by Marion Marks
“I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot someone, and my supporters wouldn’t leave me.” – Donald J. Trump
Admitting publicly that committing an act of murder would be acceptable by any group, much less an entire major political party, should be abhorrent to an entire culture. The filters of the media should still echo cries of the foul nature of these words, spoken by anyone of authority. There is NO condition where this statement is acceptable, but too many people remain silent.
Immediate questions we must ask of people who believe these words are acceptable should begin with:
- Can this person qualify to own a lethal weapon? (Perhaps he’s not eligible to own a gun?)
- Is this person in need of a mental evaluation? (Has he had a break with reality?)
- Would this person be a threat to incite a riot or other group chaos? (perhaps he has already!)
The last thing I would do is limit a sane person’s right to defend himself by attacking the Second Amendment. But such new levels of deranged action, racism, homophobia, xenophobia, rage, or general attacks on cultural diversity should be shocking to everyone. Point by point and case by case we see individuals defend hostile actions or apparent breaks with sanity that take life, destroy decades of trust and set our culture into a reboot mode.
It would be simplistic to blame such acts on poor mental-health programs, educational failures or the breakdown in the nuclear family, but then we would just be looking for the logical scapegoats. Both major parties have demonstrated that their new standard bearers are flawed, even as we search to bring America beyond the tragedies of current events.
Hillary Clinton admits her “email-gate” was a screw-up of the highest order, even if unintentional. But Donald Trump has failed to capitalize on Clinton weaknesses by continuing his elementary-school name calling and refusing to work through his own flawed record.
The solutions to cultural problems go far deeper than the background and beliefs of a black war-veteran sniper in Dallas, or white officers who killed black men in Baton Rouge and Falcon Heights, Minnesota. It’s more than cultural issues of an Asian man who murdered 32 people at Virginia Tech or the young white man who murdered 20 elementary-aged white children and six teachers in Sandy Hook, Connecticut. The nine black Bible School victims in Charleston, South Carolina who were shot by a young white man may have been forgiven by the families and church members, but the senseless act will forever haunt our nation.
Digging into the heart of anger or evil that has invaded the minds of those who feel that only in destroying others will they find meaning yields very little logic. We will struggle for years to close this dark chapter in American history. We want to believe acts like these only occur “somewhere else.”
Perhaps we need more Sundays or contemplative days to reconcile what these senseless acts have demonstrated – we are all vulnerable and it can happen anywhere. Shreveport has many demons we must exorcise, we are immune to nothing.
More productive communications begin with listening better, understanding our past and seeking common ground. We don’t want to become the next community on this list, and it’s everyone’s job to be part of the solution.