I really should cut all media until I'm feeling more whole ... .
It occurred to me after listening to the southern defenders of the Right to fly the flag of the Confederacy at the State Capitol that - were I that young man sitting in a cell awaiting the wrath of judgement to come down -- I might be wondering why I'm not being hailed as a hero for saving the nation from the army of the Black America! He does have his defenders who will declare him mentally ill. I'm beginning to wonder whether he doesn't represent a growing number of perfectly sane white southerners with lingering smoldering leftover remnants of the Reconstruction period running in their veins.
The rhetoric that includes code language such as, "... we must take back our country ..." coming out of those in Washington's seats of power sends messages that encouraged the tragic scene at Mother Emmanuel. This has got to refer to the presidency, right? The hatred of President Obama and the outrage of southern racism is so strong that the "Solid South" is willing to sacrifice everything to prevent what is seen as the rise of black America to full equality.
Yet, there has obviously been a significant change in South Carolina despite all. Those crowds gathered as mourners have been racially integrated and the obvious warmth of the citizenry holds promise even on that hallowed southern ground.
One would have to be really out of touch to not see the possibility of the obvious, and we've not yet arrived at real democracy -- not yet.
That we're still ready to fight and die for, but are not yet ready to live by its principles.
I can't recall a time when I've felt greater despair; or as hopeless as I do this day ... .
Sunday, June 21, 2015
... and as I sit at my computer to try to find words that will help me to understand the merciless slaying of nine praying people ... paralysis overcomes my body and my fingers refuse to move ...
My brain goes into dull/normal mode, and -- at some level I know that this has to be -- at least until I can wrap my mind around the horror without bursting into unstoppable hysterical rage. It will take a few days. I've stopped watching the news coverage in order to protect myself.
I suppose singing hymns and linking hands serves the same purpose for black congregations in mourning all over the country today, but how long can that be enough? Perhaps my barely-controlled anger serves no good purpose, except maybe to provide a vent in order to preserve what sanity I have left. Today I'll just try to sleep the pain away.
It has been several days since the latest chapter in this horrific American nightmare occurred, and -- for the first time -- I'm finding my words scrambled at times when I'm doing my work -- and the tears are so close to the surface that the temptation to just walk away in the middle of a sentence is almost irresistible. Yesterday's two o'clock presentation was almost impossible to get through ... .
... were it not for the feeling that everyone in that little theater shares the despair and are as close to tears as I am ... but is that enough? Are there enough of us leaning in the direction of compassion, unity, fairness, equality, to even make a dent in the ignorance and evil that threatens to consume us?
I'm not sure that the time hasn't come to just admit that we're beyond saving as a nation, and that maybe the madness is overwhelming now, and we're just not redeemable.
Maybe it IS time to hang it up and retire -- leave the mopping up to someone younger whose disillusionment is less profound, and whose hope is still alive.
I'm having a hard time finding mine.
My rage has reawakened, and I simply cannot understand the compassion of those surviving church members who so humbly offered forgiveness to the mindless young murderer ...
... all I can think of are the 4,725 black people who were lynched in this country from the time of the Civil War until 1968.
How on earth is this different ... or is it just another chapter in that ugly unending saga of domestic terrorism?
Posted by Betty Reid Soskin at 1:28 PM No comments:
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