I Will Not Give You Empty Platitudes

Black friends, I love you. You are kind, gentle, brilliant, strong, and wonderful dads and moms. I'm sorry we have branded your bodies and your entire identity because we thought we were superior.

Mexican friends, I love you. You are a gift—not a drain—on our society. I'm sorry you are so often disparaged, used, and mocked so that I can have an easier life.

Muslim friends, I love you. You teach me so much about faith, family, friendship, and God. I'm sorry we, as Christians, have not stood more faithfully beside you. I think today many of us understand a little better what you've been trying to tell us about interpretations of your faith that you don't even recognize.

Refugee friends, I love you. You are more brave and more generous than I'll ever be. I'm sorry we couldn't do better for you. For now, you can do better than America. Maybe one day we will be worthy of you again. Don't give up your hope.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer friends, thank you for expanding my understanding of love — and my capacity for love. I need you. I'm with you. I love you.

Female friends — I love you. You are worth more than your bodies. You deserve to live in a country, walk among a community, and worship in churches, mosques, synagogues, and temples that celebrate you for all you are and protect you from bullying and sexual predators. I will do everything I can to respect you as equals and protect you from all who would harm you with words or actions.

I hear your *unique* fear, hurt, and disappointment today. We've made a Faustian bargain and YOU (not me) will pay the highest price ... again.

I will not give you platitudes like "God is still in control" or "We just have to ..." I just want to sit with you, mourn with you, and weep for awhile, because that's what we do when someone or something we love dies. And something has surely died here today.

With you.