From Obama to Oliphant, tears mean nothing

By Jonathan Moniz, Staff Writer

“We have tears, and we shouldn’t have tears,” begins the heartfelt cry of a child, this time over another senseless killing of a father waiting for his children to come home.

This was the latest in a long series of shootings between police and Black Americans without justification.

These devastating symp-toms of endemic racism and systematic abuse have been going on for far too long, and have claimed the lives of fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cou-sins, and grandparents.

Children have died, like those shot at Sandy Hook. Others have been killed at places like Columbine, Orlando, Ferguson, Char-lotte, and New York. Lives have been taken at churches, schools, restaurants, and even theaters.

Innocent people are being murdered, and for what? As part of gun violence and the NRA’s profit margin with gun sales? As part of little to no accountability for police officers?

The quote from above, taken from Zianna Oliphant’s speech in Charlotte, is the plea of a child for love, acceptance, and a home for the brave and the free: a home for people like her, where skin does not matter, and total income is just a bunch of numbers.

Is it really so much to ask to be free from violence and hatred? To be in a place to belong? For people to stop killing each other, and for equality to happen? Is that so difficult?

Sadly, tears too often fall on deaf ears. This is why all of Oliphant’s tears will ultimately amount to nothing in front of the monolithic system that is systemic racism. You can’t beat the game if the game itself is what’s wrong.

If you want someone who has gone through the motions before and has actually made attempts to stop this freakshow parade, ask our President, Barack Obama.

Obama has had to give an address in response to a mass-shooting or a police-sponsored killing over seventeen times while in office.

Again and again, he has had to rise to the challenge of trying to stitch our divided nation together and heal the tensions that divide us.

It has not been an easy task as his efforts have been blocked countless times by gun lobbyists and other special interest groups who can profit by selling those guns.

After addressing a crowd again, mentioning the tragedy that was the Sandy Hook shooting, Obama visibly choked up after thinking about what happened.

It was my first time ever seeing a President of the United States of America, who is supposed to be the leader of the free world, weep at the thought of innocent lives lost.

Obama then went on to implore the same people who would spit on him to join with him in saving all.

After Sandy Hook, nothing has happened. After Orlando, nothing has been done. After Charlotte and Ferguson and Castile, nothing will be done. The world simply continues on spinning without even an appropriate pause for our grief.

The problem is not with the strength of our convictions. Obama has proven his strenth by staring down some of the most vile dictators on the planet, but strength also comes from shedding tears over the unjust fates of children and other innocent lives.

However, as long as the NRA and other special interest groups continue blocking every single piece of legislation that could prevent this senseless loss of life, our emotions, conscience, and convictions as a nation will continue to be ignored.

In the light of these events and all the flagrant disregard for human sanctity and basic equality, what is this country fighting for and how far have we fallen from being the home of the brave and the land of the free?

Photo Courtesy: BBC News


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