The one word people are afraid of saying when it comes to the Charleston shooting.
I was watching my recorded episode of Real Time with Bill Maher last night when Bill brought up the issue of political correctness. He mentioned a struggle I'm familiar with: being a "left-ist" but also feeling pretty ashamed of our relentless persecution of the politically incorrect. I, too, am tired of those whom I share many opinions with coming down on total strangers and/or completely negating peoples' chances at public office or pubic success of any kind because they failed to fall within certain politically correct criteria that are almost impossible to meet. Comedians can't be as funny anymore, and people have to watch their mouth for fear of serious public humiliation and vilification lest they follow the rules of an impossibly strict guidebook written by whomever happens to take the most offense to whatever they're saying. We won't just let one person call these people out on their "mistakes", no. We all have to jump down their throats like it's some kind of protocol for being a good liberal. We all have to post our articles taking these people down and consequently acting like we've never made mistakes of our own. Do we even desire to see where they might have been coming from, to forgive them, to try and have any kind of peace? I wonder about this often. It drives me crazy, but apparently my political brethren aren't the only guilty ones, Bill Maher went on to explain: Conservatives, while better at "letting go" of such political correctness, have their own "laws" of the same sort as well. They also have certain words you're not allowed to say, and at the top of that list of no-nos, Maher explained, is one word we all need to be saying over and over very loudly right now when it comes to this recent terrorist attack: Racism.
Racism. That is what perpetuated this heinous crime. That is what's being perpetuated by far-right media that enables people to rationalize their racism by enforcing it on an hourly basis. "I bet you I know where he got his news," Maher insisted. Chills went down my spine. This is more than just an embarrassingly dishonest attempt at "Fair and Balanced" by Fox News, this is what happens when a network's inability to readily admit the truth of reality turns it into a hate-breeding machine. This is no longer just an irritation to those of us who can see right though it: it's deadly.
We can't allow anti-intellectualism to creep into our homes, schools and places of worship any longer, especially not if it's quickly enforcing racism and racist crimes across America. We need to come together and call out the truth. This was a racist crime, it was bread by racism. Our media, by choosing not to admit the truth, is breeding racism that is taking people's lives. It wasn't just a "tragedy" or a "senseless murder." It was a racist murder, Fox News. And what you're doing by not calling it out as such is the same as the world you fail to utter: racist.
You all must have seen this Jon Stewart clip from a few days ago where the comedian infamously "ran out of jokes" after hearing of the shootings. He says something I get more and more afraid of every time these shootings take place and we continue to do nothing about them:
"I'm confident though that by acknowledging that by peering into it and seeing it for what it is, we still won't do jack s**t," Stewart said. "That’s the part that blows my mind."
We have a responsibility to heal our nation before it's too late. In order to do so, we have to admit what's wrong in the first place. We have to be willing to talk about the real problem, and we have to stop being afraid to say the only word that really explains it all: