|Posted by Don Stitt on June 19, 2015 at 7:05 AM|
After a night of tortured dreams, I have a few ideas I'd like to share:
1.) Clinton said it first, but Obama has said it, also. WE MUST HAVE THE UNCOMFORTABLE DISCUSSION ABOUT RACE. By avoiding it, we perpetuate the vulnerability of people like those churchgoers, and we enable the violence of people like that twisted young boy.
2.) Since the Second Amendment guarantees gun access to a "well-regulated militia," let us allow guns ONLY TO THOSE WHO ARE SERVING IN OUR MILITARY AND OUR POLICE FORCES. If you are someone who wants to shoot guns, enlist. (And while we're on the subject, since it seems pretty obvious that ISIL is the dividend we receive from the criminal invasion of a sovereign nation on the basis of lies and war profiteering, NEW RULE: IF YOU ESPOUSE MORE "BOOTS ON THE GROUND" IN THE LANDS OF THE MIDDLE EAST, WE'RE SENDING YOUR KIDS OVER FIRST.)
3.) We MUST make mental health a more prioritized consideration than it is now. We must make counseling more available. We must learn to recognize better the warning signs of mental illness. And we must get the people who need it into care.
4.) In a society such as ours, woven from so many different backgrounds and histories, I propose something radical: HATING PEOPLE BECAUSE THEY ARE DIFFERENT FROM YOU SHOULD BE RECOGNIZED AS A PSYCHOPATHIC ILLNESS. I don't know what made this boy mentally ill, but I do know that his "hatred of all black people" dovetails into it. We must address racism as symptomatic of mental unbalance, in 2015. We can no longer tolerate racial hatred. Period.
5.) Education has to be a part of our awakening here, it seems to me. We have to address the people who are in "denial:" That slavery was our national disgrace. That Chinese immigrants were forced into labor to build the Transcontinental Railroad. That the holocaust came perilously close to genetic annihilation. That apartheid was evil. That our country imprisoned Japanese Americans citizens unjustly during the Second World War. AND THAT THE WHITE MAN STOLE THESE LANDS FROM THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES AND SLAUGHTERED THEM. Feelings of white superiority tend to diminish significantly when a person learns how egregiously the "Aryans" have treated the rest of the peoples of the world. We must, therefore, reverse the trend of cutting funds for education, and make people better educated.
6.) Gun lobbyists, like the people who perpetuate Big Oil in the face of a global climate crisis, and the monied interests behind Citizens United who thereby perpetuate Income Equality (and thereby quash attempts to raise the minimum wage and lift Americans out of an endless cycle of poverty,) are only able to facilitate their treacheries because they are anonymous, and in effect, invisible. NEW RULE: IF YOU ENGAGE IN ANY ACTIVITIES THAT QUALIFY YOU AS AN ENEMY OF THE STATE, WE GET TO PUBLISH YOUR NAME IN THE NEW YORK TIMES.
7.) Common sense doesn't seem to be very common any more. And at the center of this issue, it seems to me, is the issue of growing self-entitlement. One example: When you're driving, and you see people breaking all the rules of the road, it's because they think they're better than you are. When billionaires buy up every square inch of a neighborhood and raise the rents to keep out the poor, it's because they don't understand that for a democracy to function, it needs all classes. Without laborers, you have no one to cook your food, or clean your streets, or fix your roads. Without the rich, there isn't enough tax revenue to pay for a great nation. And by sidelining the Great American Middle Class, the big corporate interests are setting this nation into a death spiral, in my opinion. NEW RULE: NOBODY IS BETTER THAN ANYONE ELSE. THIS COUNTRY IS ONLY GREAT WHEN WE ARE ALL EQUAL IN OUR CITIZENRY. We must learn to respect one another and appreciate our differences. And the people who seek to make themselves "above the law" must be stopped at all cost.
8.) There is nothing "political" in what Pope Francis has suggested in his encyclical. When a politician tries to frame it that way, it's because the common sense initiatives put forth therein threaten the money that the politician is receiving from the lobbyists who are perpetuating the problem. IF WE DON'T ADDRESS THE CLIMATE CRISIS IN A REASONABLE MANNER, AND SOON, THE PLANET WILL BE UNABLE TO SUSTAIN HUMAN LIFE IN ANOTHER HUNDRED YEARS. AND THAT WILL MAKE YOUR DESCENDANTS SUFFER.
9.) Another lesson from the tragedy in Charleston, it seems to me, is that while not all of us are participants in the comforts of faith, faith does, in fact, hold comfort for those individuals who are. We must be respectful of the religions and beliefs of others. But no one mindset, in this regard, should outweigh any other. (And if you think that your Super-Church should be free of taxation, I would remind you of what Jesus said: "Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's.") And I also need to make the point that faith is speculative, whereas science can be proved. Using faith to counteract science is detrimental to us all. NEW RULE: IF YOUR RELIGION IS MORE VALUABLE IN YOUR LIFE THAN SCIENCE, YOU GET TO SPEND THE REST OF THAT LIFE SEQUESTERED IN A MONASTIC ENVIRONMENT.
10.) Look, people. Our society is devolving, and we have to help it to evolve in a more positive way. Love one another. And if you can't love one another, respect one another. And if you can't be respectful of people who are different from you, then perhaps you need counseling. And if you need counseling, get it. And if you are mentally unwell, don't buy guns, (even if the NRA tells you that it's okay to.) There is beauty everywhere, in every one of us. Let us come together, as one people, of a nation whose fabric is woven from all the colors in the rainbow. Love your fellow man to the extent possible. And if you can't love that person, at least try not to give in to mindless, psychotic hatred. Rodney King was a tortured soul, but he said something during the LA riots that I keep coming back to, owing to it's innocent profundity: "Can't we all just, you know, get along?"
I wish you a beautiful, logical, educated, compassionate, meaningful and helpful day.