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CURRENT IT TOPIC - A 30 Minute Recess From My Silence

There's beauty in the world. We don't have to strain our eyes to find it. There's also a pool of inexplicable pain, poverty, and illness. While wading through all of that murky water, we deal with isms. The isms (racism, ageism, sexism, ableism) and phobias (homophobia and xenophobia) are boulders in this dirty rising creek turned rushing rapid. It's almost impossible to focus on the beauty when we fear an infection from the polluted water or crashing into the razor-sharp edge of one of the boulders. This is no way to live. 


I've been noticeably silent regarding the most recent police shootings in the U.S.A. Part of the reason is that I share many of my social media friends' sentiments—no need to repeat them. The repetition is gnawing at our souls. There are other reasons for my silence.  

I was quiet: 

- Because when I read, Alton Sterling's aunt describes seeing legs poking out from behind a car and begging to confirm whether that was her baby, I became her. I vividly imagined one of our five sons dying a few short feet away from me while guns were pointed at my back, preventing me from comforting my baby. I felt a fraction of her anguish. Unable to stomach the entire thrust of pain.  

- because, like many, I hear these reoccurring accounts of horror and have to slip into a restroom to dry my tears before I lose all composure. Once I've lost it, I will be irreparable. I can't risk that. My guys need me. 

- Because when young parents of Black, Brown, Muslim, and gay sons express fear, I can't alleviate it. I can't be an older, wiser parenting mentor. I don't have a solution. The best I can do is urge them to relay age-appropriate messages over the years. Help them understand that anger is not the solution. They cannot release angry sons into the world. Anger is a temporary motivator. When dealing with authority, it's a suicidal one. I encourage these enthusiastic yet frightened parents to ensure their charges know that being right is not the end-all-be-all. Survival is. When one survives, (s)he later can be the correct one. I tell them that the high hurdle is doing all of this while maintaining their children's confidence and optimism. A pessimistic, unsure boy cannot become a successful man. I believe all of this. However, on days like today, I wonder what good it is. They know this and more. All I do is remind these guardians of youth that they are not alone in their knowledge or pain. I don't fix it. 


Despite this week's silence, I'm not numb. I will never become accustomed to hatred and violence of any ilk. Every so often, I need to find a new way to process it and cultivate the damaged terrain, which has nasty water leaves in its wake.  


Young and not-so-young men look to me as a barometer for dealing with the unimaginable. I can't misstep because of heartache, anger, and fear. Nor can I rest. It'd be nice to catch my breath. Sip a cup of bush tea. No lemonade for me, Beyonce. But we parents, mamas, of targets, can't relax. We must carry a heavy, cumbersome, smelly load until ... Once we wished it was, someone picked it up for us. Now it's until it disappears.  


The quandary is how to make this dirty load disappear. No one is responsible for ridding us of the scourge; everyone else is to blame for its existence. No one does their part in taking it apart and dissolving the pieces. We talk, point fingers, cry, and ignore. Thus far, that's gotten us another ride on the same dilapidated carousel. Stop the ride. I have to get off. I'm going to be sick. 

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