Can you imagine what would happen in this country, on every level, if a black men regularly went on public shooting sprees that specifically targeted white people? If they were regularly posting manifestos spelling out why they are killing innocent strangers before doing so? And you can certainly replace "black men" with any POC and get very similar results but the swiftness at which policy changing would happen at this specific cross section... Dare I add another adjective to "black men" like "latino ___" or "Muslim ___"?
Who would be trying to comfort still bleeding victims with thoughts and prayers if the attacker fell in line with who we are already culturally conditioned to hate? This isn't some major reach in a stop and frisk nation.
And this isn't some sad, come-to-Jesus post where I vent about how tired I am about all of this. I was tired years ago when I saw "friends" talk about running over Ferguson protesters. I was tired when video after video made it all crystal clear and yet folks weren't trying to see.
Now I'm just laughing at the absurd nature over it all. How apparent and repetitive it all is. I'm blankly curious where the tipping point is anymore. It's not in the sanctity of the church. It's not in the pre-k classroom. Certainly not in the predictable banality of shopping on a Saturday morning.
There was a time I would write posts like this in the desperate hope that I would be able to contribute to a collective breakthrough. That, perhaps selfishly, I wanted my words to help clarify some things so we don't have to sell bulletproof bookbags. Now I'm stuck staring down all these similar moments throughout history where humanity, for one reason or another 5000, could not stop the steady march towards self destruction. I'm stuck staring and laughing bitterly, hollowly. I don't talk too much about how often I'm catching myself laughing like this, as it doesn't provide much comfort or hope. But, I mean, look at this shit. We really are here in this right now. Not some bizzaro world that is populated with actively malevolent technology or some supernatural force pushing us to act and react like this. We are simply fulfilling the cycles humanity keeps finding ourselves in because it's too much to disrupt the status quo, these systemic paths we have committed to.
No, I write this for me as a self centered historical record. One of millions of others spearheaded by similar writers genuinely wondering why we bother chronically these moments at all. (When i say this artistic calling is curse, this is part of the shit I'm talking about.)
...but you have read this far and for that I feel obligated to provide some comfort all the same, so here's what I've got: if oppression is cyclical based on what we know through the archived human experience thus far, and if that extends to the violence it begets, then so is revolution. And so are the fabled "helpers" we tend to over skip to instead of facing the problem first. If hate is cyclical then so is love. We just have to remember that actual effective love isn't passive and it doesn't placate. Actual love hurts like hell and requires change. "Thoughts and prayers" require neither.