This is not directed to anyone or any particular incident. I find myself growing annoyed at all the outpour over Colorado’s shootings lately. I feel for the victims, their families, and the state, but when I read such comments as “what is wrong with America LATELY” it tends to put my back up. Why “lately” you may ask? Because violence, shootings, and societal chaos ONLY seem to matter in White America and that is only when the national news cares to report about it. Shootings, murders, and random acts of violence happen daily in Memphis, Tennessee as well as many other cities in the United States, such as Chicago. Many of these places have become meccas for violence and because of this the society and people around these locations have become desensitized to the daily news. That is understandable, but what is not as easily understood to me is why the country as a whole tends to gloss over these occurrences. Is there a national filter that has been fitted to our news organizations to ensure only “the really bad news” makes it on the front page and if so what constitutes really bad news?
I overheard a coworker the other night talking in a worried voice about a “string of car vandalisms” that have been happening around the suburbs of Denver. I got amused by this remark because in the city I grew up in you were in danger “nightly” of having something you owned getting fucked up. That is life and more importantly that is life in a large, poor city. Denver is not a poor city, nor is Colorado a poor state, and because the majority of the population here is middle class Caucasian the danger factors are viewed in very different ways from when I was a child. Instead of school shootings, a murder a few blocks over, or stolen cars I now have to read about pedophiles, stabbings at a Broncos’ game, how much snow we will get this year, and someone stealing shopping carts… “Oh noes!”
I have felt myself becoming slightly complacent living in this city. I have to remind myself that violence and crime are committed by all races of all statuses. Just because these rich white kids don’t go on drive by shootings… doesn’t mean they aren’t capable of carrying a loaded shotgun into school and trying to murder the debate teacher. Seriously… you tried to shoot a teacher for kicking you off a team? There are kids being beat up every day, bullied constantly by gangs of students every school day, hellish bus rides that seem to take hours every morning… and yet these “children” don’t rush off and shoot up the school. They bear their suffering in silence and sometimes they go home to more suffering and abuse. Do you honestly think it is harder for a kid to get a gun in Memphis, TN? Get real… it is very easy to get a weapon of violence in that city and this has been a problem for a very, very long time! But nothing is a problem; nothing is an issue in this country, until it happens in White America.