As Black people we have to endure so much pain just to live. For over 400 years it has been molded this way by others as a part of daily life for us in this country. We are expected to suffer, and we are expected by this country to deal with it on our own, in silence, docility, and gratitude. It has become so commonplace for us to endure injustice, oppression, violence, and erasure that it's like pulling a camel through the eye of a needle just to get so many non-Blacks to feel or publicly express any real empathy for us, much less to truly be "down" with the cause or speak/act in a way that testifies to our dignity.
Our dignity! We are human beings, yet we cannot even worship in peace without losing our lives? A white terrorist kills 9 people, including the pastor, INSIDE the House of the Lord─one of the oldest Houses sustained by Black people in this country─is still on the loose, and people have the nerve to not be alarmed? People have the nerve to not call this man a terrorist? People have the nerve to even let the thought enter their minds and fix their lips to question whether or not this, the epitome of a hate crime, is about race? Shame on you, shame on all of you!
Like so many others, I am angry, I am afraid, and I am mourning this morning. But most of all I am praying. Because as a young Black woman who also grew up in Houses of the Lord sustained by Black people, that is what I have always been taught to do. May justice be served. But if justice should fail us again like she has so many times over the past 400+ years, and the movement of our feet and the cries of our voices─the work of our hands─ should somehow come to naught AGAIN in this, this country we built that still doesn't seem to want or value us like that.... we will always have a strong heart, an open ear, and a righteous hand in Heaven.
Rest in Peace and Power to you, my brothers and sisters who were murdered in Emanuel AME last night.
"When I said, 'My foot is slipping,' your unfailing love, LORD, supported me.
When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy."
Psalm 94:18-19 (NIV)