In the wake of this civil unrest, many of us have respectively reacted to not only what the traditional media has given us, but also (and what’s probably for some, even more important) what has been expressed on our timelines, feeds, walls, etc.
Ah… social media and it’s double-edged conundrum: Where in one instance you could be receiving an inappropriate DM, and then in another, tagged to an important video (or live feed) that the news outlets would otherwise edit; or, for those with vested interests, may try and altogether suppress. It can be… overwhelming, suffice to say. And, in addition to myself becoming exasperated by the current state of affairs, my friends are apparently feeling it too.
One person, in particular, struck my interest: a high school sweetheart*. From what I remember of her, she was a sweet girl who would definitely be affected by the current state of things. I happened upon a Facebook post of hers — where she expressed frustration, confusion, and also perhaps a little sadness; further contemplating altogether canceling her account just because it was becoming too much. and what, initially, compelled me to respond.But then, like my writing more often times than not does, I just turned it into a post (thanks CRH-M!).
Here is what I wound up saying to her (and by the way, no, nothing was also going down in the DM!):
The temptation of just “tuning out” may seem like the most beneficial avenue to take (and trust me, for that and many other reasons I contemplated checking out too), but it behooves both yourself and your son (especially) to expose yourself to this. They say that the truth hurts, and in this instance, no truer words have ever been spoken. The current state of affairs (most notably, the very recent death in Louisana) affects me to the core, especially given the fact that I match Brother Alton in just about every way (i.e., 30’s, black, man, licensed gun holder, father, husband, with a “past,” however hard working, etc.) so much so, that it compelled me to have a discussion with my oldest daughter (something that I thought I still had time for, however— given the blatant fact that I’m the unfortunate demographic for this extermination — I couldn’t much consider my child’s innocence at the very betrayal of this radical dude within me screaming that the time was now). And so, without intentionally traumatizing her as much as possible, I let her know that — among other things — my time may be limited on this earth. Furthermore, I stressed the importance of understanding everything that comes out of my mouth from then on; because it’s all instructions she’ll need to both understand this world and contribute toward making a difference in this world. By all means, keep it light and airy (because we definitely need it); however, if only for the benefit of your boy (and this may be one of the brighter sides of social media), stay online, stay active, stay engaged, stay informed.
That message may have started out as something meant for her and her alone, but I knew that it would evolve into a message that needed to be shared to everyone within the “sound of my voice.”