We failed Erica. She worked so hard and we pitched in so little. I think about the $100 million that Zuckerberg gave to Newark and was frittered away. 1% of that might have saved Erica’s life. She could have afforded better food, seen a therapist, while not having to worry about rent.
One of my favorite artists, Trudy, writes about how self-care is weaponized against Black women. Admonishing someone over-worked, stressed out, and poor to prioritize their self-care is abusive.
We expect the most marginalized and hardest working people to carry the world on their backs and offer them nothing. We want them to change the world, but don’t want to open our wallets to ease their burden. We don’t trust poor people with our money, preferring to paternalistically give it to well-funded organizations rather than the people doing the work.
A cop murdered her father, but we let Erica Garner die.