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Yesterday both of our Senators, and pretty much every virtue signaling elected official on social media, commemorated the one year anniversary of the death of Minnesota resident George Floyd, the patron saint of fentanyl.
George Floyd should be alive today. My heart is with his family, friends, and community, and my thoughts are focused on what must be done to dismantle systemic racism and achieve true justice. George Floyd didn't want to be a symbol, he just wanted to live.
— Ed Markey (@SenMarkey) May 25, 2021
Today we remember George Floyd. We mourn for his family, friends, and the community his life has touched. But we also must honor his life by continuing the fight for justice, and that starts by acknowledging a painful truth: the United States Senate has failed George Floyd.
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) May 25, 2021
What happened to George Floyd shouldn’t have happened, but the fact of the matter is there is no epidemic of black people being murdered by the police in this country, what happened to him is extremely rare, and his death inspired a violent, racist, anti-police movement in his name. Black lives clearly already do matter since a drug addict and career criminal who was previously sentenced to five years in prison for his role in the beating and robbery of a woman has become the most important person to die since John F. Kennedy. His killer was arrested, tried, and convicted in less than a year despite our courts being backlogged due to COVID. Not only did George Floyd’s life already matter (thus making black lives matter an unnecessary rallying cry), it mattered more than a lot of other people’s deaths. Here are 3:
1. Emely Nieves
Emely Nieves was most likely murdered by her boyfriend and baby daddy Devonte Degree in his mother Tina Degree’s apartment a year ago today. Emely had been documenting the emotional and physical abuse he tormented her with for years and was looking for a way to escape. We published her text messages and images screaming for help. Tina Degree stated on a Facebook Live video that is still up that she found Emely’s body in the morning, and admitted that instead of calling police she called both of her son’s and her spiritual adviser, cleaned up the crime scene, and finally alerted authorities. She was a Latina woman of color and a mother, and not a single media outlet has reported her story, nor has either of her Senators commemorated her death in a tweet. Unlike George Floyd she was a law abiding citizen who actually lives in the state Liz Warren and Ed Markey represent. Today there is a protest for justice in her name, you just wouldn’t know about it because no one cares about her. Her life simply did not matter to BLM because she was killed by a BLM activist.
2. Ron Tarentino
Five years ago this week Auburn Police Officer Ron Tarentino was murdered by a career criminal who was released early from jail upon recommendation of DA Joe Early because “jail wasn’t working for him.” Ron Tarentino was the loving father of 3 and a well respected member of the community. His sons have served in the military and have gone on to become contributing members of society. Covering the Sunday manhunt for his killer was the day I will remember more than any other day in TB history. Liz Warren and Ed Markey did not tweet about him this week, despite the fact that unlike George Floyd he was their constituent, never was arrested, and actually contributed something worthwhile to society. No legislation has been passed in his name to prevent a tragedy like this from happening again. Instead, despite two more police officers being murdered in this state since then (Michael Chesna and Sean Gannon) our elected officials have enacted legislation that operates under the assumption that people like Ron Tarentino are racially biased towards people of color.
3. Vanessa Marcotte
Five years ago this summer 27 year old Vanessa Marcotte was raped and murdered while jogging on Brooks Station Road in Princeton, where her mother lived. Her killer was arrested less than a year later and he has since fired several court appointed attorneys in an attempt to delay the case. Because Massachusetts refused to hold jury trial during COVID (unlike other states who found a way), he still has not been tried and there is no court date set for his trial. It’s been five years and this completely innocent, law abiding member of society has not received justice. Liz Warren and Ed Markey haven’t tweeted about their frustration with a system that allows these sorts of delays, nor have they proposed legislation to change that. She was just a white girl raped and murdered by a guy who doesn’t speak English, so her life really never mattered to them. Perhaps if she was black, a resident of another state, overdosing on fentanyl, and killed by a white cop they might be bothered to learn who she is.
Black lives do matter in this country, especially if they’re killed by white people or cops. In that case they matter a lot more to people like Liz Warren and Ed Markey.
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