What happened in Las Vegas was a shocking tragedy; no one can deny it. The fear, the anger, the pain of injuries and the unnecessary loss of life; the struggle to understand and the need for empathy and unity are all part of what it means to be human.
Imagine if help had been delayed or denied those victims. Imagine if Mr. Trump would have tweeted negative things about those people while they were still struggling to survive.
Now, imagine not helping those people at all. What if they were called names and told their experience wasn’t real, didn’t happen? What if they were blamed as if they deserved it; as if no crime had been committed? Imagine if their desperate pleas for help were mocked, challenged and/or ignored. What if people said, those victims are not victims and calling attention to their own suffering is unpatriotic and disrespectful to the flag? What if Mr. Trump said, wealthy athletes who use their platform to help the suffering, are sons of bitches?
Can you imagine that? No. I don’t think you can. If you could imagine it, you would be able to empathize and experience it with the rest of us who are fighting supremacy.
Make no mistake, this is supremacy. That you have no trouble seeing the horror of a majority white tragedy but you argue, and categorize, and demean, and dismiss, the very real suffering of others.
For the rest of us, empathy is not that hard. We don’t have to be country music fans to cry with Las Vegas. To want answers. To want to stop it from happening again.
We don’t have to be Puerto Rican to want faster and better help for our Island siblings. Or, to be insulted by judgmental comments and tweets.
We don’t have to live in the inner city. We can be professional athletes and still want police brutality to stop.
We don’t attack other people’s pain. We can want better for everyone because we empathize.
But there is a dark side. Thanks to you, there’s a limit.
There now exists, some of us, who beyond sincere acknowledgment, can’t place too much focus on this latest shooting. It’s not desensitization. It’s self-preservation. White privilege didn’t care about Philando Castile, Terence Crutcher, Tamir Rice, and so many others. The not-privileged are learning to save their sympathy for the people and communities who suffer first harm and then injustice. Dylan Roof wasn’t labeled a terrorist (he wanted to start a race war). In fact, most white men aren’t given bad names no matter how heinous the crime. We don’t give a damn what you call Stephen Paddock (it wasn’t son of a bitch). You’ve shit on our hurts so many times, we are running out of energy for yours.
Your hearts are hard, we can’t trust you. Because you wanted to ban Muslims after the San Bernardino attack, your words of shock and outrage about Las Vegas, with no action attached, ring hollow in our ears. Your tears are suspect. Your empathy appears to have an on/off switch. Your concern is a matter of your comfort and self-benefit, and we must be leery of you and by extension, your causes.
You did that. To us. To yourself. To all of America. Deciding who has the right to pain. Who’s suffering is legitimate. Thinking that you own this country and you can decide what’s important to other people. The hate, the anger, the division that’s running rampant is because of your supremacy. Your lack of love for your fellow-man is palatable. This is the America you have created.
Oh, you don’t like it when people assign blame. That’s too bad. You earned it. You paraded it. You pushed it. You voted for it.