Fallen Apart

soapboxpileTo support one thing does not mean I am against another. I want to make certain all who read my words understand this, to support one thing does not place me at odds with another thing. I can be for both, I can be in support of two seemingly different things. How you might ask, it is simple and I will tell you in as simple as terms as possible.

I am for humanity. I am for human dignity. I am for justice, fairness. I am for all of us, together as a people, as a nation finding solutions that will move us forward toward sanity and peace. I am at a loss, not just for words but my spirit is seeping away, hiding in a dark corner and refusing to seek the light any longer.

We are a people of disquiet and terrible, tragic division. We are not a single people, joined together by our desire to become stronger through our diversity and our shared history. Instead, we have sought the lowest common denominator, sought the very worst in ourselves and celebrated these most terrible and violent traits that drag prejudice and fear. Some of us protest the violent and senseless loss of life, we march and raise our voices demanding justice and change, yet the only thing that truly changes is the divide widens, the chasm of mistrust grows between us and violence increases. In our demand for recognition, our voices raised seeking justice that has not been ours in the past we say with one word, allies and friends be damned and cheer as innocent blood runs in the street.

The language of divisiveness has torn us down and apart. A mirror has been held up and we have seen ourselves, the worst of ourselves and embraced it. We have forgotten that good exists in abundance. We have chosen instead to ratchet up the hate, the vile rhetoric that will incite fear and violence on both sides of the ever widening abyss. Our leadership, whether elected or otherwise,5-signs-from-last-night-s-game-of-thrones-that-point-to-the-rise-of-daenerys-the-derange-996054 uses every opportunity to politicize death and mayhem, to feed our fear and fury. We are spiraling down the rabbit hole toward anarchy and those who would be king, they sit and rub their hands together gleefully as we fulfill their mad desire.

We watch in horror as another Black man is gunned down in the street or in his car as his child watches. We listen in horror as amateur journalists put their deaths on Facebook live, rather than offer them comfort and we justify their actions, we understand their actions because we need to know we need to see the bad acts. We forget to weep, we are immune we have seen this all before replayed over and over, these deaths simply cause our fury. Another senseless death. Another child, father, husband murdered by those sworn to serve and protect, murdered by those who will not be held accountable.

We blame the victims, searching for any misstep they might have made in their past, smearing them in public to justify their death. We tsk tsk as their death is replayed, over and over and every pundit tells us what we should think of them, depending upon what side of the chasm they speak from. We see the pain of their family, the fury of their loved ones and the demand for justice sends us to the street, more and more often with terrible results.

DALLAS, TX - JULY 11: Dallas Police Chief David Brown

We pay men and women to put on the blue, to ‘protect’ and to ‘serve’ us, the people. We demand they do so and without them Anarchy would rein in the streets. Yes, we must demand they be held to a higher, more perfect standard. We must require they be fit for the job they perform. DPC David Brown had been doing that, going against what many believed would work in Dallas, he charted a new course.  Dallas has become a model city, proving community policing and modern ideas can work in large diverse city. We cannot ever be good with the mayhem, the chaos and misery they cause in our cities, our communities. We must not turn away, thinking just so long as it isn’t at our doorstep and so long as we can justify it with a good old fashioned smear campaign of culture, people or individual we can ignore it as ‘not our problem’.

Last week seven people lost their lives senselessly to violence. We do not know all the details surrounding the deaths of Alton Stearling and Philando Castile, but we know enough. We watched in horror as they died. We have also watched in horror as their lives have been dissected and their characters smeared.

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Their deaths have led to nationwide marches, demands for justice, demands for change and unfortunately in some cases demands for the blood of police. Which was finally met on Thursday night at a peaceful #BLM demonstration, with shooting of twelve Dallas police officers, resulting in the death of five. Not just any twelve, not just any five, but in retribution specific targets were selected based on race and their wearing of the Blue.

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Dallas mourns their fallen. I mourn the fallen. I mourn with the families of Alton Stearling and Philando Castile, their loss is devastating. I mourn with the families of the fallen officers, their loss is also devastating. In truth, how can we mourn one while celebrating the other? Yes, to all of those who have said ‘good’, to the loss of those five police officers I say shame on you and truthfully ‘fuck you’. We cannot mourn one without mourning both to do otherwise is ignorance on our part and shows a lack of compassion that strips us of our humanity.

