Club Q (19 November 2022)
Terrorism: (noun) the unlawful use of violence and intimidation to provoke a state of terror intended to achieve political or religious aims.
Here in Texas, we generally celebrate our "cowboy culture" in many ways, but even the "wild west" was not this violent despite its sometimes-graphic depiction in mid-20th century movies and television. This past Saturday night, people in Colorado Springs did what many people all over the country do on a weekend evening; they went out with friends to enjoy life and have fun. But someone didn't want them to have fun; a lot of someones as it turns out. While any single act of terrorism (which is exactly what this was) is ultimately the responsibility of the perpetrator(s), the events at Club Q on 19-Nov-2022 are simply the latest in a string of violence and yes, terrorism, directed at a group of people who some believe are "dangerous", not for their rhetoric of violence and hatred, but simply because they exist. These events also reinforce the world's view that America is not egalitarian, even if Americans claim that it is.
"All their lives were shattered in a nightmare of brutality. They try to carry on, try to bear the agony, try to hold some faith in the goodness of humanity."
Immigrants looking for a better life for themselves and their families are labeled "invaders". Men hoping to encourage literacy among children are called "groomers" simply because they prefer to look and dress like women. The list goes on, and on. And yet despite their non-violent actions, and simply because these people look or act differently than 'someone' believes that they should, in their twisted and tortured minds anyone or anything that is different is considered "dangerous". For all of our lofty rhetoric about how civilized America is in the 21st century, Americans are still inciting and perpetrating violent acts on those that they marginalize, whom they deem "inhuman" and are therefore unworthy of even an iota of respect, deserving only to be vilified, harassed, beaten, or murdered.
"But he's nobody's hero, saves a drowning child, cures a wasting disease, lands a crippled airplane, solves great mysteries..."
Seen from a specific perspective, America has always been a country that says it is tolerant of others ("Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free..."), but, with events such as this, has consistently shown that it is not even remotely tolerant of anything or anyone who does not fit within the specific perspective of the viewer. Why? If these people could actually answer that question (which they cannot because they apparently lack introspection), I suspect that the larger majority would admit that people like that make them 'uncomfortable', and rather than ameliorate their perspective (which they say is "perfectly fine, thank you very much"), they prefer to lash out at those who might force them to re-evaluate their world view.
"But she's nobody's hero, is the voice of reason against the howling mob, ... not the champion player who plays the perfect game."
It has been said that "fear is the only true enemy, born of ignorance and the parent of anger and hate." If that is as accurate a statement as it appears to be, then those who foment and perpetrate these acts against anyone or anything that contradicts their views are simply afraid or, more to the point, they are craven. And if that accusation incites you, then as a Marine, a Texan, and a representative of one of these marginalized groups, I say that if you think you're afraid now, just wait ... because we are not going anywhere, and there are more of us than there are of you.