Thursday, July 25, 2019

Who Mourns?

Two shootings. Two victims:

Gerardo Alberto Espinoza, 46, of Chantilly, Virginia
Taiwon Dashon Dorsey, 21, of Jessup

Howard County seems to be fascinated with the details surrounding the story of how Mr.Espinoza met an untimely end in a well-to-do neighborhood in Western Howard County. His family and friends have come forward to speak in his defense. Because of them, and the press coverage of the story, we have seen sympathetic photos of Mr. Espinoza and his family. We know details of his professional and family life..

I went looking last night for similar stories about the other victim, Taiwon Dashon Dorsey. Here is what I found:


No photograph of Mr. Dorsey in happier days. No stories of his life, work, or hobbies. There are plenty of articles listing him as the victim of a shooting. There was an argument, an ongoing dispute. That’s it. In addition, there’s no death notice or obituary in the paper, no page on the Legacy website.

Taiwon Dashon Dorsey was alive, a resident of Howard County, he was the victim of a crime, and now he is gone. And no one is interested in his story.

I think that people make assumptions in certain kinds of crimes that lump the victims in with the perpetrators. And they shrug it off as something they don’t need to care about. You know, “those people” or “criminal element”, or the ever-present trope, “he was no angel.” And they walk away. Nothing to see here.

On the other hand, folks are falling all over themselves to discuss the shooting in Woodbine. It feels a good bit like rubber-necking at the site of a highway accident. Social media has slowed down to take in every grisly detail.

Mr.Dorsey has no one to tell his story. No matter what kind of a life he had, he deserves to be known by more than a series of crime reports. 

He lived. He was a human being. He was the victim of a crime. He was twenty one years old and his story might have been so much more.

Why don’t we care?

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