I had a post planned today about October. About how much I loved the changing seasons and the fresh air, and about the things I did over the weekend and the stuff that’s planned for the week, and the sweaters I like and the boots I need and it’s all a bunch of unimportant bullshit right now. The people of Las Vegas and Orlando and Sandy Hook and Columbine and Houston and Puerto Rico don’t give two shits about my clothing.
Congress and those in power send thoughts and prayers and thoughts and prayers and thoughts and prayers and it all means absolute jack shit unless you take action. God is not ascending from the clouds to zap automatic weapons out of a shooter’s hands. If you’re going to pray, pray that something be done to prevent tragedy in the first place. Then do something.
Innocent people should not be murdered. Especially not in ways that are more preventable than others.
This has, especially in the last few years, become a politicized statement.
cc: kneeling protests & every mass shooting in the last twenty years
And people will tell you to stay in your lane if you deviate at all from what they expect of you, and that’s a load of bullshit too. People who don’t own guns shouldn’t be involved in gun legislation, men who play football shouldn’t voice political opinions, women who operate fluffy blogs should never detour into something deeper than makeup. That is certainly your prerogative. You can remain silent regarding gun legislation; you can still be killed by gun violence.
We only want to change things that don’t take any effort. That’s why it’s easy to call the American gun epidemic “a faith problem” or “a mental health problem,” or anything that will take attention away from the things that we could actually be doing, instead of things that are easy to say. If we call it a God problem, Congress can pray and feel absolved. A mental health problem, they can do absolutely nothing and feel okay because they weren’t really serious about mental health in the first place, and no one will ever hold them accountable. But guns? Oh, no no no, can’t touch them, nope, 2nd Amendment, Marxism, yada yada yada, and it’s all such insincere drivel. Cherry picking the Constitution is never a great idea, and in light of the last two weeks, I have a feeling we’ll see a lot of it. People condemning kneeling are now Second Amendment scholars. Those who are 100% supportive of free speech now want a strict ban on guns. No one cares about context, and if it doesn’t affect you, it doesn’t exist.
But the problem from where I stand, outside of the obvious? Even though a lot of it is just lip service, and there will never be any real action for change unless Americans start demanding it, there are plenty of people out there that seem to have no opinion whatsoever. There are people that don’t say anything.
When Elie Wiesel accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986, he said the following:
… I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere.
(I encourage everyone to read it in its entirety here)
That goes for everything in this world. Syria, Puerto Rico, Las Vegas, Terrance Crutcher, Trayvon Martin, the travel ban, climate change, North Korea. In 2017, there is no such thing as neutrality anymore. That doesn’t make you Switzerland, it makes you an asshole. At some point, you stand for something you believe in. It doesn’t have to be loud and booming, but my God, say something. DO something. FEEL something. Don’t be afraid that you’re swerving out of your lane. We elected a reality television host as President, for God’s sake; anyone can talk about anything. Your opinions matter as much as anyone’s.
There are no lanes in Thunderdome. Anything that affects you is your lane. Anything that affects someone that you love is your lane. And to be quite honest, anything that makes you feel passion … that is your lane. What is in your heart is yours.
Your humanity is your lane. You damn well better stay in it.