Once we put all the division aside, we are left with the daunting task of finding the truth. Sadly the division between us is so great that we may never have a believable or reliable investigation. #SandraBland
For me, there is a valid reason that I don’t travel abroad more often. I have a deep concern whenever someone asks me about where I am from. The relevance of asking such a question may be as simple as making conversation, but the farther we are from home the more interesting we appear to others. So it only makes sense that when we leave our nation’s borders, with being American comes questions about our lifestyles and the way we manage ourselves. There is a growing shame.
I spend more time focusing on domestic issues. What happens close to home is more tangible than the seemingly unreliable tales of terror abroad. When I refer to our foreign affairs as propaganda, I am met with rage from believers that the war on world terror organizations is more important. My response is simple: “How can we fight abroad when there is so much injustice occurring in our own nation?”
Questions like this recreate the division that (if just for a moment) seemed to disappear. America culture is what unites us, but our diversity has leveraged more and more distance between us. The fight against foreign terror tends to trump the concerns for domestic terror. We have a narrow view of what is considered “domestic terror.”
The last 30 days of horrific events in both the Southern and Northern regions of our nation have been atrocious. What we once considered homeland security risks (Jihads, ISIS, al-Queda) are now competing for national security resources. How effective is our local law enforcement? When the military must be used to control angry mobs and martial law is enacted to maintain law and order in both urban and suburban landscapes, the shift in priorities is evident.
The identity of our terrorist has changed significantly as well. Defenders of freedom are frustrated. We can’t identify a terrorist before “imminent danger” occurs. Movies about spies and central intelligence had the American public fooled into thinking that we could thwart off an attack by deciphering encrypted messages. But 9/11 confirmed that we can’t even identify a cipher! How could we have so much intelligence and still have our freedoms threatened? Before we had an idea of what terrorists looked like…and how they behaved…and how they organized…and how they recruited. Continued attacks have proved that we can not predict accurately. Instead we have heightened risks of attack each holiday season. First we panicked when terrorist began to look like “average Americans” but we then realized that there is no typical American look. Now we panic as Americans have been recruited to carry out these acts of terror on behalf of terrorist organizations. This is a distraction. America’s homegrown terrorist organizations have existed for hundreds of years. We are witnessing a re ignition of hatred for freedom and democracy that is blossoming at an exponential rate. The Trench Coat Mafia and the Timothy McVeigh’s of the world are not the only domestic terrorists that we fear. Those guys hated the American way and took notes from the Unabomber manifesto. Shooters like James Holmes who opened fire in an Aurora movie theater (or the newest copy cat John Houser who recently “shot up” a Louisiana theater before taking his own life) are not considered terrorist although their flavor of terror rivals the Marine shootings in Chattanooga last week. “It was all over within 30 minutes.” In times of true peril, a minute can seem like a day. As our nation bleeds, how does 30 minutes compare to the last 30 days?
The look of terror never changed. We just didn’t know what we were looking at! But these incidents bring about a fear and worry that is far different than the type of domestic terror that is sparking controversy week after week. The last shovel of dirt was not cast on the graves of the “Emmanuel Nine” before the nation focussed on a flag that hung too high. What a distraction?!? But it was a fight that needed to be fought nonetheless. Little did we know that it was a catalyst for a wave of hate crimes across that nation. Churches burning, presidential candidates harnessing popularity by spreading hate for immigrants and war heroes alike, and now the newest trend…but new only in that we are hearing about it more frequently.
It appears that the law enforcement community has a BLACK eye that it can’t heal. The community can find no respite despite the use of dash cams and body cams which only perpetuate the truths that there is little justice for any one at the hands of local police officers. In the past month the Supreme Court has made rulings on the the 1st Amendment (freedom of expression), and the 2nd Amendment (right to bear arms); can we get a ruling on our 4th Amendment (right to due process) or the abuse of our 5th Amendment (right to remain silent)?
It would appear that the black community is under attack by domestic terrorists in blue uniforms who brandish guns, handcuffs, and batons. No matter how compliant (or combative), the end result is death at the hand of the wrong officer. Not just the black community falls victim to these injustices, but all who witness the system that is not swift enough to prevent another senseless death.
We have created a new division in our nation. There are those who see the problem and react. Then there are those who see the problem and justify its existence. Those of us who are reacting need the world to RECOGNIZE the problems and unite in another call to action. But those who are either ignoring the problem or who are defending the injustice will too soon become victims of their own failure to create positive change.