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Scout Schultz: Dying to Live

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Georgia Public Broadcasting

Georgia Public Broadcasting

 

I can remember that night. I wanted to take all of the pills. I was done. Repeatedly, I’d looked for help. Repeatedly, I’d come up empty. The room grew smaller and smaller. I had nowhere to go. Sweat poured everywhere. I prayed. That shit didn’t help. God seemed so far away. God was fake. I didn’t care. I needed someone to grasp at. Drifting in and out, I started to lose touch with reality. I never thought about calling the police. The night grew longer and longer. Somehow, I opened my eyes. Looking around, I realized that I’d made it through the night. The war in my mind started all over. I just wanted it to end. They did too.

 

Scout Schultz was queer. With a ferocious spirit, Scout damned the binaries of our society. Many tried to convince they of the fruitless nature of their protests, but they were not deterred. In one of the toughest parts of the country, Scout pushed on. There is no doubt that the mental strain they endured was exhausting, but they didn’t quit. They fought on in the struggle for equality. While a campus leader for LGBTQ causes at Georgia Tech, Scout experienced the fullness of the struggle. A few nights ago, the toll of it all climaxed. Scout wrote three final notes. In the moments before the tragedy, Scout said goodbye and called 911. Instructing the operator that there was someone on campus with a knife and a gun, Scout went outside and prepared to commit suicide by cop. When the officers arrived, they flashed a knife (actually it was a utility tool). In the heat of the moment, cops did what cops always do…shoot first and ask questions later. After being shot straight through the heart, Scout collapsed and died shortly there after. When they could have shot they anywhere to demobilize they, the cops couldn’t help themselves. This thirst for blood is not all that unusual in our society. Scout just happened to get the bullet this time. Who will be next?

 

Last night, there was rioting at Georgia Tech. After a peaceful vigil, a group began to express their rage. Every news outlet I’ve read, called the actions “violent.” Isn’t a riot the language of the oppressed? When I saw the police car on fire, I saw a desperate cry for justice. Let’s not forget that Jesus turned the tables over in the temple in a similar fashion. You can’t label these riots violent without naming that riot violent. Would Jesus burn a police car? It seems to me like it’s possible. In the midst of such injustice, I know that Jesus’ level of rage is the same as what we saw last night. There is no doubt that the rioting will continue until police brutality stops. Moses heard the voice of God from the burning bush. I hope we hear the voice of God from the flames of that burning police car, shouting, “Repent!”

 

Amen.

 

 

*Details from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2017/09/17/knife-wielding-campus-pride-leader-killed-by-police-at-georgia-tech/?utm_term=.04076025c7a8

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