It’s vital the police view all lives as worth preserving

ON the day when it was announced there would be no criminal prosecutions over the death of Sheku Bayoh, a high-profile lecture series concluded in Glasgow. The speaker was the influential philosopher Professor Judith Butler, and her topic was the philosophy of non-violence. Over the course of three evenings she set out her position that a defence of non-violence must be accompanied by a commitment to equality – that is, the notion that all lives are “grieve-able”; that all lives matter.

I doubt the American academic had heard the name Sheku Bayoh at the time she was preparing these lectures, but it was impossible not to think of him as she described some of the ways in which some lives are framed as worth preserving and safeguarding and some – the “others” – are not.

Read the rest of this column at

Published in The National on October 5 2018.

Published by Shona Craven

Writer, editor, talking head

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