December 14, 2012

Republicans: when will the murders end?

As many others, I am sickened about and in mourning regarding the Connecticut school shooting.  Why are the mass murder shooters so often white males?  How can the Republicans continue to stonewall gun control in the face of these horrible tragedies?  How can anyone be a Republican when it is this party that blocks gun control efforts in the US?  Why don't we protect our children? I am ashamed that in the US, guns are so easy to obtain.

The following is a note from a new teacher in the California public school system:

An intense day at Berkeley High. Such a heart-breaking national tragedy, and it has made me even more certain of having chosen public school teaching as part of my life's work. Grateful to get to spend my days with groups of such beautiful, empathetic, capable, brave and thoughtful young people whose ability to emotionally show up and intellectually break it down is continually beyond inspiring. For me, as an individual, having this "job" simultaneously challenges and nourishes all the parts of myself and my life that I most care about: spirituality, politics, issues of justice, personal growth, sharing of knowledge, curiosity, creativity, transformation, real community, connectedness, intellectualism and love. I feel so incredibly fucking grateful and fortunate.

Today, students' sadness and anger about what happened was palpable, with many of us crying together as students shared all their feelings about the horror of what those families must be feeling. They talked about having kids of their own someday and how scary it would be to love a child so much, the thought of losing them already unimaginable, of little sisters they wanted to run home to and hug, everyone feeling safe enough to openly weep. Also included in our conversation today was their anger and sadness that the reality is that their little cousins, brothers, neighbors, friends and friends' children are regularly murdered violently here in the East Bay, essentially by a pervasive American racism, and thinking internationally, how tens of thousands of people (many of them children) in the Congo have been slaughtered just since Thanksgiving. And yet those deaths, those tragedies do not even remotely inspire such outpouring as for the town of Newtown, Connecticut (which is over 95% white). We talked about the systems of isolation and oppression, the way the media controls us, but ultimately how—each of us—needs to find ways to be in the world that actively create love and beauty, that change damaging systems, and that nourish us in the deepest and most essential ways.

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