This weekend, some people were trying to go to a Hanukkah party at their rabbi’s house. That’s all. Then a man broke in and stabbed them.
Nothing comes from violence. Nothing ever could.
Years ago, Sarah Palin put bullseyes on a map of Congressional districts, including Gabby Giffords’. Shortly after that, Giffords was shot. Was that Sarah Palin’s fault?
I dunno. Probably not. But suggesting shooting people certainly never stops any shootings. Nothing comes from calls to violence except violence.
Nowadays, we have a guy at the top of the US power pyramid who regularly demonizes groups of people does nothing to protect those people from further demonization and outright violence.
The people he reviles are just trying to live their lives. That’s all. They don’t deserve violence.
But the worst part is that so many people love all this. They love being allowed to lash out. They like spewing insults and slurs. They are rooting for the violence.
As if anything ever comes from violence. As if anything ever could.
I don’t understand the pleasure they get from harming others but I know this: they won’t give up that pleasure willingly.
You know and I know that someone in American thinks the people stabbed at a Hanukkah party deserved it because they also believe Jews are not as good as they are. They’re the same people who think poverty is a punishment for some moral failing. The same people who think rape victims were asking for it. The same people who still suspect that HIV is a punishment for being gay.
The same people who think being white is better than being any other color. Who think white people have first claim to a safe and prosperous life in America. They are racist and sexist and anti-Semitic and anti-Islamic and homophobic and who knows what else. They’ve always been that way but they used to keep it to themselves. Now? Well…
I don’t know how to deal with a populace who is wallowing in their own worst instincts. I don’t know how to turn off the spigot of ugliness pouring out of the American body politic. I don’t know how to put this ugly genie back in the bottle.
I don’t know if it would even be any better.
The one thing we’ve all had to confront in these Trump years is that the hate never went away. It was always waiting for a chance to come back out.
It’s out now. Now what do we do?