Violence In America: Where Will It End?
(ThyBlackMan.com) In the wake of the unspeakable evil that has befallen not just our nation, but the entire planet, our president has vowed to take action to ensure that this senseless mass murder of children does not happen again. Any fool to the left of the NRA can see that we need to do something about the proliferation of guns in our nation. Not surprisingly, we are way ahead of the rest of the world in per capita gun ownership. Yet gun control is not the entire answer. I hope President Obama gets that. In his initial address to the families of the slain, he stated that he wants to call together psychiatrists and educators to address the issue.
He has since convened his panel, led by Vice President Joe Biden. According to CNN the task force panel includes Homeland Security chief, Janet Napolitano, Attorney General Eric Holder among others. The only educator named was Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan. No psychiatrists. No sociologists. No communications specialists. Perhaps people from these professions will be consulted. But as the council appears to be constituted, it looks like the task force may come up light in the “why” department.
This ongoing homegrown terrorism bespeaks a profound malaise that is destroying our nation from within. In the white community, it is manifest by mass shootings in malls, high schools, and now, finally and unthinkably, an elementary school. In the African American community it is manifest as the ongoing slaughter, day after day, weekend after weekend, of mostly innocent black children by gang members who shoot first and aim later. Living in Chicago, I avoid the local news because the steady stream of black mothers mourning their slain children has become unbearable.
The scope of Americans slaughtering other Americans has reached a point that it is more than abundantly clear to any rational person that there is a profound illness debilitating this country. It is also equally clear that our tolerance for black children killing black children represents a different level of illness in this country.
I can’t begin to say why so many young white males snap and just start shooting up schools and malls. I can say that the ongoing slaughter in the African American community is a large part of the legacy of slavery. It is a the result of (1) the deterioration of the black family (2) intense economic pressures within the community (3) intentional social engineering by the powers that be (4) hopelessness (5) an exaggeration of the deterioration of American society in general and (6) self hatred/ignorance.
Based upon how this task force has been constructed and the history of how things are done in this country, I can’t help feeling that the answers to our violence problem emphasis will be rooted in law enforcement. For Black folks lawlessness and law enforcement represent the rock and hard place between which we constantly find ourselves. Criminals shoot up our
neighborhoods and leave us in such trauma and fear that we freely allow for the abrogation of our rights in the name of safety. Considering that Chicago homicides continue to outpace Afghan war casualties there can be little wonder that we clamor for the National Guard to patrol our streets.
President Obama was also right when he said that this issue must remain above politics. That statement was a preemptive strike at the onslaught of political backlash that he knows will accompany any serious attempt at a resolution. Many people may wonder how dealing with such a profound issue could possibly be deemed political. The truth is that it already is very much a political issue.
What Mr. Obama implied, but could not come right out and say, is that the culture of the right wing in this country is one of denial; denial that American has ever done anything wrong, ever will do anything wrong, or could possibly have anything wrong with itself. The right wing, led by people like Sean Hannity has lambasted the president for saying anything that remotely resembles an understanding that this county is first among equal partners in the world and NOT the Lord and Master of the entire planet.
This denial is the very bedrock of the right wing; the foundation upon which all of its tenets are based. It is a denial so colossal and profound in scope that people like Rush Limbaugh have had to create an alternative universe in which white people have been oppressed by everyone else.
Do not be surprised if the right wing dismisses any attempts at diagnosing and treating our illness an un-American and possibly Communist inspired. It’s what we expect from them. The question is whether or not the Obama task force will take this opportunity to address the chronic violence of African America as well as the mass shootings in Norman Rockwell’s America. My optimism and hope tell me that it’s possible. My experience and age tell me not to bet on it.
Coming next: violence against women
Staff Writer; William Griggs