Pass the Mic

From Aretha to Botham: Death in the Black Community (PTM 220)

Abigail Murrish

Jemar and Tyler talk about the death of the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. On their hiatus, the world watched her funeral and came away with mixed reactions. A few weeks later, our community was rocked by the unjust killing of Botham Shem Jean. How should we deal with all this death? Listen as we give a theology on death, injustice, and lament.

Tyler Burns: When you come to a black funeral, what you’re seeing is a range of emotions. You’re seeing the ability to lament, to grieve, to have sorrow. But also, you’re seeing the ability of celebration… and hope in the midst of darkness.

Jemar Tisby: [Botham Jean] did everything America says a young black man should do. He was an accountant. An active member of his church. He led worship. I still don’t know what to say.

Tyler Burns: We are too easily consoled when we see unjust death.

Tyler Burns: Sometimes, you need to refuse consolation because there is a witness in that. That witness is that God isn’t just God in the consummation of all things; He is the God of now too.

Media: Criminalizing the Victim, Acquitting the Killer by Michael McGee

A Death That Leads to Life by Ekemini Uwan

Aretha Franklin’s Funeral

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Show Hosts: Jemar Tisby + Tyler Burns • Producer: Beau York + Podastery Studios • Pass The Mic: Website + Twitter  • The Witness: Website + Twitter

5 thoughts on “From Aretha to Botham: Death in the Black Community (PTM 220)

  1. Angela Powell

    I hope so, but she might get probation or get out of jail in couple of years quietly or quickly so that not one will have to protest…………..

  2. harriet munsey

    first, i don’t see any parallel of aretha’s death to jean. it is apparent that this white female cop is ‘lying through her teeth’. the department is just trying to get her a ‘lesser’ sentence’. you don’t have to be a college graduate to see that. and there are lots of white people that see that too. it’s just not publicized. but i’ve said before, this is A HATE CRIME’. has that been brought to anyone’s attention? (especially the family’s attorney). and another thing i question is, she banged on the door and said ‘let me in’? who is ‘me’? ‘me’ could be anyone. she never said she identified herself as a police officer. and if a cop does bang on your door, they are to ask very loudly is everything ok. i know that for a fact. the ‘upper crust’ of the texas law is trying to keep her out of the electric chair. THIS WAS TRULY A HATE CRIME.
    now what aretha’s death has to do with it, i just don’t get it!


  3. Jeff

    I would like to see evidence of that.

    We have to remember that in the very early stages of any crime investigation, any and every possible scenario is speculated upon and questioned. That is NOT a condemnation of any individual, party, race, religion or group. It’s good detective work. EVERY question needs to be asked.

  4. Brian

    The narrative turned for a while. The case switched to marijuana found in Botham’s apartment and how he failed to comply to an officer’s orders to stop moving even though he was in his own home.

  5. Jeff

    I fail to see how Botham Jean is being criminalized or marginalized. His killer has been charged with manslaughter, and will be tried soon. If they find evidence that it was first degree murder, she’ll be tried for that.

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