Life has always been fragile. The next moment has never been a guarantee for anyone anywhere. No animal or human is guaranteed safety and longevity, immune to nature, disease, human violence. Some of us are privileged with better odds and infrastructures and some with poor odds (be it social, physical, economic, political, etc), but nobody is golden in this regard.
At this time, when there are constant reminders via news and media outlets or damn, even on the roads where I see animals turned roadkill, that life is fragile and us powerless to so much...I find I have to center myself in learning how I can deepen my practice of compassion on the whole damn spectrum of life. How can I be more tolerant and compassionate with my family? How can I do that with people with different values and consciousness? How can I do this in my understanding of systematic, oppression corruption and abuse in our nation and in world affairs? How can I do this in my understanding abusers? How can I do this when thinking about right wing extremists or white supremacists or jihadi terrorists or Donald Trump?!?
I want to practice compassion here, practice compassion now.
I considered posting a newstory about Mario Woods, the 26 year old black man who was killed by a "firing squad" of police, despite his body cowering from the police and the only weapon in his possession being supposedly a 6-inch knife that was barely visible in several bystander videos. But i thought Id post these thoughts first...
it seems grimly ironic that our nation is currently gripped with conversations, rhetoric, and politics addressing the epidemic # of mass shootings and overall gun violence following the San Bernardino shooting. That same day, Mario Woods was shot 25 times by some 6-plus police officers surrounding him.
The mother of Mario Woods, and community members and activists alike, say there was a better way of handling the situation. One can point at his rap sheet or what motivated them to apprehend him in the first place, but the reality is no proper understanding, investigation or justice was made possible, once they executed him. The violence, loss and pain is disproportionate--and there is no denying that race plays a factor into this inequality, as journalists and the public are quick to compare arrests of white mass shooters to the response that black people receive in non-mass murder cases, armed or unarmed, innocent or suspect.
When speaking about the extent and scope of injustice and the terror of police, that black people live with, there is nothing non-black folks can offer to relate. These systemic injustices have been occurring for a long time, before Facebook, before #BlackLivesMatter, before Rodney King, before before before... At a time, when the nation is mourning, enraged, demanding, begging and praying for a change to our gun laws and our public safety, we also need to collectively refuse and resist the (also-gun) violence that kills hundreds of black people in our country every year, at the hands of the police. The policing systems in our country have to change..and your presence and commitment is required on this matter (too).