I don’t know what to call this

I’ve been wanting to write about the recent shootings of young black men by police, and then of Dallas police by a young black veteran but I simply haven’t known what to say. I still don’t know what to say or what to do to help. In the last week, we’ve had at least two horrible shootings Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. The latter particularly tears at my soul. I can’t speak to Mr. Sterling’s death. I didn’t follow the papers as closely as I ought to have there, but Mr. Castile’s death horrifies me. I cannot imagine what it is like to have black fathers, brothers, sons, friends and to know every time they go out, there is a chance — not one we like to think about perhaps, but a chance — that they won’t be coming back because they’ve been shot by a cop. 

Then I heard about Dallas and just sat stunned in my living room watching the footage until I had to trudge up to bed and my dreams were filled with death.

I can’t imagine what it is like to be a young officer today, wanting to uphold the law, perhaps protect and serve and drinking in so much fear and prejudice from within their own. 

I wish that America were an errant teenager that I could grab and slap and shake and say “what the fuck is going on with you? ” and maybe send off to boarding school until they grow up. Instead, I think America is reaping the cost of decisions made in 1776, when we had a chance to reforge this nation in freedom and instead chose to re-affirm slavery. That isn’t just something that harms african-americans, it diminishes us as well, all the more so when we’d rather cling to our fear and hatred as a nation instead of growing up and addressing that hate. 

Now I’m off to light candles for the dead again. I’ve been lighting an awful lot of candles lately. 

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Posted on July 9, 2016, in community, Misc., Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Just a quick note… Alton Sterling was the man killed. Alton Brown is the former host of “Good Eats” on the Food Network and is very much alive.

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  2. Thank you for your thoughts on this. So many of us are struggling with what to say and do, how to make a difference. That each of us speaks somehow, and stands (or sits as the case may be) before our shrines in prayer and remembrance is helpful. Just letting people know that we are bearing witness to their pain and our own is important.
    May all those innocents be guided safely to the West and may they shine from the Barque of Millions as inspiration to us all to continue the struggle and fight for justice and equality.

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  3. This ties to the recent thread on purity, doesn’t it. The toxicity we didn’t address in 1776 has gone septic in 2016.

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    • ganglerisgrove

      hadn’t thought about it, but yes. I think so. things don’t just go ‘away’ after all.

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  4. thetinfoilhatsociety

    Well, it doesn’t necessarily justify the shooting, but Philando Castile was pulled over not for a broken tail light, but because he and his passenger matched the descriptions of suspects from an armed robbery the day before. The car was not approached as a traffic stop for a civil violation by the police, but as an armed robbery suspect criminal stop.

    Second, he never applied for nor received a concealed carry permit in the county of the shooting. Doesn’t mean he didn’t apply in a different county, but I find that rather unlikely that he would travel to an entirely different county than the one he lived in to get one.

    Third, the gun on his left thigh partially hidden under his shirt matches the description of the gun used in the armed robbery.

    Fourth, among the items taken at the armed robbery the day prior, was several cartons of Newport cigarettes. His female passenger is noted to be holding a pack of Newports in her interview/live stream. Correlation is not causation but the narrative currently going around, much like the one in the Michael Brown shooting, is completely incorrect.

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  5. Thank you for this Galina. This piece and the thoughtful comments on this issues is a place to start to understand and work on creating a more Just society.

    Peace and light to the Spirits of all those lost in this madness.

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  6. You might already know this, Galina, but August 20 is the date the first enslaved Africans arrived in the British colonies of North America (practically in my backyard). The only two slaves whose names survive, Antonio and Isabella, have indicated in divination that They would like to receive hero cultus, so I celebrate Them on that day. If you’re interested, hit me up and we can work out coordinating blog posts or something.

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