In light of the tragedy brought upon the human race in Charleston last night, I have heard many news pundits and people in general stating they are glad the suspect has been caught alive so that they can try to understand why he did what he did.
Uh….what? How in the hell can you possibly understand someone that walks into a house of worship, sits with them and then calmly opens fire? There is nothing he can possibly say that would make this act seem sensible.
In the aftermath of the Virginia Tech shootings, when the video manifesto of the shooter was released I had no desire to watch what he said (it can still easily be found on YouTube). Each year when I talk about April 16 with my students I tell them the same thing I said above: nothing he could say can make amends for what he did. To this day I have not watched that video. And I never will.
There can be no justification for hate or intolerance.
I’ve sat here for about 5 minutes trying to think of something else to write, but I can’t. I’m angry. I’m sad. I’m tired of hearing this kind of news. I’m discouraged by the lack of any meaningful reform that might prevent the next one. I am confused at how any person or group or doctrine can harbor this much resentment toward another living being.
In the coming days, topics like race, mental health, gun laws and many others will be widely discussed. Don’t be surprised if I write some more on at least one of these topics. But for now, let us support the Charleston community on their path toward healing.
Rosa Parks once said “Each person must live their life as a model for others.” Let her words be our action. Embrace each other. Work toward understanding our differences so that we can find a common goal, instead of using those differences as an excuse for petty arguments and inaction.