The news of Black Lives Matter Activist MarShawn McCarrel taking his life deeply saddens me, but the statement that he left as his final words resonated deep within my soul. “My demons won today, I’m sorry.” As someone who fights their own demons daily, I can understand how the voice of those demons resonated louder than his message of “Black Lives Matter.” I can only imagine that the voice of those demons quickly drowned out his until he could no longer hear the positive message that would have propelled him to continue the fight of equality and respect.
The voice of those demons in the justice system who said it’s okay for an unarmed young black man to be gunned down in the street because the police officer “felt” threatened screamed that it was wrong for us to feel outrage.
The voice of those demons who want to cry foul and boycott an African American singer because she dared to use her talent and platform to bring to light the injustices of Hurricane Katrina and celebrate her culture and the strong black women are given more credibility than the message that was being conveyed.
The voice of those demons who stand proudly on political platforms and spew hatred for anything and anyone who doesn’t look like them, think like them, or agree with them are applauded for their divisive speeches while an activist for “Black Lives Matter” is struggling to hear his own voice over the roar of the crowd telling him to “Stand Down!”
MarShawn McCarrel took on a noble cause and expected his voice, his mission, his passion to be heard, but the demons silenced him as they will all of us who allow our voices to be silenced by the privileged majority. Black Lives do Matter! MarShawn McCarrel’s life mattered! And even though the demons won today, MarShawn’s life will continue to matter because he had a voice and it may be quieter now but it will never be silenced!
As another day dawned and the retched light began to shine through my bedroom window, I awoke with the same thought I went to bed with…Why did Robin Williams commit suicide? He always made me laugh with his rants and manic ways. I fell in love with him as Mork and I continued to love him in the countless roles he played on television and in the movies. I would be like a child at Christmas when I saw him appearing as a guest on any show. His face seemed to be molded into a never-ending grin and he looked like he was going to burst with joy whenever he appeared. Then I thought about how depression has now been in the forefront due to the death of Robin Williams and I thought this blog would be the easiest that I’ve ever written. The door had been opened for discussion and the world was listening to those of us who fight this awful disease everyday thanks to Robin Williams showing, in the most tragic and public way, how depression is a silent killer if you succumb to its will. I was certain that the words would just flow effortlessly once I opened this page and I would finally be free of the stigma and shame of depression. I would stand tall and speak boldly about my daily battle of just letting go of the bed covers, putting on appropriate clothes for public appearance, slap on my happy face and drudge through another day until I was utterly drained and could crawl back into the comfort and safety of my bed, pull the covers over my head, listen to a movie and pray for sleep to come. I was certain today would be the day! Yes, I will no longer pretend that my world is full of happiness and joy and that I find something to smile about everyday! I would come clean and the weight of my alternate persona would drop like a ton of bricks and I would feel whole, loved, happy. Thank You Robin Williams for letting people see that even though there is much laughter and happiness on the outside, there is a deep-seeded hatred of everything that we truly feel and the sadness is more than just a case of the blues or just being a little down, it is an albatross around our necks that cuts off the very air we breathe, it is the deep responsibility we feel to not make others uncomfortable around us by being sad so we over compensate with the gift of laughter. Millions of people have committed suicide over the years so why has Robin Williams become the poster child for depression? Is it because his face is not the face of depression? His face was the face of a clown whose mission in life was to bring joy and happiness and he did it effortlessly. He certainly didn’t look or act depressed. Depressed people look sad, don’t they? Depressed people stay to themselves and have no interest in doing things or being around others. Depressed people cry all the time and talk about hurting themselves, or do they? Thank You Robin Williams for letting people see that depression doesn’t shut down and stay in a hole. It lives and breathes, It dances and sings, It plays and laughs and skips, and It goes out everyday and pretends to be just like everybody else until it gets its victim alone and then it whispers and it hurts and it torments and it kills. May your soul now forever be at peace, Thank You Robin Williams!