The cost of the public health crisis of gun violence in America grows more expensive by the day. It has surpassed even the mega-millions of dollars that gun advocates such as members of the National Rifle Association casually spend to counter efforts to implement the most basic sensible forms of responsible gun legislation.
The greater cost is in that of lives lost or irreparably damaged. Sometimes the damage takes the form of psychological trauma experienced by those who have lost loved ones to the violence and for whom monetary compensation does nothing to ease their inconsolable grief. Recent reports on an attempt by Gloria Darden, mother of the late Freddie Gray, to commit suicide, underscores that point. Moreover, it represents only one example.
What happened to Semaj Clark when he chose to speak out against the violence he saw destroying too many young lives represents another deeply troubling instance. Yet his story is one which this compelling millennial crusader for brotherhood refuses to allow to be defined by the word “tragedy.” Considering what doctors have said about the likely results of the gun violence inflicted upon Semaj, his amazing grace is truly inspiring.
The following is a post that I shared on Facebook in regard to someone whose faith and courage in the face of heartbreak is beginning to inspire people across the globe:
How You Can Help Semaj Clark Continue His Mission
A lot of good people have shared some brilliantly inspiring words about the role of the arts and artists in society. These are just a couple:
“As an artist I come to sing, but as a citizen, I will always speak for peace, and no one can silence me in this.” ––Paul Robeson, performing artist and human rights advocate (from A Paul Robeson Research Guide compiled by Lenwood G. Davis)
“The function of the artist in a disturbed society is to give awareness of the universe, to ask the right questions, and to elevate the mind.” –– Marina Abramovic, performance artist (from The Economist interview, Sept 15, 2010)
Each of the above statements applies well enough to my own convictions as a creative thinker and very precisely to the newest installment of genesis pages for the Guerrilla Decontextualization project. It is titled Abbreviated Mind Syndrome, and yes, it does encourage readers to wade into some fairly deep waters of reflective considerations.
But hey, when it comes to living a life devoted to constructing organic meaning and functional perspective out of language, there are few roles to which committed wordsmiths do not give themselves. That of the poet, social critic, fictionist, essayist, playwright, historian, journalist, and lecturer may all at some point place a hat of responsibility upon our pensive brows. For me, the launch of the Guerrilla Decontextualization initiative in 2012 served as an introduction to territories occupied by linguists, philosophers, and social critics. I make no claims to possessing the finely-honed tools which the more outstanding names in these fields have mastered. What I do possess are the restless curiosities they inspired and a lifelong interactive relationship with literature.
Contemporary award-winning author of classically-styled works in history, poetry, creative nonfiction, speculative fiction, and journalism.