Why don’t we know by now, we are one people born of struggle, fire, blood and tragedy. We are one people, born of spiritual poverty and horrify mistakes. But one people generations removed from our beginnings yet it seems still mired in the ignorance of our ancestors, still clinging like Velcro to our history it seems we will continue to refuse to climb out. If we do not learn to reach across the divide we are doomed. So yes, I can and do support both. I can and do see both and desire reconciliation, change, justice and the creation of a better more perfect nation. This, this tragic and terrible one, it has to end. But violence, bloodshed, hate and bigotry this will not end well for any of us.


  1. Just knocking at your door today Val and know I am thinking of you.. Have a great week my friend
    Hugs Sue

  2. Truly, it begs the question why do we believe there is an inequity which makes one better than the other? I mean it from a single person perspective. What could possibly make one person feel they are better than another? When we can eradicate the single-person belief s/he is better than anyone else, the other divisiveness all falls away.

    Le sigh.

    I tire of it all. I am tired of living in a country whose flag permanently flies at half-mast. I tire of mourning.

  3. Good piece. This has been a very traumatizing summer, one tragic incident followed by another. Where will it end? Simply heartbreaking.

  4. Heartfelt and well said. I so agree with you.

  5. Sadly, we seem be divided more by each new killing. Like you I try to see the issues from both sides and feel that I am a tolerant, caring person. In CC tonight there is a Unity rally at Cole Park for all those killed in the last months/weeks and a stand against violence and that is good. Yet I see the old hatred already flaring on both sides. President Obama’s words seem to have no effect as those that despise him cannot even give him a little respect as they reacted to his words in Dallas. We can only try to make a difference where we are day by day and speak out. You speak out so very well, Val!!!! Peace and love to you!

  6. Can someone tell me why you can’t have a US Presidential candidate like US Attorney General Loretta Lynch? Smart, articulate and empowering.

  7. First of all, Val, never apologize beforehand for publishing something controversial. Issues such as race and gender will never find common denominators.

    Second, I personally feared something like July 7 would happen: what with the animosity some people have for the police; the ease with which people can get even military-style assault rifles; and the lack of attention to mental health problems in this country. Only the blind and naïve would be surprised something like this occurred.

    I also fear this matter will slip into the pages of obscurity, as the country’s attention turns back to the presidential elections, the economy and foreign-born terrorists. Then we’ll have another massacre. Liberals will demand more gun control, and conservatives will offer their “thoughts and prayers.” And nothing will happen. Then another massacre will occur.

    This whole mess wasn’t just personal because I’m a Dallas native, but in part because I used to work downtown; very near where the march ended, as those gunshots rang out. I know the building where El Centro College is located used to be a department store that had stood vacant for some time, before visionaries convinced the city council to convert it into a college. That way people who lived on the outskirts of downtown – but didn’t have personal transportation – would still be able to get a decent education.

    It’s all so sad and horrific, but none of it really surprises me.

    • I knew as well. I saw it coming, just not here, not in Dallas where we have seen such change and such progressive change in our policing standards.

      I think I started this piece where I did because of my personal feelings. Thank you for your thoughts.

  8. Well done, Val. Did you see the memorial service today. Our President did an outstanding job in his speech to give us vision and hope. If only we will all pause, listen, and reach out. I wrote something similar, but like you, it took me a few days to push through the pain. Keep lifting up the lamplight my friend.

    • I am still processing the memorial. I didn’t get to see it live. I think I wish our President would have kept it less political more focused on the fallen officers, I know it is hard to do in this time in our history.

      Tragic and terrible times.

  9. Beautifully said. ❤

  10. ****Why don’t we know by now, we are one people born of struggle, fire, blood and tragedy?****

    Why don’t we see this? One people. One blood. One nation. One color.

    Love you and your passion, Val. xxx

  11. Val this was another of your best pieces of writing my friend. And I agree with you and could not say it any better than with your own words here

    “I am for humanity. I am for human dignity. I am for justice, fairness. I am for all of us, together as a people, as a nation finding solutions that will move us forward toward sanity and peace.”

    May we all of us Wake Up to the insanity and recognise WE are ALL of us responsible for our actions, judgments and that which we think, For it ultimately ripples out and creates this Mad reality we are living in now.. Until we Alter our own Ways of BEing, this world is going faster down its own slippery slope of destruction.

    May we all Work towards Harmony, Tolerance and PEACE
    ❤ Sue

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