While the police in America are gunning down hundreds of unarmed citizens every year, four Democratic senators just announced Friday that they are introducing a bill named for the slain Zimbabwean lion Cecil.


Social network memes and stories flooded Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with images of the lion, who was killed by an American trophy hunter earlier this month. We were quick to denounce this killing, but to simultaneously point out the irony that the death of a single non-human animal was getting far more attention and universal condemnation than all of the unarmed, innocent citizens who are killed by the police every year.

Why is that?

While we tried to get to the bottom of the strange lack of empathy that so many have for unarmed victims of police brutality in the United States, Senators were moving quickly to underline our point.

The Conserving Ecosystems by Ceasing the Importation of Large (CECIL) Animal Trophies Act would extend existing U.S. import and export restrictions on trophy hunting to lay down severe penalties for animals listing or proposed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act.

Meanwhile, those senators have not proposed any similar, parallel measures to punish police officers who kill unarmed or non-aggressing human beings in the United States.

Democrats Bob Menendez (N.J.), Cory Booker (N.J.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.) and Ben Cardin (Md.) all co-sponsored the legislation, but they have found it apparently easier to take a stand for Cecil than to do the same for John Crawford, Mike Brown, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Sam DuBose and so many new names added to the list every day.

“Cecil’s death was a preventable tragedy that highlights the need to extend the protections of the Endangered Species Act,” Menendez expressed in a statement on Friday. “When we have enough concern about the future of a species to propose it for listing, we should not be killing it for sport.” In a similar statement, Blumenthal called the hunting of endangered species “a reprehensible and repugnant act.”

So why not step up and propose similar harsh penalties for killer cops?

What message is the government sending here? It is clear that they believe Cecil the Lion’s life matters… so why don’t our lives matter to them – at least not to the extend that they are willing to step up and hold the killers accountable in the same way?

(Article by M. David and Shante Wooten; image via #Op309 Media)

Post a Comment


Popular Posts