To my Black friends and their families re: the Buffalo shootings.


[CONTENT NOTE: white nationalist terrorism and mass murder, no images.]

This moment is not about me. It is about you, and your families and communities, facing loss, hatred, and evil. Again. Still.

I try, but I cannot really fathom the depths of your pain and grief, and not just today but every day, because you already carry with you the legacies of slavery, death, violence, injustice, and hate, and all of it at the hands of people who look like me.

This moment is about you sharing your grief with others who do understand this pain. It is about your families and communities coming together to bury your dead, and to hold each other up even as you face endless, bottomless despair.

I have no place in this moment.

I cannot even offer you my prayers. I am not a praying person, and so I find proffers of “thoughts and prayers” to ring hollow, especially from politicians and people who are in positions of power to make this country a better place for you, and yet they do not.

So I can only offer my thoughts, for whatever they are worth, along with my sincerest, deepest, heartfelt condolences.

If it helps, please know I will be here, on the sidelines and in the backgrounds, in mourning with you, and for you.

I will be here, waiting for you with open arms and open heart, with great love and great sorrow.

I will be here waiting, honored and grateful to listen, if and when you will tell me what you need from me, and from the people and communities where I may have some influence.

The next moment will be about me. It will be about the work I need to do – white people need to do – for you and yours.

I am here, and I see you.

All my love,
-Iris.

Comments

  1. K says

    Had a rage-stroke at the tv news as the reporter told us with a concerned face that “investigations as to whether this is a hate crime are continuing”. Investigations? He so much as said it was a hate crime.

    Also rage stroking that the 18-year-old punk murdered multiple people and was taken in alive by police.

  2. says

    Hi K. Thank you for giving words to The Rage. I’m not very good at bluntly expressing that particular emotion, even though I know and recognize it all too well. I tend to channel it, wordlessly, into art or craft of some sort, because language fails me. Once The Rage and time have cycled past, only then do words come to me, but even then, I only end up rage-writing metaphorically. (Exhibit A: The Abattoir.)

    It’s something I’ve thought about a lot. Girls and women in the inexplicably vaunted “Western” culture are notoriously socialized never to express anger or rage. It’s as if it’s the exclusive province of men, or perhaps better said, of predominant masculine constructs. The reverse is true for expressing upset or sadness by way of crying/tears.

    In reality, the entire spectrum of human emotion is not gendered. It also has not escaped me that the trope “Women are emotional; men are logical” can only be true if anger and rage are not emotions. Uh, I call bullshit on that.

    Maybe I’ll do a post about it some time. (Maybe I just did?)

    MORE IMPORTANTLY THO: I’m worried about your blood pressure!

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