More hatred. More shootings. More death.
And more platitudes. (You know them all, so I won’t repeat them here.)
Well, not for me. This is my “Here I stand” moment.
I refuse to play that game anymore.
I refuse to sit back and be helpless. If I do nothing, I am simply enabling the next one. And the next one. And the next one.
And the one after that.
I refuse to accept that all we can do is cry and wring our collective hands. That does not change the situation. And the situation must change. Now.
I refuse to accept that nothing can be done, especially when the shooter is white.
(Just to be clear, I also refuse to accept that militarizing the police is a valid response when the shooter is black, and that strengthening the military and closing borders to hurting people is a valid response when the shooter is brown. But let’s at least face the truth that most of these terror shooting are committed by white men.)
I refuse to accept that the law can’t be changed because of a misguided, fundamentalist reading of a 229 year-old document which has already been changed 27 times.
I refuse to accept that there is only one way to interpret that 229 year-old document. The interpretation we have allowed to be popularized is killing people. Every day.
I refuse to accept that this is the singular action of one deranged person. He has been empowered to do this very thing by politicians, by gun manufacturers, by ammunition manufacturers, by on-line hate groups, by fear-filled citizens, by lobbyists, by at least one store owner, and quite possibly by family and friends who refused to see and address what was in front of them.
I refuse to accept that this is the price of freedom, or that there is some “greater good” being served by supporting a system which makes this not only possible, but inevitable.
I refuse to accept that the vitriol and hatred and anger and violence and division and fear mongering and racism that is coming every single day from the President of the United States has nothing to do with this. Of course it does.
Of course it does.
I refuse to accept that the vitriol and hatred and anger and violence and division and fear mongering and racism that is coming every single day from right-wing media outlets in the United States has nothing to do with this. Of course it does.
I refuse to accept that the victims are to blame. The perpetrator caused this. Those who enabled and empowered and armed him caused this. Those who fed his fear and rage caused this. Those who saw and did nothing caused this. The victims are not to blame. They’re not. Period.
I refuse to accept that our religious communities can only offer words of comfort for the families, but should be silent about naming the systems which brought us inevitably to this point. Where religious communities have been silent, or hidden behind “Our job is to get people into heaven,” or hidden behind “We are not called to be political,” we have been complicit. We are making it ok to pull the trigger; we are, in fact, helping to pull it.
I refuse to accept that now is not the time to talk about this. It is long past time to talk about this. It is long past time to act.
And, just in case this isn’t clear….
I refuse to accept responsibility for your angst and discomfort if I have:
- named things you don’t want named,
- pointed to things you don’t want pointed out,
- implicated you in a system which perpetuates violence,
- challenged your political bias,
- called out your racial, political or religious privilege,
- wasn’t “civil” enough for your tastes.
That is truly not my problem.
I refuse to play that game anymore.
God help me. Amen.