Who knows what really killed Lesandro. Maybe it was violence, maybe it was apathy, maybe hate. All I keep thinking these past days, over and over, is something I heard recently: "It's not just the person you hate, who receives hate." If it was violence that killed Lesandro, violence has been received. If it was apathy that killed Lesandro, apathy has been received. If it was hate that killed Lesandro, hate has been received. It is in our bedrooms, in our tabloids, the broken heart of his mother, the pernicious desire for revenge that many of us feel. Even, as many of us would want it, circulating back again on the killers themselves, perpetuators of this savagery.
So I think now, we must be careful what we perpetuate. If hate is heard round the world, so ought to be love. I saw it today in the crowds of well wishers outside of the bodega, chanting, and praying, and lighting candles, lifting their kids up over their shoulders and swooping down to lay flowers on the burn in the ground where he was slain. I saw it in the horrified reactions on social media, people calling out for the traumatizing videos of his death not to be shared, sending prayers, sharing videos instead of him dancing, and bringing joy in that way that only Lesandro did.
People are hurting right now in ways that will be impossible to fully recover from, that will forever change them, impossible to express or make real for those who did not know him. Lesandro, was a loveable goofball, a little rascall, a bundle of light and love. To perpetuate his memory, as such, is to preserve it. He, at only 15 years old, left a legacy, I think, that in its raw, unbridled way, is somehow, stronger than hate. It is not just the person you love, who receives love. So, what I think I might do for starters, is share the love that Lesandro gave me. I hope that everyone who is hurting right now receives it. #justiceforjunior -
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