Friday, July 08, 2016

I am angry, struggling, screaming, praying. TRYING.

I made the mistake of being human online. I don't often let anger out to show. Not my own. My raw, angry, jagged anger. I do believe strongly in temperament, logic, and I am a diplomat by nature, but last night after the shooting in Dallas I was so angry. Angry for so much. So hurt. So ANGRRRRYYYYYY!

  • Angry that this happened in my city
  • Angry that a peaceful protest fell apart in violence
  • Angry that the initial reaction of Dallasites on social media was to blame protesters for having the gall to protest. The old "this wouldn't happen if you didn't do XYZ in the first place." 
  • Angry that this was happening to friends and students in that crowd
  • Angry that I was being told that racism isn't a problem by people IN MY LIFE
  • Angry that I know people who will not do anything about any of this or even care
I posted an angry post on Facebook. 
Don't tell me you're praying for Dallas. Do not. Write a letter, use your vote, go to a protest yourself, round up your friends, have a thoughtful conversation, teach your children. DO SOMETHING. God gave us free will because THIS IS ALSO ON US.
It was a call for personal responsibility and action. It was a crying out. It was not a blanket assumption that everyone reading it was a target of my anger or a hypocrite.

Since I posted it I've been told that I'm passive aggressive, hateful, insensitive.

I am human. I am struggling to make SENSE OF IT.

When I was in high school a football player a year older than me suffered a brain injury on the field. He was careflighted to a Dallas hospital and the media descended on my small town. It was good to know that the world cared, but it was also people making good TV. We wanted the cameras to go away. We wanted to take care of each other.

Somehow I had a similar sense of that last night watching downtown Dallas metaphorically burning. Somehow I didn't want avatars that say #DallasStrong or prayer for you. I wanted justice and change and something real right now. Is it possible? Is it realistic? No. But it's what my heart wanted.

Racism is real. Black lives DO MATTER. Police officers should not be shot. The peanut gallery should not decide that it's the black protesters' fault. SO MUCH WRONG!

I am a Christian. I pray. I prayed. But I want people to feel this realness. I want to do more. Be more. CHANGE THINGS MAKE IT RIGHT FIX IT HELP!

Pray. Pray with all your might. But we have to move and join and talk and fix and bandage and hurt and grieve and DO DO DO DO DO for the world and be motivated to MAKE IT BETTER.

This anger is mine. This rage and confusion and hurt belong to so many of us. Heartbroken, angry, lost, trying. I want more from people. More from myself. I WANT TO TRY HARDER.

Maybe you're doing all the things you can...including prayer. Including action.

Then maybe it's not about you. 






20 comments:

  1. I don't have the strength to be more verbose, so all I can say is I feel you. I feel you. I hear you. I believe in you. The anger is real. The hopelessness is real. This is a call for action, and action is what is needed to evoke systemic change. <3

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  2. I personally never participate in the Pray for _____ that happens after these events because while it shows you are supporting, it doesn't actually do anything. Like, believe whatever you want about religion. If prayer was enough, the bad things wouldn't happen in the first place. I show my support by being accepting of people and never treating someone badly because of race, religion, gender, sexuality, and all the other reasons why hate it justified.

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  3. I often wonder what was the political climate in Australia, say, that allowed them to change so radically and have all guns with few exceptions turned in. We have too many guns in this country and I would like to see that change somehow. There has to be a medium point between everyone having multiple guns and no one ever being allowed to have a gun but I don't know what it would be.

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  4. Oh, Andi. I know this feeling so well. This is why I almost never post about these things online, other than to sometimes engage with what other people are saying. I'm not publicly talking, but I am seeing ALL OF IT. All the bombings, all the shootings. And that's just what the media wants to show us.

    I hear you so hard on all of this. This why I'm going into the field that I am, to try to DO something about the bias and inequity that lead us to the headlines we read every fucking day. I only hope that I can, in some small way.

    I'm with you. We all are. <3

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  5. Prayer isn't enough, prayer isn't making change and I'm sorry that anyone was crappy enough to try to put down your feelings. I wish I knew how to make sense of this.

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  6. I just heard Loretta Lynch on the radio. I think you'll find her voice helpful and healing.

