Despite living on the very cusp of the middle class and constantly worrying that one slip will send us spinning into a void from which we won’t be able to return, Geoff and I enjoy a lot of privilege. We’re white, we’re straight, we’re cis gendered, and, though we live in an expensive area of the country, we live in a fairly safe area of the country. Gun ownership isn’t very high and health care is good here. It’s isn’t nearly as hard to get good mental health care here as it is elsewhere in the US.
And yet, after what happened in Orlando yesterday, I’m angry. I am angry that we live in a country that has wholly abdicated the promise of freedom upon which it was founded. We are no longer free from tyranny and fear, you and I.
In this country, right now, to be black is to walk around with a target on your back. The murder of black people is basically legal in this nation of ours. To be brown means that you might die, or you might just be badly beaten or violated. For the same crime as a white person you’ll spend MUCH longer in jail and have much worse representation.
If you’re a woman expect to be raped or sexually assaulted at least once in your lifetime, expect to tell nobody, and if you do, know that nobody will listen. If they do, they’re likely to not believe you or, to outright blame you. Expect to have no control over your own body and to be told you don’t know your own mind. You’re not a 2nd class citizen, you’re not really a citizen at all if push comes to shove.
If you are a Jew you’ll be told the Holocaust didn’t happen and that you’re a dirty avaricious liar. Oh, and “Christians” will tell you that you killed Jesus. Most of them won’t be joking.
If you’re a Muslim you’re a terrorist. Never mind that there is more violence, hate, and domestic terrorism perpetrated against women and minorities in this country by angry, white, purportedly “Christian” men than all other people put together. But they’re all “lone wolves” or “freedom fighters” depending which side of the aisle you’re sitting on. You? You’re a terrorist, period.
If you’re LGBTQ you’re destroying the American Family, the American Way, and everything Jesus ever held sacred. Oh, and you’re all pedophiles. Never mind that Jesus had nothing, absolutely nothing to say on the subject. Never mind that Jesus had LOTS to say on the subjects of love and tolerance and peace.
In this country, the minority Straight Cis Rich White Men rule. We do not live in a Democracy or even a Republic, we live in an Oligarchy. We live in a place where AR 15’s litter the streets and stocks for gun manufacturers go up after every mass shooting and the NRA is the greatest ally of ISIS. We live in a country where we do such an effective job of killing each other that we don’t need to worry about infiltration from foreign terrorists, Angry White Men are taking care of it for us.
And yet, as Scalzi said so eloquently yesterday, all we can do it sit back and offer our Thoughts and Prayers. Our politicians, half of whom are bought and paid for by the NRA, wring their hands and shake their heads each time.
They get up in front of the cameras, behind their keyboards, and onto social media, and they make political hay while blood covers the floors of schools, night clubs, movie theaters, and homes. They politicize the deaths to further their careers while simultaneous erasing whatever is distasteful or politically inconvenient about the victims; in the case of Orlando glossing the fact that they were gay and largely people of color.
The rich, white, male politicians sit back as we fight among ourselves. This has to stop. While I fully agree that we can’t stop the hateful bigots who get it in their heads that shooting up, well, anything is the answer we can stop the politicians and the industry.
The Democratic party has to unite. Anyone who opposes Donald Trump, someone who would destroy what is left of this nation and wipe his ass with the Constitution, needs to get on this now. Anyone who has a Senator or Congressperson who has taken money from the NRA get out there and Vote. The. Bastards. Out.
Get involved. Do something. Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country and then DO IT. The time for complacency is long over. The American Experiment is failing and it is up to us to save it and ourselves.