Jason shares the words he spoke in front of thousands last night on Fifth Street at the Vigil for those killed in the Oregon District.
“It’s in the spirit of male loneliness to imagine that someone has to suffer for it,” Ohio native Hanif Abdurraqib writes in his book of essays, “They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us.” I read this line a few years go, and I’ve always remembered it as a perfect encapsulation of male fragility.
The details are still emerging, but what we do know is that a young obviously angry man with access to a killing machine descended upon our neighborhood last night and made people suffer.
I hope what grows in this moment is the courage for us to examine the violent illness with which this country has always suffered. No longer anomalies, these mass shootings are a reflection of who we are and who we have been. It’s not good enough for us to say “we’re better than this.”
Because we’ve not been.
But we could be, if we had the courage to reimagine what a just, equitable, and safe society looked like. If we had the courage to examine the anger of men with the same amount of vigor with which we interrogate immigration, terrorism, or people of color protesting injustice.
Rest in power to those who no longer are with us. Peace and strength to the families and to the injured who must figure out a way to live now.”