More uprisings across the nation. More clashes with the police whose very presence introduces the prospect of mad violence.

Flipping on the news, I watched a man stand before a crowd of reporters, his eyes filled with pain and conviction. His name is Pastor Brian Herron from Zion Baptist Church in Minneapolis, and he wore a mask that said Dignity. Shaking his head at the applause as he began to speak, he quickly short-circuited the press conference optics:

“I don’t know what you’re clapping for. This is serious. A man’s life has been lost at the hands of someone who has sworn to protect and serve. I don’t condone the violence, but I understand it. You want to focus on that, rather than the violence that kicked this all off. We’re not going to be distracted. We’re not going to allow you to change the narrative. That man pleaded for his life. And the camera is a witness, so I don’t know how many more witnesses you need. It’s time for justice to be served. We’re tired. This ain’t no photo op. This ain’t no game. We live this every day. You’re upset when Kaepernick takes a knee but you’re not upset when a knee is on a man’s neck? But we’re also here with hope. We’re going to keep fighting. We’re not going to quit. God said he’d give us beauty for ashes. And out of the ashes we’re going to walk together and live together—the way we were meant to.”


Each night in 2020, I wrote a short post for a series called Notes From the End of a World because I wanted to etch these days into my memory. Before the world changed completely.
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