I’m heartbroken. 20 miles from my home, businesses are being looted. Police cars are set on fire. There’s a Little Caesar’s pizza burning to the ground. When I started this blog, I wasn’t going to talk about where I lived, but now you know. This hits home. Friends of mine have had contingency plans at their places of work that will go into effect starting 8pm today (when the verdict was announced). One friend of mine cannot go in to work. He has to drive to Ohio so he can work there ’til this situation dies down. Some won’t go into work at all. Lives have changed. Michael Brown is long gone.
If you know anything about me, you also know that I’m not one to watch TV. When I have guests visit home, I don’t know how to turn on my own TV. When I got the text that the verdict was coming out in 2 minutes, it took me 5 minutes before I could turn on the TV and get to the right channel. And then I heard the news. For someone who doesn’t watch the news, I just spent the last 2 hours switching between NBC and CNN. Switching between one coverage of violence to another. When President Obama came on TV, the other screen had people throw things that looked like fireworks that smoked. I texted my friend, “Is that tear gas?” And her response, “Yea”. Another text from her, “It happened last time like this also.”
Perhaps last time I was living under a rock. How can I continue to live under a rock when the world around me is falling apart and soon my rock will be blown to pieces and I am forced to confront the reality of the situation. I’m not here to tell you how I feel about this decision. I’m not here to tell you that I thought he would be indicted or that I thought he wouldn’t. I’m not here to tell you that I wished he was or I wished he wasn’t indicted. I’m stupid. I’m clueless. It’s by choice. I live under a rock remember. But, I come out briefly and watch the news for 2 hours and am in shock.
People with their hands up chanting, “Hands up, don’t shoot! Hands up, don’t shoot!” There is something so haunting about watching that. I don’t know if it’s a fair comparison but it felt like watching the people jump off that burning high rise on 9/11. The thud that you hear when bodies hit the ground. It’s what I felt today watching the destruction of so much. And the voices in the middle, trying to be heard. Trying to be peaceful. This is America. The land of freedom. Do we not have freedom of speech? Can we not peaceably assemble? Will you not hear us? Some people here, just want you to listen. They do not want to loot or destroy, but how can we listen amidst the violence surmounting all around.
I feel like people’s tongues have been removed tonight and they haven’t gotten the chance to express themselves. I feel anger has been the only expression that has exploded the senses, the scenes, and also has incited the force of the police. So, wherever you are or whoever you are, today I’m asking for a prayer. A prayer for simplicity. A life of peace. A world of healing.
Signed in faith for more understanding,