I’m so tired of these events and encounters. Jordan Neely, a homeless Black man, was killed by an unnamed US marine veteran (reportedly) on 1st May via chokehold in a New York city subway car. If you want to find out more about the murder, you can search for it; I won’t be posting any explicit content or videos regarding the events. The intentions of this post is to highlight articles discussing the deeper impacts and implications of his Jordan Neely’s murder and I implore you to read them and take their words on board. And not in a “2020 black square/I see you, I stand with you/I own 2 copies of White Fragility” way.
Roxane Gay — Making People Uncomfortable Can Now Get You Killed
Each of these innocent people who lost their lives was in the wrong place at the wrong time. In most cases, armed assailants deputized themselves to stand their ground or enforce justice for a petty crime. Some claimed self-defense, said they were afraid, though some of their victims were unarmed women and children. We have to ask the uncomfortable questions: Why are men so afraid? Why are they so fragile that they shoot or harm first and ask questions later? Why do they believe death or injury is an appropriate response to human fallibility? Public life shared with terrified and/or entitled and/or angry and/or disaffected men is untenable.
Lara Witt — Jordan Neely was lynched
Make no mistake; a white man lynched Neely because of his Blackness. White supremacy allows white people to function as extensions of settler-colonial state power. Neely was Black, so that was enough reason to lynch him rather than help him. It was enough for some bystanders to watch without intervention. It was enough for others to hold down his limbs as someone choked the life out of him—the same way white people and their allies have done to thousands of Black people across the country, not with a chokehold and in a subway, but with nooses and trees.
Adam B. Coleman — No One Cared About Jordan Neely’s Life. They Just Want to Use His Death
Jordan is a Black man who was killed via chokehold by a white man, so let’s bring out the term “lynching,” because it’ll always elicit racial animosity. If the racial angle doesn’t work for you, you can always use Jordan’s death to show the world how much of a do-gooder you are by exclaiming how the “unhoused” have a right to scream as much they want in an enclosed space. You get to wag your finger at the three men who refused to participate in the New York City tradition of keeping your head down, pretending these people don’t exist, and praying that you don’t become their target. And you get to accuse those who don’t decry those men loudly enough of condoning murder.
Let’s be real: These people don’t care about the homeless. The upper-class city dwellers of New York treat homeless people like bears in the wild: Don’t make eye contact with them and they won’t bother you. When this strategy doesn’t work, they gaslight you into accepting rampant squalor as not only normal but progress! And when you vocalize your guttural displeasure with watching people live in filth and desperation, the self-appointed homeless-whisperers will manipulate you into believing this is just what city life is supposed to look like.