Another Lovely Summer Day, another shooting.

In El Paso, a gunman used an AK-47, walked into a crowed Walmart on a Saturday afternoon, and took 20 lives before being arrested by surrounding law enforcement.

So on a day when people are celebrating summer, barbecues, bicycle rides, recreational sports, boats on a lake, our country has become immune to the reality of another mass-shooting in America. All the news outlets are 12 hours later showing the same initial video of the incident, and we will watch that for the next few days.

Meanwhile society will react, the same agencies will argue for gun control, the same politicians will fill the air with empty promises, the same gathering of empathetic souls will react all of the country. The same has became no different than the first horrific past of a massive shooting in a public venue.

Its not in my neighborhood, who wants a brat. The waves are perfect today, I could layout in this sunlight on my boat sevens days a week. Baseball, America’s game, tonight when we get home.

Wait, twenty people’s lives ended today, including that of a young child. Another lovely summer day including a mass shooting, like any other day. When or where will be the next one?

Another tragedy will rock America. Polarization of cultures will continue, and yet a blatant ‘manifesto’ exists with this evil person’s philosophy behind the cowardice of an assault weapon and a lost mind.

While we wake up tomorrow and continue planning our cabin drives, fishing trips, golf games, tea parties, happy hours – please! Let’s not forget our voice can be heard!

Our voice needs to be heard. We need to be okay with wanting to save lives by changing laws that give allowance for safe measures in our society, so that people from all walks of life will not gunned down for the color of their skin, in America.

On Racial Disparity and an Unwillingness to Look Racism in the Eye.

In reviewing this tragic incident at Chaska high school this morning, I couldn’t help but feel some direct takeaways from the thread that follows this article. Clearly there is commentary that speaks to many sides of the issue, but the glaring reality for me is the ease we have with using blame and judgment to help us feel better about a situation that causes a certain anxiety in our lives.

With social media we are christened with an arm-chair response mentality, that we have seen can be as equally damning as the central idea of a topic. In this case a direct assessment of racial disparity in a public high school.

In the same article that speaks to the victims of the incident being asked to walk into a room and receive forced apologies from the students that created the mess, there is also reporting that suggests the administration sat on their hands about the incident at a timely Equity conference with parents and members of the community.

See this is the part I have a real hard time with. We cannot continue to hide ourselves behind the idea of racism when the reality of its impact occurs every day in our lives. We cannot simply hope incidents like this will go away without being dealt with directly. We cannot miss opportunities to open doors to this challenge of understanding how such moments interfere with our students of color and their desire to engage themselves in a community that openly ostracizes them, only to have the instigators receive perhaps public slaps on the hand for doing something they thought was ‘funny’ and harmless.

We cannot pretend that there is no harm that occurs beyond the incident of blatant racism itself. There is a great deal of damage that occurs when something of this level happens in any community. The traumatic nature of not being liked, or respected or appreciated for who we are cannot be measured in the eyes of a staged public apology. There has to be more.

Our students need to feel like they are being heard, their issues matter, they take the front seat and receive time and attention rather than a quiet dismissal to prevent a public outcry.

In reading the threads on Facebook that follow this article, I came across a number of personal assessments of the environment – “Oh (community) will never learn” or “same old ‘trash-**’ summarily beating the issue into the ground in such a manner to put it away, blow it off, call it unimportant, and try to put a ‘funny’ light on the issue. In fact, one thread noted, ‘this happened a week ago’ in a manner to suggest we move on. Really?

It is a sad reality that our students could continue to have such behaviors be condoned by society because of an internalized fear to have the difficult discussions. We cannot allow these moments to drift away because we are almost at the end of the school year. We cannot continue to rely upon our political horizon as the reason for such attitude and disparity in our communities across the country.

We must have the conversations and listen rather than simply join the outcry of ‘oh this is bad, but I have no commitment to helping change.’

We need to try to openly become a part of the change and move forward rather than continue to drift aimlessly backward.

Fighting Ignorance

This word popped into my lexicon

today, while basking

in the setting sun,

I wondered aloud about

what it is we seem to focus

upon while all around

our familiar ground,

the ignorance of life

seems drawn to

interfere with

a

quiet reality.

