Confusing Victimhood and HeroismMarch 1, 2012 @ 12:02 pm
In February, the City of Seattle dedicated a freshly carved totem pole to honor the "First Nations Woodcarver" John T. Williams.
Killed by police in a 2010 shooting ruled "unjustified," Williams hardly counted as the sort of community leader normally commemorated with a towering, center-of-town monument: he was a homeless alcoholic with more than 30 convictions in the 20 years before his death, including multiple counts of "lewd conduct" and "indecent exposure."
Meanwhile, the same day the new totem honored Williams, the Northwest mourned a veteran state trooper, Tony Radulescu, killed during a routine stop by a violent career criminal, but no officials proposed a monument. A society that commemorates victimhood above heroism, and honors a drunken, pointless, accidental death more than sacrifice in the line of duty, is a society deeply, and perhaps incurably, confused.
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