The other day I read a phrase from Katherine Fritz’s blog. It read, “Another day. Another hashtag.” The post outlined her frustrated feelings on the recent killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Although she urged her fellow white citizens to listen and to understand that this is our fight, too, there was almost a sense of hopelessness in her tone. Considering that only two years previously she had written an almost identical post concerning the death of Michael Brown, and again just a year ago when nine people were killed at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, and countless others on the subject of racism in this country, it is no wonder why she felt this way. Because today we can go back and re-read the articles written at those times and see that they are still relevant. Two more black men are dead at the hands of police, and who knows how much that number will increase in the coming years. Hashtag Alton Sterling. Hashtag Philando Castile.
These events occurred amidst a presidential race with a Sophie’s choice of candidates – a man/mop who we all thought was a joke at first and now is the frontrunner for the Republican party, and a woman who has been treated as above the law when it comes to crimes she has committed in the past. It is a country plagued with gun violence, in a seemingly perpetual cycle of brutality driven by fear and endless constitutional loopholes. Even something ostensibly good like Pokemon Go, which has been getting more people outside in a couple weeks than Michele Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign has in almost eight years, is causing problems – people walking into oncoming traffic, falling into ditches, playing while driving, and trudging into people’s places of work to catch ’em all.
2016 is beating me. I can’t keep up anymore. I can barely gather my thoughts on one horrible event before a completely new one rolls around and sends my head spinning all over again. Something horrible may be happening at this very moment, but reporters just haven’t gotten there, yet.
Hashtag.Someone’s been shot. Hashtag. This presidential candidate is crazy. Hashtag. Mass shooting in the city. Hashtag. War breaks out. Hashtag. Kim and Kanye, Taylor and Selena.
Hashtag. Hashtag. Hashtag.
Meanwhile, I am trying to figure out my place in this completely daunting, totally frenzied world. I am caught between complaining and recognizing my privilege, between listening and speaking, between uncertainty and goal-setting. Lately, I’ve lost what I’m passionate about. I’ve lost a lot of laughter. My friends aren’t around all the time anymore. I’m too broke to go anywhere fun. Hashtag does the second year after college suck as much as the worst? Hashtag what am I doing wrong? Hashtag where did the funny go?
Hashtag. This is a bizarro fucking world and I have no idea what to make of it. Today, I will read. I will listen. I will wander in the dark some more.