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Trayvon Martin: A Lamentation

For these things I weep

My eye, my eye overflows with water ;

Because the comforter, who should restore my life.

Is far from me

My children are desolate

Because the enemy has prevailed

Lamentations 1:16

I wanted to write something about today’s events but words escape me. I feel distantly far from that which has promised justice like streams of righteousness. From that which I believe is the source of love and justice in the universe. My heart finds itself in a deep lamentation, a deep wailing from my soul. It’s wrapped in sack cloth, marked by an inner pulling out of my hair with hot ashes heaped upon it. A smouldering anger and frustration that has no place to vent itself. A inner riot, a roiling torment is taking place.

On a day when words escape me I reflect back to the words of Dave Dennis, the Mississippi Head of Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) which was founded in 1942 by the pacifist Fellowship of Reconciliation. I appropriate Dave Dennis’s words as my own as he laments at the funeral of James Chaney, one of three members to include Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner who were murdered by racist thugs in Mississippi during voter registration efforts in 1964’s Freedom Summer. Dennis, so overcome with grief, passed out at the end of his lamentation. You can see his statement in the video above at the .05 second mark.

Coincidently, the killing of Travyon Martin, the acquittal of George Zimmerman in his murder and the recent repealing of the Voting Rights Act by the Supreme Court of the United States directly point us back to the violent events of that summer of ’64. Dave Dennis’s anguish echoes to us in the present to jolt us awake and remind us not only of what took place then but what’s taking place now and how far we have yet to travel.

 “I know what they’re gonna say. Not guilty! That no one saw him pull the trigger. I’m tired of that! Don’t bow down anymore! Hold your heads up! We want our freedom now! I don’t want to have go to another memorial. I’m tired of funerals! I’m tired of it!! – Dave Dennis 1964

I’m tired.


About Joseph

natty dread bastard child of the first world. something like a literary trap beat.


2 thoughts on “Trayvon Martin: A Lamentation

  1. Heartbreaking and beautiful, Joseph. This will stay with me, in the deepest way.

    Posted by Eidyia | July 16, 2013, 9:49 AM

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