I want to stand for what I believe. I speak about understanding the reality of terrorism. I speak up about the travesty of inequality and the inequities in our system.
But I don’t want to be mad at every killer. I don’t want to blame all police or believe that all white people are crazed by their own fear and prejudice.
And my imagination cannot take me to that place where black people abide – in the constant uncertainty for themselves and their children. Yes, in the world we live in, we all know uncertainty. But years of hatred and invalidation are not heaped upon our uncertainty.
My sorrow is deep and yet I work to keep my heart soft. I hear the families of those killed in Charleston as they offer forgiveness. I follow their lead and choose not to live in anger.
I want there to be peace – and not at the expense of any one person or any group, any nation, any religion, any gender…I want peace for all and know that it requires justice. But I am past the days when I can stand on the corner and scream for justice. I can no longer tighten my jaw and clench my fist demanding fairness. Instead, I am crying out for love.
I am weeping for the families in Charleston. I am also weeping for family of the young man so filled with hatred and fear that he was sure that killing would dull the pain of it. I have deep sorrow for policemen who have been killed or who are killing mercilessly and the children who are needlessly killing and being killed. And for the soldiers who offer life and limb and take the same. For all who are on the firing line of violence.
And my heart aches for the fear in all of us – for those of us (or for that part of us) unable to understand and tolerate what is different. I wish for a salve to ease the rash reactions that want to crush what is unfathomable. I live for a time when we can remove our emotional blinders and see each other clearly as living, loving, feeling, hurting, joyful beings in a world that has room for all of us. A world where we are willing to make room.
I remember the victims in Charleston. And each time I hear of a needless death, I remember that, too. I do not distance myself from tragedy. I may be silent, but I pay heed.