Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Sick and Tired

I am so sick and tired of hashtags.

Hashtags that announce or chronicle another tragedy.

 I am sick and tired of young mothers being raped and shot in the head. I am sick and tired of little boys like Tyshawn being shot in their heads, their little bodies riddled with bullets . I’m tired of young men dying in the street, their bodies full of bullet holes. Fathers dying,  their life being choked out of them.

 I am tired of young women visiting their grandmother dying of gunshot wounds while walking to a bus stop to go home. Young people with promise cut down by ignorance.

I’m tired of Tyesa Cherrys dying after going to a movie, killed by a bullet meant for someone else. I am sick of grandmothers, pastors and college students at bible studies being shot down in their own church. I’m sick and tired of young men going into elementary schools, college classrooms and movie theaters and randomly shooting and killing.

I’m tired of scrolling through the toll of violence in the city on the website DnaInfo. More than 400 names. Most without a video, protest or reward to mark their demise. Just a red dot by a date and a familiar script.

Tired of people living their life, minding their business, going to work, a concert, having a drink, shopping at the mall, attending college classes, staying at a hotel being assailed by bullets. Not knowing why or by whom they are being executed.  Human beings gone. Mothers and fathers gone.  Innocent lives executed.

Tired of mothers and fathers abandoning their babies, not raising their children.  Children left to raise themselves. Children beating infants to death.  Children putting babies in ovens. Mothers throwing babies out of windows. Babies body parts found in lagoons. Babies born, killed and body parts sold.

Whatever their color, race, religion, power or position or the color, race, religion, power or position of those who killed them, it all just makes me sick. The color of the flag that is flown and Facebook profile picture overlay doesn’t matter to me. So tired of another hashtag associated with the latest tragedy. They all are me. They all are my family. Humanity.

The young pastor’s wife and mother in Indianapolis is me. I am her--staying at home by myself with my baby while my husband is at the gym.  
Tyshawn is my son and nephew. Kaylyn is my daughter. Tyesa is my niece. The people in Charleston are my father, mother, brothers, sisters, aunties and uncles. The children in Connecticut are my children who I read baggie books to at my local elementary school.  The baby in the oven is my godson. The college students and professor are my husband and his students. The person slaughtered at the Denver movie theater, French café, Kenyan mall, Mali hotel, Nigerian church is me.  Those babies are my precious babies. The names by the red dots are my sons: Black, male, shot.

If we truly realized it was all of us, I wonder if it would make a difference?

 It all just makes me cry inside. I don’t want to think about it. I’m sick and tired of it. I pray about it. Ask God about it. It makes me want to turn off the news although I know I can’t bury my head in the sand. It makes me wonder what can I do? How can I make a difference? Still live and feel without being overwhelmed or becoming indifferent? 

For decades my husband, John W. Fountain, has written about it. Brought light to it. Challenged us. Been a voice for the voiceless. Worked to make a difference. Shed tears over the lives lost. Been literally sick over the tragedy unfolding right before our eyes. I wonder when will we wake up? Or has murder become our new norm?

It leaves me wondering if each new horror just desensitizes us to the fact that these are people created in God’s image.  That life is precious and a gift from God. It is so precious that we will go to extraordinary lengths to save it, rejoicing when men with their bare hands dig a baby out of the rubble of an earthquake. But others will also take it so casually whether it is the excuse or "reason" of religious ideology, insanity, an assertion of our “rights”, reckless irresponsibility, personal pride, racism or robbery.

I know this: It’s all evil.

And like Fannie Lou Hamer, I'm sick and tired of it.

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