On Bastile Day a truck drove into a crowd in Nice France and killed 80 people (so far). The driver is dead. A man shoots policemen in Dallas, he is dead. These suicides/murders seem to be proliferating–a tactic from the Middle East makes it way to Europe,then the U.S. where does it stop–Mongolia?
I wish I were smarter or braver or could predict some way out of this time of violence, terror, and fear. I cannot. But no one can. This kind of overwhelming volatility is outside ordinary thinking. We need to accept that the West gave up on a generation of people and now that generation’s children are fighting back and they are as unkind unfeeling and dismissive as those who were unkind, unfeeling and dismissive oftheir kin. They come out of the prisons “radicalized” which is another way of saying they come out of prison with skills to avenge whatever wrongs they felt were placed upon them and little in French or Belgian or American society is done to undermine these tendencies. It really is that reaping and sowing moment.
I am a poet. I know that language matters. The rhetoric in the American campaign esp. on the part of the right has left many people feeling unwelcome in their own country. The dismissal of criticism –oh that’s PC when something is the work of an anti-Semite or a racist (the KKK) or (YOU NAME THE SUBJECT) by the presumptive candidate for the Republican Party is one more way of allowing the worse of our actors onto center stage. Language matters and questions matter. Why are pollsters asking about trust? Most people do not trust their family members so how is that 67% of Americans somehow trust Donald Trump? Trust him to do what? Why are pollsters asking what candidate has created legislation that supports you? Or called for innovation in some way shape or form and do you agree with it? I don’t trust politicians. I do agree or disagree with policies. But then I am an adult and I am not interested in adolescent responses. I want to hear from people who are curious, look at facts and demand real answers. I don’t want to wait from the avengers to come after the rest of us.