#JusticeForEthan – Time to Break the Silence
From the Archive: Originally posted 9/11/13
The biggest question is “Why isn’t anyone talking about this?”
Unless someone talks – the deputies, the sheriff, the governor, the witnesses, the public, the media – unless someone speaks up we may never have #JusticeForEthan.
As those thoughts rattled in my brain, I noticed a tweet about another article on #JFE. It said: “Urging all to read award-winning special ed teacher’s reflections on the death of Ethan Saylor #JusticeForEthan.” I clicked the link and found a specific explanation for the very thing I had been pondering – why nobody (at least not enough people) was talking.
That award-winning teacher’s name is Ryan Mick. He starts out telling the story again for anyone who hasn’t heard it (and let’s face it, that’s unfortunately still a lot of people). Then, he says this:
“It was then that I realized something:
Ethan’s death was a terrible injustice,
but the more pernicious evil has been the silence that followed.”
Ryan’s article uses a phrase “silence as privilege.” I’ll let you read his explanation and how it pertains to the events of the last eight months. For me, this article hit home. Finally, someone has managed to explain to me why the media hasn’t covered this story and why this story only causes certain people to be outraged. Finally, there’s an explanation I can wrap my head around. I now have a way to understand why basically good people just don’t “get it.”
In my article about the comments on Emma’s petition I talk about the two main groups of people who have written the most passionate responses: people who have family members with a disability, and people who are against police violence in general. Now it’s clear to me that these two groups, people who have experienced something that connects them to the story, can not keep silent. On the other hand, there’s no need to register and react to this story if you don’t think it can happen to you.
That can only happen if we break this silence. We NEED to have a bigger dialog. This week, with the help of some phenomenal people, we’ve started branching out. We’ve reached people in other communities. We need to continue this trend. We NEED to get answers to the remaining questions:
- How did Ethan’s fatal injury occur?
- What specific training did they have?
- Why didn’t they listen to Ethan’s health care worker?
- What exactly made them feel threatened enough to use ANY force?
I feel hopeful that we’re headed in the right direction. Progress may be slower in this case than in others we’ve seen in the news recently, but we will press on. We do not have the privilege of silence.