It just feels like we are unable to catch a break.
One year into a global pandemic, with hope that maybe soon we can come out of this okay, and we have a mass shooting in Boulder, Colorado.
On the coattails of a killing spree in Atlanta, Georgia targeting mostly Asian women in massage parlors.
After a bombing raid in Syria and pro-democracy protests in China and the storming of the United States Capitol by people wishing to overthrow the will of a democratically elected president.
At the end of the day, clearly we are not okay.
I watched a video on Tiktok the other day by yourkroeandad, and it took everything in me to finish the video. His content is always so uplifting and yet I have never seen someone with so much sadness and inner pain. Hearing him try to express that in a 2-minute video was just too much.
We are not okay.
As a nation, we have done precious little to undermine the culture and cycles of violence that control us. For four years we had a president who gave zero fucks how many Americans died or in what way they died. There were always good people on both sides. Unless they were fleeing for their lives from the drug cartels in Mexico, in which case we needed to build a wall to keep them out. Or if their cities or states were run by Democrats. Those people were undeserving of the president’s help or sympathy too.
But this is not about politics. This is about violence. The previous president’s rhetoric is a concrete example of the kind of violence that dominates our culture. It goes deeper than gun violence or racial discrimination. We are teaching our kids that the proper response to these others is violence.
It is perfectly acceptable to make fun of people. And it is perfectly acceptable if you are made fun of to take the bully out by whatever means necessary.
Or I should say it is acceptable until it actually happens. And then we are bothered by it until we have some kind of context to justify the violence again.
When George Floyd was choked out, it was initially viewed as awful. Until we found out that Floyd was not an angel. Then it was ok that his neck was stood on for eight minutes and forty-six seconds. We had our justification, so the violence was ok.
As we discuss the shootings in Atlanta, there seems to be a growing emphasis on the potential that the women killed were sex workers. This is happening because we need a reason to justify the violence.
We always need a reason to justify the violence.
Because we have to have the violence.
America does not run on Dunkin’. It runs on ammo.
And this has absolutely got to stop.
We should want a better life for our kids than this. Instead of preparing for active shooter situations like we do tornadoes, we should be trying to stop them from happening in the first place. But we are not. We have no desire to stop it.
Not at a government level.
Not at a societal level.
Not at an individual level. And that this is the most heartbreaking thing of all. We as individuals thrive on the violence. We look for opportunities. We actively seek out ways to justify the things we see happening day in and day out.
Because the work of undoing the violent undercurrents of our upbringing just takes too much work.
May God have mercy on our souls.
Feel free to reach out if you need someone to talk to. You can contact me here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.