We had other plans.

Plans to communicate, plans to elevate, plans to heal and restore. We had plans to unify. To reconstruct. To bring back from the rubble of division a nation whole, repaired… better. A nation that valued the lives of every individual regardless of their origin or their skin tone. Their creed or belief. Where location didn’t matter, status of birth didn’t matter, a nation of endless hope and opportunity. A land in which those born enslaved grew, fought, and earned their vote, their position, who realized their value.

A nation that fought, bled, and mourned to see that freedom realized. To re-unify what hate would seek to separate. Who, in the too brief moments after, saw people once enslaved, sit alongside those in government, voted in by their peers as Senators, as leaders, as equals. A true beautiful hope being realized.

We had a plan.

But we tired. Grew weary of the battle, the cost, the debate. We thought we’d done enough, spent enough, cared enough.

And hate seized it’s opportunity.

We broke the will of war, but ignored the sparks that caused it.

We failed our brothers and sisters. We failed generations of lost lives. Our tired complacency cost the lives, the freedoms of generations to come.

Our nation is hurting today. Not solely for the pointless loss of life, but from a wound we’d never finished healing. We hurt because we blinded our eyes in the name of comfort and fatigue. In the hope we’d ‘done enough.’

Anger, resentment, frustration, fear, pain. All real, all justified, all covered for so long by so many. The roots of our most recent unrest run deep and long. They’re a symptom of a civil wound that nearly cost this nation its unity. A symptom of a disease we’ve ignored for too long. A disease that’s become so commonplace many can’t even see how they participate.

Racism. Hatred. Idiocy.

I can’t say how to fix it. I don’t believe there is one simple means to do so. What we can do, is learn. Let history be our teacher, compassion our guiding hand, and love our driving force. Hold fast to our resolve. See our neighbors pain, and do all in our power to mend all that is broken. Let us finish what had begun before. Because none of what we see today is merely about one man, one loss. It runs deeper, it’s the broken heart of a country that never fully healed.

Don’t be baited. Don’t be blind.

Let us mend. Let us be the ones to examine, to detect, to root out the causes of our pain and finally, finally evolve.