Throughout the past two weeks I’ve felt a certain sense of deadness, of dread. I have had trouble completing even the most basic of tasks and I feel my concentration tanking with my mood. New stories scroll daily of black and brown people unjustifiably brutalized or murdered at the hands of the very people meant to protect and serve them.
This weekend saw the beginning of riots in the otherwise peaceful protests, even in my city of Pittsburgh. The city I’ve not seen in months during global pandemic lockdown lay broken and burning. A family member filmed flash grenades and tear gas shot at protestors. And then I go down the rabbit hole; just as transfixed by each new piece of news as in the early days of COVID-19.
My sense of reality has warped. How can this all happen in 2020? Hindsight is always 2020. Will we look back at this time with future generations, telling ‘how it was?’ Like generations before me talking about the ‘60s. The most disheartening thought is that we’ve made no progress.
I’d like to think of myself as an accepting, open person. But these events have me questioning if I’ve deluded myself all this time. From time to time everyone says or does something thoughtless or unhelpful, and I accept that I will mess up. Well, I struggle with that acceptance. I work at facing my ugliness head on, but have I turned a blind eye to snippets of myself that harbor sentiments akin to those being protested against?
But as I think about the extraordinarily stressful time for everyone during the pandemic and additional pain of economic depression, I recognize that I am not also facing the additional challenges that a black or brown person faces each day regardless of germs and jobs. I will never understand the additional layer of fear, worry, stress, and pain heaped upon human who possess more skin pigmentation than me.
So, dear Christians, I ask: does there really need to be another time to kill before there can be a time to heal? Haven’t we hurt each other enough?