Martin Luther King Jr., once said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
What. Happens. To. One. Happens. To. All.
I don’t care how many designer suits you own, you cannot escape violence.
I don’t care how many expensive jackets you wear; you cannot escape violence.
It doesn’t matter how big your bank account is and if you live in the “good part” of town, you cannot escape violence.
Senseless violence affects all of us.
Until you are ready to confront and deal with the systematic issues that cause violent episodes like what happened in Alexandria, Virginia on a local practice baseball field they will continue to happen. Until you are willing to admit that during this election, your president lit a fire underneath people to engage in acts of violence, this will continue to happen. Until you are willing to admit there are deep issues in America that have not been addressed, this will continue to happen. Until you are willing to admit that you just didn’t care because you thought it would never happen to you, this will continue to happen.
While I certainly do not condone any of the violence that happened, I must wonder where has this outrage been for the rest of America? Where was the outrage when Black people were physically and verbally assaulted at Trump rallies? Where was the outrage when the KKK supported and backed Trump? Where is the outrage when White men are killing Muslims and Black people in the name of “Making America Great Again”? Where was the outrage when indigenous people were assaulted at Standing Rock? Where was the outrage when Trump criticized London Mayor Sadiq Khan in the wake of the terror attacks which killed at least seven people? Where were you then?! Where were the cries from the floor of the government then? Where was the standing ovations for standing on the side of people that were killed senselessly?
That’s right. You were silent. And in your silence, you continued to create the perfect storm for violence. I find it ironic that this episode of violence happened while mostly White men were participating in an activity that is as American as grandma’s apple pie. If even that could not protect you, do not believe that your Whiteness, power or privilege will protect you from violence. It won’t.
While Congress may still be in shock, after that wears off, ask the families of Sandy Hook, Columbine, Virginia Tech, University of Texas, Red Lake, the list is endless and dates back for decades, how they feel when you do nothing to address their concerns?
When the Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan said, “An attack against one of us is an attack against all of us,” perhaps that is how the families and supporters of Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, Rekiya Boyd, Aiyana Stanley-Jones, Philando Castille, Terence Crutcher, Jordan Davis, Jordan Edwards and countless others felt leading to the formation of Black Lives Matters. I suppose with this incident, Paul Ryan’s quote was a way of saying, “Congress members lives matter.”
Yesterday, members of Congress and White America got yet another wake-up call. At this point I am curious, how many more wake-up calls will it take? How many times must we keep saying the same thing before you listen?
Yesterday, Rep. Rodney Davis of Illinois said, “It’s my breaking point, we have to stop this.” This was the breaking point? You represent Illinois, and THIS was the breaking point? Are you that far removed from the violence in your state that you thought this wouldn’t happen to you?
Many in White America sleep in a bed of delusion, blanketed in power, resting their heads on pillows of privilege not even realizing the nightmare is now at their doorstep. They foolishly thought what affected us, would never affect them. Because they believed their own lies. They painted a narrative that sadly, many Americans bought into.
They painted a narrative that there was you and over there, were “those people.”
Now a lot of White people are shocked, like, “Oh that meant us too?”
Oh, they meant we wouldn’t be getting healthcare too?
Oh, they meant jobs weren’t coming back to America for us too?
Oh, they meant my food stamps would be cut too?
Oh, they meant if my kids have a preexisting condition my kids can’t get healthcare too?
Oh, they meant ALL women would be affected not just Black women?
Oh, they meant my reproductive rights too?
Oh, they meant they would deport my friends too?
Oh, they meant there wouldn’t be an increase in my minimum wage too?
Oh, they meant they weren’t gonna do anything about gun violence in my neighborhood too?
Oh, they meant if I was poor they didn’t really care about me too?
Oh they meant that we should just pray about this gun violence and not do anything too?
Oh, so it’s not all White people that will benefit, it’s just White people that have money?
Oh, so it doesn’t matter where we live, what we drive, or how much money we make, gun violence can affect us too?
Oh, so you mean this will affect all of us too because I thought…Wow, that’s really a wake up call to me. I was fine with it, as long as it was them.