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'Beyond Upset' 


I am beyond upset after reading your May 4 issue's cover story written by Thadeus Greenson entitled "What Now? Two men, 20 minutes and the fracture in Arcata."

I find it hard to believe that this is the title you give to the brutal slaying of David Josiah Lawson.

These are not just two men. One was an innocent, beautiful, leader of the community with everything to live for. The other is a man accused of brutal murder, whose girlfriend audibly and repeatedly wished for David's death as he lay bleeding to death. 

The title alone paints a picture of David and his (alleged) murderer on the same plane. How about a title and article that changes the focus, such as "What next for McKinleyville man accused of brutal murder at college party?"

It sickens me to have to point out that this was not just 20 minutes. This mimics the sentiment in the case of rapist and Stanford student Brock Turner, whose father pointed out that 20 minutes of action (rape) should not ruin his son's life. What is this need to point out that white people can do hideous things in short periods of time? Do people of color get treated with such regard and gentleness? "Well, the crime didn't take very long so ..."

As far as the fracture in Arcata, the murder of young Mr. Lawson did not cause this fracture. This fracture has long existed in Arcata, the United States and the world.

It is perpetuated by articles like this, which frame the narrative to ask questions like, "Did the victim act badly enough to deserve what he got?" "Did the victim's friends act calmly enough as their friend lay dying?" and "Was the accused a nice enough guy for us to be upset about it?"

David Josiah Lawson (say his name) you will be deeply missed.

I hope that NCJ and Mr. Greenson will rethink their approach.

Hannah Virginia, Arcata

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