A month ago, 49 members of the GLBT community were shot in a night club in Orlando, Florida.
Four days ago, a black man named Alton Sterling was shot by the police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Two days ago, Philando Castile, also black, was shot by the police in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Last night, five police officers were shot by a sniper in Dallas, Texas.
Every time I see a headline declaring another shooting, another death, my first response is exhaustion. I’m just so tired, so frustrated. I’m tired of hate, but even more, I’m tired of turning a blind eye on injustice.
It’s so easy to absolve ourselves of responsibility by casting blame on others. But the easy path is often not the right one.
Controversial issues such as black vs. white are not always black and white. They’re messy, complicated, and taking the time to peel back the layers and actually care is exhausting. I’m not always up to it. I’ve been radio silent on social media about all the violence that has happened over the past month. Behind my sealed lips, however, is anger. I want to pound on the floor and scream, “When is it going to end?! When will we have justice?!”
I’m done being quiet. I’m done keeping my anger in to avoid stepping on people’s toes.
We cannot turn away from the wrongs in our world. We cannot be indifferent. Exhausting as it is, we must face the injustice of the world with our eyes wide. Because if we do not stand up and give voice to those who have none, who will?
In the words of the late Elie Wiesel:
“In a way, to be indifferent to that suffering is what makes the human being inhuman. Indifference, after all, is more dangerous than anger or hatred… Even hatred at times may elicit a response. You fight it. You denounce it. You disarm it. Indifference elicits no response. Indifference is not a response. Indifference is not a beginning; it is an end. And, therefore, indifference is always the friend of the enemy, for it benefits the aggressor–never his victim, whose pain is magnified when he or she feels forgotten… not to respond to their plight, not to relieve their solitude by offering them a spark of hope is to exile them from human memory. And in denying their humanity, we betray our own.”
I feel so helpless. The chaos stemmed by hate and indifference spirals more out of control every day and I am just one person. My circle of influence is so small.
But I refuse to turn a blind eye to the injustice in the world. I refuse to be a victim to chaos and hate. I refuse to be indifferent.