Archive for May, 2022

Massacre Fatigue, A Call to Awakening

Posted in Uncategorized on May 26, 2022 by michaelcogdill

Grieving with Uvalde.

I doubt the small community contains enough small caskets to cope.

We must not contain our heartbreak.

It must show.

Across the arc of my career in television news came so much of this. Sandy Hook. Mother Emmanuel. Las Vegas.

I am tired.

Weary, trying to fathom what goes off in the mind of a mass murderer. Nor will I abide the notion that nothing can be done. We are a civilization too much written in the blood of innocents. The civilized and the baseline thoughtful know to safeguard children from bodies of water, lawn mowers, venomous snakes. We all know it is too easy for the deranged to place hands on a weapon not even the police in America routinely carry.

We all are weary.

I grew exhausted of carrying such tragedy on my breath to the television audience. Perhaps the audience is so tired, it no longer fully hears it. Inured. Numb. Detached from the gore, as if a violent film plays constant noise and pulp in the background of the everyday. Here, now, to this audience I implore awakening. Let us waken a civil intolerance of conspiracy theories of denial and the misbegotten politics of machismo. Our capacity to dread violence must return to normal.

The ground of Texas awaits the remains of children whose closing breaths came in terror. Law officers nurse wounds of being outgunned by an 18 year old deranged boy who tried to kill his own grandmother. A brave border patrol agent is among them, having stopped it with his service weapon. He will think of what he heard and saw in there the remainder of his life. I am sure he will pray to stop thinking of it.

How are we to think about it?

I suggest first we feel.

Empathy with Uvalde will serve us well.

Our collective blood as a nation has been shed.

In it is written our grief, and our calling.

Decency: A Calling, A Movement

Posted in Uncategorized on May 16, 2022 by michaelcogdill

I was raised during the Civil Rights Movement in America.

The attack on people of color in Buffalo reminds us we are raising our children in the enduring need of simple decency.

We each have a responsibility to a decency movement in America.

There is tolerance of indecency among us.

It is a malignancy, hating someone for the color of his skin or shades of culture, the place of her origin, the dialect of a man or woman’s tongue. This cancer spreads in our tolerance for gory words, overheard by 5 year olds at dinner tables. It is OUR disease of OUR culture riven by cells of vitriol WE allow. Filthy, cancerous words and thoughts are tolerated from our halls of leadership to the schoolhouses of our legacy. I am dis-eased by what I hear now in America. It ought to break every heart and pain every mind, this latter day indulgence of what threatens death to our civilization. It is murderous.

This outrages me. I hope and pray it outrages you.

Socrates reminds us an unexamined life is not worth living. As I examine my own, just now, I see a man who has tolerated too much from people around him. Misbegotten words from the mouths of men and women I know and respect have run out unchecked by me. They struck me hard. They cut open the center-most heart instilled by the people who raised me, and who love me still. To this moment I regret not raging against the outrageous.

And yet….

Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior reminds us rage will not cure this raging among us. “Darkness can not drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate can’t not drive out hate; only love can do that.”

I arrive at this moment wrestling with what love must look like here. How does a man as furious as I am right now temper his tongue with anything that feels like love? The words at its brink are the stuff of back ally brinkmanship. But if I enter the brawl with words of stupidity, I become a fool and nothing good or decent wins. I must not. I will not. Such words are bigotry all their own.

So here, now, I heave a sigh and do no bidding of rage. Instead, I must let disappointment do the talking. May love find a pulse in the artery of what follows.

If you believe a racist giggle or a prideful insult does no harm between friends, I want to run you from this blog page. But no, you stay. If you believe public mockery or private shaming belong in our discourse, I desire asking you to leave. But you stay. If you wear a cap with code words that translate to profanity unfit for the mouth of a child, I WANT to run you out of my gym. But no. You stay, as well.

I am an imperfect man with a responsibility to peace. It will be sought here, and so will wisdom, such as I am. Dr. King’s “weapon of love” helped codify some decency into our laws. Simple. Human. Decency. I will seek to place decency here. I pray it will win hearts and minds amid this great and gory outrageousness of now. The plowshare of no resistance must get beaten into a sword that cuts the malignancy of bigotry from the tissues of our times. It must get done with a strong and loving arm.

It must be done in peace.

We must become better than what we have allowed. Better than how we have been. This malignancy has but one healer, and he, and she, are — ourselves.

This is a movement still calling to us all. We must carry it out, lest we fall.