Wednesday, July 22, 2015

This Post Is for Sandra Bland

I'm thinking a lot about Sandra Bland, the 28-year-old community activist who died in a Texas jail last week after being arrested for "assault of a public servant."

She loved selfies, and was damn good at them.
On July 10, she was pulled over in Waller County, Texas for failing to signal a lane change. That's an excuse that many law enforcement officers use to meet their quota for traffic stops. Typically those stops end with a warning, providing the offender has a clean record.

I mean, I'm a law-abiding, white, middle-aged woman, and I've been pulled over for having a headlight not working or an expired registration sticker. Each time I've spoken briefly with a polite, respectful law enforcement representative who let me off with a warning.

Apparently my experience is not universal.

I had no idea such a traffic stop could be fatal for those who aren't (like me) middle-aged, white, blond(ish) and blue(ish)-eyed.

Which is what happened to Sandra Bland, who was pulled over for failing to signal a lane change and ended up dead in a jail cell three days later.

Sandra was a young black woman, by the way.

She was forcibly removed from her car, slammed against the ground, taken to jail. Because she improperly signaled a lane change. Because she dared smoke a cigarette in her car. Because a white law enforcement officer couldn't keep his shit against a black driver (?).

Sandra Bland was not just verbally abused, or jailed unjustly, or treated unfairly. Sandra Bland died, you guys. She allegedly killed herself following a traffic stop during which she was verbally and physically abused and treated with gross disrespect by an officer of the law.

How is that even the same lady?
If that had been someone like me, the story would be so very different.


Sandra Bland was, by all accounts, an intelligent, educated, utterly worthwhile human being.

She died in a Texas jail cell for the crime of irritating a white law enforcement official.

How is that right or fair or just?

Answer: It's not.

Please don't let this post simply fade from your memory. Make it mean something, Drunkards.

Like it, share it, let its topic be known.

It's 2015, and equal treatment under the law still doesn't exist for all.

I can't live with that.

Sandra Bland didn't live because of that.

Can you live with it?


  1. Well said. This idea that she killed herself is completely ludicrous.

  2. What upsets me most about this is I believe her death was technically a suicide in the same way that it's technically murder when a drunk driver hits and kills a pedestrian. I only say that because at least one story reported that she did suffer from depression. If that's true the officer created a set of circumstances that led to her death. If it's not then that makes her death even more suspicious.

    And in the end it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter how she spoke to the officer when she was pulled over. It doesn't matter that she refused to put out her cigarette.

    All the details of the story don't matter because Sandra Bland understood what her rights were and the officer didn't.

  3. Well, yes, but I remember Amerikastani soldiers driving around Baghdad in 2005 shooting up cars at random, laughing as they did it, and putting it all on video, confident they were above the law. I'm not trying to put down this incident, but it's just the chickens coming home to roost, as Malcolm X said. And the more they come home to roost, the greater the chances that it will ultimately force a change in behaviour abroad.


You're thinking it, you may as well type it. The only comments you'll regret are the ones you don't leave. Also, replies to threads make puppies grow big and strong.