Peter Grant on today’s seeming trigger happiness:
Folks, I’ve been shot. I’ve shot other people. I’ve been present at far too many incidents where others were shot. There’s always a human dimension (as there was, for example, in the wartime death of two young Cuban soldiers, about which I wrote here). If you can’t see it, or don’t care about it, then you’ve become less than human yourself. You don’t have to don sackcloth and ashes and make a big, public, wailing exhibition of yourself: but for heaven’s sake, recognize the truth that a tragedy like this is a human tragedy, irrespective of political, social, economic, cultural or any other affiliation. As such, it should — it does — affect all human beings. John Donne was right.
In losing that realization, that perspective, we are all impoverished … and we are all endangered, because if humanity becomes dehumanized, what is left to us? And, if America is so polarized, so divided, that all we can do is rejoice over death or injury to those on the “other side” … what is left to our nation and our society except mutual hatred, contempt and destruction?
Absolutely. And the worst of the lot, if you ask me, are the jokers who offer “justifications” for the shootings. This happened yesterday:
On Friday, a jury here acquitted the Minnesota police officer, Jeronimo Yanez, of all charges in shooting, which happened in July 2016 and left [Philando] Castile dead, raising the national debate over police conduct toward black people. Officer Yanez, an officer for the suburb of St. Anthony, had been charged with second-degree manslaughter and endangering safety by discharging a firearm in the shooting.
I should not have been surprised, I suppose, that in short order my Twitter timeline was darkened, so to speak, by individuals gleefully pointing out that Mr. Castile had had a history of minor traffic infractions, and that Officer Yanez presumably did us all a favor in closing out the man’s permanent record. Mutual hatred and contempt, anyone?
Mr. Grant today lives in Texas, a place that looms large in my own personal history, a place where the tossed-off phrase “Well, he needed killing” is almost universally understood. I just wish some people weren’t so damned enthusiastic about it.