We are in the midst of a terrible rampant disease in our country today. That became evident to thousands of people who were simply watching the morning news broadcast in Roanoke VA yesterday morning. WDBJ reporter Alison Parker and her cameraman, Adam Ward, were doing a “live” interview with Vicki Gardner, an official of the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Suddenly shots rang out. Both Alison Parker and Adam Ward were killed, and Vicki Gardner was seriously wounded on camera by a disgruntled, former employee of the station named Vester Flanagan. It turns out that when Flanagan arrived at the scene, he saw that the camera was pointed away from Parker. He patiently waited until it was on her again before opening fire.
This tragic case is going to be talked about for quite a while. Both gun control advocates and the NRA are going to have a huge fight again. But, you can expect that nothing will be done about gun control, again. The news media has already blown this up. Fox News asked why this isn’t a “hate crime” since the shooter was black and the victims were white.
Donald Trump said that this wasn’t a “gun problem” it was a “mental health” problem. He is all in favor of keeping guns out of the hands of mentally ill people, but doesn’t say how that is to happen. The President is calling, again, for gun control legislation.
I have already made my view clear about how much I want to see meaningful gun control legislation that helps keep guns out of the hands of people like this. This writing is not about that. It is more about the disease of violence that has gripped our nation.
Did you know that this country averages at least one “mass killing” per day? The definition of “mass killing” usually means that more than two people are killed in one crime. Think about that for just one minute. We average at least one “mass killing” every single day!
There has been a lot of talk about crime, especially over at Fox News. We hear about black-on-black crime. We hear about hate crimes and mass killings like the one in Charleston, SC. We hear about police abuse, mostly against black citizens, but not always. We hear about police officers being killed. We hear about serial killers. The list goes on and on.
Everywhere you look, you can read or hear about violent crime taking place somewhere. This has definitely become a disease. But, what has provoked Americans to react in such violent ways? What could possibly be the root cause of all of this violence?
The answers to those questions vary depending upon whom you talk to. Liberals usually say it is because we have too loose gun laws. Conservatives say we don’t have enough people with guns to protect themselves. Some blame race. Some blame religion. Some blame sexual-orientation. Some blame poverty.
The national debate about violence is being drowned out by the loud mouths on all sides of the issue. I believe the primary root cause of all of this mass violence is simply hate. I don’t make that accusation lightly. But, I believe that hate has become so rampant in our society that mass violence cannot help but follow.
You don’t have to look far to see all of the signs of hate today. The birthright citizenship issue is based on hate. The deportation of undocumented immigrants, especially since it is intended to target one group of people, is based on hate. The idea being spread by too many people that all Muslims are terrorists is based on hate.
County Clerks refusing to issue marriage licenses to anyone because they don’t want to issue them to gay couples is based on hate. The idea that you can justify discrimination against any group of people using “religious belief” is based on hate.
Unfortunately, hate is all around us. Unfortunately, it is being flamed by politicians and news outlets. Any time a politician targets any group of people as being those “others” that is whipping up the flames of hate. Every time a news outlet or talk radio host puts labels on groups of people to show how they are causing all of your problems, that is whipping up the flames of hate.
We are living in a society where so-called conservative politicians keep talking about “pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps” all the while blaming certain groups for all of America’s ills. That is not “pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps” that is playing a blame game.
D’Souza, who I consider to be mentally ill, said after the shooting “I hope the President shows pity for the victims, and not the gay black guy who killed them.” That is stirring the flames of hate. We always hear about liberals trying to raise the “race card.” Yet, it is the so-called conservative media that keeps bringing it up whenever something like this happens.
It is very clear that we have a real hate issue in our country. I lived through the civil rights era. I witnessed the pure hate against anyone who wasn’t white. I also understand that hatred wasn’t just against people of color. It was against anyone not classified at the time as a “White Anglo-Saxon Protestant” or WASP.
The hatred was mostly against Blacks but included Catholics, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, and any other group that wasn’t a WASP. Religion was used as justification for that hatred. Religion was justification to keep those “others” down. Violence against those “others” was justified in the Bible.
Today, we are hearing the same rhetoric. Today we are seeing the same hatred for those “others.” Those “others” may have different names, but it is the same rhetoric and the same hate. So-called conservatives say we should follow the Constitution. Yet, they claim you can ignore the Constitution if you have a “religious belief” against it. That isn’t patriotism, that is treason.
In the meantime, thousands of our fellow citizens are dying by violence. Thousands of our fellow citizens are murdered, raped, brutalized, beaten, or abused simply they are different. And what do our politicians do? They blame the victims. What do their talking heads do? They blame the victims. What do we as a society do? We turn away and pretend it didn’t happen.
Hate has permeated our society so much, that we simply believe that there is nothing we can do about it. Hate has been with mankind since we first stood upright and walked. So, how can we stop it? In other words, we seek excuses and not solutions.
Sorry, but it is our fault as a people that we are surrounded by so much hate and violence. If we as a people do not stand up and say STOP IT, it will continue. The problem is, if you look at history, dictatorships begin with hate. Fascism begins with hate.
It may seem amusing to many people that certain politicians want to use the “blame game” to gain votes. But, every time they use that game, it stirs the flames of hate. It becomes justification for violence against any group of people who are “different.” If you want proof, simply look at what Trump said when asked if he condemned some of his “followers” attacking a homeless person in New York. He simply said, I am paraphrasing here, “well some of my followers are passionate.”
Trump is not alone in the field either. I have used the term “so-called conservatives” earlier because these politicians and talking heads are NOT conservatives. To call them such is an insult to the real conservatives in our country. I don’t agree with conservatives and their policies, but we have had conservatives who were not filled with hate, and we still do.
No, these people are simply hate mongers. They want control. As a result, they are willing to allow street violence as long as it gets them votes. We suffer a tragic disease called “violence.” One of its biggest root causes is hate. If we don’t stop listening to, and silence the hate mongers, we are all doomed to more violence. That is how you destroy a society and establish a dictatorship.
We as a people can still stop this disease if you are willing to step up and do something positive. Otherwise, we lose and our society will become a footnote in history.