It’s not always about the t-shirt: A wail for the life that never was

Since starting Scrappy Apparel Company nearly two decades ago, we have focused our mission on promoting positivity in our words and actions while giving a nod to those incredible souls who continue to provide us with powerful examples of what the human spirit is capable of in times of great strife and difficulty. In doing so, we hope that we become a force for good, manifesting through example a world we believe is possible. But, there comes a time, and perhaps this is that time, when we are required as stewards of the earth and as members of the human race, to pause and take stock in the world as it is and not as we believe it can be, if for no other reason than to remind ourselves to stay the course.

Last month, a woman name Muhlaysia Booker was brutality beaten by a gang of men after a minor traffic accident. The men did so in the middle of the day while others, as many as a dozen people, looked on and one found the need to tape the assault instead of stepping in to stop it or call for help. When the police arrived she was barely conscious, She suffered broken bones and although the vicious attack went viral, only a few were held accountable. The brutality brought out the political elite, all vowing to bring the perpetrators to justice. One man was arrested as Ms. Booker healed. She spoke out about the attack recently, thanking people for support and vowing to get better.

On Saturday morning at 6:44 a.m., Ms. Booker’s lifeless body was found lying facedown on a street in the city of Dallas. She had been shot. She was 23. Since her death, friends and supporters have spoken about her, remembering their high school days at South Oak Cliff High in Dallas, Texas, to her college years at LSU. She was known for her unique fashion sense customized by her own ideas. She was kind in a world that wasn’t so kind to her. According to one friend, she spent her high school years being bullied, humiliated and berated by other students, people whose only reason for hating her had little to do with them. She lived her life her way. If you believe in a higher power, you have to believe she is in a place far better than this, but I can’t escape thinking about the crushing anxiety that must have plagued her.

Unfortunately, the murder of Ms. Booker is a part of a larger, more deadly trend of violence against transgender women, specifically trans women of color. According to the Human Rights Campaign, 26 tran women were killed in 2018 by November of that year. Over 80 percent were women of color and over 60 percent were younger than 35 years old. Muhlaysia Booker was the fifth black trans woman killed this year. She was the victim of targeted violece on the basis that she existed.

You’ll read many stories today abo ut Muhlaysia Booker. Her death is international news. Muhlaysia Booker was a daughter, friend, granddaugher, talented singer, compassionate soul, a member of the human race. She will be missed.


Rosa Wardlow also contributed to this story.

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