Sunday, June 12, 2016

No More!!!





Over 100 people trapped in a nightmare, screams of terror, gun shots rat-a-tat-tatting as the blood spills...and spills...and spills.  Last words via texts that will never be deleted, answers that will never quite suffice.  Pundits kick tidbits of news around like a soccer ball, speculation and repetition doing its grand work of creating more "awareness" but what really happens is the "Specticalization" of death, in reality not all that different than the crowds of old that surrounded the guillotines and gallows and watched in half horror, half fascination.

Why?

Because human lives that are not enough like us are not valued.  Because hatred has been skillfully fomented.  Because good people are scared to speak up, to stand up, to say, "No More!"...and they look from side to side thinking someone else will say something or act.

A young woman bravely shares the story of the worst night of her life, after having been exscoriated publicly for having the audacity to imbibe too much at a party and pass out, while her attacker is given a sentence of a mere 6 months for sexual assault because, after all, he was a "good young man" and "had a future".  The ruling sent a message to all young men that women are essentially "fair game" if they are incapacitated, and that the world understands that males can't really be expected to control their sexual urges because young men are basically nothing more than animals in heat.

Why?  Because human lives that are not enough like us are not valued.  Because hatred has been skillfully fomented.  Because good people are scared to speak up, to stand up, to say, "No More!"...and they look from side to side thinking someone else will say something or act.

Children at schools across our nation, shot in the hallways as binders clatter to the ground and bodies crumble, teachers scrambling to lock down classrooms or bravely stepping in front of a barrage of bullets to lay down their lives for their young charges.  Disturbed young men  behind the gun sights, many victims themselves of years of abuse, neglect, or lack of access to effective mental health care, living inside heads that project images of violence and mayhem quietly urging them toward their 15 minutes of vengeance and fame.  Most yearn to finally be seen in a world they wandered where no one saw them at all, their invisible selves often having walked the very same hallways where they one day bring their anger, and inflict their rage on institutions that were asked to do too much with too little.

Why?  Because human lives that are not enough like us are not valued.  Because hatred has been skillfully fomented.  Because good people are scared to speak up, to stand up, to say, "No More!"...and they look from side to side thinking someone else will say something or act.

Black men falling, failing, flailing about..."I can't breath!" they cry, "I am innocent!" they cry, "I am hurting!" they cry, as unbelieved as they always have been, cast aside as unworthy and unnecessary by society, locked up longer and more frequently than white counterparts for similar crimes, their protestations of inequality dismissed over and over again, their charges of brutality ignored until The Era of the Phone Cam proves their case for them.  Their families forever altered by their lengthy absence, their young black sons follow in foot steps that lead right up to the cages waiting for them as they shake their heads and feel as trapped by their lives as their fathers before them, and their fathers before them.

Why?  Because human lives that are not enough like us are not valued.  Because hatred has been skillfully fomented.  Because good people are scared to speak up, to stand up, to say, "No More!"...and they look from side to side thinking someone else will say something or act.

Men and women in uniform called upon to save us all, be it on the streets of Baghdad or the alleys of the Bronx. Bravely they perform their tasks as their minds become contorted by all they wish they had not seen.  The majority are fine folk, who take the heat and wear the shame of those less honorable in uniform who let power overtake them and act cruelly and unfairly.  Daily, their jobs become harder as they want only to return home safely each night to their families, and the injustice created by the few causes the anger to rise, the outcry growing to a cacaphony that points the finger at all for the actions of a few.  Gunned down in those same streets and alleyways, both here and overseas, we elevate them to hero status posthumously, or allow them to return home shattered to a sickening lack of services.  One by one, they pull triggers with barrels pressed firmly against their own heads, or find other ways to end the suffering they experience for the sake of protecting us.

Why?  Because human lives that are not enough like us are not valued.  Because hatred has been skillfully fomented.  Because good people are scared to speak up, to stand up, to say, "No More!"...and they look from side to side thinking someone else will say something or act.

Debate after debate reveals the lack of character and missing moral compass of our candidates, and the rhetoric grows more divisive with each primary vote that passes.  We have the candidates we deserve, for our silence is an assent, and now our disbelief speaks too softly.  In the name of a campaign, we allow the flames to be fanned and we hand over the bellows with our Facebook memes and our own lack of civility with one another, giving silent permission to those wishing to lead us to up the ante with their own hateful language.  We ignore truth, we ignore facts, we ignore decency, then we blame "them" rather than look inward to find our own inner Trump...or Clinton...or Sanders...or Cruz...or...or...or.  With each passing year the names change, and we all complain, yet we accept statements that would have once been reprehensible and are now the norm.

Why?  Because human lives that are not enough like us are not valued.  Because hatred has been skillfully fomented.  Because good people are scared to speak up, to stand up, to say, "No More!"...and they look from side to side thinking someone else will say something or act.

We create the world we live in, we suffer because of the world we have chosen to create.  

Let's create something kinder, something safer, something fairer.  We can, you know, but to do so we have to reject the fomentation, we have to really "see" others and find our commonalities while respecting our differences, we need to find our backbone and cry out, "No More!" loudly and proudly, and then, rather than looking from side to side, we need to be the one to step forward.

Grab my hand, it's a little less scary if we do it together.

No More!!



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