I saw a man dying. It happened on television. But he wasn’t an actor. There was no movie title. There were no end credits and when the filming stopped he didn’t get up and go home to his family.

I saw a man murdered by another man. A human life lost to irrational, unfounded fear built on systemic racism. I can’t get it out of my head. I can’t get it out of my heart. I can’t unsee it. I can’t forget it. I don’t know how to live with it.

I usually choose not to watch the footage that races around the internet. I stay away from it because there are some things that stick with me and I want to be able to choose what those things are. I politely decline the offers to let me watch. I graciously delete the videos if they are shared with me. I gently admonish those sharing it, because I believe that in many ways it steals the dignity of the victim. The footage of Philando Castile’s murder caught me unawares as I was walking toward the television at work. CNN showed the Facebook live video of Mr Castile slumped in his car bleeding. I was appalled and distressed and so unbearably sad. This life. This human being. This person with a family, friends, people he cared about, people who cared about him, people who depended on him and respected him in his last moments. I cannot forget it.

I feel helpless. There is no justice. This is no restitution. There is no comfort or relief for the loved ones who lived and laughed and loved with this person. How is this possible? Why is it happening? What can we do? Is there any hope of it changing?

I’m sick of this place. This awful place filled with these hateful people. I’m sick of hearing about and reading about innocent people being murdered and those murders being justified by fear. I’m tired of the rhetoric that follows, that tries to vilify the victim while validating the murderer. I’m tired of this unshakable sadness that follows me around as I wait, albeit unconsciously, for the next story, the next name, the next hashtag, the next ‘Not Guilty’ verdict. I’m tired of this perpetual state of grief and sympathy that I feel for the families who have to deal with the effects of the loss and then have to watch the murderer walk away. On days like today, I feel like I don’t want to be here anymore. Another planet, another dimension, another realm. Anywhere but here.


2 thoughts on “Broken

  1. I have unplugged from all social media platforms for almost 2 years. I only read tech news and football but still this content gets to my devices. It’s painful to read, watch or hear people talk about. Like you, I have told all my contacts not to share news with me. Yes – not even so-called “good news” because at the end of a good news article, “Click here to see XYZ”.


    Liked by 1 person

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