I have two things on my mind tonight.
First: the brutal murder of Tyre Nichols by Memphis police officers, far from the first or even the fiftieth murder by police so far this year.
Second: active shooter drills in schools, which aren’t proven to save lives but do lead to anxiety and depression in children.
This country has violence burned into its bones. It’s in the air and visible in the holsters on the belts of police officers, in open carry, in the ongoing injustice of the death penalty. It’s in its stoic men, in its value of strength over intelligence and brute force over creativity, and in the militarization of everyday life. It’s in its failure to repair the gaping wounds of slavery and segregation, and in tribalism over solidarity. It’s in its failure to care for the poor, to put a roof over the head of the homeless, and to heal the sick. It’s in the value it places in wealth over kindness and fairness.
It’s reductive to suggest there’s an easy answer. The rot is ingrained; a simultaneous equation made of simultaneous equations. But I can make some observations.
A different question is this: what should we do about our son?