Please Stop Killing Us
I made a phone call yesterday to a friend and when he answered I heard and felt a catch in his voice. So I asked him what was going on:
K: "I'm trying not to have a bad day"
J: "What's making it hard today?"
K: "I found out today that two of the people killed in Orlando were my friends! I'm never going to be able to joke around with them again, or talk to them"
I can hear the tears in his voice and the pain in his heart.
J: "I understand how that feels and I am so glad you are crying man, I wish I could be there with you..."
I have not know how to respond to the deaths of my brothers and sisters in Orlando. Maybe it's because I have been working on a project that puts me face to face with the sometimes devastating impact that comes with being gay. Perhaps it is having lived through the travesty of AIDS. Maybe, like so many, I am numb from the constant barrage of catastrophe and terror promulgated by the news organizations to sell advertising for Zoloft. Maybe I stopped believing we were still targets for this kind of idolatry and hate. Maybe...
My friends tears and his raw emotion, gave me a context to understand. None of us will ever have the time or place to wrap our arms around the people murdered, we cannot say goodbye. My mind is trained to ask why and to deconstruct. I hope against all odds, to find an answer and a way to side step the senseless suffering...and I know there is no answer...there is no why. There is just this moment we share and the travesty is horrid, the pain can be eclipsing, and there is just this moment...and the next.
So instead of going to WHY, I am going to ask nicely: Please stop killing us. We are not like you. Whether we are Jewish, of African descent, love men or women or both, or just don't fit into your narrow boundary of normal...please stop hurting us. We are you, look us in the eye. Just like you we have souls and just like you we have a self evident right and desire to live and walk our path.
Walk beside us...for together we are stronger than we are alone. I understand your fear, your hatred and the innumerable injustices of this world. I also know that love, not hate, is the root of all power, joy is what motivates us to love and peace, not vengeance, is the foundation from which we become vulnerable enough to experience both. Please stop killing us. When you kill just one of us you are murdering a part of the human soul, you are hurting yourself. Compassion for all life is the only way we will find our way through...please stop killing us!
Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.