Advent. The season of staying awake, watching for encroachments of the national security state. Waiting for the time to move.
Crucifixion. A public announcement by which a paranoiac national security state tries to immobilize with fear those watching and waiting. A refinement of torture by which a threat to the national security state is exposed, humiliated, mocked, broken, hung up, stretched out, suffocated. An excruciating slow violence. I Can’t Breathe said Christ glimpsing the violet of the soldiers’ robes. The crowd cheered!
Eric Garner. A threat to the national security state. Immobilized, humiliated, stretched out, suffocated by navy uniformed agents, crucified on a beam of New York City pavement. I Can’t Breathe . . . .
An infant in the Sonora Desert. Her young mother, their coyote and other members of a terrified party of threats to the national security state. They had watched and waited before daring to cross. The anxious coyote thought he detected an agent of the national security state nearby. He covered the baby’s mouth so she wouldn’t cry. I Can’t Breathe. A silent crucifixion beneath the blue Arizona sky.
On November 20, 2014, in words carefully crafted to obscure more than they revealed, the President announced further expansions of the national security state. Many had been watching and waiting for a sign of deliverance for the Unauthorized Ones. Breathing a sigh of relief, they cheered. But they cheered from a deep sleep of misunderstanding, confusing expansion with deliverance. Couldn’t you have stayed awake? cried Jesus in the garden! #StayWoke! Read the fine print! The national security state willingly concedes nothing!
Two weeks later, a grand jury failed to indict those who crucified Eric Garner. Those who had applauded the expansions of the national security state on November 20, were outraged on December 3. #StayWoke! Father, they don’t understand what they are doing.
Rev. Ellin Jimmerson, Ph.D.
Photograph courtesy Mizue Aizeki.