After Sutherland Springs, what does unity mean?

By Benjamin Solomon, Staff Writer

In the wake of every mass shooting or natural disaster, there are calls for unity. In order to solve the issues, be it of shooters or storm preparedness, politicians call for us to put aside our differences and unite.

But what does this request for unity actually mean?

Some seem to view it as a call for solidarity. Pray for the victims or something like that. Unfortunately, praying cannot be empirically proved to do anything. As opposed to what Speaker of the House Paul Ryan believes, there’s no reason to believe that praying “works.” After all, the recent mass shooting at Sutherland Springs, TX, occurred in a church.

Maybe solidarity is emotionally helpful to those close to the victims. Maybe it makes people feel like they are being helpful.

They’re not.

Doing nothing will not prevent further shootings. Doing nothing will not restore power to Puerto Rico.

People must make use of their agency, their ability to act upon their environment, to make a change. I am not advocating a specific solution here, but there must be an effort made to implement one of some kind. Pass a law. Prioritize mental health. Control guns. Near any action is preferable to inaction.

Rationalizing these events as the necessary cost of maintaining the Second Amendment or the unfortunate reality of living on an island is not acceptable.

Part of the issue is also a resistance to politicizing events. After every shooting, there are calls from people like master of misdirection Kellyanne Conway to keep politics out of the tragedy. Let the victims and their families grieve, they say.

What good does grieving do to prevent the same thing from happening again?

It does nothing. This is a tactic used by those who want to prevent change, to keep the status quo. People who demand the halting of necessary progress for fear of upsetting a few victims want things this way.

When a country can be portrayed as under siege, or racked by anarchy then this takes pressure off of the leadership. “This chaos is someone else’s fault, and I’m going to make them pay,” is what these people tell us.

A constant state of crisis also leaves room for the government to request extraordinary powers. For example, the Patriot Act was created in the wake of 9/11 and has been a tool for violating Americans’ rights ever since. Adolf Hitler was able to acquire expansive powers because he took advantage(or arguably caused) the burning of his parliament building.

This is not suggesting that these attacks are false-flags conducted by the government, or that the government causes these disasters. Rather, these attacks are not prevented, these disasters not mitigated, because it’s convenient for some people in charge.

Calls for unity are used to distract. Calls for unity are used to demobilize. Calls for unity are a waste of time.

Do something. Don’t just feel it.

Photo Courtesy: national association of government employees


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