Getty Images News/Andrew Theodorakis Getty Images News/Andrew Theodorakis
By Enrique Grijalva


I’m sure Webster’s punk-ass dictionary has a highbrow definition for the word — one which would tickle the butthole of an affluent individual, like the brush of a feather from a drag queen’s ensemble — which is cool, but I’m not going to use them as a reference. It’s not that I dislike Webster, nor am I opposed to any form of anilingus, especially when it’s lingual, because, with all pun intended, I like assholes. I’d just rather use Urban Dictionary’s definition of the word hope, which they define as, “mankind’s greatest weakness and greatest strength.”

Who can argue with that definition?

I don’t like to cite deceitful demagogues like Reverend Jesse Jackson, who just stand by and watch transcendent individuals get killed, but I agree with his notion that we need to keep hope alive. It’s important. The influence which this outlook has on the human psyche has been proven to have a positive effect on us, particularly our behavior in the present based on the feelings we have about our futures, in consideration of our current situation, therefore keeping us alive. Studies have even shown that it boosts our cognitive ability, which is another plus. The former may be the reason why I have always tried to remain hopeful.

Mr. Nociti was my high school science teacher. He taught biology, chemistry, and everything in between. As his student, I passed biology, failed chemistry, and slept through everything in between. When he wasn’t teaching, he was telling us stories from his research days at NASA or his time in the military. That’s the only reason I’d stay awake.

He once told us a story about two soldiers who were attacked in Vietnam, and were then airlifted for medical help. One soldier came out of the foray relatively unscathed, in contrast to his partner, who had sustained some life-threatening injuries. Those in the helicopter came to the aid of the severely wounded soldier, for comfort and positive energy, with the assumption that he was going to die. Turns out that he ended up surviving and the other soldier, who had no one by his side for comfort or hope, and was supposed to survive, was the one who died. This is the story made me realize that it’s important to remain hopeful, even in the face of rejection, despair, and death.

But I lose hope when I see someone kill two people who didn’t deserve to die (Yes. Rafael Ramos, one of the officers killed, did allegedly bash a woman’s face into concrete floors, but karma can’t be that severe. Can it?). If Ismaaiyl Brinsley decided to murder those officers through his depraved free will, I’d say that his actions were detrimental and counterintuitive to the public outcry for justice against criminal acts, no matter the individual. A person’s economic status, skin color, sexual orientation, gender, political position, spiritual beliefs, group membership, and physical and mental disabilities should not affect whether or not a person is disciplined or how they’re disciplined. That’s what all those peaceful protests were about.

You think a couple of police killings in 2014 outweigh the murders they’ve committed since the dawn of law and order? Hell no! Open your eyes. This isn’t the first nation or empire which has supported police brutality by turning a blind eye. The killers of Michael Brown and Eric Garner should not have gone without castigation, but it was bigger than that.

For a brief moment, I cautiously had the highest of hopes. It appeared that everyone was on the same page. It seemed like we were ready to communicate; it was as if momentum from those protests could have led to a mutual understanding for one another and our individual struggles. Despite the arguments between protestors, I think it was healthy to debate whether Black Lives Matter or if All Lives Matter. Could you imagine putting the cards on the table and those talks unraveling? Ideally, it could have only led to organic solutions, which may have begun the healing process for each strained relationship between our communities.

The hope for that dream died with the convenient actions of Ismaaiyl Brinsley, which led to the deaths of Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos. This is why hope is humanity’s greatest weakness, because just when you think you’re starting to see some progress, a villainous event, which you can’t prevent, occurs.

The sentiment was that things may have gone too far, which is natural when you’re manipulated into believing that your actions, words, or energy could have indirectly contributed to the death of anyone. I think I speak for most people when I say no one wanted to see a person killed. We just came together to attempt to seek justice for a few of our own: human beings. If that unification was destined to break down walls, which could have led to the eventual pacification of people in New York, who are you to destroy that blossoming aspiration and keep us at odds? Then again, Hope is a four-letter word.

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