It’s been two months since the jury announced the verdict of George Zimmerman. It’s been two days since the twelfth anniversary of 9/11.
I hate to sound like the pretentious guy above it all or something. I understand it’s easy to forget these things in the swirl of our busy lives, and we’re busier than ever.
But I don’t see any more blog posts about justice.
I don’t see any more outrage or statistics or pictures of young black men who were unrighteously shot to death.
I don’t see any more reblogs of “Never Forget.”
I just see business as usual.
I get it though. We can’t be mad forever. We need to move on, move forward, get on with it, look to the future. That’s probably the best thing to do, and it’ll certainly show up the bad guys if we keep shopping.
I’m just not the kind of person that can switch gears so quickly. This doesn’t make me better than anyone, at all. I just physically can’t do it. I still feel the pain of Trayvon Martin’s family. I still feel the hurt of the breaking news when the towers fell. I still weep when I read horrible headlines. All these blogs and Facebooks turning back to “normal,” including mine, are way too soon, and it kills me with this sick twisting in my stomach.
I’m still mad as hell.
I can’t read about Syria and then turn back to my lunch. I can’t read about 27 million slaves around the world and then check out celebrity gossip. I can’t speak about 26,000 children dying everyday of preventable causes and then use the same breath to talk about the latest movie.
It sounds like I’m being a downer here. I know. I’m not declaring a constant state of righteous anxiety or that we need to turn off fun. I’m not trying to guilt-trip. I know we all naturally cringe at depth and being too serious, that we are a quick-laugh culture of YouTube fails and lobbing a joke-grenade in a crowd and turning everything into satire. I don’t claim to know exactly what to do about it.
But — can we just maybe boil a little longer in this? Can we not get over it so quickly? Can we let the anger push us towards something better instead of numbing it with so many distractions? Can we not be so quick to get on with business as usual? Can we rage at the world sometimes without being called a stick in the mud?
I think it’s okay if we’re mad, just a little longer. In two months, in two days, in two hours, I know we’ll be onto something else. But burning in my heart and twisting at my gut will always be the reality that this world is not as it ought to be, and we can do something about it. We can quit pretending like everything is okay all the time, and we can confront the ugliness of our condition, and maybe we can lift a finger to move in toward someone now with all seriousness and hug the hell out of them. No irony, no joking: just total embrace.
I am not moving on. I am moving in.