Here is my youth reflection speech for the SCLC’s MLK Celebration in 2016. For some reason I forgot to upload it on the site initially, but here it is anyway.
Ryan lived with his father in a small shack that was just on the edge of Safe Zone City. We call it SZC for short. Every morning, just as the … Continue reading Xander Cole: Revenge of the Rogue Zombies (Vol. 1 No. 2)
Cassandra watched the men take her husband to the top of the hill from the dining room window. The top of the hill is where the lynching tree is located. … Continue reading The Lynching Tree
Moon rockiness, the suckiness and the craters all being full of old broken shit. Like domes nobody’s using anymore, and wrappers and claws. This space feels old, empty. … Continue reading Feed in Infinite Darkness (Reaction Poem)
Time. Time waits for no man is something that I’ve always heard growing up. Being a sophomore in college now, the idea of time and that quote that always seems … Continue reading The Golden Boy
The air inside of the empty warehouse was warm and moist. Sun rays beamed through broken windows and slits in the ceiling. Floor boards were missing, and the building seemed … Continue reading Xander Cole: Revenge of the Rogue Zombies (Vol. 1 No. 1)
People died today.
They died…and I didn’t care. I didn’t shed one tear or weep away my sorrows with a hurt heart.
I heard that 53 people were injured at a gay club in Orlando, Florida on June 12, 2016. I heard that 49 died–correction–I heard that 49 human beings were killed. I glanced over the headlines, and I read those heartfelt Facebook status’ from my friends and family, but for some strange reason, I hardly felt anything for the human bodies that were massacred on that day. I didn’t feel hurt for them nor did I feel sad for their families and loved ones.
I just want to make it very clear right now that I do not condone the actions of the Orlando Killer whatsoever.
However, I do feel as cold-hearted about the situation as I can only assume the Orlando Killer felt while slaughtering an onslaught of human bodies. But I do not feel cold-hearted for the same reason as the Orlando Killer.
I feel cold-hearted about the death of another human body that is not immediately connected to my own because in my life experience, murder and death is a normalcy. Sure, I may not see murder or death everyday, but I feel as if I hear about it almost everyday. I hear about murder and death so much that I have grown numb to the feeling of genuine care. My ears are numb. I am detached–disconnected from the emotional realities of the death of 49 human body, let alone one, and it’s because the situations are not close enough to me. Those dead bodies are foreign to me, so my natural response is “That’s just the way it is,” or “Life goes on.”
Now, after hearing about the shooting massacre in Orlando, I may not have responded as nearly as properly to the fact that over 100 human bodies were either expired or harmed, but I did however respond to the details in which the Orlando Killer executed his plan.
My initial reaction after I spoke with my girlfriend about the situation over the phone was, “Man, that’s crazy,” and then, “How in the hell do you kill 49 people and injure 53 with just a hand gun, and an assault rifle?” Upon further review of the situation from The New York Times, whom I believed to be the most accurate source to go by on the net, I began to wonder who the killer was and what were his motives exactly. As of now, I have heard everything under the Sun concerning this man’s background including that he is a member of ISIS, he attended Pulse, the gay club in which the heinous shooting escapade was conducted, multiple times before, that he abused his ex-wife, he was an American Citizen, and that he was connected to the NYPD at some point.
All of those details are certainly important, and I have my opinions about all of this information, but there’s just one thing in all of those details that is just not mentioned enough: People died on that day.
Human bodies were killed on that day, and not just in Orlando, but all around the world.
And after I spoke with my girlfriend about the situation, and mentioned it briefly with my mother, father, and uncle, I did my laundry, watched Game 5 of the NBA Finals and went to sleep.
People died, the shooting was wrong, and I went to sleep soundly in the same exact night.
The next morning, I went to work, shared a few posts on Facebook, and went about my life as if nothing had ever happened to me.
On the day of the shooting, I seemed to focus more on the shooter, than the bodies that were killed. Even today, I tend to question the motives of the shooter, and the role of the American government and media in this whole ordeal. I tend to forget about the bodies, but for the past couple of hours, once again, I have glanced over a few headlines that are aimed at letting the public know who the victims of the fatal shooting were. Some of the headlining photos were the faces of the victims.
I glanced over the headlines. I glanced over the articles. I glanced over their faces.
I have a mother and father who I care about dearly and want to make proud. I have an older sister who I love to make laugh. She has two children, my nephews, who are seemingly little lights in the darkness of this world. I have a younger sister who I hardly ever see, but would be just as sad to see pass away as my older sister. My girlfriend is my world and the love of my life.
There are so many people in my life that I would completely breakdown for if they were to pass away, but still, compared to the millions of other human beings that I have yet (and probably never meet) to meet, these people in my life are just a small fraction of the human population.
So as I sit here now and type this entry, I’m thinking to myself Is it wrong to not care about people who I have never met? and most importantly What do I do now that I have identified these things in myself?
I did not start this entry because I wanted to persuade someone to think a certain way about this situation or my thought process, and I still do not know what to do now or what actions I should be taking, but as someone has said before “I know what I know.”
And what I know is to write. So…