A lot has happened to us. Most recently, a domestic terrorist rained death down on innocent, Jewish worshipers as they gathered in their neighborhood synagogue. I was silent on that topic because I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t intend to fall silent.
This isn’t an isolated incident. Attacks in supermarkets, on the streets, in churches of all faiths, at entertainment events, and our workplaces have caused us to view the security of our families and friends differently. We are facing a national and international crisis. It’s been a long time coming. And we are responsible.
We adore violence. We glorify it. We feel fulfilled by it. We pay to see it. We vote for those who attack others.
We adore violence because we live in fear. Fear of losing something. Fear that someone will have an advantage over us. Fear of the unknown. We are even afraid to talk about our fears.
So we elevate those who do damage or seem to threaten us. Before you jump to conclusions, I want you to know that I am a staunch supporter of appropriate laws, law enforcement, international policy, and military defense. I am not for the abuse of the power of those laws, policies, and enforcement entities for personal and political gain. We have always called that abuse “corruption.”
It remains as corruption. However, by being silent we not only condone it, but we also become participants in it.
After taking stock of the violence around us last Saturday, I read news reports and opinions from acclaimed analysts. I saw the offerings of sympathy on social media for the families of those who lost loved ones. The tragedy is, whether you believe it or not, we all lost loved ones. We lose them every day. We lost them in Pittsburgh and we lose them daily in Chicago. We lose them to violence and to political policy.
And we are losing our young people in a mindset that tells them that violence is okay and that our silence and our loss for words can be justified.
I voted last Friday. And before I did, I considered each and every candidate for who they are. I voted indiscriminately across party lines. I voted for some people who have different stances on a few policies. But I voted for people who, to the best of my ability, are not purveyors of violence.
We have to stop. By that, I mean, I have to stop. You have to stop. We, together, must turn from violence and refuse to follow those who use it as a club to oppress others — whether physically or politically.