Posted by: Viola | December 2, 2014

A Thanksgiving of Protesting

Thanksgiving in the USA this year came at a time of protesting. Countless Americans are upset about the Michael Brown shooting and the fact that the police officer responsible was not found guilty of any of the potential charges. I think that America has some work to do. Not just in terms of race relations and injustice and prejudice. Not just in terms of police brutality and cruelty and intimidation. But also…perhaps ultimately…in terms of gun violence.

There is a lot Americans can choose for this country. We cannot change a terrible past of racial injustice, and it takes a long time to change racial attitudes, stereotypes and structural or systemic racial injustice. And it may take a long time to change the power structure in a nation so reliant on its police force, a power structure in which it is acceptable for a police office to take the life of an unarmed young man. But perhaps something can be done about guns.

However, the reality is, there are so many individuals in this country who are armed and in the position of firing at others. Yes, it would be great to stop this country from becoming more and more armed. What would that be like? Hard to imagine, right? Yeah. Who am I kidding? I suppose there will always be guns in the world. Guns everywhere, wreaking havoc. And as long as there are guns, there will always be victims of gun violence…not just police brutality.

It was surreal celebrating a holiday of gratitude while contemplating violence, guns, and protests. All the same, I am inspired to see many Americans asking the questions we all should ask of the societies we live in. Americans, at heart, are asking why we cannot live in a society free of guns and violence and racial injustice. A safe and totally peaceful society. It’s beautiful to see people ask this question and propose that we are all humans, and we are all worthy of true peace and safety. This notion inspires me. This questioning inspires me. Seeing people ask for a better and more loving and just society is AMAZING. If nothing else, that’s something to be grateful for.

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