The comedown from the excitement of visiting my friend days prior, followed by a convergence of several crushing circumstances at just the moment when my usual cycle hit its monthly low for mood had resulted in a weekend rife with emotion. I was thankful to have had friends there at the right moments, and one in particular who calmed me as I blubbered incoherently in her living room for a while. But while I felt like I could calmly move ahead with life again, the jagged emotional profile of the intervening several days had still left its toll. I gave up for the moment on sleep, and grabbed my iPad to see what the rest of the world was up to.
What greeted me was a hopelessness of a different sort. It wasn't hard to remember what had happened a year earlier. Actually, it was hard to forget. But here we were, and it was obvious how little forward movement we'd made. I pride myself on pragmatism. Figure out the answer, fix it, and move forward. Here, I had none.
Too many voices fall back on "they deserved it, they did it to themselves." It seems unfathomable that only citizens of this country have the issues that would justify such a horrible fate, yet no other ostensibly free country perpetrates such a menace to its own citizens. And it neglects the cases it could be where clearly and obviously proven that no such thing was warranted.
The thing is, I know the answer. So, while I can certainly not discount the value of the state rebuking violence done in its name, I doubt the veracity of such a fix. No, with fair certainty I offer that racism itself being allowed to dehumanize will continue to offer a fertile ground to allow such behavior to both gestate and be protected. I know that I can't fix the problem. But it means that I have a part in its solution, and I promise to you a wholehearted effort to fulfill it.