Friday, March 23, 2012

Treyvon Rest in Peace; America Wake Up

I put these words on our front sign board at Church last evening.  I didn't know what else to do and I felt I had to do something.

Every once and awhile something happens (usually tragic) that grabs the attention and emotion of most if not all of our society.  We express outrage, as we should, and sometimes good results happen: a law is changed, people become more careful, and maybe a little less prejudiced.  But little systemic happens, and we fall back into our normal complacency until the next crisis.

This is cynical, but I don't expect much more than that to happen with the case of Treyvon Martin.  What is it about this country that we have such difficulty having conversation about race?  That is, of course, a rhetorical question, like it or not.  The mistrust and fear is palpable. And white privilege is so firmly ensconced that its denial requires no effort at all.

Then there is the issue of guns.  I grew up with guns used for hunting.  I have no problem with that.  But our gun obsession is much more than that.  Guns are a symbol of our national paranoia that someone is always out to threaten us.  And incidents like the one with Treyvon are going to happen as a matter of course so long as this paranoia is fed.  And "Stand Your Ground" gun laws?  Evil.  That may be harsh, but I do not know what else to call them.

We are caught in a vicious cycle of violence and threat and fear and hatred in this country.  When are we going to wake up and notice?

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