My heart aches when I turn on the news.
Another life lost.
Another hardened heart.
The comments begin.
Opinions are thrown about like rice at a wedding,
Pelting and cloying.

Someone died without justice,
Without due process.
Another senseless, irrational, unbelievable loss.
Tensions run high,
And the outrage from all sides just becomes noise.

He’s still dead.
A family still grieves.
And a murderer walks free.

Where is justice now?

I want to join in the noise, but I can’t.
No one is listening anyway.

We fear you as much as you hate us.
We hate you as much as you fear us.
No one wins.

We don’t need to be your friends, we just need you to
Let. Us. Live.

We don’t need to agree,
We just need you to stop violating our rights.

Black lives matter!
Blue lives matter!
Me too!
All lives matter!

But none of that is true.

She’s still dead.
A family is wrecked.
And a vigilante walks among us.

I wish this was like TV
Because then the vigilantes would be heroes,
Not killers.

Impotent rage bubbles inside me.
I want to hate them all,
At least all of them who hate us for existing.
For a brief moment,
I wonder if they feel the same.

Is this how it starts?

Who are they anyway?
On TV, they would be marked somehow.
In real life, they are neighbors, the woman in the park,
A teacher, a classmate, a news anchor,
A cop, a politician
Everyday people.

I don’t hate them because I know
Not to fall into the trap of “all.”
Or Us vs. Them.
Black vs. White.
American vs. Everyone Else.
White America vs. Our America.

I don’t allow myself to hate
Because I know better than to judge a book by its cover,
Unless that cover has me restrained with its knee on my throat
And I can’t breathe.

Cece V