2 min read

The Dead Cannot Consent Through Innocent Dissent.

The Dead Cannot Consent Through Innocent Dissent.
Photo by Umesh R. Desai / Unsplash

Please Pause Your Post and Consider the Cause

Real Life magazine "Hard to See: How trauma became synonymous with authenticity" by Leo Kim
Before I wax poetic (below) allow me to provide context.

When posthumous pics are posted to social media, or videos of suffocating men pinned down till they can’t breathe, or mangled children’s bodies are set to music in a reel, it does more than make dis-ease. The rage may be there, but this kind of solidarity feels misplaced. Don't we owe victims of violence dignity, at the very least? We must be conscious of what we gain from sharing their pain so capriciously. We have to #CareMore and find ways to honor those who cannot sign a waiver.

To be clear, trauma porn further exploits innocent children and ofttimes too brief, little lives. The end use isn’t always as intended. Propaganda or photojournalism? It depends on who wields the image and to what end. Don’t share “just cause”—it’s not always used for a just cause.

In Judaism, when a person dies, we say we lose a whole world. We are obligated to save every single one, above everything else. This concept, Pikuach nefesh supersedes all other rules. Every life, every world is precious. We’ve already lost galaxies. The shock value of tiny blown up bodies to your feed won’t save ours.

Remembering their lives respectfully shows reverence for all that's been lost. We owe it to them to preserve their world and guard our own humanity.

The current world is sick, but don’t get it twisted. It's not their job to help us. As living, breathing human beings, we are the ones to save their worlds.

With instant image infant death

a shot feels reprehensible.

Fair use? The Dead cannot Consent.

The Living are Responsible.

Oppressed cannot relent;

the Free must make it possible.

The Hurt cannot just Go.

The Well make it repairable.

Grieving water warm ware thin

the concrete swells not fillable.

The crushed cannot be heard.

But whole we’ll make them audible.

The hard does not just stop

till Softer makes it solvable.

Their bombs will not build peace.

It’s love shot from our arsenal.

When all we need exists,

to hoard is indefensible.

The cops don’t keep us safe.

Providing care’s more sensible.

That one life’s worth a world

means every one’s invaluable.

The Powers hunt and prey.

But We protect the vulnerable.

And buried babies broken show

conditions are inoperable.

Alone our fear burns hot and coal.

Together, flames unstoppable.


one [free]

more [free]

chant [free]

stand bodies count

the blood let out

build steam to shout

to RISE seems insurmountable.

But least forgotten

all their rot—and,

fought or bought in,

Deep sea breaths, then

from righteous pens

and pen to pin

hold every prick accountable.