Words have consequences. We have all spoken words that we wished we hadn’t. However, our words often reveal what is going on in our hearts. When Sandra Bland made a video on March 31, 2015 describing sexuality as a choice and belittling the oppression that queer people face, she had no way of knowing the evil that would eventually happen to her in Texas. How could she? Regardless, the video makes something very plain…Sandra Bland suffered from homophobia. This doesn’t change her status as a martyr, but it does make her a bit more human. In the life of Sandra Bland, there was room for redemption. I know the source of such grace. For just one moment, I wish she could hear the queer people marching in the streets saying her name over and over. I think she would feel differently. In fact, I believe she does.
One of the consequences of our rush to make saints out of victims of police brutality is that we take away their humanity in the process. I don’t believe the homophobia of Sandra Bland should be hidden. It was a part of her life. We are all humans with major flaws. In this fight against police brutality, we must continue to learn to bind our hearts together. Bland’s words should fuse us more tightly together with the realization that we must stand for victims of police brutality no matter what they believe. That is the nature of love.