Tag Archives: Sean Bell

The Devaluation Of Black Life

By Guest Contributor Shanelle Matthews, cross-posted from Reproductive Justice

The deaths of Emmett Till, Sean Bell, Oscar Grant and Trayvon Martin counter the narrative that all human life is valuable.

As the news of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin’s murder floods the airwaves I sit, familiarly reflective and saddened by the loss of yet another Black life at the hands of a sanctimonious racist. But like many of you, I know that this experience is not an isolated one. Largely, the lives of young Black men have never held great value in this country. From birth to untimely death, they’ve been treated as mules for labor, obvious scapegoats, easy targets and disposable–at no consequence to the disposer.

We’ve watched as the media and policy makers have heavily overlooked the outright assassinations of countless Black boys and men with little to no significance placed on the value of their lives or the racial implications of why they were murdered.

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