Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Ugliness, hatred, greed and aggressive indifference pour out in overwhelming abundance from our various American media every day, but when it finally literally explodes in our faces, we polish our halos, turn innocent eyes to the cameras and wail, “Why?”  Unrestrained rage, racism and verbal violence are anonymously spewed all over internet opinion sites across America; yet we are shocked and outraged when a senseless act of  physical violence occurs in a public place?  While we’re wringing our hands and rending our garments—in that instant before we begin very publicly plotting our revenge—why don’t we indulge in a little “Terrorist Attack Q & A?"  Let’s grab those questions being wrenched from our hearts, and let’s give some real thought to answering them truthfully.
“Who would do such a thing?”  We would.  We would torture, attack, maim, destroy and demoralize anyone to get what we want.  As individuals, millions of us threaten precisely this, mincing no words, in blogs, on Facebook pages, on websites and in comment spaces all over the internet every day.  As a nation, with the legal rationalization of torture and the pre-emptive war on Iraq, we have shown the world that we would.  WE would do such a thing.   
“Why do ‘they’ hate us?”  Because we hate them.  Twenty-first century Americans will say what might have been unspeakable and do what might have been unthinkable twenty years ago.  Egged on by the Rush Limbaughs, Glen Becks, and Ann Coulters of the world—those who would encourage us to give vent to our personal fears and bigotries, the better to politically manipulate us—we cherish and cultivate our hatred.  Compassion, respect and moderation are for losers.          
“How did this person get his hands on this weapon or the means to create this weapon?”  We put them directly into his hands.  Unable (unwilling?) to regulate the unquenchable addiction of “law abiding American citizens” to playthings  that explode or make loud noises or can take many lives in a matter of seconds, we have turned our streets, our schools, our public places, into battlefields.     
“Why didn’t the government protect us?” Because we won’t let it.  The toxic political climate of 21st-century America has fitted us with a government incapable of governing. We’ve exalted partisan politics above all.  Washington is stocked with politicians who will not make a move—right or left, forward or back—if it carries the possibility of alienating a voting bloc.  Politicians who know any action is going to piss off someone, so the safest course is to take no action at all.  Protect us?  Not a chance.  They’re too busy protecting their jobs and covering their own asses.
In the next several weeks, there will be raucous and divisive debate about who to blame for the bombing at the Boston Marathon 2013.  Blame the President.  Blame the Muslims.  Blame the Republicans.  Blame the Democrats.  Blame gay marriage and abortion.  Blame anti-government domestic terrorists.
But those who point fingers can’t put their arms out to carry a wounded man, can’t keep their hands on the wheelbarrow or the broom or the hammer and nail.  Those who blame cannot be part of the solution…so they must be part of the problem.  If you must blame, look in the mirror.  Take five minutes, ten minutes, an hour.  Think honestly and clearly about what YOU might have done to promote the culture of violence and hatred in America today.
Then pick up a shovel or a mop or a blanket or a bandage and help clean up this mess.


1 comment:

  1. Sorry this took so long.

    If the constitution were a person it would either be on life support or the psych ward on an indefinite hold. We can either take risks or we can live in a world where you can be arrested for what you might do, who you might know or which faith community you might join.

    We don't want crazy people to have guns but we don't want background checks to make sure they don't get them.

    We want our religious beliefs respected and protected but we want to kick out all the Muslims.

    We want our civil liberties protected but are willing to sanction the use of "enhanced interrogation" techniques on somebody else.

    We want to be treated with respect and...it's two way street folks.

    We invoke the constitution when it suits us. See opening sentence. The constitution is more than the second amendment.

    I'm picturing that poor, tattered, battered document picking itself up off the floor. "Bring it on."