I'm writing this because I have to say something--not because I know what to say.
I wish I could be eloquent and insightful and "speak with the tongues of men and of angels"--that I could say something so brilliant and compelling it would bring the purveyors of bigotry to a screeching halt and finally arrest this fatal slide toward legitimizing racial and religious hatred. But this latest frontal assault on humanity and decency has left me reeling, speechless with horror, and terrified for the future of our country. So terrified I cannot seem to see beyond it or through it to divine the deeper lessons to be learned.
I had to say something. But what is there to say?? What is there to say when the perpetrators of an unspeakable act of terror cite our President as their inspiration? What is there to say when that same President, instead of condemning this horror in the most emphatic language, only gives the most lukewarm statement of condolences. When he refuses to make any statement supporting Muslims and attacking White supremacist hatred. When he immediately turns away from this bloodbath to much more urgent matters--trashing a dead American hero, threatening SNL, making veiled threats of violence against his political opposition and offering his support of a journalist's Islamophobic fear-mongering?
It is not that this is unexpected. It's a more extreme version of his attitude toward Charlottesville. At least this time, he didn't find "very good people" behind the sights of these guns. But how much more of this can we take?? When will his supporters wake from their mesmerized hero-worship of this soulless narcissist to awareness of the destruction he is wreaking?
When did basic decency, humanity, and respect for differences die in the souls of such a broad swath of Americans? When and how did racial and religious paranoia, based almost exclusively on lies, become the language of so many seemingly normal, rational people? When and how did an amoral, sexist, racist, lecherous sociopath with criminal instincts become the Messiah of so many who call themselves Christians?
Thank God, there are a few bright spots. There has been an groundswell of indignation and condemnation of this act of terror across the world, and staunch support for the victims, across the world, creating hope that this tragedy will open the eyes of those who have been blind to the horrific end result of bigotry. And, closer to home, a heartwarming outpouring of support from the Jewish community of Pittsburgh which received emotional and financial support from their local mosque after the Tree of Life tragedy. If only all Americans could see that that such acts of love and support for those who are different from us--not hatred, bigotry and walls, is the way to truly Make American Great Again!