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.