When Killings Happen

So it’s time for politics now. 

It’s time for finger-pointing, now.

It’s time to talk about violent rhetoric and the impact of words and it’s time to talk about how we talk about what we talk about.


Not when Gabrielle Giffords was shot, or the children in Newtown died.

Not when Timothy McVeigh blew up a building. Not when George Tiller was gunned down.

Those times, those were not the times for politics. For finger-pointing. For reflection or re-examination or change or care.

Now. Now it’s the time.

Now it’s the time for disclaimers: Of COURSE nobody should shoot police officers (my grandfather was a cop, killed in the line of duty, by a criminal with a gun). Of COURSE this was unjustified, and horrifying, and wrong. And of COURSE the incitement provided by the murders of black people simply because white people saw them as a threat contributed to this, and of COURSE what politicians say matters.

But it mattered before.

It mattered what we said to each other, how we treated each other, what we heard from the pulpit, what we whispered in the pews. It mattered that we fought each other and feared each other. It mattered that a person who didn’t agree was an enemy traitor, that a person who didn’t look like us was a subhuman. It mattered that anyone who didn’t love what we loved and hate what we hated was worthy of nothing less than our scorching of everything they were.

It’s always mattered.

It’s just that now is the time. Apparently.




3 thoughts on “When Killings Happen

  1. Hate to say this, but I am not surprised this happened. The deranged creep who shot the two officers isn’t/wasn’t really any different from Guiliani…or George Zimmerman…or any other standard wingnut. Full of hate, and ready to both politicize and internalize any perceived slight from “those people.” Add in easy access to guns, even for deranged nutzoids like Zimmerman — or Ismaaiyl Brinsley — and it’s a recipe for disaster.

    Just my .0000002 cents worth, but this is yet another example of it being less left v. right/wingnut, and more childish versus grownup. ALL the targets of the latest two minute winger hate-fest have behaved like grownups, not just in this case, but with Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rich, John Crawford…Trayvon Martin…in contrast, the wingers can’t even let the parents in Newtown, Connecticut mourn their kids in peace without holding an open carry rally…staying real classy with that one…

    And just to note the irony, I believe this sort of badger like stubbornness is consistent with at least Leninist if not actual Marxist emphasis on dialectical materialism…though I’d guess you’d get a blank stare and/or a vocal “huh?” — and an explicit threat of violence — if you tried to tell them that.

  2. Ah, the Goldilocks Moment arrives at last! As you’ve pointed out, it’s always either too soon or too late to say or do anything after another gun massacre, and let’s not get all pointyfingers and such-like. But now? Oh, you’d better believe this is the exact right time and will for quite a while to parcel out blame, make blanket statements, shoot from the lip, and make all kinds of uninformed rantynoises.

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