Friday, July 8, 2016

Not Looking for a Debate

“It is so easy to be hopeful in the daytime when you can see the things you wish on. But it was night, it stayed night. Night was striding across nothingness with the whole round world in his hands . . . They sat in company with the others in other shanties, their eyes straining against cruel walls and their souls asking if He meant to measure their puny might against His. They seemed to be staring at the dark, but their eyes were watching God.”
―  Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God

I'm not the most vocal person - never have been, never will be. In fact, often those that are incredibly and consistently vocal make me tired. And the kind of people who are always ready to talk politics or debate an issue, I often find exhausting.

Part of my preference for silence comes simply from not enjoying the spotlight or extra attention. But I also understand that words are powerful. And for whatever reason, when people like myself, or my mother, do finally decide to speak, people make often it a point to listen because it happens so rarely. So great power and great responsibility and all that.

But I will say this...

Law enforcement officials have a job to do, and the ones responsible for the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile did theirs poorly. Even though both men had guns on them, the situation should have been handled differently, and certainly should not have resulted in death. There are people who have committed greater offenses and have been granted infinitely more patience. And to those of you ready to defend the officials, not all of you are coming from a biased or malicious place. But please understand that for those of us with black fathers, brothers, uncles, cousins, and sons, it is hard to witness someone defending these officials and not feel hurt and/or disappointed. It may not be entirely fair, but it is where we're at right now.

It is thoroughly senseless that there were five killed and more wounded in Dallas last night. The answer to death is not more death, nor hate to more hate, or violence to more violence. These snipers have solved nothing, and instead have made things unnecessarily worse. They took (from what I have gathered) a peaceful gathering for an already terrible situation and brought the whole thing even further back into a sickening place. To anyone wanting to defend these killers, there is no justification that makes any of this okay and I cannot imagine how someone could try to offer one.  

All of the guilty in both instances will be held accountable. I am not saying that all will be brought to justice by us here on Earth. Most of us know enough and have seen enough to know that may not happen to all of our satisfaction. But I believe they will ultimately be held accountable, which is why I started this post with the quote from Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. After hearing about Alton Sterling, I have been repeating John 14:1 to myself where Jesus says "Don't let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me." The reality is that cops committing violence against black men isn't a new thing in the US. Because of camera phones and social media, there is just evidence of it that can quickly be spread to a large audience. So instead of being stuck in an unbearable heartsickness that is all to easily to fall into - especially while reading comments sections (which I do not recommend) or just general Facebook posts (it's best to be cautious with these too) - or just a general paralyzed feeling of helplessness, I choose to keep my eyes on God. He is certainly up to something, and he would not want those who choose to live in fear to steal the joy of those who refuse to.

Anyway, I think that is enough from me. As the great Daria Morgendorffer once said, "I'm not much for public speaking. Or much for speaking. Or, come to think of it, much for the public." So I'll go back to my books and journal now, hoping for a peace it is often hard to see coming.