Undisclosed Podcast Episode 10

Somebody Should Do Something

As I listened to this week’s episode , I was washing dishes. This was good, because there is no better way to work some aggression out than to scrub a dirty pan! That blatant-Brady-violating Urick, the motorcycle, false confessions, bribes  and my near-constant irritation with C. Gutierrez swirled away from me in a grimy whirlpool, down the drain. If only real life was so simple.

I have never seen a case stir hearts and minds like the case of Hae Min Lee’s murder, and the wrongful conviction of Adnan Syed. I have seen cases that got equal press and profile, I have seen cases grab the attention of people, but never have I seen so many people become inspired to action by the story of one man before. I know I have said that before, but I will continue to say it because I believe it. I am writing to catch up on back logged Undisclosed recaps but I just wanted to start with this episode to say: It has been a long, amazing journey; ironic, considering most of us just got here.

I’m not talking about taking delight in someone’s murder or wrongful conviction. I’m talking about the journey of the human spirit here. When most of us came into contact with Adnan Syed, he was sitting in jail for a crime that none of us were certain he did not commit. His alibi witness backed out on him when he needed her for an appeal, only to sign back on once it was too late. His closest friends and family who had stuck with him continued to believe that there was a chance, no matter how slim, for him to prove his innocence. Nowadays you don’t have to look very far to find someone who can tell you Adnan Syed didn’t kill Hae Min Lee. I just want us to pause and recognize that for a moment and realize how powerful that is. Adnan Syed has gone from a small sliver of a chance, to a VERY real likelihood of exoneration.

This is huge. HUGE. So many of us feel incapable of effecting change. We see the police abuse of power, corruption and misconduct and we say to ourselves “We’ll never stop it until someone stands up. Somebody should do something.”

Today I am telling you: BE that somebody. Rabia Chaudry drug those damn files around with her for 15 YEARS. Through visits with Adnan, through her own personal struggles, through keeping in touch with Adnan’s family,  through the lies and lost hopes she kept working. If she had walked away, allowed discouragement to slow her down, or simply gave up in frustration, there would be no Serial. She decided to take action instead of wringing her hands waiting for someone to do something. She decided that SHE was the somebody who could do something.

You may not have a friend in need of exoneration, but we all have a burden on our hearts; our own files we lug around. Some of us owe an apology, or need to demand one. Some of us want to change our communities. Some of us are looking to create a solution. I don’t know Adnan Syed personally, but he inspired me to stop taking my gift of writing for granted, and now here you all are. We don’t HAVE to feel powerless. We CAN effect change in the system, in our communities, and in our own lives. It only takes one to start. I dare you: Do something. Be somebody (just not somebody looking for reward money)

Until next time,

René

P. S. – If you haven’t already, please go listen to Undisclosed: The State VS. Adnan Syed. If you were touched by the story of Hae and Adnan during the Serial podcast,  this is the best place to stay up to date on what is happening with this case now.

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