As I sit watching the umpteenth hour of the coverage of the Charleston shooting, I find myself becoming numb. I am NOT becoming numb because of the sheer sadness of the event, that happened twenty shootings ago. I am numb because every single person being interviewed from the man in the street to Al Sharpton does nothing more than express their sadness. Which is nice but quite frankly, f’ing useless!
What I want to know is where the hell is the anger? I know that I am angry. Is anyone else? Perhaps, we have all become so used to this that we have developed a conditioned response to express sadness and solidarity! It almost seems choreographed. Big deal!
I have at least two reasons to be angry. First, is BLACK LIVES MATTER! We do a lot of talking about equality in America but, really!!! Imagine if a black man walked into a white church and killed nine white people! There’d be a hell of a lot more than sadness, you can be assured of that. These were regular, hard working, family loving, citizens of our nation. Gunned down by a lunatic who thought that they were less worthy of living than he was.
That brings me to my second reason. Clearly the shooter “had issues”. Multiple arrests in the recent past, including one for drug possession. As a parent, I would be concerned if this was my child. But the father of the shooter thought that it would be a good idea to buy his son a gun for his birthday. Terrible echoes of Newtown here. Why can’t we throw this fine citizen in jail too? If people want to buy and own guns then we as a society must be able to hold everyone responsible for their actions.
Here’s the main reason for my anger. A student of history should know that real change only occurs through anger and fear. The civil rights movement only gained traction when people took to the streets and the federal government feared widespread unrest. Then there’s the case around inequality. Inequality in the US was at its lowest point during the period 1945-1980. Not surprisingly, this period coincides with the peak of the fear of communism. It isn’t hard to believe that this fear led politicians and business leaders to “play nice” with labor which led to the greatest period of prosperity in American History. This is probably the best reason to keep Bernie Sanders around, but that’s another blog.
Felling and expressing sadness in light of horrible events is a normal and important emotion. I feel it too. As long as we all understand that just doing this will change NOTHING then it’s fine. For those of us that are just sick of this crap and the absolute lack of reaction to it, get angry, channel that anger, and do something!!!