(author’s note: a stream of conscious rambling written at least a year ago that I thought I would clean up and finish but it doesn’t want polish, it wants this. Who am I to argue with the muse?)
I am a wash with sorrow and weariness
As a spectator I don’t know how you abide
I want to burn it down
And they’re not even killing mine
I am ashamed and tormented
Men reduced to hashtags
Protestors flood the street
Thoughts and prayers are offered
But nothing really changes
We drag out platitudes dull with use and wonder why they seem trite and overused. We place the burden of perfection on average people and seek ways to dismiss their loss and pain. We demand of them excellence and are quick to dismiss an entire existence because they fail to live to an unattainable standard of perfection.
We excuse the powerful and talk about safety as an excuse to abuse.
I am not offering solutions I am working out my feelings in a stream of consciousness that may appear or actually be contradictory and confusing. It is what has kept me mostly silent this week but the silence is damaging and my mind is weak.
Pray if you must but that’s not my style. I like Papa Francisco’s admonishment of praying to end hunger then working to feed people. Thoughts and payers not followed by actionable deeds are useless and condescending to the grief we are feeling collectively and a slap in the face to those grieving individually. To those who have had their lives torn asunder.
You can’t simultaneously arm a citizenry and then be surprised when they use them. If your only tool is a hammer pretty soon every problem looks like a nail.
And the issue of extra judicial killings of blacks isn’t that these men are necessarily innocent but rather their summary executions and the states unwillingness to protect their rights to due process posthumously by prosecuting their killers in the best case or even looking into the mirror society is holding up to them and realizing that there is a disconnect between those they are entrusted to protect and serve and their actions. And acting on their short falls in a proactive and thoughtful way.