 

Sweet ignorance

the bliss of our lives

suddenly has feet

begins its walk again,

when a man,

a seeming professional

screams a rant at his own fear

in order to make a point,

that was already denied

fifty years ago,

when the time for

ignorance

seemed waning

rather than gaining.

 

We do sometimes choose to ignore

that purveyor of our deepest passion.

Even The Brightest Might Second Guess

Oh it is a travesty,

to imagine we live in a society,

so bent on coercive plurality,

we have to think about our sanity.

 

How is it possible

so many are duped

forgotten are our principles,

drawn inside a very large scoop.

 

I listened to the news last night,

again, abhorrent, aghast, afoul,

and now today the sun will shine,

it will seem we all have only called foul.

 

It is in the best interest of a human being,

to recognize love, to understand peace,

for within the heart and soul of any bearing,

is the need to connect rather than divide.

 

We live in an alarming time, you and me,

whereby simple words can foul a nation,

One man may suggest the world is flat,

and for a time, the people will know exactly that.

 

Or do they really know,

is it that easy,

My, instead I think it’s Bowling Green

a simply massacre of intelligible rhetoric.

 

For if it is really said it’s true,

If it is really sad, is it true?

I Have A Broken Heart

I watched my world unravel tonight,

I believe in love,

I understand pain and indifference,

though cannot recognize ignorance.

 

This night I listened to voices

familiar and strong

speak with certain agonizing

reactions to simple insecurities.

 

How soon do we lose ourselves,

when hiding inside a square box

incapable of having corners,

unaware of angles of reason.

 

When one person believes in rage,

the others follow suit,

When once a person tears,

the others make choices

for themselves.

 

We wonder sometimes,

if the tables were turned,

were they turned on me,

or did I make it all up.

 

I walked around,

looking for a variable,

searching for a purity of reason,

I couldn’t find an alternative.

 

Walking alone in confusion,

I’m supposed to laugh but I cannot,

I’m trying to hide but I cannot,

I listen, but not to hate justify a desire

for themselves.

 

I realized tonight,

its in my world,

everything we believe is not,

is actually real and certainly designed

for themselves.

 

For themselves,

for their own needs,

for the sake of no one else,

only themselves.

 

Only themselves.

On Donald Trump and Ignorance

For weeks, perhaps months, no to be sure, for the last two years I have struggled with the phenomena that is Donald Trump. I will secretly admit to everyone that a decade ago, when he first threw his name into the hat as a candidate and then swiftly pulled it out because the powers that be told him it was too early, I was intrigued by the idea. For all the right reasons: a non-political, yet wealthy candidate that could finance his own election, and perhaps turn D.C. upside down. Yes, I realize it his task at hand at present, but back then, I really didn’t understand the depth his brain could transgress his ideals.

His latest tweet or podium delivery or emanation from his incredulous mind has me deeply saddened. We have witnessed the grueling scrutiny of our national police force with tragedy upon tragedy that raises remarkable scrutiny upon their efforts. We have watched one trial after another, where the reputation of the police department’s efforts are caught in a catch-22 of a moral compass because of the damaging actions of a few. We have witnessed heads of police forces plead with the public that their wish is to train their departments to be of the highest ethical standard on the streets as they protect the citizenry of our country.

Trump to police: “Don’t be too nice too prisoners” -CNN 7/29/2017

Time and time again I have watched this man make statements in rallies and addresses with an angry flair that denigrates, discriminates and blatantly insults certain society with complete disregard. This time he has taken on the police force. So now, according to the POTUS, he wants the blue shield to rough up the alleged criminals. What does this say to our society? Simply that it is ok to take no prisoners, and let the melee proceed.

For me, it is upsetting enough how this man has allowed his vitriolic verbal assaults, to literally wake the dead in regards to racist slurs, homophobic slams, and supremacist ideals. Yet, those close to him suggest he is misunderstood.

We live in a world today that can ill afford to walk itself back 50 years and forget the efforts necessary to create a mosaic life in the United States. How can we possibly move forward if our elected President of the United States continues to demean the efforts of many in our society to remove the literal walls we have fought to break down for decades.

There is no easy answer, beyond asking this man to find his integrity, and that will seem to be a long time coming, maybe less than one term. We can only hope.