Normally I feel like the, “could be worse” approach to feeling better about one’s struggles has little to no effect on me, but reading Sandy’s story was remarkably moving.
Idk how aware people are of what this young woman went through in the 2-3 years before her death:

under/unemployment, predatory traffic violations that she served 30+ days in a notoriously overcrowded jail (investigated by the justice department for civil rights violations), Depression, miscarriage due to ectopic pregnancy, strained relationship with her mother.
And all of this on top of the evermore clear recognition of her place as a Black woman in a country that places less value on the lives and contributions of both.

Her story should shed light on the lack of treatment for depression among Black Americans, and Black women specifically – Black women being THE MOST UNDERTREATED group in the nation.
It also sheds light on the overall poorly functioning mental health system in America. Many like her, struggling to make ends meet (grossing a whopping $8,000 in 2013!) don’t have the option to seek mental health treatment. Even with Affordable Care, many end up with cheap plans that don’t offer mental health service. I can speak to this personally, having recently found that counselling services are not covered under my plan- plus the nice icing on the cake- I owe $300+ for the past few months of appointments:) I’ll be ok, but imagine those worse of than me, suffering like Sandy was, and the main concern is, YOU MUST PAY. This is not a healthcare system, it’s a business above all.

It doesn’t appear as if she was murdered(by the largely Black & Latin jailers), but it clearly seems that those who had her in custody did not take seriously the very poor mental-emotional state that she was in (and that she told them about in detail). There’s not much value for people in this country. Our god is money. Profit is the primary concern. People in this culture are viewed primarily as units of production and consumption. She had a few misdemeanors, so she owed the state (time and/or money). What’s happening with her internally is a side note at best.

Despite how dark and disappointing this story is, I found some motivation in reading it. I can identify with her in some ways but I don’t think my darkest days compare to hers, particularly those spent in Waller county jail. Envisioning her last hours made it more clear that I don’t want to see mine anytime soon.

 

What Happened To Sandra Bland

I apologize if the link doesn’t allow u to read the article, I know The Nation only has limited access to content online -it’s a great magazine tho!

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