There is a meme circulating the socials today celebrating the heroism of Kendrick Castillo.
He is a hero beyond measure, and I agree with the sentiment of burying the names of those who seek notoriety by dealing death.
And yet, I have mixed feelings about the memetification of his act of selflessness.
If this were a one-time occurrence…
My worry is that we are dangerously close to fetishizing this sort of heroic sacrifice so that it becomes a way to sublimate our will to do anything about it. The last thing I want is to feel warm fuzzies when I read about a child’s death.
It feels similar to putting a grieving war widow on display during a State of the Union address or showing us the largess of a person donating their time and money to the people of Flint, MI in lieu of real institutional redress.
Please don’t misunderstand. Kendrick Castillo should be celebrated for a sacrifice that most of us will never be tested on.
But let’s not forget to also honor him by ending our disgusting belief in the redemptive power of the gun.