For our brother, soldier, and friend MarShawn McCarrel II

On Monday evening at 6p.m. MarShawn McCarrel stood on the steps of the Ohio Statehouse, put a gun to his head and ended his life. There were no witnesses and no clues as to why he did it, although tweets and facebook posts just moments before hinted at what he planned to do. Hours before he updated his Facebook status “My demons won today, I’m sorry” and his last tweet reading “Let the record show I pissed on the statehouse before I left”.

McCarrel was only 23 years old at the time of his death but he had already made a name for himself most notably as a member of the Black Lives Matter Movement, having helped organize the Ohio protests after the killing of Michael Brown in 2014 at the hands of Darren Wilson in Ferguson, MO. He also spearheaded a youth mentorship program Pursuing Our Dreams; and having been homeless for 3 month after graduating high school, he also started the Feed the Streets program; a program that helps feed Ohio’s homeless population. Earlier this year he was also given a Hometown Champion’s award by Radio One. This young man had a heart for people which is what his family suspects ultimately led to his death with his twin brother and mother stating he often put the cause before himself. This is something most Social Justice activists know all too well. This work is very taxing, emotionally, psychologically, spiritually, and physically. When you spend day in and day out fighting against the ugly nature of racism, world hunger, slavery, sexism, etc it begins to take a toll on you. Those things are the uglier side of human nature. Just this week Ohio officer Lee Cyr  has been placed on leave after he posted “Love a happy ending” next to his name under a thread about MarShawn’s suicide. This is the type of ugliness our brother was fighting against. But it’s even harder fighting our own demons sometimes. Continue Reading