This is Us

Stop your crying. Hold your faux thoughts and prayers. Raise those flags back to full mast. It’s another day, and another mass shooting within America’s shores.

It barely registers anymore. #DallasStrong, #SacramentoStrong, #NorfolkStrong the latest hashtags to trend. Eight dead, twenty-two injured in mass shootings overnight. Ho hum. It’s just another Saturday night in America. It’s barely worthy of a headline or news alert nowadays. The irrational, inexcusable, inane, and insane now normalized.

This is us.

So long as we allow those in power to divide our nation into two camps. Secure a status quo long past the point demographics would otherwise allow. Legislate and enforce a permanent caste system. So long as we are “haves and have nots” and are labeled an “us”or “them,”

This is us.

So long as we dehumanize minorities, refugees, outsiders and those who look different. So long as we characterize them as “rapists,” “animals,” “enemies,” and worse,

This is us.

So long as our nation’s leaders bully, threaten, harass, and challenge one another to school yard brawls. So long as we legitimize representatives who feed on hate. Who pridefully accept endorsements of those who deride icons of the Civil Rights of movement.

This is us.

So long as we mainstream false equivalents. Breathe life into conspiracy theory and invite hatemongers, white supremacists, xenophobia and insurrectionists into the spotlight. Treat them as rational actors deserving of a place at the big boy table,

This is us.

So long as we fear those dressed in the hoodie, hijab, yarmulke or Che tee more than we do those cloaked in the white hood, sweater vest, Confederate flag, or swastika tattoo,

This is us.

So long as we build walls instead of bridges. Invest in war instead of education and research grants. So long as we celebrate “American exceptionalism” but oppose student loan reform,

This is us.

So long as “we, the people” includes Goldman Sachs, Halliburton, Bain, Monsanto and Bayer and not Trayvon, Fatima, Colin, Mary and Tom,

This is us.

So long as we listen to “alternative facts,” slogans, and double speak but tune out science, photographic evidence, and statistics,

This is us.

So long as we buy the empty promises about the wonders of trickle down economics and reject efforts to raise the minimum wage. To provide a living wage for all.

This is us.

So long as we profess that Earth and all its things were created by God but deny global warming, pollute our rivers and drill baby drill,

This is us.

So long as we debate whether gun lockers have a greater right to privacy than our daughter’s privates. So long as the right to bear arms is absolute but the rule of law optional.

This is us.

So long as we offer thoughts and prayers for all of God’s children, but sit nearly silent as antisemitism, Islamaphobia, and hate crimes are committed in her name,

This is us.

So long as we’re more offended by the black athlete who uses his celebrity to kneel in silent protest for equality than we are the white Christian billionaire who use his bully pulpit to disparage an immigrant nation,

This is us.

So long as we demonize the leaker, celebrate the slapper and enable the exploiter.

This is us.

So long as we make it harder to buy Sudafed than it is to buy a bullet.

This is is.

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