In the very early hours of the eighth of July in the year Common Era two thousand and sixteen, I lie awake. My brain is a constant churning cacophony. I try to make sense of the countless whispers, even if there is none. I try to bring calm to this maelstrom… yet to no avail.
I stare blankly at the darkness, almost impotent to do anything. After all, how does one make sense of the nonsensical? How does one find sanity in insanity?
This week has been both a blessing and a curse. It has offered me a chance for insight, yet also a deeper look into the gaping, dark maw of hatred that many don’t wish to acknowledge… yet we can no longer ignore it.
May you live in interesting times. This is an old Chinese curse (or so I’ve been told). Yet nothing could ring more true as I look at how things have come to this.
I would be remiss if I didn’t at least attempt to hash out everything that is in my head, and maybe give myself an hour or two of sleep.
So, where do we start? Generally, at the beginning… yet, I don’t think that would work nearly as nicely. So, how about where we are right now.
In two days, two men were killed. The why is entirely important because too many people want to hush the rightly angry voices of the community it affects most. Two black men were killed in two days, by cops. This isn’t the first instance, and sadly, this will probably not be the last.
These were two men who were trying to follow what they police were telling them. Yet they were gun down… one of them in front of their four-year-old daughter and girlfriend, while he was still in the car (daughter and girlfriend were as well).
That last sentence should give you pause. It certainly does me.
A young girl just lost her father and has been traumatized for life. This isn’t something you can just forget. She will see this play out over and over in the dead of the night.
So, after such relentless and senseless death of two black men, what to do?
Exercise our first amendment rights as Americans and protest by any means necessary. We all have a right to speak out against injustice when we see it, by whatever voice we can muster. This is why Black Lives Matter is important. Because, right now, the lives being threatened and taken aren’t white, they’re black. And their lives are as valuable as anyone else’s.
Yet, some in Dallas felt differently. Some rogue people decided that they wanted to see another kind of justice. And after many deaths of black men at the hands of the police, in the middle of an otherwise peaceful protest, they decided to take the lives of three officers in Dallas.
People, this is the world we live in. This is not OK.
This is no longer a matter of being a “social justice warrior”. This is about understanding the systemic racism that many find acceptable. That many are willing to vote for (or in many cases not vote at all and allow it to happen anyways). This is the megalomaniac, a narcissist in a bad comb over and horrible spray tan. THIS is what we might be left with. We find ourselves being on the very precipice that the Weimar Republic found itself in the 1920s.
This is not OK.
We deserve better.
It makes my personal journey seem trivial in the light of so much hate and darkness in the world. Where it’s all so palpable, tangible. If one wanted, they could reach out into the night and touch it, feel the roiling chaos that it brings with it. For down that path lies the road to ruin. Where we must all forgo the very moral values that every religion teaches.
It’s hard to know if it’s possible to tread forward anymore. I feel caught in a black sludge that threatens to overtake all that is good in this world. It keeps me up late at night and into the wee hours of morning.
… And I realize that there is no more sense to this chaos.
So, what should one do?
Do I succumb? Or do I fight, even though I have lost the will to fight?
I thank whatever for my stubbornness. If anything, it has kept me fighting longer than reason should allow.
So, I sit here, fighting the best way I know how, with words. I won’t fall into that seething abyss before me… and if I do fall, it will be fighting. After all, that’s all I know how to do in this world. It’s what has kept me alive for so long, even after my brain has said stop. I will not allow this darkness to take anyone that I love and care about… or even those that I loathe.
I will not stand idle by.
I chose to fight against the darkness because we deserve better. Because no four-year-old girl deserves to live a life of nightmares. Because even the least of us deserves a voice. Because this is not OK.