Cecil and Sandra: Emotions, Threat, Names

A lion and a woman

As I was standing in line at a restaurant the other day, I overheard two women discussing how awful that “lion business” was, and how they thought that the man who had shot the lion should himself be shot. Chances are that you know what I’m talking about without me having to recount the story; the subject, of course, was Cecil, the lion from Zimbabwe whose recent illegal death at the hands of a for-profiit hunting enterprise garnered worldwide attention.

In the weeks before Cecil’s death, Sandra Bland died as well. Hopefully, you also know her story: she was the black woman pulled over for a minor traffic violation (failure to use a turn signal) whose subsequent arrest and then death while in police custody continues to be shrouded in controversy. Bland’s name is another unfortunate addition to the #SayHerName campaign, a movement devoted to highlighting how, like their male counterparts, young black women are disproportionately killed by law enforcement and yet their deaths are largely underreported in comparison. Continue reading “Cecil and Sandra: Emotions, Threat, Names”