If not now, then when? That's my question for those reluctant and refusing to talk about white supremacy and gun policy**. In the wake of the now infamous terror attack upon AME Church in Charleston, SC, the fever pitch denial has spoken volumes. I think it speaks mostly to the fact that there has never, in the history of these United States, been a candid dialogue about the ongoing legacy of systemic racism - of which gun control is a part, by the way.
Some suggest that the immediate aftermath of these tragedies should be reserved for grief and prayer rather than socio-politics. This is a false dichotomy; especially given that the sociopolitical climate is the foundation of said tragedy. Mourning of the martyrs and solidarity with their families can very well coexist alongside critical analysis and discussion about how to mitigate and prevent future massacres. It's not either or; it's both and.
As it must be. If we do not talk about how to eradicate white supremacy now, then when? Is there some three-week grace period after which we can seriously address how to improve gun policy in this nation? Or will we perpetually postpone the conversation until the next tragedy? But, of course, then the cycle just repeats itself.
Now is exactly the time . . . to talk about how white supremacist ideology is not an anomaly exclusive to this particular terror attack, but actually it is the very foundation upon which these United States were built. If the kidnap, enslavement and forced labor by governments were not enough, African people have as well been survivors of the physical manifestations of hatred put forth by non-governmental actors. Whether perpetrated by the Ku Klux Klan or Dylan Roof, the dehumanization, the terrorizing and mass murder of Black people is more American than apple pie.
Now is exactly the time . . . to talk about these imaginary bubbles, scattered all over the country, full of unarmed civilians; these so-called gun-free zones. It's time to acknowledge the fact that those intent on murder are not at all deterred by some shit a politician scribbled or by a sign on the door. Gun restrictions are useless at best, affecting only the law-abiding, not these cowards that gun down defenseless people. Take heed that the numerous gun laws so brazenly violated by the Charleston shooter did nothing at all to save lives inside that church.
"The only defense against evil, violent people is good people who are more skilled at violence."
It's time for peaceful people to understand that and act accordingly. It's time for strategies and programs to be developed. It's time for defensive, retaliatory and revolutionary tactics to be implemented. But before any of the aforementioned, it's time for a conversation. If not now, then when?
** Peace to those already engaged in difficult, but necessary dialogue. Here's my thoughtsplural on the matter. Feel free to share yours in the comments section below . . .