As you might guess from the title, dear Reader, this isn’t going to be a “happy” post. I’ve thought long and hard about whether to write a post at all. I thought about updating my last Monday post, the one on Montgomery, expressing the horror I now feel at the juxtaposition of the United Daughters of the Confederacy memorial of Jefferson Davis’s inauguration across the street from the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church. In my post, I had suggested that it was well and good Alabama acknowledge its history as a proponent of slavery, rather than pretend it never happened.
Then there was the massacre last week at the Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Nine dead. And why, dear Reader, why? Simply because they were black. That’s all. A racist needs no other reason to kill, to terrorize.
And now when I think of that UDC marker across from the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, and I think of the churchgoers who have to pass by that marker, I get sick to my stomach. How naive I feel, how stupid.
I still haven’t organized my emotions well enough to carry on like, well, like … whatever. Friday I had several mini-meltdowns until finally, safe and alone at home, I wailed. I felt such despair. I don’t have enough fingers and toes to count all the massacres that have occurred on American soil by American citizens in my lifetime.
And later I felt disgust as I heard presidential candidates dance around the fact that the massacre was an act of domestic terrorism. Just because it was nine people and not 168 makes it no less an act of terrorism. Just because it was a church and not a federal building makes it no less an act of terrorism. And just because it was a young white man doesn’t mean we assume he was mentally ill, that if only we could keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill …
What happened that night at the Emanuel A.M.E. Church was a racially motivated act of terrorism, nothing less. And there’s nothing more I can say.
I have closed comments on this post. I don’t want you, dear Reader, to feel you have to respond. I know many of you, like myself, are inclined to leave a comment with most if not all the posts we read. I want to lift that burden from you in this particular instance.
I also feel rather humorless right now. I don’t want to put on a happy face for its own sake. So I’m going to slip under the radar for a while, at least until the crying stops.