Sunday, 9 January 2011

Look into the mirror, shed a tear and resolve to change.

I would like to take some time out of your busy day to sit down and have a little chat. There is something terribly wrong with this country. Less than 24 hours after the brutal shooting of a congresswoman and the horrific fatalities of a federal judge and a nine-year-old girl (among 6 killed), my social media reflects more opinions of the Seahawks game than of how we allow ourselves to live in this society.

Maybe people are so horrified by the events that they cannot face the brutality, so their focus turns to a sport event. Or, and is sadly more likely, we are not surprised that this happened.

Our we really so numb to the thought of violent shootings, that our focus quickly turns away with a shrug? Or have we seen so much violent rhetoric coming from the media and from politicians, that our focus turns away with a "it was bound to happen" nod? Is any of this really acceptable?

The truth is, if you want to understand what happened, you need only look into a mirror. There are some more guilty than others, but an overall acceptance of what happened lies in how our society has evolved. It has evolved into a cruel, violent beast. I am seeing an outcry from the media and prominent representatives, but almost none from my everyday peers and colleagues. Why is this? Why are we not incensed and horrified and instead of wishing condolences on the families of those lost, we feel the need to comment on how awesome the Seahawks are?

This is not a society to be proud of. It is not one to hold on a pedestal for the rest of the world. It is one that should hang its head and be ashamed that things such as this:
can have such direct and horrific consequences.

There was a brilliant analogy on Countdown with Keith Olbermann last night likening this situation to an epidemic. It takes off the weak and the vulnerable first, slowly spreading through society and infecting all it touches. I cannot think of a more apt and chilling metaphor. It is those who are mentally vulnerable who fall first and this is not acceptable.

Some may turn around and say (with heated language) "Who are you to talk? You left this country, proudly and gleefully!" That is true, however, if there is one thing I have learned, I am the one you should be worried about pleasing. I am the one that has to explain every horrific occurrence in America to my friends, colleagues and strangers at the pub who hear my accent.

When you meet a stranger, I can probably bet that you are not being asked within 5 minutes about health care, or gun control, or voter reform, or immigration. Because of my accent, I stand out immediately as someone who represents the state of affairs and questions are immediately posed to me. For all that I am asked about American politics, it is necessary for me to be more informed on every topic. I am the one representing you to the everyman here in Scotland. I want to stand proudly, but instead I roll my eyes, shrug and say "Well, there's a reason I left." This is never more true today.

This is a time where Americans should take a few minutes and reflect on how much they accept current gun policies, or how much they agree with the rhetoric spit out by the types of Glenn Beck and the other swine on Fox News, and if there was anything they could do to prevent our society to turning into what it is now.

We are at a crossroads of sorts. This can be either the end or the beginning of a horrible chapter in American history. I want to be proud of my past, and today I am not. I am not proud of my fellow Americans for their passiveness regarding this horrific act. Look into the mirror, shed a tear and resolve to change.


  1. The shooter was basically set up to commit this horrific act, this political assassination. His mental health (or lack of it) only makes him more vulnerable in a country where it is easier to buy a semi than it is to get necessary treatment and support for mental illness. However, this should NOT be understood as a consequence of mental illness. The VAST majority of mentally ill people DO NOT PERFORM POLITICAL ASSASSINATIONS. McVeigh et al were clearly politically motivated. The conservatives set up this environment, while keeping their own hands clean. Not unlike being for the senseless wars, but keeping their own children far from harms way. Those of us on the left are also to blame. We have let the culture erode to this point.

  2. I think it is interesting that you have not seen the extensive media coverage. Even during the football games they have been covering it. I'm not sure the V reference was right here. It seems wrong in this scenario.

  3. Asrae, if you read my commentary closer, you'll see that I am talking about how the media DOES cover it, but that there is an apathetic reaction from my peers.

  4. I find that odd to, most of my friends have commented on it.