Racism or A Culture of Violence?

15027648_10154349399058884_8124794174666517763_nI need to know if racism killed my sister. Long before the party on November 17, 2001. Long before the stab wound to her heart. Did her physical appearance influence the way she was treated, shape the person she became, and result in her death?

Or was it the prescription pill abuse that ended up taking the life of her killer? Can we blame someone who is under the influence? Or was it a culture of violence? Which is what my family publicly identified as the cause when we found out a large group of her peers were chanting, “fight, fight, fight!” on that fateful night fifteen years ago, today.

These questions have plagued me silently for years. But now America is ready to confront it. And it all needs to be confronted. Whether it’s caused by one of these epidemics, or all, I want to believe that they can all be treated with love, with respect, with community. But I want to know the full story. I can’t treat the symptoms without knowing the cause.

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