Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tragedy and Closure, Part Three

In the spirit of keeping things simple, I have only two words about the Fort Hood tragedy - workplace violence.

And moving along, we Chicagoans have lost a powerful and spirited voice in Michael Scott. He had been fighting the good fight and I had been privileged to work with him in the early nineties in North Lawndale as a member of the Westside Association for Community Action (WACA). He truly will be missed.

What deeply concerns me is the coroner's report, decided quickly and, to me, without adequate investigation, that he committed suicide. Many of the signs make that likelihood improbable.

First, it is important to understand that people have tendencies to do what is expedient and convenient before they will consider what is right or just. Suicides, from a criminal investigation perspective, are expedient and convenient. Victim and murderer at the crime scene, all tied with a yellow ribbon. Case closed.

But here is a man who was deeply committed to his family and his community and, had organized an event that he would host in two days. Suicidal folks generally do not plan or thing about their future, unless planning to make sure that those left behind are cared for. There are too many inconsistencies to ignore.

Why such a public place? Why now? Was this a message to someone?

My thoughts and prayers go out to his immediate family. But, to many, the westside of Chicago is brother Scott's family.