A “bisexual, nonbinary, and intersex” student at Georgia Tech was gunned down in their prime on Saturday, September 18th, after approaching multiple officers with a knife.
“Scout Schultz, a 21-year-old computer engineering student who identified as neither male nor female” was described by her mother as ” as “a ‘scary smart’ perfectionist troubled by depression — a fourth-year student who took master’s degree courses and planned to design biomedical devices after graduation, but who had tried to commit suicide by hanging two years ago.”
From The Washington Post:
“Come on man, let’s drop the knife,” an officer with his gun drawn says in the graphic video. But Schultz walks toward him.
The officer keeps backing up, moving behind a parking barricade and imploring again: “Nobody wants to hurt you, man.”
“Drop it!” someone says finally, as Schultz takes three more steps toward an officer, followed by the report of a gunshot and many screams.
Schultz had been shot in the heart, according to the Journal-Constitution, and died early Sunday at an Atlanta hospital — one of about 700 people shot and killed by police in the United States this year.
The first thing that stood out to me about this story is how an officer seems to have repeatedly misgendered Scout before the coldblooded killing, choosing to address them by “man” when the young student was clearly a non-binary being eschewing normative gender characterization.
In other words, this is a hate crime, plain and simple.
While one might note that, according to modern intersectional theory, the death of Scout is not as tragic as the deaths of the countless POCs gunned down this year, it is still a wake up call to many in the LGBTQ community.
That’s right whitey, your white privilege won’t protect you against the cops. That is, assuming you are ambiguously gendered. Otherwise, you’re gucci. In fact, Scout would have been gunned down even if the knife they were holding was a petition to grant equal rights to LGBTQ university students.
Off the top of my head, here are some other parties that should take an equal share of the blame for Scout’s untimely demise:
- Donald Trump
- David Duke
- The guy from Charlottesville who drove the Dodge Challenger
That’s right, me. Because as a privileged white male, I should helped make this world a place where a deranged asexual university student can approach multiple officers with a knife and be lauded as a hero instead of shot in the heart. Because I could have done more. I could have given more.
The cynical among us might posit that Scout’s untimely demise is a result of her apparent suicidal tendencies. That Scout, like close to 40% of her “nonconforming” contemporaries, was due for this sort of tragedy.
To those I say, look at this face and tell me that isn’t just a crazy notion.