CW: Mass Shootings
It has been a very challenging few days in Ann Arbor. On Sunday, students and community members gathered in the University of Michigan Diag to surround and support the local Muslim community. Together, people were holding a vigil to honor the victims of the two mass shootings at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand and to speak against Islamophobia.
During the vigil, while someone was reading a poem, people saw and heard a police officer shouting, “Move, move, move! Go, go, go!” and everyone ran in a panic to try to hide. Some went straight into Mason Hall, then shortly after going inside, received an active shooter alert that there could be shooter in Mason Hall. The scene was very chaotic and confusing. Most of all, it was terrifying. Students and community members hid for hours.
A few hours later, everyone learned there was no shooter. There have been some reports of people popping balloons…? But much is unclear. All the folks I’ve talked to, including those who have written publicly about their experience, never heard popping sounds. They just heard and saw the police officers, then fled. There are still lots of questions about how it all happened.
Thankfully, there was no shooter.
At the same time, though the most serious threat was not really present, the experience was very real. People feared for their lives and their loved ones. Our Muslim neighbors gathered to grieve and express their pain and fear, only to have their fears realized.
Please think of our community this week. This is what I wrote on Facebook yesterday:
Thinking about all the lost sleep in Ann Arbor this week and how difficult it is to rest and feel grounded after a traumatic event.
Care and solidarity most especially to the Muslim community, at the center of this pain. ❤️
Care for all bodies that feel jumpy, afraid, unrested, and ungrounded.
Care for the ones who say internally, “but I’m not supposed to feel this way,” and keep pushing and powering on. It’s okay to feel this way. We’re allowed.
Care for the ones who have experienced new trauma this week overlaid on top of the grooves of old trauma — all of it manifesting now as it is processed internally and physically in the present.
Care toward the choices we make to surround and resource our most vulnerable neighbors, our communities, and ourselves.
May everyone have what they need today, and may everyone be able to say, “I don’t have it yet.”