Melyssa Barrett: Welcome to the Jali Podcast. I’m your host, Melyssa Barrett. This podcast is for those who are interested in the conversation around diversity, inclusion and equity. Each week, I’ll be interviewing a guest who has something special to share or is actively part of building solutions in this space. Let’s get started.
I know this is a podcast about diversity, equity and inclusion, but I had to take a moment and create a space. I needed one for myself. I continue to be heartbroken over these crimes that continue to occur. I am utterly speechless. I don’t know what to say. I have no words.
These mass shootings are occurring any and everywhere. It used to be that you could feel a sense of safety at your church, at school, but now, it’s happening at grocery stores, hair salons, churches, elementary schools, even the numbers that are being tracked for mass shootings are not consistent. There’s no actual definition of a mass shooting. Is it three people, four people, not including the shooter? Is it at a public place or anywhere?
A Buffalo grocery store had a racially motivated, violent extremist kill 10 people. A Taiwanese church in Southern California killed one, injured five. In Dallas, police were investigating a series of shootings, one of which occurred at a hair salon, three women in Koreatown. In my own town a couple of months ago, we had a man shot on his way home from work, stopped at a gas station to get gas and it is being prosecuted and investigated as a hate crime.
Uvalde, 19 students, and two teachers. I am heartbroken. The fact that these parents had to give their DNA for their children to be identified. I have no words. So I just wanted to highlight a couple of poems that Amanda Gorman wrote after the school shooting because I really don’t have the words. And so I just appreciate Amanda Gorman. Thank you for giving words. Your voice is so powerful.
She wrote two poems specifically. So I’m going to read the first one. Schools scared to death. The truth is one education under desks, stooped low from bullets that plunge when we ask. Where our children shall live and how, and if, what might we be if only we tried? What might we become if only we’d listen?
Amanda also wrote a hymn for the hurting. Everything hurts. Our hearts shadowed and strange, minds made muddied and mute. We carry tragedy terrifying and true. And yet, none of it is new. We knew it as home, as horror, as heritage, even our children cannot be children, cannot be. Everything hurts. It’s a hard time to be alive and even harder to stay that way. We’re burdened to live out these days while at the same time blessed to outlive them. This alarm is how we know we must be altered, that we must differ or die, that we must triumph or try. Thus while hate cannot be terminated, it can be transformed into a love that lets us live.
May we not just grieve, but give. May we not just ache, but act may our signed right to bear arms, never blind our sight from shared harm. May we choose our children over chaos. May another innocent never be lost. Maybe everything hurts. Our hearts shadowed and strange, but only when everything hurts, may everything change.
Thanks for joining me on the Jali Podcast. Please subscribe so you won’t miss an episode. See you next week.