Shooting The Melting Pot

The past two weeks have seen 3 major mass shootings with the attackers providing manifestos quoting propaganda from Trump rallies and proclaiming their white pride. Our current president refuses to take responsibility or take action to limit sales of military grade weapons, but instead continues to attack our darker-skinned state representatives that are trying to curb racism, bigotry and violence. He validates U.S. terrorists with his rhetoric and empowers them with his inaction. It is the beginning of August and we have already seen over 33,000 shootings (not including suicides), and more than 250 mass shootings with a vast majority of the weapons purchased legally. There are 600 million guns in circulation and registered gun owners average 9 guns per household. The argument that bad guys will be the only ones with guns doesn’t fly when faced with the above statistics. Average citizens are committing these crimes. We don’t want to claim our violent tendencies and hatred so we call the shooters “mentally ill” but it’s our gun-loving society that’s ill. White supremacy is our terrorist problem. Not immigrants not Muslims, but home-grown racists and murderers propped up by an incompetent and hateful administration.

These are our president’s words aimed at a congresswoman who is an American citizen and angrily chanted at his rallies along with shouts of “shoot them” when he condemns immigrants. Since we’re “sending back” U.S. citizens to their countries of origin if they disagree with Donald Trump, I wonder which country I’ll be sent to. I’m not entirely sure where most of my ancestors came from but I’m pretty sure that my heritage is Irish, English and German with about a dozen other nationalities mixed in. I suppose I should expedite my genetic testing. Once we de-code my ancestry, do I get to choose the country I’m deported to and will they accept disobedient U.S. citizens? Do I have to be housed in one of the immigrant internment camps before deportation? Do I get to take all my assets with me and bring my relatives too? Do I get automatic citizenship with my new country including a passport? Interesting proposition, but I’m sure this opportunity is not suggested to people with my skin color.

While the president used that term to denigrate countries populated with people of color, I have to wonder if it doesn’t ultimately describe us. We need to again take pride in our culturally diverse communities and international diplomacy, but we currently have a government obsessed with bigotry, for profit-prisons and segregation by skin color and wealth. While I can’t ignore our history of racism, slavery, misogyny and violence, I had hoped that most of that ugliness was behind us. The country that I love is worshiping military grade weaponry, intolerance and white supremacy. White nationalism is the only type of nationalism that’s acceptable to our nation’s president as he attacks anyone who disagrees with his hate-filled agenda. We are being urged to fear people that don’t look and behave exactly like our most ultra-conservative citizens. If we have compassion for others, we’re told to find a new country.  Anyone that is not a white, straight, christian man is being persecuted and the laws of our founding fathers are being dismantled. Our courts are being packed with judges that are committed to restructuring laws and dissolving rights. Our legislators rarely accomplish anything of substance because of the infighting. This nation has not been so at war with itself since the Civil War and the causes are eerily similar. I pray for a return to national civility and governmental checks and balances but recovery is a long way off. This is the USA as we go into 2020. We must do better!