By Charli Eaton |Coyote Contributor|
As a third year student here at CSUSB, an SMSU Board of Directors member and President of ESSO I felt the need to respond to opinions and media events of the past several months in regards to the importance of human rights, the sanctity of life and social justice.
When fellow citizens are committing shootings, mass murders, high profile assaults and the like while the media is tracking and reporting every move, it is easy to become involved on an almost personal level.
The media shamelessly panders to viewers who are glued to television sets watching real life police pursuits, shoot outs, man hunts and mayhem.
It is easy to forget that these are human lives we are talking about and that we are only observing one side of the situation from the comfort of our homes.
Our judicial system has a presumption of innocence that is a critical component of the way in which we handle criminal behavior.
This due process is the right of everyone even if the cameras are rolling during the criminal act.
When we say or do things that negate that very precious presumption of innocence we harm not only our fellow citizens and our society, we also harm ourselves.
There is an old saying, “There but for the Grace of God go I.” We may believe that we could never commit a crime or even be in a situation where a crime was being committed by someone else.
We may look down our noses at those who have been accused thinking we are above such behaviors.
However, with the United States now having the dubious distinction of holding the cell keys of 25% of the total number of incarcerated people on the planet, odds are that you know someone who has been incarcerated. Maybe its even you.
Let me remind us all that no one is immune to being in the wrong place at the wrong time, to having a friend or a relative who makes a bad decision, to having a witness make an identity mistake that could change a life forever.
No life is worth more than another: not yours, not mine, not a police officer’s, not the homeless guy on the street.
We are all human beings whose lives matter equally. We do well to remember that when we are tempted to join the cheering section for the demise of another human being, regardless of the circumstances, we have demeaned not only ourselves but the very value of life itself.