To the editor:
Less than one minute.
That’s all it took to kill 29 innocent people and destroy countless other lives.
That’s the number of mass shootings in the U.S. in 2019, so far.
Less than 24 hours.
That’s the time span between two slaughters in two major American cities. And in order to “qualify” as a mass shooting, there have to be at least four casualties.
And the Senate, led by the amoral Mitch McConnell with the support of a spineless Republican majority, including Wyoming’s own, Mike Enzi and John Barrasso, refuses to even consider sane gun control legislation.
Why? What private citizen needs an assault weapon?
And just who are these citizens committing these atrocities? Not immigrants, legal or illegal. Not Muslim terrorists. They’re home-grown terrorists, most, if not all, of whom openly subscribe to the doctrine of white supremacy.
Read their postings, their manifestos. They admire and feel supported by the rantings of the POTUS who refuses to denounce them. They see themselves reflected in the mobs who chant, “Send her home.” They feel encouraged to annihilate, or at the very least abuse, those who’ve been told there’s no place, no room, for them here ... ethnic minorities, people of color, the LGBTQ population, Jews, liberals, children at the borders.
Who are we? Didn’t we used to stand for and strive to model values such as dignity, respect, integrity, honesty, compassion, empathy, generosity and, yes, intelligence?
When the so-called leader of the Free World openly mocks and denigrates those who criticize him and praises known despots, what message does it send to our allies?
When we as a nation refuse to acknowledge the impending disaster of climate change, what does it say about what we’re willing to invest in the future of our children? When our administration ignores the warnings of its own security experts regarding outside infiltration of our electoral system, how can we not feel that our democracy is being undermined?
And when the president’s best response to accusations of rape is “She’s not my type, anyway,” what are we teaching our children about the sanctity of male-female relationships and the morality that should start at the top?
There is rot in our country. It can’t just boil down to one issue, pro-life, that keeps Christians supporting this administration. Doesn’t “pro-life” include those who are already living amongst us?
Between Powell and Cody, 40 people showed up for a Lights for Liberty vigil to call attention to the children separated from their families and to those living in abhorrent conditions at our borders.
Where are the voices of outrage? Where are the good people who cannot stay silent anymore? Please help me understand what you’re doing to save our country. Aren’t we better than this?
Is this the United States our veterans fought to preserve? Is this the country that welcomed immigrants such as my grandparents who emotionally passed the Statue of Liberty just before the final test of admission at Ellis Island? Have we become so selfish that as long as we have jobs, as long as our stocks continue to rise, as long as nobody’s knocking at our doors to take us away, we’re content to look the other way?
History repeats itself. Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize winner said this, “We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormenter, never the tormented.”
Please speak out.
(s) Harriet Bloom-Wilson