Apathy! According to Merriam-Webster, “apathy” is the feeling of not having much emotion or interest. Indifference. Impassiveness. A lack of concern.
Resignation! “Resignation” is the acceptance of something undesirable but inevitable. Quitting. Surrender.
As the nation moves on from the senseless murders in Charleston there is a feeling in the air that I find most disconcerting. A sense of resignation that nothing will ever change...and a lack of interest in trying.
Nine innocent lives were snuffed out while they prayed. The killer’s motive…a palpable hatred rooted in racism and bigotry. The weapon, once again, a gun too easily available to anyone with cash in their pocket. The incident now so commonplace in our society that it barely raises an eyebrow.
Yes, we had our too brief period of mourning and reflection. But that moment passed in the bat of any eye; replaced by the next shiny object. Today it’s Hillary’s emails and Christie’s announcement that grab our attention. Racism and gun violence; too heavy a load to contemplate for more than a second.
An article published in this morning’s USA TODAY makes the point.
According to a new USA TODAY/SUFFOLK UNIVERSITY POLL:
“42% of Americans believe that the Confederate flag is a racist symbol and should be removed from state flags and other official locations. 42% of Americans believe the Confederate flag is representative of Southern history and heritage and is not racist.”
“By 56%-40%, Americans say tighter gun control laws wouldn’t prevent more mass shootings. By 76%-18%, they say easier access to guns wouldn’t prevent them. And by 78%-15%, they see little chance Congress will pass gun legislation in the foreseeable future.
And then there is this gem:
“By 52%-43% those surveyed say they don’t want gun control to be a significant subject in the 2016 presidential campaign.”
So that’s it then!
The conversation goes something like this: “Racism and gun control are subjects that are just too hard to deal with. After all it’s just another shooting. Yes, race IS usually involve in white on black or black on white crime. What’s new? The NRA is never going to give an inch on gun control. So why bother? And for God’s sake let’s please not get all bogged down in these issues during the campaign. Isn’t it funny that Hillary doesn’t know how to run a fax machine?”
I don’t know who the people are that responded to this poll. I just thank God that they weren’t at Valley Forge, or Gettysburg or Omaha Beach.
I can’t imagine George Washington saying “it’s too hard.” I can’t imagine Abraham Lincoln saying “it’s too hard.” Or Martin Luther King. Or Rosa Parks. Or Harriet Tubman.
Where would we be today if they did?