This morning, I woke up to yet another story of a tragic, devastating, senseless, despicable, and horrifying crime against humanity. Last night, more than 500 people were injured and nearly 60 killed in America’s largest mass shooting to date in my home state of Nevada. Words fail me. I can’t even begin to process the heartbreak and suffering my neighbors, family, and friends are going through at a time like this. The likeliness that someone I know has been directly affected by this tragedy weighs heavily on my heart. As I sit here, trying to understand and wrap my head around this news from thousands of miles away, I can’t help but feel heartbroken. And angry. And hopeless. And. So. Fucking. Tired.
I’m tired of the senseless violence. I’m tired of the fear. I’m tired of the shame I feel for my country every time something like this happens because it happens far too often. I’m tired of the news stories. I’m tired of the politicization of the loss of human life. I’m tired of the same old script that shifts blame rather than addresses the problem. I’m tired of these events being a constant wake up call to the cold reality that my countrymen care more about their precious guns than they do about their fellow man and woman. I’m tired of the useless platitudes and useless “prayers” from equally useless politicians who refuse to do anything of value to stop future tragedies. I’m tired of the arguments and debates that yield no results. I’m tired of wondering when the next tragedy is going to happen and how many more it will take before we, as a nation, step up and decide enough is enough.
How many more innocent lives are we going to allow to be taken before we make a change in this country? How many “lone wolves” are we going to write off or justify before we finally look in the mirror and acknowledge that we are part of the problem? I love my country, it’s my home. However, I am deeply ashamed of it. More often than not, I find myself utterly despondent over the perpetual state of America. Maybe this makes me a “snowflake” liberal, but how can anyone possibly be proud of a country that accepts the continuous murder and massacre of innocent lives? How can I feel at peace with a country whose politicians lack the integrity and backbone to push back against lobbyists who run our country and stand up for their people? How can I be proud of a country where so many people write off hate speech and white supremacist rallies as “free speech”, but demonize a person of color for taking a knee during the national anthem in peaceful protest of the injustices that plague our nation?
America, with my own broken heart, I love you. I love you despite your brokenness. I love you in the hopes that you can learn from your errors and be the country I know you can be. I love you, not because you are a shining beacon of justice and light today, but because I have hope that one day soon you can be.
*Here is information on how to assist victims of the Las Vegas tragedy