I was talking to a friend today about politics, and I realized that I had not processed the three hate-crime murders in Jacksonville, FL. Of course I had read about it, but it just went into my consciousness, and my brain said, “oh how horrible,” and I moved on.
That’s not right.
Not that I personally can do anything about it, except mention it here and post a drawing. I don’t know what good that does. It is a blessing that the shooter was not let into Edward Waters University, a historically Black institution, where he went right before going to the Dollar Store and killing three Black people. One can only image how many more he would have killed has he gotten into the college. Authorities say it was clear the gunman was targeting Black people.
“We have three people who are dead because they are Black,” State Senator Tracie Davis, a Jacksonville Democrat, said at a vigil on Sunday morning. “Shopping. In our community. Gunned down. Because they were Black.”
Jacksonville has a long history of racsim, which you can read about here. At a vigil for the vicitms, Govenor DeSantis was repeatedly, and loudly, booed. His administration has enacted laws that roll back diversity and inclusion policies, and “ his administration [has come] under withering criticism for rejecting the curriculum of an Advanced Placement African American studies class and rewriting African American history courses.” DeSantis and Trump repeatedly signal with dog whistles — and legislation — that they believe White America is under seige by “woke” beliefs, liberals, LBGTQ+, feminists and POC. Most of the candidates running for the GOP nomination for President don’t demounce that; they should.
Frightenly, hate crime is a reality. Because it has been “sanctioned” by certain politicians, we are seeing it more.
Each of us has our own coping mechanisms, our own umbrellas to protect ourselves from hate, or from the reality of its existance. I know I do, my optimistic nature does not like to acknowledge it. But it’s not enough. I am not sure what is.
Is talking about it enough?