I just hid a picture of the evil who took the lives of nine people. In Church. I see his face and feel physically sick. He does not look human. He shows no remorse. I need to de-humanize this person in my mind.
What happened to this person as a child? Who taught him to hate? I started to scroll this morning and I stopped myself because there is nothing in the media that is going to bring those people back nor alleviate the grief.
However, I cannot stop thinking and looking for answers. I go back on line because I just want to see something positive and I see a picture of the victims on my friend’s time line from the Shade Room on Facebook.
Tears roll down my cheeks. I start sobbing. I close the office door because I do not want my kids to see me with my face in my hands trying to hold back the pain. I truly do not know how to explain insidious racist terrorism to my children.
Yesterday I asked my fellow bloggers how they process unfathomable tragedy. They told me to write. I write mostly humor pieces. Light-hearted, somewhat annoying “listicles” and dialogues from the parenting world. I learned at a young age to fight pain and stuff it deep down in my soul. I learned how to use humor and sarcasm to deal with life’s cruelties’.
Last night I watched Jon Stewart. I think he also learned how to use humor to deal with pain. I think he is a comedic genius, but last night he was all out of jokes. I saw a broken man ask America to stop hiding from the truth. He asked us to stop debating why this happened, and start working together to stop it from happening again. He asked us to take out the parts of our country that represent racial intolerance and hatred.
He also said he does not think we are capable of change because we continue to let history repeat itself. We start blaming, pointing fingers and saying awful things to each other in the name of justice. We forget about the victims. We forget about their families. We accuse and belittle because it is easier than facing the truth. Our hurt inside lashes out at what we cannot understand and we recoil as the malevolence of humankind is intolerable.
I debated whether write and publish this on my blog because it is not about me and my pain. I struggle to write about this topic because the LAST thing I want to do is the wrong thing in helping the victim’s families. The LAST thing I want to do is start a debate over the semantics in the media. The ONLY thing I want to do is help our country process this grief and move forward together.
I’m linking a piece from Huffington Post on a call to action to our nation:
This quote from the piece above resonated within my writer’s soul:
As Esquire points out: “What happened in a Charleston church on Wednesday night is a lot of things, but one thing it’s not is ‘unspeakable.’ We should speak of it often.”
Secrets and deception keep us sick and this act goes beyond the strange behavior of a 21 year old white male who was mentally unstable. We cannot justify his actions. They are unjustifiable. Yes, we need a better system in our nation to handle the mentally ill. Yes, we need to take immediate action when mentally unstable people make violent threats to others about how they wish to murder a group of people. Yes, we need to do something about gun control. Yes, violence is a huge issue in our nation. Yes, this crime involves all of the above. The root of this crime is steeped in racism. We absolutely need to address the facet of systemic racial hatred at the forefront of any discussion in how to move forward and heal our country.
I wish I had more answers. I wish I could do more to help the victims. I pray a lot for the victims’ families. I think of them in Heaven with their Father. I focus on all the joy they brought into this world. I block the evil image of the gunman out of my mind. I ask the media to stop plastering his photo all over the news. I ask the media to focus on the victims, their families and what we can do as a country to heal and change for the better.