Sunday, June 21, 2015


Daily Hampshire Gazette photo
In email yesterday, a Catholic priest friend sent along an essay he had written about the possibility of creating an a-la-South-Africa Truth and Conciliation Commission in the wake of last Wednesday's shooting deaths at the Charleston, S.C., Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. A heart-felt essay directed at racism in America. Nine black people were killed by a 21-year-old, Dylann Roof, who felt that black people were taking over and no one was doing anything about it.

Once again, the country claims to be shocked, appalled, saddened, forgiving, enraged, healing, looking for closure, touting gun control ... blah, blah, blah. A hundred concerned possibilities inundate the news wires. My friend banged his drum as well and I applaud the drum bangers ... which is not to say I am not simultaneously sick of them. It is all unfathomably awful and the ain't-it-awful crowd is out in force ... for the moment.

For the moment, it's all too much for my capacity for anguish. I will stick with the picture of my friend, Frances Crowe, above ... seated at a sympathy rally here in Northampton ... a feisty, 90-something activist who is nobody's saccharine fool. For me, Frances nailed it: "Mourn."

Bang the drum if you must. I appreciate your verve. But don't ask me to credit any concrete outcome of your verve. Jerking off in the breeze may be the only option, but it's still just jerking off.

And I imagine my jaundiced outlook is inflamed by the fact that the whole thing is so desperately sad.

1 comment: