Mourn and be Angry, but at the Right People

As OSU mourns the four dead in the Oct 26th 2015 homecoming parade crash, we should mourn as well. We should also mourn for the three, maybe four, dead by suicide at OSU. We should mourn for the 1,000 dead every day. We should mourn the fact that the young woman who hit these people was sentenced to life in prison within a system that will not treat her for mental health issues (police could never find a motive beyond an episode of psychosis).

The cause of this tragedy was likely mental health. oklahoma chose not to address it, but instead to punish.

The causes of these suicides and the skyrocketing suicide rate across the country are, obviously, mental health issues exacerbated by societal collapse, and I worry that oklahoma will again fail to address our multi-level crisis.

“Chambers’ father, Floyd Chambers, said there aren’t enough words he can say to express remorse to the victims and their families. Some of them even said they didn’t want to hear sorry,” he said. “But I don’t know of any other word to use.” He described multiple occasions in which his daughter went to mental-health facilities only to either receive a wrong diagnosis or be turned away because of a lack of money.”

The murderer of these four victims is ultimately the state of oklahoma and those in power who have made mental health inaccessible to most.

The state and federal governments, which are closely aligned in ideology, are now responsible for a rash of suicides across the country and the fact that 1/4th of young people are suicidal. They have failed to secure us economic stability, access to healthcare, and access to mental health care, all while sustaining a system which almost inevitably forces massive debt on us. They have failed to respond to a pandemic, and have beaten and arrested those crying out for help.

I hope OSU administration, faculty, students, and all those in Stillwater remember that these evils could likely be prevented, and use their mourning to fight for justice and beauty.

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