December 17, 2012
When I first heard the news of so many children, 20, none over 7, being killed, I was so stunned I could feel no emotion, just a kind of numbness. I’m a parent.
Not another mass murder.
Later, on hearing of the heroism displayed by six slain teachers, I was buoyed. Then came the anger, the rage I’ve learned to control, hone, and use as a weapon, the pen being mightier than the sword.
Barack Obama, leader of the most violent nation in world history, dabbed at dry eyes as he practically preached a sermon on the latest domestic killing spree. Hypocritical is an understatement.
Is this not the same dude who’s been dropping bombs from drones on children (and others) all across Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen? On whose watch was Bradley Manning tortured for exposing military massacres of civilians including children?
Is this not the same Obama in league with New York’s Mayor Bloomberg with their stop and frisk policing targeting young Black and Brown men? Surely he’s aware of the hundreds of police killings happening daily across the nation, the criminalizing of economically deprived students in schools more like jails where kids get handcuffed and taken prisoner for rule infractions that used to get us sent to the principal’s office.
Did he not break up more immigrant families – often leaving children alone -- with his detentions and deportations than Bush did in all his 8 years -- 1.4 million deportations as of July 2012?
And what about the President’s kill lists combined with the corporate media’s glorification of such blatant assassinations -- the most brazen being the premeditated murder of Osama bin Laden, an old man shot to death in front of his family (no charges, no trial, no jury) whose body was dumped unceremoniously into the ocean (no autopsy!!!)
How do our youngsters process this legitimized violence?
Then there are the endless wars: the so-called war on terror, Iraq, Afghanistan, and now, Syria, while the ongoing atrocities in Congo and elsewhere are ignored despite death tolls in the millions, including millions of children.
The following words from Obama’s speech to the people of Newtown, Connecticut, might have been spoken to the Palestinian people in his post-election periods of 2008 and 2012 after giving the green light to Israel to attack occupied and imprisoned Gazans, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of children and at least 1,000 adults.
Substituting Palestine for Newtown, Obama said:
“As a community, you’ve inspired us, [Palestine]. In the face of indescribable violence, in the face of unconscionable evil, you’ve looked out for each other. You’ve cared for one another. And you’ve loved one another. This is how [Palestine] will be remembered.”
In reality, there was not even the pretense of tears for murdered Palestinian children.
In the immediate wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School horror, folks were asking,
“Why such violence?”
“Why such evil?”
Connect the dots:
A social system steeped in violence from top to bottom, a system that jails the mentally ill or leaves them on the street homeless. A system that has 1,000 military bases around the world, harbors the world’s biggest arsenal of nuclear weapons and countless other guns, bombs, tasers, tanks, and chemical gases used to put down any resistance domestic or international to its corporate quest for more wealth, more power, more control of resources.
Besides the daily “who shot john” news of local, national and international violence, our youth are sold the most graphically violent movies and videos imaginable, subjecting underdeveloped minds to replications of the ugliest carnages of war, and providing them with vicious kill games to play.
Add to that their own family or community’s abundance of firearms, readily available to immature and/or mentally disturbed individuals. BTW, young men don’t reach full physical development until they’re 24, and are still developing mentally until 30. This insane young man was 20.
So I ask you and ask myself to make a renewed commitment to 1) changing a system gone mad, 2) stopping these aggressive, child-killing wars, and 3) reclaiming our humanity.
We cannot afford to continue being in denial, NOT connecting the dots, and not being individually and collectively responsible.
In a sick society, people get sick. We must “cure the sickness to save the patients.” And we’re all sick to one degree or another, manifested in one malady or another.
We must recognize our mental health needs and restructure, revitalize a collapsed mental health system.
Become socially scientific and recognize cause and effect in humans, not just plants, animals and birds. We know what humans need to be healthy. Let’s do it!
For starters, let’s get rid of unnecessary guns. With folks walking around like ticking time bombs (for real social reasons in this economic depression), it’s definitely not helpful to have neighborhoods awash with guns.
Finally, understanding that this nation is comprised of multiple ethnic groups with many cultural differences, it is naturally more difficult to come together.
But come together we must if this nation is ever to become a peace-loving, harmonious society, instead of the violence-prone, ethnically divided and racist warmongers (sick to the core) that we are.
Everyday people unite!