Photo: “Our Lady Mother of Ferguson and All Those Killed by Gun Violence.” written by Mark Dukes. Commissioned by @trinitycwe
This was written in response to the death’s of Alton Sterling and Philando Castille on July 5th and 6th, 2016.
Two nights in a row I witnessed executions being streamed into my being through an iphone held 8 inches from my face. Mornings were spent crying into cereal bowls, re-listening to cries of help, desperate cries of help from brothers and sisters that I’ve refused to acknowledge as extended family.
The lives of loved ones, beautiful creations, were instantly ended and we were all witnesses. Split-second moments of fear and poor judgement were rendered permanent by the use of killing devices worn like belt buckles and brandished like pointed index fingers. With the unconscionable bend of a knuckle, pieces of lead tore through tender flesh, shredding organs and stopping breath.
God bless America, we are still the free-est society in the world. Free to worship guns, free to worship our individual selves, free to seek personal preservation above all else. Free to ignore the unseen, life giving God tissue that joins us all together and seems to only reveal itself through self sacrificial love.
What I think I’m hearing from the black community is “We’ve tried everything.” There is nothing else to be done to try and “conform”, “comply”, or “cooperate”. So, what can be done by the rest of “us” (those who don’t see ourselves as “black or brown”)? I certainly haven’t done anything. I’m not really sure where to even start. But injustice can no longer be “their” problem. We all originated from somewhere and something — black and white blood is flowing through us all.
My prayer for today, “God, show me where I’ve failed and will continue to fail. Expose my ignorance, educate my confusion. Give me the receptive eyes to see what I couldn’t see, what I didn’t want to see until now. Help me take steps towards entering the suffering of my brothers and sisters. And may all of the guns be melted and fashioned into life cultivating gardening tools used to grow delicious vegetables we can share with our neighbors in block parties all across America. Amen.”