Thursday, December 20, 2012

Friday, December 14, 2012

Mass Shootings

It’s not about guns.

It’s not about God.

It’s not about mental illness.

It’s about privilege. The idea that you are better, more important, more deserving than other people simply because you happened to be born into a group of people used to getting a better deal than the rest and not being able to deal with the fact that your privilege is mostly imaginary.

It’s about the Neo-Nazi shooting up a Sikh temple because his white skin no longer assures him a better chance than the people he feels entitled to look down on.

It’s about the divorcee who thinks of his wife as property, and of those that supported her when she left his ass as thieves, fit to be shot.

It’s about the grad student who studied and went into debt, because that's how you get ahead in life, who when faced with failure takes out his anger on a crowded theater.

It’s about two misfits who've been fed the line that high school is "the best days of their lives" massacring their peers when it turns out high school is more about institutionalized oppression than fucking cheerleaders and going to keggers.

It’s about the overconfident professional that sees his degree and his dick as a guaranteed future or promotions and prosperity who blasts through his office when he's let go.

It’s about the failed businessman who can't accept his failure crashing a plane into an IRS building because he blames them for his bankruptcy.

It’s about desperation, and isolation, and being held personally responsible for everything without actually have much say in what happens to you.

It’s about believing that you must have the house and the car and the girl and the money and the cool friends and the power and then deciding that because you don't have these things, someone, somehow, must have taken them away from you.

It’s about a culture that says when someone threatens your perceived privilege, to wealth, to status, to sex, to superiority, violence is the first and only answer to said threat. In a world where there are only winners and losers, it’s about deciding to "win" at any cost, because living as a loser is something you cannot stomach.

It’s about a culture that worships the individual and demonizes community. That thinks asking for help, let alone providing it is not just a sign of weakness, but a moral failure. That says to the sick who cannot afford care "let them die". That says to the poor that cannot provide food and shelter for themselves that their poverty is their own fault.
It’s about a society that blames women for being raped, the poor for poverty, the incarcerated for crime.

And children for being murdered.

Because they didn't pray at school, or because their teachers weren't armed.

Because in a culture that views all negative events, personal or global, as the direct result of individual failure, those who fall are not comforted and aided, and the self-hate this engenders builds and breeds and bursts as bullets sprayed across our so-called communities.

It’s not about guns, or God, or mental illness, or laws. 

The US is the most heavily monitored place in the world. But everyone is so busy snipe-hunting "terrorists" and "agitators", so busy sending up drones and tapping phones and arming local police with tanks and being scared of their neighbors that no one hears the cries that cannot be stifled, no one notices the profile and the looming madness. If we had actual community, if we had access to mental healthcare without shame, if we had a society that recognized that winning and losing are things you do in games, not in life, that we are all in this together. That bad shit hitting your personal fan does not mean you are a bad person, or a failure, or being targeted by whichever them to you tend to hate.

And that you never, ever, have the right to take out your frustration on another person. Not with a fist, not with a gun, not with a law, maybe, maybe we could stop this cycle of societal suicide.

Because in the end it’s not really about racism, or misogyny, or Marilyn Manson or the voices in their heads.

It’s about thinking that you are more important than other people.

It’s about privilege, and it won't stop until we start thinking of each other as equals.