Dead in Solidarity
Today I was standing on the subway platform with my friend and I told him about the story I'd heard about a week and a half ago, about the young black man in a subway station in my neighborhood who had his head cracked open by a cop for allegedly beating the fare. Blood spattered the clothes of the bystanders filming the assault. To the NYPD, that boy's skull was worth two dollars and fifty cents. I thought of all the times I had slipped under the turnstile or doubled and tripled up with friends through the revolving gates. I said, think of all the times I could have been dead by now. Should I not be dead in solidarity with all those who've been killed by hate and the desire to dominate? I said, for each body put in the ground, for each trip to the hospital, for each spirit broken, the rest of us should resolve ourselves to be dead to the system that robs so much life. Why should I give my heart to a system that dispenses death? Think of all the wealth we could recuperate from this hellbent machine, our hope and effort and belief no longer wasted.
In this era of the wasting of our youth, I keep returning to a quote by one of my favorite artists, German Expressionist Kathe Kollowitz. "Seed for planting must not be ground", was what she said after losing her son in the first World War. And yet, this system grinds and crushes incessantly. For our own sakes, we should be less giving to it and more so to each other.