16 June 2016

Reflections on the Mass Shooting in Orlando, FL

As a late aged teen I was in one of the (many) pre-liberation police raids that NYC police regularly conducted in the Stonewall bar. Lucky for me, it was one of the "benign" raids, where most everyone was chased out for an hour or so, until the bar re-opened and allowed all who repaid the admission fee back in.

I marched with a Mattichine Society demonstration at Philadelphia's Independence Hall with placards on grim but sunny day. We were warned that the TV cameras recording the event were not the media, but the FBI. Again, I was fortunate nothing horrific happened. 

These were pre-gay rights moments. They occurred concurrent with valiant battles of others calling for equal rights for Black folk, for Native peoples, the disabled and others.

With reports in the past decade of greater acceptance around the world, a single moment shows clearly how much farther we need to go before any fundamental acceptance actually occurs.

Broaden the venue (and circumstances) from lone gunman on a shooting spree in a gay bar, to include indigenous people's in the Amazon Basin, their ancestral lands stolen, bulldozed and burned flat; their advocates murdered without investigation.

Include, then, the millions around the planet sold and forced into slavery - the existence of this rampant evil cloaked and disguised behind the sterile bureaucratic phrase "human trafficking".

Pay attention to the many governments around the world determinedly bent on genocide against it's own - be this Myanmar's refusal to acknowledge the humanness of its Muslim citizens; or the People's Republic's concerted effort to eradicate Tibetan culture; or of others - the incursions of the US government into Afghanistan and elsewhere; the barbaric proto-government of ISIS/ISUL casually ruling with fear and beheadings, or the Knesset's systematic destruction of Palestinian lands and people's (whose people, incidentally, include Christians and Muslims alike.)

Take heed of the venal, greedy myopic feudal/corporate lords of this globe, ravenously seizing control of the planet's resources (resources that rightfully belong to everyone on Earth, not just the powerful) and using them for themselves, intent only on their own, gated and walled-in comforts; blithely indifferent to the fact their avarice contributes so much to humankind's spiraling degraded path. . . . And this elite is not blind to the outcomes of their greed - they just don't care.

I could go on. I have identified (or alluded to) only a handful of vast wrongs committed because of ignorance, prejudice and indifference to the suffering of others.

The Revolution to change these evils must come from within each of us. It will not be televised. It shall be global. And above all, if humans are to survive, it MUST occur.

Until it finally comes to fruition, there shall be more atrocities, more sadnesses, more dispair.

I pray we can bear them.

But we must fundamentally change how we treat one another - if we are to survive.

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