    Their doesn't seem to be good video or audio available yet. But it starts at 28:56 on this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymD6x-ZIHoQ

    "The answer must not be violence. The answer is never violence. Rather, the answer, our answer, all our answer, must be action -- calm, peaceful, collaborative, and determined action." ~Loretta Lynch

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  7. I realize that for some people, prayer IS action. I'm not one of those people, but I don't feel capable of any action other than paying attention, listening, and trying to wrestle my thoughts and actions into the right space. It's frustrating in a hundred different ways. Stifling anyone's attempts to express that frustration constructively just adds to of it. I'm glad you're here. Keep talking.

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  8. I feel like I am in mourning for our country and our world. We have got to do something about guns, there is just no way around it.

    I understand your anger. A neighbor commented to me that protesters don't understand how their actions can affect people who are mentally unstable. I told her that made absolutely not sense to me and she just sort of stomped away.

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    Replies
    1. Just the mindful action of not agreeing is action!

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  9. Oh, friend. Lots of hugs to you. I hope people on your Facebook feed quit acting like fools, and I hope you take good care of yourself. It's a hard time.

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  10. I was so mad when I saw those facebook comments in response to you, that I shut facebook. Please please please know that you are so in the right for asking for more than just "thoughts and prayers." Action needs to be taken.

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  11. I learned about this tragedy just this morning, and I hear you. I'm angry that this is how our society chooses to solve issues. I'm scared for my son who wears that uniform daily and puts his life on the line, never knowing if I will hear his voice or see his face again. Prayer DOES change things, and just because the change isn't what we see or want to see doesn't mean it isn't happening in the perfect timing. I don't know what the answer is except to agree with you in praying, voting, voicing my opinions to those who hold the power to make change, and pray some more. I do know that killing isn't an answer to anything and will never be. I don't believe gun control is the answer, either. I'm sorry that you had to endure such backlash but by putting your thoughts out there, you made people take notice. You put a thought in their minds. When fed, one thought can grow into action.

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  12. So sorry to hear people have reacted in an insensitive way saying you are being agrressive. Well, there IS a need to be aggressive during times like these.

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  13. I totally agree with you. I wish I could just travel and protest with these people all over the country! I believe in prayer, too, but action is needed NOW! And blaming the protestors? That's just stupid. I'm with you, Andi.

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  14. Every time something terrible happens, I do pray. And I post about how angry I am. And I talk about it with people I know. But, truly, it rarely goes much further than that. Until yesterday. When your Facebook post made me realize that what I've been doing is not enough. Made me realize that the idea I'd had to join in a protest in Omaha was something I could not walk away from. So I went. And it was amazing. And I hope that the black people there felt like they were not alone as there were so many other white people there and the majority of cars driving through the intersection we were on all sides of honking and showed signs of support. And I walked away with information on ways to contact my elected officials. So that's the next step.

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  15. I empathize with you desire to DO DO DO DO. It is so hard to know what to do, when our actions in the course of daily life feel small. Facebook is... tricky. I don't often post about political stuff because I feel like it's preaching to the choir and the people who don't agree with me will just unfollow or hide me from their feed.

    I just want to feel like people in this country can talk to one another and listen to one another even if we disagree, and I don't really feel like we can do that now. And it's scary.

    We need a whole lot more of "both/and" and a whole lot less of "either/or" in our country.

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  16. I was totally in shock when I woke up and read what had happened in Dallas. I lived there, that was also my home for so many years. I feel sad that so many people think it's an "us vs. them" mentality. Thank you for your post Andi. You said so many things that resonate with many of us.

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  17. Everything you just said. Love and acceptance. We are leading separate lives. People who don't believe racism is real have sequestered themselves and are leading separatist lives. Consciously befriend people of all races, religions, people who are different from you. This will help. I'm with you, we have to act. Read, inform yourself, educate others. We can all do something. We can be allies and educate ourselves in empathy. We can listen and believe. Love, love, love to you for your righteous anger!

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  18. hello andi, i've been following your blog for some time. i'm a book lover like you. i just wanted to say thank you for being courageous enough to take a stand on this difficult issue, which affect us all. don't ever lose your fire and passion- we need it. (also LOVE bibliophiliac's great comment). your commentary begins the kind of conversations on race that is imperative to us as Americans, especially if we have any concern about our country's future. we can no longer afford to continue with seeing ourselves as separate and apart. keep talking to your friends and family, andi. it's people like you who were born for bringing light to our occasionally dark world. hugs!! :) ~~ Maria

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