I’d been staring at my phone for so long I didn’t notice the tear until it had settled at the bottom of the black. Watching a live feed of a split screen, the President spoke to the nation urging calm in the wake of another young unarmed black life gone at the hands of a policeman and the local legal authorities announcing there wasn’t enough evidence to indict, while the town, Ferguson, Missouri, was being pelted with tear gas on one split. It looked like a video from fifty years ago, during the turbulent 1960s, when the Man and the oppressed Man clashed over civil rights. I expected the next video to be The Beatles on Ed Sullivan and for me to watch it while I took up chain-smoking. Then I realized it was now, today, 2014 and at some point, I cried.
No one really talks to each other anymore, hence the phone, this blog, and the media that are sort of social, but not really. It’s a dumping ground for opinion, misguided anger, and a lot of wrong.
Missing from the night, and now the day, is care for each other. It’s called empathy by some, I prefer to call it compassion.
The guy, Darren Wilson, who pulled the trigger, on the unarmed dead teenager, Michael Brown, in the Ferguson case, never mentioned his victim by name, calling him “a demon” and “it” then later releasing a statement never even acknowledging Brown or his family. This is the way the sides have been drawn in debating what happened. Names are replaced by labels and no one even considers what the other is thinking, especially if their skin color is different.
“Do as you’re told and you won’t get hurt” and “It’s about the choices you make” are the lectures given to people hurting as their community burns and they mourn a body left in the street for hours while being referred to as “it”.
I don’t even care about the politics anymore. I just want to know where is the compassion? Do you hit send through a sociopathic hadron collider that breaks down your humanity?
I’m afraid to die. I’m convinced my wife and kids will be trolled by my Facebook friends list like a Westboro Baptist Church picnic celebrating my decaying flesh.
All lives matter. For what it’s worth, nobody’s right, when everybody’s wrong.