Honoring the Anger in Ferguson

I have no idea where this is going.  I don’t have an agenda or an outline thought through in my head as I write this.  This isn’t going to be one of those “10 things you can do” lists about Ferguson or about police violence, because I don’t think my head is that clear at the moment.  I have nothing new or smart to add, as there’s already been plenty of incredibly smart discussion about this topic, from what white allies can do to support, to why the police is so militarized, why Obama has failed us, and many other important angles.

I feel like I need to do a brain-dump about all that’s been happening with Ferguson, with Michael Brown, and with justice in America – for myself more than anything – because I’m going crazy thinking about it.

My Facebook wall is filled with posts about Ferguson and about Michael Brown.  I’ve obviously been following the story like everyone else, but I’ve really had trouble making sense of my emotions this time around.  It just feels like….. too much.  I’m grateful that my 20-month old nephew is visiting from out of town, and that his ridiculously adorable smile keeps my mind sane for the time being.

In some strange way, I don’t even think it’s the shooting itself that’s been so hard to deal with.  And that’s a sad thing to say, and speaks to the state of “justice” in america.   [Read more...]

Tears are Great Medicine

Wow…  What a week.

Last Thursday, Theresa and I were inside the San Bruno County Jails, running our weekly Training of Trainers program.  Just another day.

We were training the men to present the “Violence Is” activity, and as part of it we were having a discussion about the various forms of violence and harm.  We recognize that violence is not just a physical act that you do to someone else.  The deepest pains in society are the emotional scars that we all carry inside.

Then, one of the men spoke up.  This young man had been one of the quieter, less engaged men in our group since we started this program over two months ago.  Typically, he would just sit back and not really say much.  He even told us later that he was thinking about leaving our group.   [Read more...]