Saturday, June 18, 2016

"Love conquers hate."

"I do not ask the wounded person how he feels, I myself become the wounded person."
- poet, essayist, journalist and humanist, Walt Whitman - "Song of Myself"

                 The very definition of dehumanization is to deprive human beings of human qualities. Men, women and children become the "enemy", " other", "different". When we deny human beings have rights, suffer, feel pain, love and are loved we take away the qualities that allow us to share our humanity. Dehumanization causes us to no longer view people as individuals but as targets, targets of unjustified rage, hatred, targets of greed or targets of lesser value than ourselves. Human beings are reduced to a number- a number of victims or a number of casualties. Our mental disconnection between number and human being allows us to justify hatred, bigotry and intolerance. This is our greatest tragedy. There is a deep sense of numbness in our numbers. When we listen or read news stories from media sources, facts are reported. Part of those important facts is relaying numbers-a number of missing, a number of wounded, a number of dead. It is precisely this disconnection that promotes a separation of ourselves from other humans. We lose our compassion.
      Twelve innocent people were killed at an Aurora, Colorado movie 2012. Later that same year in December, twenty children and six adults were brutally murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School. One year ago this week nine members of a Charleston, South Carolina church were slaughtered.  In the early morning of Sunday, June 12th, forty-nine human beings, forty-nine brothers, sisters, friends, lovers, co-workers were senselessly gunned down in an Orlando nightclub massacre. The victims of those horribly violent crimes were human beings who woke up on the morning of their deaths to live their lives as any other day, never suspecting for one moment that their lives would be taken away by a man with a gun.  A man with a gun, a man with an assault weapon who had no right or justification to take their lives. Each human being who had their life cut short had the RIGHT to freedom, to love and be loved, to dream, to pursue happiness, to hope, to dance, to worship, to sing, to cry, to LIVE.
They didn't want to die nor did they deserve to die.

     Please visit the  HRCHuman Rights Campaign website which has posted a memorial with the names and photo's of the forty-nine murder victims in Orlando on June 12th. Look closely at the pictures of the beautiful men and women who had their lives taken from them, taken from their families, taken from their communities.  Look at their smiles. Look into their eyes. Read the individual biographies.They were mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, friends, students, soldiers, lovers and children. They are all of us.

    Please take a moment to watch the short video clip taken from C- Span during a fifteen hour marathon of Senate Democrats pleading with Senate Republicans to enforce laws and continue to enact common sense gun control measures preventing further gun related mass murders. Connecticut Senator, Christopher Murphy describes the life of Dylan Hockley. Dylan was a student at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

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