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Where Do We Go From Here?

7/12/2016, midnight | Updated on 7/12/2016, midnight

EDITORIAL

Where Do We Go From Here?

The nation is at a breaking point. Less than a month after the slaughter of 49 people in Orlando fueled by hatred and violence, after police shootings and no convictions, after Trayvon Martin, after Sandra Bland, after Sean Bell, Eric Garner, Rakia Boyde, Mike Brown, Tamir Rice, Freddie Gray, Laquan McDonald, shootings of nine black members at a South Carolina church, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, a fourth of July weekend in Chicago where the death toll rose to 82 shot, 14 of them fatally, seven police officers injured in Dallas at press time, five of them dead, and the list goes on and on and on. And still, the violence is not letting up. Where do we go from here America? Do we continue to let the hatred seep into our communities like sap rising up in an unfruitful tree?

Do we watch over and over and over again the same stories ending the same way without solutions? Do we continue to murder our own, fearful and suspicious and consumed with self-hate so much that the emergency rooms can’t hold us all? Do we continue to sit and hear a four-year old girl tell her mother, “Mommy, I ‘m here…” as she watched the horrors of death pass by her eyes too young to comprehend what death is even about?

We will see it again if nothing changes because from the beginning this nation was built on violence and abuse, built on a system that profited from racism and hatred and division. How do you change that? How do you change hateful hearts? One man, taken from us too soon said you do it with love.

As we go through this breaking point, are we too confused to understand what and who we really are and must we continue to fool ourselves to think that building walls and not relationships will stop it? More hate, less love. Is that really the answer and does more hate even feel or look like the answer? No, love cannot be legislated. It cannot be dictated. It can’t be dished out or mandated or managed. And morality is a matter of choice, but what shall we choose, America? More hate, more violence? It would be foolish to think we can legislate love, but we can do something. Just look at history. History will tell you that we can do something.

We can take back our communities, one neighborhood at a time. We can say to ourselves that unless we pick up the broken pieces hold ourselves accountable first, hold the people sworn to protect us accountable, hold the people sworn to represent us accountable, organize like the civil right leaders of yesteryear showed us, we will show ourselves that we can get something done. We may not be able to legislate love, but we can practice love and we can organize ourselves around the principles of love. Organizing around these same principles has worked before and it can work again.