|Jan 31, 2013 - Issue 502|
So, what do you make of a country where a third grader brings a gun to school to ward off bullies?
After the recent
tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, America, it
seems, is waking up to the need to stem the tide of violence in this country. But
there is nothing new here. Whether we look at the shooting sprees and mass
murder of young white men in the affluent suburbs or rural areas, or the
epidemic of gun violence in communities of color in
From the beginning, this country has used violence to solve its problems. Years of dehumanization of others will do that to you. And this was always the case, from the enslavement of Africans to the genocide of the indigenous population, and from the regime of lynching in the Jim Crow South and elsewhere, to the acts of terror waged against civil rights workers, antiwar protestors and organized labor.
Speaking out against the Vietnam War in 1967, Martin Luther King said “I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today – my own government.” Dr. King’s words are even more relevant today than when he spoke over four decades ago.
Moreover, our continued reliance on the death penalty in
For a nation conditioned by violence, it is hard to break extremely old and equally bad habits. After all, people are comfortable with what they know, comfortable with what they were raised on.
BlackCommentator.com Executive Editor and Columnist, David A. Love, JD, is the Executive Director of Witness to Innocence, a national nonprofit organization that empowers exonerated death row prisoners and their family members to become effective leaders in the movement to abolish the death penalty. He is, is a graduate of