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A Silly Country

Wednesday, 26 December 2012 13:58 By Lee R. Haven, Jack and Jill Politics | Op-Ed
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This is a silly country.

“You know if that was me or you trying to stop him, the police would arrest us. Lock us down. They’d say, ‘Man, let that white boy go kill some people if that’s what he wanna do.’”

The guy talking about the Newtown, Connecticut massacre staffed one of those car inspection places so common in my neck of the woods, metro Atlanta. I was nervous. My car was skimping. If it didn’t pass, there was the costly proposition of having to get it fixed before the not-far-away deadline with resources I don’t really have what with the holidays here and my plans to employ what I had saved for gifts for family.

When I’d pulled up to the business, a reporter was on my car radio delivering the horrid details, as much as he knew then, of all those children and adults wantonly killed by the young shooter. I was saddened thinking of all those helpless children in particular being mowed down in their classroom. Did they think this was some bad movie into which they’d been unwillingly thrust? There’s no more incongruity in life than the murder of a child. What manner of flesh and blood could commit such an act?

But in that human way we’re selfish no matter how hard we try not to be, and hate ourselves for being so, I was worried about the car passing muster too. The car inspection guy’s delivery was pure comedian, however, and I had to admit he was putting me at ease in the event the car failed the test.

The car passed, thank God, and on my way out of the inspection station, I gave more thought to what the guy had said. Upon hearing the sad news initially, I had been thinking the same thing. Not really. Not that the cops would arrest black guys like me or the attendant if we tried to stop a white killer. Even with this country’s ignoble history toward black males, I didn’t think that would always be the case. I presumed a black in blue would be allowed to disrupt a white killer’s plans. Hey, we’ve made some progress on these shores.

But I’d thought something just as broad: There is something wrong, terribly wrong, with white guys.

I say this realizing the inevitable blowback of the Bard’s slings and arrows assaulting such a sweeping declaration—coming from both blacks and whites.

How dare I be so, well, unfair and, well, racist?

But maybe my fear is unfounded.

Pundits get away with bemoaning what they’ve called the black culture of violence. Hell, they use it to justify any violent action by others against blacks—as in the slayings of Jordan Davis and Trayvon Martin.

I guess even the enlightened are probably thinking, “True, Rush and those guys are racist blowhards but who can argue that they don’t have a point? Look at all that black-on-black violence in cities like Chicago.”

This may be a quibble or me desperately dabbling in semantics, but I see our plight being more of a culture of death by a people who have turned (explicable) rage against others into despair against themselves. Those boys killing each other and those not so young who’ve joined the majority society in its daily verbal assault against black people—-Clarence Thomas and Bo Snerdley, my 2012 Collaborator of the Year, pop immediately to mind— represent the extremes of this pathology.

We don’t, that is, as a rule, go around bombing other people’s countries, often in the name of stopping communism or ter’rism although it usually ends with us tilting the balance of power—and the controlling of resources of that unfortunate land — in our favor. Now we’ve allowed ourselves to be used in this exercise. We’ve allowed the faux distinctions placed upon us by others during their corporeal occupation to carry out their agenda at our expense, even after they’ve physically left the building. We’re too often the puppets to keep our people down for the usual suspect bombers.

I’ll say plainly and publicly what black people say in private, as that attendant was also alluding to—What is with all these mass killers being mostly white males? In Connecticut, in Colorado, in Arizona, in just about wherever this happens? Trust me, no black person was surprised that the Newtown killer was white. They would have been surprised were he not.

What’s with this love affair with guns? With destruction? Of threatening to turn into parking lots entire nations because you disagree with their leaders? Or with this seeming need to run the freakin’ world?

(Where’s Freud when we need him?)

Are they saying that relatives of children on whom they drop a drone or bomb (or have others do for them) on a wedding party or in a city they’ve forced the despised to live tightly together don’t grieve as they do when their children die?

They’re using the children as shields fails big time on the empathy—or morality—test.

I’d be more concerned with the Buddhist principle of karma. A rereading of Christianity’s Sermon on the Mount couldn’t hurt either.

Sometimes, like you, I’m surfing channels. It is then I happen upon a white preacher. I can’t watch him preach. I’m sorry but I’m being honest here. This thought keeps nagging me, no matter how much I try to run it away. What could this guy say to me as an emissary of morality with his house such a mess?

A dangerously silly country it is.

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