A Chicago author who tried several times to kill himself explains why Sandra Bland didn’t commit suicide.
by Richard Taylor
When I first heard the news about the arrest and alleged suicide of Ms. Sandra Bland, I thought to myself: “Not again; not another hashtag; not another black life that didn’t seem to matter to the system.
As the nation was fed more details about the incident that started with a routine traffic stop, I couldn’t help but wonder how in the hell authorities would convince the public to co-sign their truth.
After reviewing much news related to Ms. Bland’s story and watching a few of her #SandySpeaks video, I have no doubt in my mind that Ms. Bland, a 28-year-old activist who spoke out often against police violence, did not commit suicide.
There was a particular clip that Ms. Bland recorded that really persuaded me to believe the opposite of what Waller County officials are saying.
The clip I’m referring to is one from April 5th of this year, and it shows Ms. Bland, grateful and overwhelmed, crying because she survived a car accident on one of Chicago’s most accident-ridden highways.
“Yall can’t tell me God ain’t good,” Ms. Bland repeated to the camera, as she points to a motorcycle lodged into the back of her car.
Ms. Bland goes on to tell her viewers that she witnessed the cyclist’s body fly over the car, but that he survived, too, and was actually standing next to her during the recording. At this moment it was evident, at least to me, that this woman was too excited about life to want it to end.
Most people have come up with their own reasoning as to why Ms. Bland didn’t commit suicide, and for the most part, they’ve all been valid statements. But my view as to why Ms. Bland didn’t take her own life has nothing to do with her height or the strength of a trash bag, and has everything to do with her sheer excitement to be alive.
My view is also influenced by the fact that I survived multiple suicide attempts and I, when struggling with my demons, certainly didn’t exhibit a zeal for life like Ms. Bland.
To be honest, I was so upset when one attempt failed that I tried that much harder the next time. I recall thinking how much better the world would be without me, and I didn’t care whose broken heart I left behind.
As I reflect on everything made public about Ms. Bland in the last two weeks or so, I never got that sentiment from her.
We all know that she was in Texas for a new job and that she had a bright future ahead of her. And many would think that this alone would be enough for her to want to live, but more than that, Ms. Bland gave herself to the betterment of others.
I believe Ms. Bland knew that #SandySpeaks was more than just a video series, but a way of life. I believe that Ms. Bland understood that if she no longer used her voice, there’d be countless human beings who would never crawl out of the proverbial ditch.
Ms. Bland was not publicly vulnerable to let people know that she was on the edge, but rather to help those who might actually be on the edge.
It’s sad that people will try and take her ministry and use it as her misery. In my opinion, every person who has unsuccessfully tried to take their own life recognizes the signs of a suicidal person.
In her videos, she could’ve yelled at death for not overtaking her, but, instead, all Ms. Bland could say was “God is good.” Why is that?
It’s because she and the other parties involved made it out alive. Ms. Bland knew she had too much to live for.
If for some reason Ms. Bland did commit suicide, it has left a lot of questions unanswered and inspired a number of Americans to get active in the fight against White supremacy, police terror and racial profiling. If it was murder, however, it’s a clear sign that it’s open season on African-Americans and labels will quickly be misused to make the wrong actions seem right.
*Tune into www.TheDrVibeShow.com on 8/22/15 to hear various thought-leaders and I discuss mental health and suicide prevention*
Thanks for reading!
B.O.L.D member Richard Taylor, considered the voice of Chicago, is an activist, best-selling author, and motivational speaker. Mr. Taylor’s newest book, entitled “Between the Dream,” is available for purchase HERE.
Photo: AP/ Courtesy of Bland Family