Reflecting on Ralph Yarl and Guns

by on May 2, 2023 · 2 comments

in Civil Rights, From the Soul

by Ernie McCray

On the subject of racism and guns
in our nation
I can’t get Ralph Yarl
out of my mind,
how he,
a Black teen,
got lost one day
and, as people in such a situation do,
he knocks on a door
in hopes that somebody
might point him to
where he’s trying to get to
but the man behind the door,
rather than respond to the rapping with a
“Who is it?”
“Can I help you?
chose, instead, to shoot Ralph in the head,
with the excuse that he was afraid,
“fearful for his life,”
when he was the only scary person on the scene,
the only one armed with a gun,
keen on shooting someone,
busting a cap
on an outstanding human being
who just happens
to be known
for making people smile,
for making their day,
just for the way he can play
a bass-clarinet
and a bassoon
and for how athletic
and artistic
he is,
a model American citizen
adored by his teachers
and his peers
and his neighbors
and his church community.

And this sad story
comes at a time
in our country
when a blatant
in-your-face form of bigotry
is growing
like weeds
taking command
of a garden
that is poorly planned,
a metaphor for
a society
that’s never really
gone all the way in
when it comes
to finding ways for
every one of us to blend in.

So, as I reflect on such a situation,
it’s evident to me
that we, as a society,
need to devote
a ton more energy
towards finding solutions for our nation’s problems
with racism and guns.

For the creation of a way better America.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Thomas L Gayton May 3, 2023 at 6:22 pm



Marie Johnson May 3, 2023 at 8:26 pm

Yes. Too many choose to keep the windows on their face shuttered, preferring to remain oblivious to outside realities. Thank you, Ernie.


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