This may be more of a ramble than a polished post. The last 48 hours have caused me to be reflective about the state of affairs as it relates to our humanity. Even while working, the humming of my television sang in the background, with non-stop coverage of the shooting in Paris where three hooded gunman successfully penetrated their target–satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo–claiming the lives of 12 people and critically wounding several others. This act of terrorism was newsworthy and unity in spirit was definitely called for.
Around the same time, there was a much less covered act of domestic terrorism. In fact “much less covered” is too generous of a phrase. Had it not been for twitter, many of even my most conscious friends would have never known that a bomb was set at the site of an NAACP building in Colorado. The bomb, in many ways, was unsuccessful, because it did not catch on to a gas tank that was right next to it. I wonder if it would have only been newsworthy had it actually exploded and created physical and human destruction.
When someone talks to you, or when someone speaks of you, or simply calls your name, it is a sign that you matter. That you exist. That your pain is not ignored. That your troubles are worth national and international lament. So what does the opposite action mean? The last 48 hours reflect the ongoing attitude of what matters, and who matters. I didn’t know if I was in 2015 or 1965. Where lynchings were dismissed as folklore, even with postcards glorifying the horror proving the contrary. Which is no different than the silence surrounding the killings of black youth, every 27 hours. I guess they’re not worth American news coverage.
I reflect on these two tragedies not to compare them, but simply to say we must STAY WOKE. It is no longer an excuse to just “not know” what’s going on. We must put ourselves in a position to know more than just what interests us, and more than what is fed to us. We must change our consumption of facts, and even how we label news “news.” And we must give voice in the areas where silence is exercised.
Guns are weapons of mass destruction. But silence can be as well.