Portrait of an American Hero: The Lesbian Minority Woman Who Saved Republican Lives

It’s not that people should be defined by their skin color, gender, or who they love. But in this case, these details are important enough to focus on for a moment.

Capitol Police special agents Crystal Griner and David Bailey are widely credited with saving Republican lawmakers and staff during the horrific shooting in Alexandria, Virginia that left Representative Steve Scalise in the hospital in critical condition.

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said of them during a House floor speech, “We are, as ever, awed by the tremendous bravery of the Capitol Police.”

Both Griner and Bailey were wounded.

Both Griner and Bailey are minorities.

Crystal Griner is a female minority, who just so happens to be married to a woman. Griner married Tiffany Dyar in 2015.

As ESPN’s LZ Granderson pointed out, Griner saved the life of Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), who is opposed to same-sex marriage:

Wednesday night, President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump visited Griner and her wife in the hospital, bringing a bouquet of flowers in thanks, according to a Pool report sent to PoliticusUSA.

Griner played college basketball for Maryland’s Hood College.

Griner and Bailey are heroes who rushed to save lawmakers even though they were injured themselves. Griner was shot in the ankle but is expected to recover.

Too often, all of the minority categories that Griner falls into are demonized by Republicans and this is a chance to emphasize the importance of humanity, of seeing people as whole beings with a history, with dreams of their own, with loves of their own.

Too many of our leaders, particularly President Trump but he’s not alone in this, are trying to divide us, to dehumanize the “other.” Wednesday, during moments of exceptional horror, these two Capitol Police special agents stepped up to do their jobs with incredible bravery and effectiveness.

In honoring these heroes, people should also take a moment to consider their humanity. Consider how the laws dealt with in Congress would impact these folks who just saved their lives or the lives of their colleagues.

The folks being hurt by laws bandied about in Congress aren’t nameless, bad “others.” They are sometimes people of stunning courage like Crystal Griner.

Humanity matters. It’s all we have, when all else is stolen and stripped away.

Instead of focusing on delegitimizing Crystal’s marriage, Republicans should take this opportunity to look into the eyes and heart of a patriot who just so happens to love someone of her own gender and do the right thing.

Sarah Jones

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