Charleston Passion Play

Fucking exhausting being so spiritually evolved. Guess black people just have that transcend shit and go back for more gene. Odd, I don’t hear Jews, the Abrahamic source of Christianity and Islam as well, parsing the necessity to be better people by forgiving the Nazis. Any Cambodians out there proclaiming their forgiveness of Pol Pot?

But here in America, I am expected to be non-violent in response to physical assault. Praised for an apparently endless capacity to absorb brutality up to and including murder with an evolved serenity that allows me to resume my immutable place in the social order while white people applaud and even genuinely admire my readiness to forgive a racist killer before he has even been arraigned. Wtf!

Black pain is a public spectacle. An on-going Passion play; the attack on the innocents at a swimming pool. The movie of a fleeing black man being shot dead with eight bullets to his back — a snuff film. And the Hollywood extravaganza — kill a bunch of them in their church and advertise it as a forgiveness-fest.

Is there some other group in this country that has to assume the possibility of death while, driving, walking, swimming, shopping… and then tap-dance for the edification of those who smugly insist they must have done something to bring on such peril? How does public forgiveness not embed the cycle?

I not only watched the film “Selma.” I remember Selma, and I will never be reconciled to one single black person supposedly “having” to die, expected to be willing to die, for what is our birthright.

The journey to forgiveness, willed at first perhaps, conferred, at last, by something like grace and sought through great suffering, is a private, sacred, personal road. I would never question its value. But I am weary of seeing what should be done in church, in spiritual searching and ceremony, offered as pearls before swine to a public eager to enshrine a scapegoat caste.

And for all that, a slaughtered clergyman and elected official lies in state in the South Carolina State House where a curtain is installed to shield mourners passing through to pay their respects from the sight of the Confederate flag still flying high just out the window.

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Yes, I know about the necessary vote to remove it. Basic decency would have led the governor to have it removed by fiat while his body was there, and later returned for the political wrangle that is building about its ultimate removal. But that’s not necessary. Those black people can bear any indignity. Aren’t we fortunate to have such a model the rest of American citizens can only aspire to.

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