Like everyone, I am reeling from what happened last night. A sniper in a tall building in Dallas ... did anyone, by chance, mention the parallel to JFK? I'm mentioning it because it occurred to me, and I am wondering if it occurred to others.
I feel awful for the families of those slain police officers. And, I could add, "there, but for the grace of God, go I" because it could have happened to my family. My father, a New York City cop, worked the streets at night during the Harlem riots. And what I remember most about it is my mother; her despair, her fear, her crying. She just lost it. But fortunately, no harm came to him. But then, on a regular night, just an average night, he and his partner were sent out on a domestic violence call, and as they blasted through the apartment door to aid this screaming woman who was obviously in great peril, her husband shot my dad's partner dead. And, my dad shot him. The man was in critical condition, but I believe he survived.
There are all these shootings, but then life goes back to normal. It's back to Hillary vs Trump, the stock market, the baseball scores, etc. And I'm not saying it critically because it's no different for me. However, I am reminded of the famous short story, The Lottery, by Shirley Jackson, written in 1948, about a savage ritual in a small American town. The eerie thing about it is how normal everything is- then there is this savagery based on a lottery- and then it goes back to normal again until it's time for the next lottery. If you haven't read it, it is an extreme story, but no more extreme than what happened last night.
That there could be this much savagery in the United States in 2016 is staggering to behold.
But, I am going to keep on doing what I'm doing. And that's because: what happened to John Kennedy and Lee Oswald on November 22 and November 24, 1963 was savage too. And I am going to stand up to the savagery- that savagery- as best I can. In fact, it's a piece of savagery that the country has yet to reckon with. That's how I feel about it. That's what drives me: the need to stand up to the savagery.