Forgive Us Lord, for We Have Sinned

Reads: 498  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 1

Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic

Want to get rid of these ads?

This is commentary from the Virginia Tech blow.

Forgive Us Lord, for We Have SinnedI once told my father that if I ever were to become a lawyer, I’d be a defense lawyer, defending victims of discrimination. We, the mass population of this world, are better than what we think, and not quite what we want to be. We aren’t born to be racist or discriminatory; we learn to become what we are. We follow and imitate the ways of who we have in front of us teaching for most of our lives, our parents. Thank God my ways aren’t so evil as to hate someone else because of their color, their status, their background. Even if they were evil; I’d find a way to independence. I’d form my own person with my own beliefs and shape what one day will become a well thought out me. It’s scary to think that some of the tragedies that we see today will be in history text books ten years from now. No one needs a tragedy. I grew up in the suburbs of New York. I grew up in the cold, snowy winters, the yellow, red, orange, and breezy autumns, and an elementary school with a black principle and one white girl in a class of all blacks. When I was little, I never knew interracial dating was ever a problem; in fact, my first boyfriend was black. I never knew that Negroes were often stereotyped to be filled with rage, they all seemed nice to me. As I grew up, I noticed that only blacks could call other blacks a “nigger,” but white people couldn’t because they would get shot. I learned that Negroes over-populated the “Crackers,” as they called us. I saw that if you wore a certain color bandana, you wouldn’t be confronted nicely. I guess I was what they called an Oreo: a white person who acted black. You would think that with the overpopulation of blacks over whites in the neighborhood, Baldwin would be the last person a racist would ever think to live. I knew someone who was racist though. And it’s not just the blacks who are discriminated against. It the whites too, the Muslims and the Asians, anyone and everyone in this world is or has been discriminated against in some way. The sad thing about it is that discrimination is true. The world will never be able to find peace.I attended Lenox Elementary School from kindergarten all the way through fifth grade. Our principle for all of those years was a tall black man named Mr. Griggs. I still regard him as the best principle I have ever had throughout my academic career. He once asked my mother to sew a nice canvas banner that had on it Lenox’s school song to put in the hall way by the staircase. He would come in every day at lunch and say “Good morning, children.” We would all respond, “Good morning Mr. Griggs.” Then he’d say something like, “How about the first verse of the school song?” And we’d all begin singing the school song with him. We could either eat in or out at lunch, since everyone’s house was at the farthest a couple of blocks from the school. My mother would sometimes pick up McDonalds and bring it to us at lunch time, which was what she was supposed to do for us one particular day. I had been waiting forever and she hadn’t arrived, so I went up and tried to get a bagel but I didn’t have a dollar with me. Mr. Griggs asked me what was wrong, and I told him… he took out some money, paid a dollar for a bagel, the 25 cents for milk, and gave it me to eat; I’ll never forget that act of kindness. When I was finished eating I went outside for recess, and my mom arrived with McDonalds in her hand. On Tuesday afternoons, Lenox had a Bagel Lunch. When I was in fifth grade, I helped my mother sell bagels for a dollar, so my main question for that day was, “Butter or Cream Cheese?” My father was a NYPD officer and worked in the city, and on one Tuesday morning, September 11, we were alarmed that an attack was being launched on the United States. Watching the news when I got home was horrifying. My mother told me that the first building had collapsed while I was in school, and the second building was just about ready to go. She was hoping and wondering if my father was okay, although he was a lieutenant, and he worked in the office most of the day. It turns out that my father was okay, but someone else’s father wasn’t. The best friend of my long termed crush was Steven Hobbs. His father worked in the World Trade Center, and minutes before the building collapsed his father called his mother, and left a devastating message. He died in the attack. Steven was only in fifth grade, like me. We were just graduating from grade school; there was so much ahead of him that his father would miss. It made me think what I would ever do if I had lost my father. Of course, after the attack, I heard all around me horrible remarks made about Muslims and Arabs from little children with big mouths who didn’t know anything close to the real story. We were told that the day would come for forgiveness, but that day never came. Recovery came about in our town; however, lack of forgiveness still lies in the morning dew, and in the eyes of President Bush. Today, I have become older and wiser than what I ever was in the fifth grade, and I’ve learned many facts collectively about the Virginia Tech. Massacre. An Asian student, around twenty-three years old shot thirty-two people and most of those thirty-two people had died. He was an English major, and his teachers and classmates said that his stories, poems, or plays submitted in his creative writing classes were disturbing, even frightening. He was referred to counseling after his teachers read some of his stories. I came home and watched the speeches given by many prominent people at Virginia Tech, and the news reports at the end. One of the news anchors gave a website where any one with internet access could find a copy of Seung Cho’s (the killer’s) one-act play entitled Richard McBeef. It has been verified as his original writing. I read the ten pages. The story plot is a violent one about a thirteen-year-old boy named John who accuses his step-father of being pedophilic, and of murdering his biological father. At one point, the mother swings a chainsaw at Richard, and at the end Richard kills John with a deadly blow. One thirteen-year-old boy in Cho’s play caused so much damage, but not enough to be killed.It’s terrifying to think that one person could cause such a controversy. We talked about the Virginia Tech. Massacre in many of my classes today, and after one of them, my friend started to stereotype Asians. She made remarks like, “We’d better stay away from Asians now, they might kill us!” and continued to make fun of what she called Asian nerds. I didn’t stop her, I didn’t say anything to her; in fact, I didn’t say anything at all. I just thought about how terrible it must be for the people who died for no reason, the grieving families and friends, and for the school. It makes me wonder where Seung went after he died. Where all of his victims went. I could almost hear them cry out in my mind, “Forgive me Lord, for I have sinned!” A last prayer and repentance before their tragic deaths. I will pray for the victims, for their families, for everyone who is suffering any type of tragedy right now. Like Nikki Giovanni said; they didn’t deserve to die. Neither did the 9/11 victims. African children do not deserve do die of AIDS. Mexicans do not deserve to scurry around garbage for food. Jews did not deserve to be executed during the Holocaust. Innocent Muslims and the American soldiers do not deserve to die during a suicide bombing. No one needs a tragedy.

Submitted: June 09, 2007

© Copyright 2022 Dove Hanshew. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:



its a great commentary, I just want to say that i am aisan, and just b/c your from a certain race doesn't mean that you're going to go and blow people up. It is the person's choice alone to do what they do, it's not b/c their from a certain race or not.

Thu, June 21st, 2007 5:35pm


Thank you for your comment, I'm not exactly sure when you made it, lol, I haven't checked my Booksie account for quite sometime. But I know exactly what you mean, that is the point I am trying to make. Perhaps I am going about the wrong way to make it, if I am, I would enjoy your ideas on how to create a better piece. Thanks much :D

Mon, July 30th, 2007 4:07pm

Facebook Comments

More Editorial and Opinion Short Stories

Other Content by Dove Hanshew

Short Story / Literary Fiction

Poem / Literary Fiction