The Horrendous Politicization Of Edwin Jackson’s Death

Death is permanent.

When one passes, there is no return. Their life moves on while the living are left to wrestle with a range of emotions. Sadness, loss, emptiness, distraught anger. Death is dealt with in many different ways, from mourning to honoring the life we lost and celebrating what that person brought to our lives and the lives of others. Some become martyrs, inspiring and changing those who follow after their time.

Death is not meant to be exploited or used as an instrument of fear. But in these dark times of a Trump presidency, we have all witnessed the exploitation of pain and death, the latter of which has become a weapon of fear for his embarrassing and self-serving agenda.

The latest example of this is the death of Colts’ linebacker Edwin Jackson, who was killed by a suspected drunk driver on Sunday morning in Indiana. While his family and friends are left to deal with the grief of his loss, the media and Trump are hyping up the fact that the accused killer is an immigrant, which in turn justifies the need for a border wall.

Donald J. Trump on Twitter

So disgraceful that a person illegally in our country killed @Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson. This is just one of many such preventable tragedies. We must get the Dems to get tough on the Border, and with illegal immigration, FAST!

Not that we lost a 26-year-old man who was beginning to realize the dreams of his youth and starting to build a life as a young adult. Not that a team lost a brother who will be greatly missed for who he was, not just for what he did on the field.

Indianapolis Colts on Twitter

It is with a heavy heart that we share the loss of one of our own. Edwin Jackson always brought a smile to our locker room and the community. Our thoughts are with his family and friends during this difficult time. We will miss him greatly:

No, his death has been politicized to instill fear into America, a fear that immigrants are coming and destroying the country, especially immigrants of a darker shade and/or Spanish speaking descent.

Never mind the fact that we’ve watched in horror as domestic born white terrorists have killed hundreds in mass shootings over the last two decades. In those cases, the response always seems to be to focus on the victims and their grieving families; but in cases like Jackson’s, the emphasis is upon the cultural background of the accused and how it can be utilized in support of a ridiculously dangerous agenda.

Stephen Holder on Twitter

I had an emotional conversation with a friend of Edwin Jackson’s family today who offered some heartfelt sentiments about him as well as a quick reaction to the politicization of his death:

Families don’t want their own to be martyrs.

They would rather have those they lost still with them rather than see them for one last time. And they definitely don’t want them used as pawns in a political game which is tearing the country apart.

This is a long practiced strategy, used by not only Trump, but also by many in the media including Time, Fox and even ESPN. The emphasis on the fact that the suspect in the crash which killed Jackson, Manuel Orrego-Savala, was an immigrant, illegal or not, automatically shifts the narrative towards indicting all immigrants, branding them as threats.

So now Jackson’s family, who has only had three days to deal with his death, is forcibly thrust into a political scrum they want nothing to do with. And activists and politicians from both sides are now both on the offensive and defensive in a situation where everyone loses because a life was taken and someone’s son is no longer with them. It’s a position the Williams’ family has no desire to be in or to comment on.

It doesnt matter, said family friend and Jackson’s agent, Butch Williams. Hes lost. All that other stuff, they can do whatever they want with that. Theyre dealing with their son, man. That other stuff doesnt matter.

It’s a sentiment echoed by Jackson’s team, the Indianapolis Colts.

To be very honest with you, after Sundays events with the passing of Edwin Jackson and Jeffrey Monroe it was a very tough two days.” said Colts’ General Manager Chris Ballard. “Were not even close to this coaching search. My thoughts were with Edwin and Jeffrey and their families and the tragic deaths that occurred on Sunday morning. Very difficult day, very difficult couple of days, talking with both families, talking with our players. I want all of you to make sure you keep in perspective whats important in life. Thats human life and thats people. How we treat people, telling the people that youre close to that you love them every day because tomorrows not promised to any of us. Its not. Sunday was an eye opener that put a lot of great things in perspective for me.

I bet you forgot about the other victim, Uber driver Jeffrey Monroe, who was also killed in his horrible incident. But you probably didn’t remember this fact because you were too busy trying to wade through the number of “illegal immigrant” headlines and references while fighting to maintain your common sense and belief in decency, things which have been challenged constantly since Trump’s rise in politics.

So now two men are dead and families are in pain. But instead of mourning and honoring their lives, we’re coerced into an ignorant debate over immigration, minimizing the fact that we actually lost two men. It’s an aggravating fact best exemplified by Indiana communications director for the Republican National Committee, Michael Joyce.

The tragic passing of Edwin Jackson and Jeffrey Monroe should not be lost on Hoosiers.” said Joyce. “Their lives were taken by a twice-deported illegal immigrant who was not only two times the legal limit to drive, but attempted to flee the scene of the crime in a cowardly fashion. These horrific events only further underscore the need for immigration reform and stronger border security measures that can further prevent these tragedies from happening in the future.

Welcome to Trump’s America. Stay cognizant and vigilant.

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