On March 18, 1997 a young woman was found with her hands severed, her hair shorn, with a plastic bag wrapped around her head. She was left at the side of the road like a piece of garbage, her identity known only to her murderer. One would believe that after such a brutal death, that this nameless woman, who remains unclaimed would have suffered enough indignity.
According to CNN, there is a heated debate going on as to where this poor woman will be buried. It seems that Waller County Texas is so racially divided, that even the cemeteries are segregated. If she was buried in the black cemetery, she would be the first known white person buried in a black cemetery in Waller County. The racial divide continues to run deep in Texas.
As a WOC, I try to never dismiss, or belittle the impact that racism has on our lives. The systemic nature of racism leads to poverty, violence, and a lack of social advancement. There is however, a time when even those fighting a just cause simply loose their moral compass. How long is this woman to wait, until she can be laid to rest? At some point a respect for what she has suffered must be acknowledged. The fact that no one has claimed her, does not give either side the right to use her as some political pawn to press an agenda. She was a living, breathing, human being who met her end in the cruelest of fashions.
This bickering over her remains only serves to devalue, and reduce her humanity. She is not some prize that can be claimed. As is often the case in our society, women are treated like possessions, and the fact that this victim has no one to speak in her defence, has further perpetuated the idea that she is simply a piece of property over which two complainants are in dispute over. The longer this situation continues, the more it becomes clear that she is simply not viewed as a human being, rather she is seen as a tool that can be manipulated to prove a point. Lay this poor woman to rest, she has suffered more than enough.