On my morning Genehouse walk, I was riled enough to not see a thing—just plowed ahead ignoring the sights and sounds. I did note on Stroke Hill that the cicadas were deafening. About six miles in, I called my friend Sheila S. I’m checking in, I said. I’m going to write about El Paso, and I want to talk out loud.
Sheila S. said: “Did you hear about Dayton?”
251 mass shootings in 216 days. 29 people murdered in the last 24 hours. All by assault weapons. All white males. Most citing President Donald Trump as their inspiration. Is Trump responsible? Absolutely.
Aren’t we all responsible?
There is another mass: Mass white racism. Doesn’t matter if it’s silent or subdued—or even if it’s on display via social media. It all plays into basic ignorance of our origins. All of us, all humans, come from Africa. The European thing, the white thing, is myth. James Baldwin characterized it as: “People who need to be white.”
The human thing, the fifteen or so common African ancestors from which we all come—mitochondrial DNA, dear hearts who will want to deny truth—is a failed experiment. We stood up on hind legs half a million years ago—peanuts in evolution terms—and in the blink of an eye have nearly destroyed every other life form and the support structures of air and water.
“I didn’t come from monkeys.” That’s right: You didn’t. Well, your 40th great-grandmother was a monkey.
It is arrogant and wrong to declare a single specie sacred. The woman-hating patriarch dolts who wrote the Old Testament were ignorant of science, of evolution, of biology, of the extent of the world. In the beginning, four billion years ago, prokaryotes, life forms in the oceans which would evolve into all life, appeared. This is the prologue to the genealogy of humans. DNA is the historian. No skeletal evidence, of someone not related to Africans, exists. Every human bone ever found is related to the first tribes of Africa.
The one fatal characteristic of humans? Insatiable lust for slaughter. I have it, you have it. Religionists have it in spades. Most of us don’t act on it. We invented the concept of laws to keep ourselves from slaughtering our neighbors.
Sometime in the Twentieth Century, the civilized world, reacting to the carnage from slaughter lust, banned guns. Except us. Our founding myth is gunslingers, free rangers, Marlboro Men. Armed pioneers holding off the hordes of redskins. We love slaughter. We drink blood, dip our babies in blood.
That love has led to Dayton. To El Paso. Only the NRA and gun stores have a vested interest in the very white sickness of gun love, of gun Viagra.
Supreme Court Justice and Republican John Paul Stevens: “Rarely in my lifetime have I seen the type of civic engagement schoolchildren and their supporters demonstrated in Washington and other major cities throughout the country this past Saturday. These demonstrations demand our respect. They reveal the broad public support for legislation to minimize the risk of mass killings of schoolchildren and others in our society.
“That support is a clear sign to lawmakers to enact legislation prohibiting civilian ownership of semiautomatic weapons, increasing the minimum age to buy a gun from 18 to 21 years old, and establishing more comprehensive background checks on all purchasers of firearms. But the demonstrators should seek more effective and more lasting reform. They should demand a repeal of the Second Amendment.
“Concern that a national standing army might pose a threat to the security of the separate states led to the adoption of that amendment, which provides that ‘a well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.’ Today that concern is a relic of the 18th century.”
Beyond the “relic” clause lies owning guns in the home. I personally won’t do it, but I don’t care much if you do. As for open carry and conceal carry, these things are for white racist cowards who believe that Negroes are going to hurt them.
Destiny? There is no such thing as destiny. Meaning? We have no idea of the meaning of life. We know completely, the meaning of death. The mass slaughter kind: We love it. We’re the Neo Romans. We love Bread and Circuses—fast forward to the bloodletting—only, we watch it on our smart phones.