There are times when you know you will be disgusted by the species known as homo sapiens. There are these times when you really just don’t want to deal with its psychic mess of relationships and needs that lead to destructive behaviors. One also hates to be burdened by empathy and anger or resignation. The last 24 hours have been that for me.
On Saturday evening a boy name Mark Brown was shot and killed in an altercation with police. Information is sketchy but it appears Brown was another victim of, I won’t say police negligence, but the weird midnight place where Black males exist in regards to the law. It’s the place where young Black are trained to act a certain way with police officers to mitigate potential conflicts. It’s the place where you have to train someone not to be threatening. He was shot in a city that has erupted into a riot zone and its name has become trending topic on Twitter.
The riot and shooting are now occurring in the shadow of another tragedy. The death of actor and comedian Robin Williams.
You know Mr. Williams had been an actor for 35 years. That is one year longer than I have been on earth. So for me Robin Williams in one form or another has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Whether as Popeye, Mork, Garp, Genie, Mrs. Doubfire, the Fisher King, or Peter Pan; he was a presence. Williams was always the manic, never sit still character; a hairy ball of chaos and impressions. His death at age 63 seems too soon. I don’t know about the mentioning the depression he suffered, but I know we all have demons for which we have to overcome and it seems to me he did that.
I know today that for both men’s families they are experiencing the type of heartache that doesn’t get better with time like they say. I know for the parents of Mark Brown it will be like someone has cut something vital from their body. He was young and no parent wants to bury a child. For Mr. Williams family there will be the times you want to reach out for his presence and it won’t be there. There will be the replays of what happened and what you may have said or should’ve. There may even be the times you won’t want to hear another, “Sorry for your loss”. Time may lessen the pain, but not the absence.
This is going to be a hard week because people are going to be beautiful, but they will also be asses. Right now there are people complaining that Williams’s death shouldn’t be covered. There will be some who look at the riots in Ferguson and replay the eyewitness that described people taking hairweave. We will all be simultaneously singing Kumbyeya and Fuck the Police. And it will be tiring. And in a month or two we will be on the next thing.
So right now I want to wish Mark Brown and Robin Williams a good night; you will be missed.