It mattered today

Renisha McBride’s life mattered. The way she died mattered. And, the man who murdered her was just found guilty.

This murder was a tragedy. Nothing about it is worth celebrating.

But in the wake of the ongoing despair that sets in when we actually name it: the epidemic of deadly violence against women and men of color (Eric Garner‘s horrifying killing by police in Staten Island the most publicly visible in recent weeks) and the “not guilty” verdicts (of which Trayvon Martin’s killer’s exoneration was only one of the more recent in a long line) that almost predictably follow . . .

. . . a small interruption in the endless cycle of despair.

A jury recognized not only that Renisha McBride’s life mattered. But a jury recognized that when white men and women kill Black women and men they should be convicted for it.

It’s outrageous, of course, that such is a huge victory in 2014.  And, I’ll be honest, I was prepared for the worst.

But outrageous as it is: Renisha McBride’s life mattered. Other men and women in our judicial system had the humanity to insist on it.

Small victories, worth naming, while we remain in mournful and vigilant silence about how very far we have yet to go.

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