Reflecting on Chris Webb’s Hate in ‘Desperate Hearts’

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3News contributor and spoken word artist Chris Webb shares a poem following the anniversary of George Floyd’s death and the devastating mass shootings.

CLEVELAND – Wednesday, May 25, 2022 marked two years since the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police. And as we remember this loss and the outrage over his murder, the country continues to face new pain following the devastating mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas.

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

Every two months, a new news arrives that stops the rhythm of our country

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

Set our hearts and minds on fire and cause an uproar in our streets

And made our people take a stand to try to bring the hate to its knees

And unfortunately, the hatred has increased, in the subway cars, in the grocery stores,

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

Inside our school buildings, where the elementary ones turn into debates,

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

Now these things are moving at a rapid pace, Buffalo’s pain is still freshly felt

And though it’s hard to deal with, now the cycle just reset,

It’s hard to learn the names because the list is growing every week

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

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

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

Bland, Garner, Taylor, names in a tragic list so tainted with pain

And last week when I heard about Texas, Sandy Hook came to mind

aurora, colorado, columbine, new york subway

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

And while these events are not confounded, each instance is very different.

Yet the common thread is the life taken without thinking in a place

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

Disarmed and innocent, debated then dismissed, then replayed.

These are moments of silence, then public dialogue, and calls for Healing,

it shouldn’t be the muscle memory I know now.

Now our fears have become common, our fear and our conflicts familiar

These days it makes me wonder “are these happenings a part of life now”

Is it something we get used to or something we struggle to change?

‘Cause if change is what we want, we shouldn’t rest until it’s within reach

If it is necessary, the complication of these problems should not count

Laws, hearts and minds, our families, we’d follow every road

We would find personal responsibility in every community

To bridge the gaps that polarize us and prevent us from uniting,

To watch for the signs that push broken spirits to the limit

Do not be a society of enemies with dangerous means

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

Working together to make sure we don’t cry this way again.

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

Working together to make sure we don’t cry this way again.



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