There are no sides. Only hatred.

The sun rises on another day, a day filled with mournful headlines.

It shines on streets, streets stained with blood.

Blood of criminals.

Blood of those meant to serve and protect.

Blood of the innocent. Your sons and daughters, your loved ones.

I would reference the occurrences that have happened in America over the past few days, but there’s no need. The context of the following words will be absolutely applicable next week, and the week after that, and for months to come. People are turning on each other, and it’s increasing at a rapid pace.

There are plenty of us who believe that people should stand together, that this violence shouldn’t be fought with more violence.. The media doesn’t like that though, because their doesn’t increase viewership. The loudest voices, and the ones effectively taking action, are the ones responsible for this violence. People are becoming painfully ignorant of information, running off of assumptions perpetuated by media, and making decisions based on pure emotion.

How did we get here? How do these shocking acts of murder and hatred continue to run rampant throughout the United States? “Shocking…..” As if we are surprised that people are finding an enemy, and then deciding that killing them is the answer. Let’s step back and take a look at the culture that is perpetuating in America.

Irony

America exists only because a group of people sick of religious oppression, decided to find a place they could practice religion in their own way. So they formed a country that offered religious freedom. (That’s the short version of the story). Now, this country of religious freedom is threatening to remove people from that country on the basis of religion. Oh, how ironic we have become. Due to a tiny percentile of a specific population’s actions, that entire population is being blamed, and they need to pay the consequences. The actions of a few Muslims changed our view of their religion. The actions of a few police officers changed our view of that entire profession. Strange that the actions of Westboro Baptist Church doesn’t change our view of Christians..

3 Cheers for violence!

How about this, a leading presidential candidate talks about the torture of waterboarding at his rallies and says “I’m going to bring back waterboarding, and a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding.” This statement is answered with thunderous applause and shouts of approval. Now, lets take this into context. This gentleman is referring to torturing those who are guilty of, or on trial for the sick murdering and torturing of innocent people. Subjecting these evil individuals to the same treatment they have put others through seems only fair I suppose. But we cheer at the thought of inflicting agonizing cruelty on another human being? We don’t for a second think about the consequences, or take a second to consider the breadth of what we are doing? We smile at murder and violence? This isn’t a gladiator arena, or the wild west. Well, maybe it is, and maybe that’s what people want. Unfiltered violence.

Everyone has the right

What about gun violence? Someone suggests adding some restrictions to gun rights, restrictions that actually wouldn’t affect the “good guys” who should be allowed to own and carry guns, and while the ink is still wet on a proposal, it gets shut down. Rejected by those who believe a gun built only for effectively littering a mass area with bullets, belongs in the hands of any person who wants one. A killing machine for anyone who wants one. Oprah comes out and says “you get a gun, you get a gun, we all can have weapons for murder!” We smile and nod in agreement.

Divisive hatred

We live in a nation that has become completely “us vs them.” Democrats and Republicans do nothing but talk about how terrible the other party is. Many want to make it illegal for you to live your life in a way that opposes their interpretation of the Bible. We can do nothing more than point our finger at a made up enemy and say they should be deported because they don’t deserve to live in the United States, a country that we have a right to only by birth…. In that nation are we surprised that people are turning to violence for the answer?

Yep

We are shocked. We didn’t see this coming. And there’s no solution we are comfortable with. Only when we get off our high horses, put away our pride and see that people ARE equal, that America CAN be a nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all, maybe then the problem will be solved. The systemic, economic, inequality issues that people don’t believe are real.. Maybe when we take those seriously, maybe then the problem will be solved. Maybe if we could apply a little bit of critical thought to the actions we are taking and the narrative we are a part of.. However we don’t take each other seriously. We chuckle at police brutality and say “that person had it coming,” because apparently each of us has the right to be the judge, jury and executioner. When did we decide to disregard what the United States stood for?

So for now, another massacre has occurred, another debate on gun rights and “us vs them” will occur, nothing will happen, and we will wake up to more headlines of tragedy. Think that’s gloomy? Well there is hope. There is light at the end of the tunnel. But we would rather not go through that tunnel. It’s uncomfortable and would make us face some very hard truths as a people. So really, there is no solution. Not without transforming our culture. Until then, this is where we will be, a nation with no sides. Black lives matter, blue lives matter, all lives matter – these aren’t sides worth being a part of. These ideas have been created in hopes of promoting awareness of a symptom of a national sickness. Picking a side is just trading one hatred for another. Passing the blame one group for a very complex problem. Show compassion for one another, because as it stands there are no sides, there’s only hatred.

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