I wrote this post a few days ago. I’ve been sitting on it, unsure of whether to hit publish, because, man – so many feelings.
All o’ dem feels, ya know?
There’s just a couple of things that bother me about some of the things being said about the situation with the Bali Nine, and I’d like to address them.
They were no angels, I will not argue that
Firstly, when I see people speak of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, and they bandy about words like ‘brave’, and ‘honourable’ to describe them, I can see why that raises the hackles of those that supported the decision that was made.
I can. I can see why that pisses people off and causes them to scream “Oh, for fuck’s sake …” before they hit their keyboards with a vengeance.
‘THEY WERE SAINTS!” is what the people screamed. But they really weren’t.
They were men. Men who, from all accounts, ten years ago, were the kind of men that you wouldn’t want to be dealing with. They were men that behaved atrociously, did shithouse things, and made bad, dangerous decisions.
I don’t give a shit if they really were remorseful.
I don’t give a shit if they really were rehabilitated.
I don’t give a shit if they were saints or if they were sinners.
I don’t give a shit if they folded or scrunched their fucking toilet paper.
It makes no mind to me … because they were men.
And no matter what, human beings don’t deserve to be lined up like ducks in some sick, sideshow, shooting gallery to have their lives taken from them … for any reason.
Which brings me to the next thing that has been bothering me. Those who argue “But what about those affected by drugs? If you were the family of someone who had died, you would think differently.”
Bullshit. You don’t speak for me.
I know I don’t speak for everyone who watched a loved one deal with substance abuse. And I certainly don’t speak for everyone who lost a loved one after their battle ended.
But I speak for me. And I speak for my sister.
You see, there were a lot of elements that came together to try and stop my sister’s addiction.
Being a beloved daughter didn’t stop it.
Being a sister who was worshipped didn’t stop it.
Watching her friends die didn’t stop it.
Going to prison didn’t stop it.
Breaking her own mother’s heart into a million pieces over and over didn’t stop it.
Becoming a mother, herself, didn’t stop it.
Loving her children fiercely didn’t stop it.
Having each child removed from her care didn’t stop it.
Overdosing didn’t stop it.
Starting over and losing everything again and again and again and again didn’t stop it.
Being smart, being funny, being kind, being brave, being achingly beautiful … none of that made any difference.
So, safe to say, executing men who had committed a drug crime more than a decade ago would not have even made the tiniest dint in the armour of that fucking addiction. You think one load of drugs kept off the streets would have changed a damn thing for her? Pfft. Gimme a break.
One time, my 5ft’nothing mum and her sister were walking the dangerous back alleys of the drug scene – Andrew and Myuran’s kind of scene – brandishing her picture like some dimly lit shot on CSI, desperately hoping to find her alive. Why? Because she was a human being.
It didn’t matter what arsehole things she had done. It didn’t matter who she had hurt. It didn’t matter what she felt about herself.
She mattered to us. She was important.
She was certainly no saint.
But she was my mum’s baby girl.
When she died, do you think anyone stood shaking their fist at the sky and cursing the dealers, and the traffickers? No, we didn’t. There was just such sadness. Such sorrow. Such mourning. Such a feeling that it was all so stupid and senseless.
And I feel exactly the same way about the executions. That is honestly how I feel. I’m not about Capital Punishment. I don’t get it. I don’t support it.
But if you do, go right ahead … if that’s how you really feel.
But don’t do it in my name. Don’t do it in my sister’s name.
If you support it, then you have to own it, yourself.
I’ve got enough shit to carry on my shoulders.