Equal treatment for deceased
college students - Johnny Jackson

Locally, over the past few months, there have been all-out efforts to seek justice or closure in particularly upsetting cases - those dealing with murder, assault, drug trafficking, missing persons, and so on.

Most who are reading this are aware of the two undergraduate college students who were murdered earlier this month. With all the national attention given to the cases, I'm half-certain more people can recognize the two college students in question than would be able to recognize the would-be Republican Party nominee for president, John McCain.

Conceding that I am not always in the know of national or regional news, I have taken pause to recent news (to me) that a 29-year-old graduate student was found dead in his apartment way back in January. Officials determined the student died from a gunshot wound to the head. One apparent suspect in the murder was subsequently arrested in February and another on March 13.

What gets me is that I only found out about this student's death through the investigation of one of the undergraduates' murder. The suspect that was arrested last week, apparently had some connection to the death of one of the undergraduates.

To address the pink elephant in the room, the graduate student was an Indian male and the undergraduates were white females.

Locally, those aforementioned upsetting, moderately publicized cases have dealt with people without regard to race, creed, gender, or age. But at other levels, that does not seem to consistently be the case.

Certainly, there have been more upsetting college-student-murder cases than these three Southeastern cases. However, what exactly qualifies these cases as anymore important than any others?

Moreover, why did it take the death of one (or one type of) college student for the masses to find out about another?

We all have had instances, both personal and second-hand experiences, that make us wonder if the litmus test of justice or treatment was the same for everyone.

We have all wondered about the realities that not everything is equal or treated that way.

We have all posed the question to ourselves, "If it were someone else, would it be the same way?"

Without giving it much thought, at the time, that was my question on March 13, when I learned of that graduate student's death. That was my instance - my second-hand experience - and I thought I would share it.

Johnny Jackson is the education reporter for the Henry Daily Herald. He can be reached at jjackson@henryherald.com or at (770) 957-9161.