I'm sure by now you've heard about the death of Cecil the black maned lion. Well if you haven't, Cecil was the lion killed by American dentist; Dr Walter Palmer from Minnesota (Google for more details), by wounding him with a crossbow after stalking the injured cat for days, shot him, beheaded him and skinned him.
At the first sighting of a headline about the killing of Cecil, my immediate thought was that the lion must have escaped into society, put people's lives at risk, probably even mualed a few, therefore making his demise imperative. You can therefore imagine my horror when I learnt he was killed for sport, some perverse pleasure, for fun, for some sick sense of accomplishment... The kind that comes with having the proud head of a king hanging on your wall.
What kind of person flies thousands of miles, from the USA to Zimbabwe, just to kill such a great animal just for the thrill of it? I've always found it very distasteful and disconcerting, the killing of animals for sport. Kill to eat, kill to feed, to survive, to subsist. But for fun? I don't care that hunting is legal (although poaching, which Walter is guilty of is illegal) and that its tradition for some, I think it's a coward's game!
To so many people it's outrageous, the outrage Cecil's killing has caused. It's abominable that someone would start a cause over the death of an animal and people would actually donate and raise hundreds of thousands of dollars. Many have screamed blue murder at the injustice; PETA suggesting he be hanged (which I find excessive), and people defacing his office with stuffed animals and written invectives. I was not remotely surprised when some people became offended by it all; it's just an animal for gods sake! What about the black people being killed by white cops on a daily basis? What about the lives lost? How come these folk have never been so outraged by the killing of innocent, sometimes defenseless black people by white cops? Why do these police men face no charges and most times get to keep their jobs, and people are calling for Dr Walter to be charged and convicted? How come everybody is silent? Why hasn't Jimmy Kimmel championed a cause for black lives and cried on national TV over the unjust killing of an unarmed black man by a white cop? Black lives matter!!!
And I strongly agree. Black lives, all lives, do matter.
All lives including Cecil's. And while I in no way equate the lives of a hundred Cecils to the life of one man, black, white, yellow or pink, I still find the murder of Cecil, reprehensible, thoughtless, senseless, and like all other murders, criminal!
Yes all lives do matter. The Black Americans question if the life of a lion is worth more than the lives of blacks in America? I can see how it could look that way, but I don't agree that it's the same thing. Cecil while only a lion, was thirteen, he was famed, he had made his country thousands of dollars in viewing, but more importantly he was innocent and defenseless, and for the perverse pleasure of one man, was lured out of wildlife to a death so meaningless.
The manner of his death saddens me, the reason; none, saddens me even more.
The question I have however, is if Cecil's death could cause such an uproar, having people march to the dentist's office and make threats, start funds and donations, have PETA and Jimmy Kimmel among others, raise their voices... Then why the silence about the numerous and increasing death of black men by police officers. The President is black, the most successful musicians in the US are black, one of the most powerful women in the US and the world at large, Oprah, is black, one of the most successful movie makers in the US, and the world at large, Tyler Perry, is black... So why is anyone yet to champion a cause that could potentially put an end to racist killings by white police men?