We awoke this morning to the tragic news that overnight Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran (alongside 6 others) were executed by firing squad.
The Death Penalty Sucks
Alongside the tweets of report and condemnation I saw words and photos of the riots in Baltimore, riots begun after yet ANOTHER young black man was killed by police.
Violent Responses Suck
As my anger and frustration towards the Indonesian and US authorities (and seemingly complicit or apathetic citizens) began to grow, I stopped to remember that currently our Australian government keeps vulnerable, innocent people in indefinite detention; essentially torturing refugees so that they'll lose hope and go elsewhere.
Indefinite Detention Sucks
At least, I thought, responsibility for these kind of tragedies are easily laid at the feet of human agents and institutions. But then I thought of Nepal... I thought of Vanuatu... and thousands of innocent deaths.
Natural Disasters Suck
However, before I can take the focus off my (and our human culpability), the devastation of these disasters might not have been so bad were it not for the impoverished nature of these countries. Systematic poverty, a consequence of current capitalistic greed, of colonialism, of environmental degradation.
And I know that for every tragedy I think of and name, there are dozens I know of but do not name (victims of floods, 34 dead women - to mention two closer to home), and thousands I have yet to hear about or am actively trying to ignore.
There have been lots of responses this morning... as there are every morning following every new tragedy. Some responses are beautiful, eloquent, precise - they express grief, provide insight, hint at hope. Other responses are overly simplistic, hurtful/hateful, or just too quick to tell me everything will be alright... in the end...
What do we have? What can we do? Because in the end all I've done is write a blog post... which really, might just be for me?
I don't know... what now? maybe encourage someone today, or extend a little more grace to someone who cuts you off in traffic or walks too slow down stairs, or, I don't know... hope, I guess... if you can. Knowing that its only really hope, if the situation is hopeless.