Sunday, June 21, 2015

Outstanding! Jon Stewart — Thank You for Honestly Telling It the Way It Is

Regarding the killing of nine people at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (Emanuel AME) Church in Charleston, S.C., President Obama, rightfully but guardedly expressed his sadness and anger, condemned racism and addressed the need to do something about the gun problem in our country.

Jon Stewart, however, dropped his usual comedic skit on the Daily Show to express his concerns over the tragedy in Charleston.


Unlike Obama’s response, Stewart did not pull any punches.

As with Jon Stewart, this is the part that blows my mind:

 “… sadness once again that we have to peer into the abyss of  the depraved violence that we do to each other and the nexus of a just gaping racial wound that will not heal, yet we pretend doesn’t exist. And I’m confident, though, that by acknowledging it, by staring into that and seeing it for what it is, we still won’t do jackshit. Yeah. That’s us.”

“You know it’s going to go down the same path -- this is a terrible tragedy -- they’re already using the nuanced language of lack of effort for this.”

And Stewart is right, again, the same scenario plays out as it has in every other instance of mass shooting. The same scenario plays out as it has in every other instance of racism.

Under the camouflage of protecting our constitutional rights and our freedoms, and with such arguments as “guns don’t kill people, people do,” we sweep the gun problem under the rug. Some on the extreme political right even claim that it’s a President Obama scheme to take away their guns, even to the extent that no one actually died at Sandy Hook or in Charleston.

Instead of acknowledging that we continue to have a significant “black and white” problem, we deny that it’s a problem by finding other ways to describe it. There are those on the political right who are obfuscating the truth by claiming that the attack on Emanuel AME was against Christianity, not race.

But it’s in our power to solve these problems. It cannot happen overnight or with a new law, but with a change in how things are perceived. Change is a process; an evolution that takes place. Hate of others, for whatever reason, the need to carry a gun, and the use of violence to solve real or perceived problems, is a learned behavior. That’s what needs to change. It’s been said so many times, yet never heeded, that if you change your attitude, you can change your life, and you can change the country and world you live in.

Copyright © 2015 Horatio Green