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'Desperate Hearts': A spoken word reflection on hate by Chris Webb

3News Contributor and spoken word artist Chris Webb shares a poem in the wake of the anniversary of the death of George Floyd, and devastating mass shootings.

CLEVELAND — Wednesday, May 25th, 2022 marked two years since the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police. And as we remember that loss, and the outrage spurred by his murder, the country continues to grapple with fresh pain in the wake of devastating mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas.

3News Contributor and spoken word artist Chris Webb reflects on the ongoing pain in the below poem, "Desperate Hearts."

Each couple months, a new news story comes that stops our country’s rhythm

I remember how George Floyd’s death sent a shockwave through my system

Set our hearts and minds ablaze and caused an uproar in our streets

And made our people take a stand to try and bring hate to it’s knees

And sadly yet, hate has increased, on subway cars, in grocery stores,

At church on Sunday, spaces where we go for peace turn into wars

Inside our school buildings, where elementaries turn into debates,

About our weapons, disturbed motives, public outrage, youth and race

Now these things move at rapid pace, Buffalo’s pain’s still freshly felt

And though that’s hard to process, now the cycle just reset itself,

It’s tough to learn the names because the list increases every week

The tears that fill our screens spill out and pool into collective grief

When I saw George Floyd’s video, it reminded me of Tamir,

Which reminded me of Travon, Mike Brown, and Philando Castile,

Bland, Garner, Taylor, names inside a tragic list so marred with pain

And last week, when I heard of Texas, Sandy hook came to my brain

Aurora, Colorado, columbine, the subway in New York

The Church in California, the Tops and those lives inside that store

And while these events aren’t conflated, each instance is vastly different

Still the common thread is life taken without thought in an instead

Yes, the common thread is mothers, sons, hearts that shoulda been safe

Unarmed and innocent, debated then discarded, then replayed.

It’s moments of silence, then public dialogue, and calls for Healing,

it shouldn’t be muscle memory that now I know that feeling.

Now our fears have become common, our dread and familiar strife

These days it makes me ask “are these events now just a part of life”

Is this something that we get used to, or something we fight to change?

Because if change is what we want we shouldn’t rest til it’s in range

If it’s needed the complication of these issues shouldn’t count

The laws, the hearts and minds, our families, we’d pursue every route

We’d find the personal responsibility in each community

To bridge the gaps that polarize us and block us from unity,

To watch for signs that drive the broken minds into extremes

To not be a society of enemies with dangerous means

It feels impossible, but our desperate hearts should at least begin

To work together to ensure we don’t mourn in this way again.

It feels impossible, but our desperate hearts should at least begin

To work together to ensure we don’t mourn in this way again.

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