Another Bloody Anniversary

4 04 2018

Fifty years ago, humanity continued in its endless quest to purge its ranks of anyone who tries to make the world a better place. A man was murdered in cold blood by another person for the crime of wanting everyone to be nice to everyone else. This was no crime of passion. The killer laid in wait for his target, and shot him from a distance. Coldly. Without remorse. Without shame or regret.

The victim was Dr. Martin Luther King. He was murdered for the sin of insisting on equality for everyone. A white person was so offended at the prospect of treating humans equally- regardless of skin color or religion or political inclination or wealth- that he murdered a man who was publicly shaming the country for not doing so.

Let that sink in. Someone in this country decided to kill because the he did not like what the victim had to say.

If that doesn’t make you simultaneously furious, frightened, and sad, you need to immediately apply for a clue chit. It is the twenty-first fucking century. Humans have been supposedly “civilized” for roughly ten thousand years by now, yet we’re still resorting to violence to silence those we disagree with.

For those not paying attention, here’s a short primer on the use of deadly force. Ready?

Deadly force must only be used to defend yourself or another person from violence.

Pretty simple, isn’t it? No complicated rules of engagement here. It’s very fucking simple. Violence is a shitty way to solve problems, not least because violence almost always creates more problems whenever it is used. If you or another person are not faced with violence in the immediate near-term, violence is wrong. Kill only when it is the only way to protect yourself or another person from violence.

Dr. King was not offering violence- even rhetorically. He and those who followed him allowed their opposition to beat and imprison them without resorting to violence, even though resorting to violence would have been justified (in my opinion, using the rule promulgated here). Turning the other cheek to those who are literally baying for your life’s blood takes a level of self-confidence and courage which beggars belief. I am certain I do not have the guts to remain non-violent when confronted by violence, yet Dr. King and those who followed him did just that.

Those who opposed Dr. King and his message offered violence in response to the idea everyone should be treated equally. They were willing to kill to prevent Dr. King from publicly calling for equal treatment under the law.

In case you haven’t figured it out, here’s a little bit of information for you: liberty and equality are not diminished by being shared. Like love, sharing equality, tolerance, and liberty creates more. Treating other people equally does not take equality away from you, any more than loving someone reduces the amount of love in the world.

Equality is not a zero-sum game.

How hard is it to treat everyone equally? Apparently a lot of people in this country think it’s just too difficult, and they’re willing to kill anyone who thinks different.

That last word up there is the major factor in the opposition to liberty and equality. “Different”. Someone who isn’t exactly like you and your family is “different”, and therefore scary. This pathological terror of “different” is fucking stupid on just about every level, and invariably results in violence against the “other”- however “other” is defined.

Worship a different god? Wear different clothes? Worship the same god but on a different day? Speak a different language? Worship the same god on the same day but while wearing different clothing? What about worshiping the same god on the same day in the same way wearing the same clothes but using a different language? OHMYGOD, you’re different! Eeeeeeeek! Flee! Flee for your lives!

Let us examine these scary differences, shall we? Genetically, every single human on the planet is almost indistinguishable from every other human. To illustrate this idea, I call your attention to the fact humans are genetically 97% identical to chimpanzees. Any given Kalahari Bushman and the Great Green Dipshit of the KKK are 99.97% identical.

Yet the supposedly “civilized” leader of the KKK is willing to kill over a minute .03% genetic difference between his DNA and the man from Africa.

Why? What is so fucking special about those protein combinations in that random .03% genetic variation? There is no innate superiority built into those tiny fractions of differences, despite what many supposedly “superior” people like to tell themselves.

chin

If your personal sense of self-worth is based solely on feeling superior to other people, you’re the one with problems- not the “other” people. And let’s not forget they’re people, shall we?

So, a white person was so upset a black person was asking for his fellow Americans to treat everyone equally, this white person felt he just had to shut the black person up. With a gun.

John Lewis

With that bullet, the white man did more than murder an innocent man in cold blood. He also shot a hole through all pretensions of equality and civilization in America.

It has been fifty fucking years. I’m having a hard time believing we’ve made any progress at all. Hatred of “other” is out there in the open for all to see. Millions of Americans are happy to fuck over their fellow Americans based on ephemera such as skin color or religion or politics. Millions of Americans are perfectly fine with other Americans being beaten, imprisoned, or killed based on similar minuscule differences.

This is not right, or just, or even American. Equality is the promise of America, but too many supposed Americans don’t want to live up to that promise.

Time to start acting like Americans are supposed to act. Hell, time to start acting like fucking adults. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We cannot tolerate those who hate and act on that hatred. If for no other reason than sheer self-interest, we must put this antiquated ideas back in the garbage can where they belong.

Remember- if you get to cause harm to other people for their differences, then you will find yourself on the receiving end of this same attitude when someone decides YOU are “different”.

 

Current status: Disillusioned

Current music: Mrs. Robinson by Simon and Garfunkel

Advertisements

Actions

Information

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: