futility

by lani

i could share my feelings about the injustice of the grand jury decision not to indict darrell wilson, but others have already done that.

i could detail the facts about mike brown’s killing, but others have already done that. and anyway, aren’t we all consuming a version of the facts from a news source we trust, and thus having our opinion shaped by it?

i could explain what was wrong with the grand jury in this case, but justice antonin scalia has already done that.

i could ask why the prosecutor in this case acted more like the defense, but others have already done that.

i could complain about the shoddy investigation and inconsistent evidence, but others have already done that.

i could shout for a federal investigation, but others are already doing that.

i could try to tell other white people about what it’s like to be black in our society, but others have already done that. and besides, i’m not black.

i could rant about the reasons why white people have such a hard time understanding the black perspective on fergusen, but others have already done that.

i could attempt to explain the pervasiveness and relevance of white privilege, but others have already done that. and really, if you don’t believe in white privilege it’s not like i’m going to change your mind. and if you do believe in white privilege, then you already have a basic understanding of it.

i could share why i believe that race issues, and how much we care about them, are inextricably tied to our understanding of the gospel, but others have already done that.

i could ask why it’s so hard for followers of jesus to believe and empathize with the oppressed, but others have already done that.

i could manufacture an opinion on fault and innocence, but i wasn’t there.

i could speak as the mother of a black son, or as the mother of a dead son, because both are relevant, but what would i say?

i could tell you what it was like to stand with hundreds of protesters at the justice rally in portland yesterday, but i could never convey the power of the simmering frustration and righteous anger that undulated through the crowd; how joel and aida and i were energized and confirmed by it, and how my little black son, the empath, was overwhelmed by it, clinging to my shoulders and eventually starting to wail, and so we had to leave that place. that place, where the signs said “black lives matter,” because the little black life that we are responsible for was scared.

i could tell you how frustrating it was to have an idea for a picture, a picture that would speak a thousand words, and to try to get that picture with a squirmy toddler and a wailing infant and a proxy photographer because i need to help bring change, darnit! but i should probably just show you the picture instead.

i could spend hours writing each of these things, but what would it change?

just one more voice.

just one more drop in the bucket.

just one more person, trying to convince the system that racism still exists, that listening to oppressed voices is essential,
and that black lives matter.

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