People all over America are in uproar about the murder of Cecil the lion. Many called for repercussions to be brought against Minnesotan dentist, Walter James Palmer for reportedly legally paying $50,000 to kill a beloved Zimbabwean lion. Jimmy Kimmel was moved to tears. Buzzfeed’s Matt Stopera published an article titled: ‘Don’t forget that killing a lion is the most cowardly thing you can do.’ Many celebrities were outspoken in their calls for justice.
— Ricky Martin (@ricky_martin) July 28, 2015
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) July 28, 2015
#CeciltheLion is such a tragedy. Legal or illegal the killing of endangered species, let alone such a beloved animal, is unspeakable.
— Marlee Matlin (@MarleeMatlin) July 28, 2015
— Paul Wesley (@paulwesley) July 29, 2015
— Katie Stevens (@thekatiestevens) July 29, 2015
There has never been this much coalescence over a case regarding police brutality.
Black folks been getting killed left & right and there’s silence. One lion gets killed & these celebrities wanna turn up
— Pastel Papi (@4REST_JOB) July 28, 2015
We really have to stop saying that Black people are being gunned down and treated like animals. Animals are treated better in this country.
— Kirsten West Savali (@KWestSavali) August 14, 2014
— Sarah Chiwaya (@Curvily) July 29, 2015
Why does it take a Lion’s murder to touch the hearts of white people?
Almost every day, a new video surfaces, showing Black bodies being physically and mentally terrorized by police officers. Instead of rallying together behind black people’s civil and human rights violations, the majority of American people are quietly sympathetic or indifferent.
Late last week, the FBI officially branded two animal rights activists as ‘domestic terrorists.‘ No doubt their crimes were in defiance of the deplorable health standards animals are forced to endure under. But, why were these two animal activists labeled as terrorists and Dylan Roof, a killer who explicitly insisted that his actions were to begin a race war, was not? Why is targeting an organization dedicated to the production of food considered terrorism while targeting an entire group of people based on the color of their skin not considered terrorism? This is a denial of humanity.
These words of indictment are not intended for the core tenants of the animal rights and vegan activists’ movement. Instead, they are for those who remain outspoken for a lion while refusing to vocally advocate for the humanity and sustenance of Black people.
Buzzfeed’s Soapera was wrong, the most cowardly thing you can do is not kill another animal. The most cowardly thing you can do is sexually assault another human being. The most cowardly thing you can do is walk into a church and murder nine praying people. The most cowardly thing you can do is kill another human being for appearing aggressive. The most cowardly thing you can do is deny a woman the right to a safe abortion after she has been raped and abused by men engaging in war.
While I was among the millions enraged by the murder of Cecil, I continue to be one of the few also enraged at the treatment of Black people in this country. We say #BlackLivesMatter because if we don’t we will be ignored by the media. We #SayHerName because if we don’t, she will be disrespected and overlooked by both the conservative and liberal medias.