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  • Edición impresa de Julio 19, 2016.

Trying to make sense about the latest wave of violence in the United States, one has to think about a several elements that come into play.

It is a well-known fact the minorities are the most affected by profiling and abuse of authority from police officers. Driving while Black or Brown continues to be the reason for more traffic stops for people of color. During the last couple of years there have been many demonstrations throughout the country against police brutality.

The killing of two African American men, Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castille in Minnesota, were recorded by witnesses who played the videos in the internet and people all over the world commented on the killings.

Year after year we see these and other acts of violence in these cases of an individual, other instances when someone kills several people. We count the dead and are more or less shocked according to the number of ‘casualties’, but we are not at war, nor should we be in the position of accepting deadly violence as part of our lives.

There are other types of violence that we are callous about, like poverty, disease and lack of resources. We assume that someone has to be in a difficult situation because that is part of life. We dare not inquire into what is our part in the existence of poverty, as now we also do not ask if we are part of a racist system, and how we perpetrate these models if they do not affect us directly.

Life is so precious that any life lost is a tragedy, especially to those who cared for that person. Life cannot be constructed, planted or created; therefore killing someone is ending something irreplaceable and unique. For the parents, children and friends of person killed, there are no words, or justification that may mitigate their pain.

The other element to consider is the abundance of weapons in this country. With each new and more powerful weapon, there are organisms and persons ready to try them and experience what the range of lethal effect is and how fast it can be achieved. As society we have not learned any of the lessons on living.

It is bad enough that there still is much to be done to improve the lives of those in poverty, but also spending money on more sophisticated weapons is a contradiction to humankind both because it threatens life itself and also because the resources go for killing and not for living.

Each one can be willing to demostrate, talk and call to dialogue while feeling that by doing so he/she is the ‘good person’, above reproach. Once the protest, letter or whatever means used passes, one can go back home thinking that they did their part even though the next day the situation of the poor, discriminated against and disenfranchised have not changed.

Violence in daily living is like a slow death for many, as a consequence of that violence a more active one may translate into deaths. Everywhere in the world we see people fleeing, or protesting, in both cases they also are enduring a day to day violence. Do we see it? Do we know? Do we care?

 

 


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