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Community & Behavioral Health | Recovery | Social Change


Changing the Conversation

Too Much Hatred, Too Much Violence

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It is with great sadness, and with great anger, that I write a few brief words about the tragic shooting Sunday night in Las Vegas. At least 59 people have been reported dead and more than 500 injured, making it the deadliest mass shooting in American history.

We should all hold the victims and their loved ones in our thoughts, in our hearts, in our minds, in our prayers, in our silence...not just today, but in the days ahead and in the years ahead. We should hold alongside them all victims of past shootings--Pulse Nightclub, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook Elementary School, Mother Emanuel Church, and all the others. Long after these events leave the front page of the nation's papers and the crawlers across the bottom of the TV screens, family and friends of those dead continue to mourn. The accumulation of pain and loss is staggering.

Trauma, Racism, Violence: Speaking Our Truth


Trauma, racism, and violence

I saw a black woman stopped by a policeman recently on what seemed like a routine traffic stop. Within a few minutes, another police cruiser arrived. The fact that three police officers were needed to discuss a seemingly simple traffic violation put those of us at a nearby bus stop on edge.

It surprised me that my first reaction was to get out my phone and record the encounter in case things turned ugly. As I considered fishing my phone out of my purse and finding a good angle to record the events (while also protecting myself), the situation resolved itself, and all three cars sped away. Those of us who were left at the bus stop breathed a collective sigh of relief and went back to our normal morning commutes. While I was relieved that the situation resolved without incident, I felt deeply unsettled.