When I teach about the history of the segregated South, sometimes my students remark that things are just as bad now as they were then, that conditions for Black Americans are still as bleak for too many. Often my response is that if someone were to hang me or them by that tree in front of the building, someone would come. The law would investigate. Our citizenship would matter in at least that crucial way.
This month is challenging that assumption. When Trayvon Martin was murdered for looking “suspicious”, killed without any pretense of a trial, the police failed to come. I know that they came to the scene of the crime, but they failed to come with the force of the law on behalf of this young man. His body was tested by the state with the assumption that somehow he was the criminal and needed to be screened for drugs and alcohol. It was Martin’s guilt, not his murderer’s, that was assumed on the scene. The police decided on the scene that Martin’s death was justified, not worthy of careful investigation or trial. They didn’t even bother to use his cell phone to try and contact his next of kin quickly. Instead his body would be left unidentified for days.
You know what would be awesome?
Is if people got as pissed off about new bank debit-card fees (and overdraft fees, and ATM fees, and transaction fees, and credit card fees) as they did about a Netflix price hike.
If I had a debit card through a bank, I’d be pissed off about this. But I don’t think my credit union will be pulling anything like this.
If there’s a silver lining to this woman’s unfortunate situation, it’s that maybe she can sell her story to Hollywood. This is begging for film treatment.