This weekend on Sunday I looked at my phone as I usually do when I wake up and was horrified with what I read. It brought back memories for me of a Friday morning when I woke up to messages from people asking if I was ok when a gunman went into a theater about 15 minutes away from me and killed people. As the days have passed, I’ve watched the interviews with the survivors, observed all the varying views and conspiracy theorists on social media, and just felt generally sad. My heart goes out to all those affected. The people who just wanted a fun night out to celebrate with their friends and their families who have been sick with worry finally finding out if their loved one was one of the survivors or one that didn’t make it.The story about the guy whose last text to his mother was “I’m gonna die.” just broke my heart. It’s such a horrible horrible tragedy and lives were needlessly ended due to the decision of one disturbed individual. There’s really nothing that can be said to rationalize the murder of a group of people who were targeted (it appears) because of who they were as people. This event was also preceded by the murder of a singer as she was signing autographs after her concert. While it’s touching to see the kind acts of humanity by the community and the outpouring of love and support and genuine empathy and sympathy for all the lives lost, it’s still a sad reality that this happened in the first place. Maybe I’m jaded but I really don’t have a strong burning desire to bear and raise a child in the world we live in today. It feels unrealistic to hope that the next generation “gets it right.” No place is safe and it seems like an impossibility to change that. I appreciate the attitude of never-ending optimism because we really can’t afford to lose hope because it’s literally all we have. It just breaks my heart.
My thoughts and prayers for all those impacted by the Orlando tragedies
I haven’t done a lot of posts on current world events, but like most of the world I was shocked and saddened by the events that happened this week at the church in Charleston. As someone who lived a relatively short distance from the Aurora theater shooting, this incident affected me in a different way. It wasn’t the act of a deranged person, it was someone who targeted a group of people solely because of the color of their skin. Someone who knew that most people don’t carry their weapons to church and who tend to be vulnerable not only emotionally but physically as well. Race related crimes are nothing new in this country. They’ve been happening for hundreds of years and despite the assertions of many idealistic and sadly misguided persons, we don’t live in a post-racial society. The election of someone to the highest office in the country doesn’t erase the attitudes that have been over a hundred years in the making. As soon as the incident happened people began to talk about the excuses that would be made for the shooter. Just like clockwork it happened with almost all the news circuits searching high and low to find a motive that did not involve race. They painted it as an isolated incident and something that is outside of the norm. Black people have been specifically targeted and killed for long period of time and it continues to happen. Since this incident there have been more discussions about increased security measures in churches than the deeper issue of racially motivated massacres. I was reading some tweets the other day that discussed the fact that there is an expectation that black people just forgive and move on. That they continue to turn the other cheek and refuse to classify all people of a certain race into a negative category–a luxury that they’ve never had at any point in this country. It just doesn’t make sense to me and I don’t think it ever will. There’s a lot of racist people in the South, but there’s also a lot of racist people everywhere. It’s an issue that most people are either reluctant to address or stay in denial that there is one. I’ve never been an optimist and at this point I have absolutely no faith in humanity. It’s a shame.