Our nation is broken. I do not recognize my own country, the place that I have lived my entire life. Everything has changed. And I don’t know what to do.
Mostly I want to scream. I want to scream at the television screen every time I watch another government official lie to me. I want to scream at the people who post bible verses on Facebook to defend their hate-filled hearts. I want to scream into a pillow and weep because my heart is breaking for the people of Aleppo, Flint, Juarez, and Puerto Rico. I want to scream at the guy who drives down my street in his jacked up pickup with the loud muffler and massive American flags trailing behind. I want to scream at everyone in my church congregation who voted for the monster that occupies the White House. I just want to scream.
But instead, I pray. I pray that God would have mercy on me for not doing something. Anything. I’m so weak and helpless. I comfort myself with excuses like “what can I do? I’m just a regular guy.” I’m sure millions of Germans told themselves that very same lie while they watched as their friends, neighbors, employees, and co-workers were led into concentration camps and certain death. I pray that God gives me the strength to do something. If only I knew what.
I called my congressman and senator’s offices and talked to mildly sympathetic voices who assured me my leaders would do something. A bunch of them sent a letter. That made me feel…good. No, it made me feel hopeless. That’s what I meant to say.
I’m screaming in my head as I write this. It seems to be the most genuine emotion I have right now. And there’s this heaviness in my chest. It’s a heaviness that barely allowed me to plaster a fake smile on my face as my family celebrated Father’s Day. I couldn’t smile because I couldn’t stop thinking about the hundreds, maybe thousands, of fathers and mothers that are sitting in cells or cages trembling with rage and fear because they don’t know where their children are. If they are safe. Or if they will ever see them again. Just typing this makes my eyes fill with tears.
Surely this is just a temporary state of affairs. It will pass, like high gas prices, severe weather, or an annoying meme. This can’t last. I want it to pass out of my view. I don’t want to look at it anymore or think about it or talk about it. That screaming in my head won’t stop until it goes away; of that I am sure.
Maybe it’s all been an illusion, like the face of Jesus in a piece of toast. I sincerely wanted to see the face of compassion in my country, in my countrymen, in myself. But was it ever really there? We had slaves. We justified that. We had Jim Crow laws. That was fine. We murdered the Indians. No one even noticed. We systematically oppressed women until like yesterday, but it’s still just fine. We shoot black men for traffic violations. We shoot kids in school. We shoot people at concerts and in nightclubs and theaters and churches. But we have to have our guns. The Constitution after all.
The screaming in my head is just a stream of profanity at this moment. Am I going mad?
I don’t know what to do. I don’t know who we are. The only thing I’m certain of is that the light is extinguished. We no longer embody the aspirations woven into the words of our anthems. Our time has passed, and we must now take our place among the pantheon of aborted dreams and promises made but left unfulfilled. A derelict lighthouse on the rocky shore of history.
The only thing I can do besides scream is to write. Maybe it will keep me sane. Is anyone even listening?
Oh, the screaming…
June 18, 2018 at 4:58 pm
You are not alone. Many, many of us are screaming with you.
June 18, 2018 at 4:58 pm
If I could write how I’m feeling, it would be this……..word for word!
June 18, 2018 at 5:12 pm
Have you heard my screaming beside yours. Have you felt the wetness of my tears; heard my fervent prayers to God, to my Angels; felt the pain as my heart breaks; known my fear for my grandchildren; or even the hurt as my children don’t believe how bad it is and that I’m just an old woman ranting without enough to do?
I’m right there with you, Lamont. Calling and getting young men and women instead of the person who needs to hear my words. Of opportunities that could be taken but all is ignored by his party .
Watching the abhorant people he chose for his cabinet do all they can do against our Democracy as they grab every chance for dirty money and never really do anything. Now they bring their hell upon children and try to use biblical verse to condone it. Yes there will be a terrible place in hell for these people but with that come before our downfall.
All security is gone that I used to feel. Hate for these people wants to take over my heart, when once I was accepting of all and believed in the goodness of mankind.
I’m exhausted, angry, sad, terrified . I find it incredulous, never even considered, that a group of people that represented the people of this country, could condone and elect a man so obviously dangerous and weak, just so they could win. So they could vindictively lay waste to all the good work done over years just because they could and now can’t even stand before what they have wrought and chose the cowards way out by ‘retiring’ which really amounts to what the armed forces would call-going awall.
We the people are willing to fight. Why aren’t the people who were elected and promised to keep us safe willing do so?
The man who would be president has done so much harm and has lied and cheated, has commuted crimes against the constitution but no one will come up against him in his party.
Well there. I wrote too. Sure wish it would make me happy.
June 18, 2018 at 5:37 pm
I’m screaming, too. And crying. A lot. You’re definitely not alone.
June 18, 2018 at 5:40 pm
Screaming and writing with you.
June 18, 2018 at 6:55 pm
I agree, whole heartedly , but we must not lose hope. Vote like your life depends on it.
Pray like we expect miracles.
We aren’t done yet.
June 18, 2018 at 8:26 pm
You have described my life exactly…….I wept on November 8, 2016 when we learned that trump won the election. Many of my friends wept also because we could see the future with this evil man as president. We feel helpless and hopeless. I’m angry with the republicans for failing to speak out and I’m angry with my family and friends who voted for this con man.
June 18, 2018 at 10:02 pm
Yes, your words pretty much describe my thoughts and feelings exactly… better than I could have expressed them myself. Thank you. I still want to believe that good will triumph over evil and all is not lost, but some days it is almost impossible to stay positive. Those of us who still have a soul are experiencing “Outrage Fatigue”.
June 18, 2018 at 10:38 pm
You’re not alone LaMonte. I did my own “screaming” in my weekly post on Sunday. One thing I do know…we must all continue to do whatever we can…even if it seems like a small thing. All of us together wil win this battle. There is a spark still flickering in the embers. Keep writing, as will I. I believe it does help keep us sane. Peace.
(in case you want to read my rant…https://katmyrman.com/2018/06/17/sundays-week-in-reverse-17-june-2018/)
June 19, 2018 at 12:44 am
Eloquently expressed, you have recognized the feelings and frustrations of so many. The internal screams we bear together should be heard, but we are without moral leaders and their heads and ears are filled with fluff. And so we all continue to scream, and write, to stay sane.
June 19, 2018 at 9:58 am
The photo of the Honduras toddler sobbing next to her mother detained by border agents was it for me. The pain and suffering endured by so many people seems to have no effect on the people implementing these cruel policies. Where have they buried their hearts? Their empathy? their conscience? I am hoarse from screaming…
June 19, 2018 at 11:10 am
My heart and soul shared these thoughts
June 21, 2018 at 11:10 am
You are not alone and thank you for putting so many of the thoughts I have, in my head, into written words.