God, damn this
this is my prayer:
God, damn this all to hell.
Damn the fact that I just watched the Ferguson prosecutor’s announce live that the grand jury found no probable cause to indict Darren Wilson for shooting and killing 18-year-old Michael Brown. Damn the prosecutor’s focus on blaming the Ferguson residents, the media, and anyone else who was not Darren Wilson. Damn the absence of acknowledging patterns of race-based violence.
Damn my first thoughts of apathy and un-surprise that, “looks like it’s just another P.O.C. killed by ‘law enforcement.’” Damn the fact that I have to put “law enforcement” in quotes. Damn my apathy. Damn my un-surprise. Damn my illusion that this isn’t personal to me.
Damn all this race-based violence. Damn the fact that I can put away my favorite black hoodie, never to wear it in the streets, and now walk the streets without people giving me fearful looks. Damn the fact that many of my human siblings are only visible when they are exotified in media or when people fear them on the streets.
Damn my reading of all these angry, desolate, broken posts on Facebook. Damn my Facebook post. Damn the fact that I knew how to write an initial Facebook response to the Ferguson Decision because I knew it was going to happen. Damn the fact that many people are only going to write angry social media posts and move on.
Damn the cycle of hate and violence that is destroying communities like Ferguson. Damn the hurt, the pain, the desolation, the closeness of this tragedy. Damn the lack of hurt, the lack of pain, the lack of desolation, the removed-ness from this tragedy. Damn the fact that people removed from any community that has witnessed this sort of violence will not see this as part of their reality.
Damn the fact a human person died. Damn the fact that Mike Brown was murdered. Damn the fact we have to remind ourselves that #BlackLivesMatter.
Just DAMN this. God, damn this all to hell.
There’s a point where the eloquence of my Humanities major, with all the intentional word-choice and knowledge of etymology, breaks down into the crudest of lamentation. And, whether eloquent or crude, it’s all the truth.
Brendan Busse SJ, who I am honored to call a friend and mentor, writes:
Everybody hurts. When I don’t have words to articulate my pain or frustration, I get crude. But crude is probably better than repressed. So I let ‘em rip: Damn it. Damn. Damn. Damn it.
At my depths I scream an angry, confused prayer:
“God, DAMN this all.”
At my depths, I exhale a soft-spoken, broken prayer: