“It doesn’t happen in other places with the same kind of frequency, and it is in our power to do something about it.”
President Obama about the shootings at Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, South Carolina
Actually, violence against women happens even more frequently everywhere in the world. Still, that does not diminish the grim reality of racist violence in the United States.
Bigotry will never end.
There will never be an end to individuals that hate. All of us transfer our self-loathing and deeply wounded child onto others and some of us channel it with vehemence onto people of different color, gender, or sexuality. This is innate human pathology that reaches the level of profound sickness when aggravated enough by family violence, cultural bigotry, institutional racism, and substance abuse. We can aggressively confront and reform the institutionalization and systematizing of that bigotry, which is the definition of racism – personal prejudice is not racism rather, the institutionalization of prejudice is racism.
But we will never be able to eliminate individual bigotry.
We could however, harness all of our cultural and political forces to address bigotry in the same way we did smoking. The systemic campaign against smoking had an amazing impact and even though there have been some reversals lately because we let up on the concerted effort, it still dramatically changed the cultural landscape. We could, if we had the will, do the same about bigotry.
If we did, and it was effective, one of the immediate by-products would be a massive self-critique of the racism in our political, economic, cultural, and religious institutions. When, as with smoking, we all became graphically sensitized to the presence of bigotry within and around us, we would start pointing the finger at our institutional leadership and demand change. We could, if we had the will, make a tremendous cultural impact on bigotry within us and racism among us.
Even then, there would be individuals whose inner toxicity erupted into violence toward others. (We need to start seeing rape and domestic violence as the same expression of bigoted sepsis as acts of racist hate). What we could do, to limit the sorrowful impact of such wounded animals, is aggressive gun control.
Gun control would not stop it because, as the gun lobby points out, criminals can get guns. But the reality in other countries around the world where it is more difficult to get guns is it happens far less often.
If the GLBT community would partner with the Feminist community and the African-American and Latino Civil Rights community to demand progressive gun control reform, it might actually happen. Right-wing extremists and individual bigots are far more dangerous than ISIS or Al Qaida. Read the statistics if you don’t believe me. We need to take the weapons away from them wherever possible and keep guns out of their hands.
I would gladly give up my right to bear arms, and take away your right too, in order to limit access to guns by those who use them to unleash their hatred.