Vegas Massacre and African Americans
I was watching the news today and shedding countless tears over the senseless deaths of the victims from the Vegas massacre; many from right here in Southern California. It’s heartbreaking to think that innocent people woke up and thought they were going to enjoy a great concert and but instead viciously lost their lives or had them altered forever. Why would someone maliciously kill innocent, unarmed defenseless, people? Why would someone feel so empowered and so privileged that they could take the life of a stranger without hesitation? Why am I so affected by this tragedy? Most importantly, why do I care when I don’t know the victims or have any relations to them? Well, it’s because I’m a human being with empathy and compassion. This is a human tragedy and as we come together to mourn the loss of our fellow Americans, I’m reminded that I have felt this loss before. We, as African Americans, have felt this loss countless times before. This is what we go through daily when our people are ferociously gunned down and murdered by police and civilians.
I am, by no means, trying to compare tragedies. I am simply stating a point. It’s very interesting that the media and law enforcement are scrambling to ask the question, “Why?” They’re talking with family members, girlfriends, and persons of interest, in an attempt to get into the psychology of the gunman. Yet, when an unarmed African American is murdered by the hands of police and civilians, it’s hardly ever questioned. There is something warped about that ideology.
History has a way of repeating itself. Especially by a “civilized,” society that has all the advancements in modern science and technology, but is significantly lacking in compassion for others. I’m reminded of Martin Niemollers statement, “…Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me.”
Instead of asking the “Why?” regarding the psyche of this maniacal gunman, we should be focusing on the bigger picture. Why are we, as a nation, allowing people the ability to purchase semi-automatic enhancements to weaponry? Why are we allowing the gun manufacturers the opportunity to control our legislature? A law was introduced to Congress a few years ago to ban these enhancements, yet failed to pass. Who were our Congressman who voted against this law and how do we hold them accountable?! How do we hold ANYONE accountable for the senseless murder of any unarmed person in our society? Most importantly, what do we take away from this tragedy and how do we learn to compassionately see that a senseless murder is a senseless murder, in any segment of our society, whether at the hands of civilians or police.
The nation mourns (as do I), and for a moment in time, White America understands what it feels like to go out into the world and not know if you’re coming home because some maniac decided that today was the day he is going to take your life or alter your perception forever. This is but a semblance of what many African Americans go through daily. Hopefully you understand. Now, the question is; “What are you going to do with your feelings and this new paradigm shift in perception?”
As we continue to mourn the senseless loss of life and cheer the unbelievable acts of bravery and heroism, let's not forget these feelings so that the next time an unarmed African American is killed at the hands of a gunman, we can feel the same compassion and ask the same questions. Because now, we ALL know what it feels like to mourn, and hopefully, we, as a nation, will finally take steps to end these futile killings in our country forever. So that we can ALL live happily, in harmony and in peace.