Memorial for Timothy Caughman
The war in the Ukraine is a terrible event of historic proportions. It is nothing less than an attack by Vladimir Putin and the Russian military to destroy a developing free society in Ukraine.
It is hard to think of anything else these days except the hardship and horror Ukrainians are going through and the courage of the soldiers and citizens. Are they at the front lines of the next battle to stop fascism? How can anything else matter?
The battle between justice and injustice is ongoing. Remembering is a weapon in this fight against those who would put events into a memory hole to be forgotten.
Timothy Caughman was murdered on March 20, 2017 , five years ago this month. A man from Baltimore, had decided to travel to New York City with the single purpose of killing a black man. He came upon Caughman on 36th street and attacked him with a sword. Through horrible bad luck and violent racist intent, Caughman became the victim of this attack.
Timothy Caughman loved the music of Earth Wind and Fire, worked in antipoverty programs, and when he was younger, was a skillful boxer. In his later years he lived at the Barbour Hotel and was very proud to stand online to vote for Barack Obama president in 2008.
I installed 3 different memorials to Timothy Caughman in 2017 near where he was killed, and updated them a year later.
It seems ridiculous to link Ukraine and Timothy Caughman. Yet during this ongoing war, although my heart and emotions are filled with the people and soldiers of Ukraine, I don't want to forget Timothy Caughman. In my mind, the intent to destroy Mr. Caughman and the intent to destroy Ukraine both come from the same place.
Remembering World War II will help us fight fascism again today and in the future, and remembering Emmitt Till, Goodman, Chaney, and Schwerner,
Breona Taylor, George Floyd, and Timothy Caughman will be one of our weapons in the ongoing fight against racist violence and its causes. Because how much separation is there between a military attack by fascist dictatorship to take over a country and racist violence to rule a people and society? They come from the same place—but we have the weapons to fight it.