Someone else wrote a blog titled, “Are You Outraged?” And I thought, am I outraged?
Let’s see. I was born in 1956, eleven years after WW II, but while the conflict in Korea was happening, and as the U.S. was getting drawn into Vietnam.
The Cold War was going strong. The U.S. and U.S.S.R. were ready to launch nukes and drop nukes at the slightest provocation.
1960 began strong, with John F. Kennedy getting elected. He promised to put a man on the moon. Meanwhile, protests and riots began. The 1960s were full of blood and smoke. Kennedy was assassinated; so was his brother. And Martin Luther King, Jr. Many blacks were lynched and murdered. Battles were fought over segregation, “Separate but equal”, and desegregation.
As races fought for equality, so did women, but the Equal Rights Amendment stalled.
The arms race sucked up resources and attention. Korean and Vietnam were ‘ended’ as conflicts, but more conflicts sprang up. War has not ceased in my lifetime, despite the fall of the U.S.S.R. Instead, it’s intensified.
As has the battle for equal rights and the ideal that skin color, sexual orientation, religious preferences, and genders should not matter, that we, as a nation, are only as strong as the weakest among us, so we must protect them.
The battle for the environment has intensified, too, and with it, the understanding that this is one world, and once again, in order to survive, we must survive together, and protect our planet, or we may all suffer, and many of us will perish, bringing our civilization to our knees.
These seem like self-evident truths, but instead, another war has arisen, this one about what constitutes truths, facts, science, and evidence. The way that numbers and words are spun to create division and distraction spins my head.
Am I outraged? Fucking yes. After a lifetime of this, I thought we’d be further advanced. But as I watch the police brutality and government response to the murders and protests, echoes of history reverberate. I’m reminded of the tanks in Hungary in 1956 as the Soviet Union crushed an uprising.
I’m reminded of the Watts riots.
I’m reminded of Tienanmen Square in 1989.
I’m reminded of the Berlin Wall.
I’m reminded of Selma and Montgomery, Alabama, and Detroit, Michigan.
I’m reminded of the American Civil War.
I’m reminded of the rise of Solidarity in Poland.
I’m reminded of Ferguson.
I’m reminded of the Democratic National Convention in 1968.
I’m reminded of Kent State in 1970.
I’m reminded of countless sit-ins and marches against war and for peace, against injustice and for equality.
I’m reminded of so many events that I’ve seen and read of in the narrow focus of my short life, and I’m reminded of so many who live in fear and suffer at the hands of those who are supposed to serve and protect.
Am I outraged?
I watch the news, play the viral videos, and read the articles this week and wonder why so many fight against others’ equality. I wonder how so many can be so cruel to fellow humans. The outright cruelty and disregard demonstrated as police officers spray, beat, shoot, and mistreat their fellow citizens, their fellow humans, horrifies me.
Am I outraged?
I am sickened. I am saddened. I am furious.
Yes, I am outraged.