Today, I went to Canada for lunch because I didn’t want to worry about getting shot.
Sure, I live near the border but, America, we have a problem.
The problem: Racist White Extremists with Guns.
Here’s what the problem is not: Mental Illness.
I know. I can hear all the arguments now. “No ‘sane person’ would do this.” This thinking just allows us to dismiss our responsibility.
If the perpetrator doesn’t look like me, I don’t have to do anything, right? Except, these men, look exactly like me. They are white men.
That’s what’s scary. These men could be my brothers.
Ask yourself, “If these incidents were carried out by people of color, How long would it be before we took their guns away?” Yet, here we are, nothing.
Because, if I can convince myself someone like me wouldn’t do something like this, I absolve myself of responsibility.
I’m not saying you don’t feel bad. I see all the offers of thoughts and prayers. I believe them sincere. I’m with you.
Just don’t be so quick to move on.
Look at the real problem of white male racism.
It’s not difficult to identify. These men have told you as much in their manifestos.
But, putting the blame on mental illness is easier. We throw words like “insane” and “crazy” around so much, they no longer mean anything.
That’s crazy or insane has too easily become our default language.
I do it too. I’m no saint. Let’s all try to do better.
I’ve too quickly offered, “I didn’t mean it that way,” as an excuse in the past. Only, that’s exactly how this happens.
Our word choices and terminology matter.
Instead of crazy or insane use unbelievable, extraordinary, or whatever it is you actually mean.
For example, “Our problem is Racism and White Extremists with Guns.”
White racism and guns are not disabilities.
Think about it. When I wanted to feel safe, I went to Canada.
Save me a trip.
Save some lives.
Wherever you are this day: Love Accepts You, No Exceptions.
To be clear it also works for justice.