It ought to be no surprise that I find the absence of sensible gun control policy in this country to be incomprehensible. I’ve written on this subject before. Today, I provide another take on the most recent tragedy in Wisconsin and the news coverage of the massacre.
Here’s the story line best I can tell. The Sikhs are peaceful people despite the fact that they look like terrorists. If anything good can come out of this tragedy it is that people will stop mistaking good Sikhs for those evil Muslims. The real lesson our newscasters appear to be “teaching us” is that one can assign traits of good and evil by simply determining what group someone belongs to. The tragedy In Wisconsin, they tell us, is that good people were mistaken for evil ones just because they looked like them.
America has a tragic history of condemning entire races of people for looking different from the rest of us. If one’s skin was dark, enslavement was your fate for centuries. If one’s ancestry was Japanese, you were ripped from your home and imprisoned for the length of World War II. Today, being a Latin American immigrant carries with it tremendous burdens. God forbid you are an American Muslim. Michele Bachmann, until quite recently a serious candidate for President of the United States, attacks Huma Abedin (Hillary Clinton’s senior aid in the Middle East) for being an Islamic spy and John Bolton, a Romney advisor, cheers her on. And then there’s the Trumpster who continues the lead the outrageous birther movement. A poll I saw the other day reveals something like a third of Americans still don’t believe our President is an American. Geez, I wonder if that has anything to do with the color of his skin or his name.
What happened in Wisconsin is indeed a tragedy of immense scale. And also just one more in a string of all too frequent mass murders that will keep on happening in America until we come to our senses and deal with the gun crazy culture we have allowed to flourish. How many more innocent people need to die before we learn that lesson?
Lawrence M. Schall
Oglethorpe University, Atlanta, GA 30319