The victims of crime are most often people who had limited complicity in the situation beyond voting for pro-crime politicians, but generally did not realize that is what they were doing. Some wake up after being mugged, but then again there are the hard-core believers who walk away from an attack still believing in their own moral inferiority and the moral superiority of criminals. And some never walk away at all. This is one of those cases.
Jen Angel, a beloved local bakery owner and social justice community activist, died on Thursday from injuries she suffered in a violent robbery, according to her close friends. She was 48…
Angel was well known in the Bay Area as a champion of social justice. She was born in 1975 and raised in suburban Cleveland, Ohio.
She established a social justice event production organization called Aid and Abet. She was also the publisher of Clamor Magazine, a bi-monthly alternative magazine. She was “deeply involved in organizing work for media justice and building a better world,” her friends wrote.
The overriding emphasis here is on this woman’s role as a leftist activist. And even so much so that her family insists that the criminal justice system shouldn’t arrest or prosecute the killer.
Her friends wrote that Angel would want “alternatives to traditional prosecution, such as restorative justice. Jen’s family and close friends ask that the media respect this request and carry forward the story of her life with celebration and clarity about the world she aimed to build. Do not use her legacy of care and community to further inflame narratives of fear, hatred, and vengeance, nor to advance putting public resources into policing, incarceration, or other state violence that perpetuates the cycles of violence that resulted in this tragedy.”
Whatever she might or might not have wanted, we don’t just arrest murderers for the sake of the victim or the victim’s family. This isn’t a Muslim country where the family of the killer can pay some blood money to the victim’s family and everything is squared. Society has a compelling interest in putting away killers for the sake of their future victims.
But I have to wonder if Jen would really have been on board with giving her killer a pass. Let’s see how she died.
On Monday, Angel was sitting inside her car behind a bank on Webster Street in Oakland when a thief broke into the car and grabbed her purse. The robber darted into a getaway vehicle that was waiting nearby, police said.
“The victim exited their vehicle and attempted to retrieve their stolen belongings from the individual. While the victim struggled for their belongings, they were knocked to the ground and sustained injuries,” the Oakland Police Department told KRON4.
Angel was dragged by the getaway car. The entire incident happened in broad daylight.
After all the socjus garbage, she refused to give up her stuff to the robber and fought back.
Somehow I’m skeptical that if she were alive, she would be any more willing to give him a pass.
Most people don’t know what they’ll do in that kind of situation until it happens. Personality and even politics can be poor predictors. Unlikely people freeze up and unlikely people fight back. She fought back. And while she may have spent her life pushing destructive ideas, in her last moments she did something courageous.
Her family’s spokesperson would like to forget all that and hug criminals. And that’s a shame because she may have lived like a leftist, but she didn’t die like a leftist.