I haven’t been in a writing mood this week, several times in recent days I have sat down with the intention to write something and the words just wouldn’t come. This time of year is a time for me when I draw inward and try to make sense of life; it’s a natural part of autumn for me. In the eight years since my mother’s death, it’s also become a time when spiritually I tend to feel her presence and this year was no exception. I no longer try to figure out what message she brings instead I simply take comfort in her presence for the way too brief moments.
This was also a week for me where I was reminded that we live in a world where for all the good that exists there is evil in it as well. My spirit has been crushed on a very deep level and I am still struggling to find my footing. Right now I am in limbo as I figure out what my next steps will be and the waiting is the hardest yet I will trust that in the end what is meant to be will be and I will stand in my truth, no matter what the consequences.
Like millions this week, my life was impacted by Hurricane Sandy, yet my brief 18 hours without power while momentarily uncomfortable were nothing compared to what millions of others are facing. In fact it is what others are facing that actually spurred me to write this evening.
I like to think that all humans are capable of good on some level, yet the story of Glenda Moore and her precious babes is making me rethink that belief. Growing up the daughter of an old school Baptist minister, I grew up hearing that not all people are good and now I know that sadly that is very true.
Glenda Moore was trying to leave her flooded Staten Island home during the storm to head to her relatives in Brooklyn with her two boys in tow when her car got stuck in the flooded streets and the waves assaulted her car. Media reports are that she got out of the vehicle with her boys and lost her hold on them and they were washed away by the waves during the hurricane. A tragedy on its own. Yet Glenda after frantically trying to find her babies went to the houses near by asking for help and was met with “Sorry, I don’t know, I can’t help you.” And no one helped Glenda and she stayed huddled on a doorstep all night in a storm and well…the bodies of the boys have been recovered.
Now I am not familiar with Staten Island but I have been told by native New Yorkers that it is an insular community that is predominantly white and Glenda was Black. I would like to think that Glenda’s blackness wasn’t a factor, but let’s be real; we both know it most likely was a factor. I don’t believe for a moment that had she been a perky blonde white woman that people would not have gone out of their way to assist her. Interestingly enough her boys were biracial as Glenda’s husband is white and happened to be a New York City sanitation worker who was out dealing with the hurricane when this all went down.
There is no guarantee that had anyone come out to assist Glenda that her babies would have been found alive but at least with more people searching the chances were slightly higher that maybe, just maybe there was a chance.
Evil is a world where babies’ lives are lost because of their race or the race of their mother, I like to think that all the people who said no or didn’t open their door to this mother will live with the very uncomfortable truth that their failure to acknowledge another human’s humanity may have indirectly led to the death of innocent babies.
We live in a world where it is growing increasingly easier to not see each others’ humanity, where we fail to help those in need and the impact is devastating. That for all our so called progress, the truth is we aren’t progressing at all. We are going backwards at an alarming pace. The signs are all around us that this world is fractured and frankly almost at the point of no return. If good people do nothing, don’t take a stand, don’t speak up, then frankly we are all doomed. Rest in peace Brandon and Connor.
4 thoughts on “Cold hearts, dead boys….what happens when evil festers”
Beyond sad. My heart goes out to her and her husband.
I’m all for anti-racism work but, of course, race was a factor. Perhaps it was not the deciding one but it was a factor. And the idea that people usually help one other is comforting but deeply problematic even when you remove the issue of race, c.f. Kitty Genovese and shipwreck research (http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/08/01/sinking-myths-men-actually-most-likely-to-survive-shipwrecks-not-women/)
All I can say is that as an African American woman, I would have to think very, very carefully before moving into a community where there was not an excellent balance of conscious people of color because when the deal really goes down …
When I first read of this incident, before the boys were found, my heart sank. Reading their ages I knew the chances they’d survived were low. When news broke they were found, my heart busted up again. Then to hear this element – of course race was likely a factor. This poor mother. I can only imagine, too, the internet comments of those saying she should have done this or that or whatever. I hope no one is doing anything but supporting this woman and her family, but I don’t have the resources to read any internet comments.
This story has affected me so deeply. I’ve been on the verge of crying for days.
Fortunately I know that usually people help one another in a time of duress. I also know many will surround this mother, father and family. However this kind of loss is just devastating and it will be a while before it isn’t haunting me.
Thank you for writing.
BGIM, there is good in the world. Myself and every neighbor on my block would have been wading in to find the children. But I live in a sunny, educated, multiracial Maryland suburb.
I will pray for that mother and father, and those babies. Shook and cried reading it too. Will hold my little boy closer, listen better, try to be more patient.
We can’t beat racial hatred until we understand it. Racism is pathological mental illness (spiritual as well). We have only addressed the social aspects in the US. Until we admit the illness, and train psychology professionals to treat it, and us, it will doom this country. It is way down in that pesky reptile part of the brain, with fear and a bunch of other bad impulses.
Such a senseless tradegy. I don’t know how it became so easy to lose our sense of connectedness to each other. I just hope we can find it again.
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