and best friend and it’s always tragic when a life is taken, especially so violently and needlessly. On the other hand, this was a drug person doing drug people stuff. Being murdered by some other drug people for your money and drugs is a totally foreseeable, if not probable, consequence of selling drugs.
It is nice that people want to help his parents, who by all accounts had no involvement in any of this activity but are left to carry the emotional and financial burden of it, but it feels a little too warm and fuzzy.
So I guess I just need to change my perspective and view this kid’s parents as the innocent victims here and all of the money, support and love being shown as help to them rather than praise to an otherwise blameworthy victim.
I feel like I’m going to get a ton of shit for this, but it seems like #YesAllWomen misses the mark a little. The California murders were the manifestation of one boy’s mental illness shone through the prism of his own sexuality and narcissism. That link, especially in young men, doesn’t really get talked about. At that age, a boy’s testosterone levels are such that essentially everything in his world is driven by those hormones, so everything is shaped by that. In the case of someone who is mentally ill, that mental illness is shaped by those very same forces.
So it’s unarguably a good thing that this tragedy brought an important issue to light, but something just feels off to me about the reaction to it all. The ramblings and rampage of this sick kid just isn’t the same thing as some asshole cat-calling a woman on the street or being a totally disrespectful creep or even being a rapist. While that kind of conduct is deplorable and should be exposed as such, the CA murders were just not that.
Maybe it doesn’t make a difference since there was an influx of disrespectful creeps sort of rallying to the call of the douchebag after #YesAllWomen took off and anything that brings attention to these other important issues is a net benefit, but it feels disproportionate to equate this killer’s conduct with the sort of “run of the mill” misogyny and sexual harassment that’s being talked about now. I don’t mean to invalidate any of the issues #YesAllWomen brought to the fore or downplay how awful all of that conduct is, it just seems like this is an oversimplification of a more nuanced issue. It doesn’t seem to me that this kid was just an amped up version of your run of the mill misogynist, but a different kind of thing altogether. Sort of like two diseases sharing some of the same symptoms.
But what the hell do I know?