Uvalde. We are not ok.
Let's choose to go beyond "thoughts and prayers" and lean into actions to limit what's available
The image above is a quote from a text I sent my husband while he was away on business trave. I sent this at the start of my morning, the day after the nation, once again, attempts to comprehend the incomprehensible — another mass shooting, the 200th one in 2022.
We are not ok.
As a mother to four elementary school-age children, I intentionally curtail the news content consumed by my children in an attempt to preserve their innocence for as long as they want it, listening in for their queues on readiness. Sissy Goff, a renowned child psychiatrist, intimates parents' innate knowledge of child readiness by the types of questions they’re asking. At our house, we use the three Ls as a simple tool for discerning…Is it love? Is it life? Is it light? Does whatever it is promote love or hate? Does it take away life or give more life? And is it darkness or is it light? It is the reason why I shield them from many breaking news that normalize Black trauma including the racially motivated mass shooting at a grocery store just a few days before the next mass shooting at Robb Elementary. Do I tell my children to not go to school or to not go grocery shopping?
What happened in Uvalde could happen to any one of us. Our safety and the agreements we’ve made to exist in a cooperative society continue to be breached and our “systems” of justice fail us. We’ve become accustomed to the rinse and repeat talking points that propagate profits from violence. Leaders in society will point fingers, saying it was because this person was not loved, that person had a criminal background—or this person has a history of mental health. Anyone can flip at any time, but the manner in which you flip and its accompanying damage is limited by what’s available.
Limit what’s available.
In my rage, I ask myself if it’s time to demand that our state and federal dollars be allocated to fund our children's education at home. I wonder if that’s what it’ll take—the demise of the education complex including its vast contribution to the economy for our leaders to finally act instead of perform “thoughts and prayers”? A 11 year old girl organized a walk-out with 99% of students in her school participating, including staff members, demonstrating action and not only ‘thoughts and prayers’ — a skill desperately absent from many in seats of power. Is the expectation of safety from gun violence one that is so unreasonable that each “never again” becomes, “again and again”?
Why is it that we even argue about the rightness of a teenager accessing weapons of war when legally they can’t buy liquor?
To the grieving mothers, fathers, siblings and other loved ones of the lost souls, I am in sorrow alongside you for the pain that has now engulfed your very being. I am sorry for the tragedy and the irreparable nature of it. I am saddened that all of these victims—children and teachers, will never experience their “I look forward to” lists. Sorrow is a more appropriate word than sorry. I am sorrowful for the victims. I am sorrowful for our society.
We are not ok.
May God, in His mercy, show the families of the victims in Uvalde, Texas, His favor and grace. May we—the collective we, do what's right and just to ensure that the tiny souls in our care have a future and we rise up in this moment of darkness pushing toward and wishing to eradicate light. May I have the will to choose love, life and light in our continued experiment as a cooperative society.
If we can give you voice, or amplify your voice, please send us a note with the subject line “Uvalde” at firstname.lastname@example.org
This is an unplanned installation of our newsletter, Popcorn and Tea by korédé, coming soon, where we share stories that impact the lives of ambitious mothers shaping the future.
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